TheFace: Rozana Al-Tayyar, professional mediator in business disputes

Family photo of Rozana Al-Tayyar. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 22 March 2019

TheFace: Rozana Al-Tayyar, professional mediator in business disputes

  • Her experience as a financial analyst  partly managing complex relationships gave her the perfect education in how to become a mediator
  • "I see stories from every angle, and I help clients collaborate to see the other sides, and reach an agreement," she says

The business arena is a tough one, and ultimately, it is all about ensuring the success and growth of an endeavor. They do not always work out. Partners go through various disputes, often very costly and time-consuming, and unfortunately, they sometimes end up in court.

I am a business mediator — a third party to disputes briefed to help resolve them amicably, long before they reach that stage.

I am the daughter of a diplomat and grew up in London before moving to Athens with my family. I majored in computer science and engineering, which led to a placement at an oil refinery company in my senior year at college. I wanted to learn and I wanted to challenge myself, and soon after graduating, when we moved to Vienna, I was offered a job at the Saudi British Bank (SABB).

Starting as a financial analyst, part of my role was managing complex relationships. I spent 14 years at SABB honing my people skills, earning the trust of clients, learning how to negotiate and to read body language. It gave me the perfect education in how to become a mediator.

I founded my company TASWEA (meaning “settlement”) four years ago, when not many people knew or appreciated corporate mediation as a concept. In modern business culture, however, managing relationships and reputations is vital, and many people would rather resolve things with a professional behind closed doors than risk damage by feuding in public. It soon caught on.

As part of our culture, we are afraid of conflict but are quick to take sides, judge and apportion blame. But we mediators have a saying: “There are three sides to every story — there are the sides of both parties, and then there is the truth.” I see stories from every angle, and I help clients collaborate to see the other sides, and reach an agreement.

A recent UK study found that 70 percent of cases that go through professional mediation find an amicable solution. We allow each party to feel empowered, to express their emotions in a safe environment instead of betting the fate of their business on a legal route.

The best people to decide solutions to conflicts are often those involved in them. This is the most important point of mediation. All I do is help facilitate that dialogue, and as a mediator I find it extremely rewarding to make clients realize they have that power. 


KSRelief signs agreements for relief to Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians

Updated 25 April 2019

KSRelief signs agreements for relief to Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians

  • Al-Rabeeah: We have no hidden agenda in Syria and we work through international organizations

BEIRUT: The general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, signed on Wednesday seven agreements with Beirut and international and civil organizations operating in Lebanon to implement relief projects targeting Syrian and Palestinian refugees as well as the most affected host communities in Lebanon.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who participated in the symposium at the Four Seasons Hotel Beirut to sign the agreements, praised the strong Saudi-Lebanese relations, which have existed for decades, and stressed Lebanon’s keenness to ensure their permanence and development.

He said: “The meetings Al-Rabeeah has held with different Lebanese political and religious authorities over the past two days during his visit to Lebanon, under the guidance of King Salman, indicate the Saudi leadership’s true desire to deepen the fraternal ties with the Lebanese, support Lebanon’s unity, independence, sovereignty and coexistence formula, and protect its existence from the repercussions of all the fires, crises and interventions that plague many countries.”

During the symposium, which was attended by a large group of political, religious and social figures, Al-Rabeeah called on the international donor community to shoulder more responsibility.

Addressing the implementing bodies, he said: “It is time to reconsider your working mechanisms in order to develop them and improve procedures to avoid negative impacts.”

“What I mean by reconsidering working processes is that there is a need to work professionally and skillfully because there are not many resources, and we must eliminate bureaucracy and speedily make the most of resources,” Al-Rabeeah told Arab News.

He stressed the importance of developing a close partnership between the donor and the implementer of projects, highlighting that KSRelief’s work is subject to international and regional oversight mechanisms as well as its own internal control mechanisms.

“We have two strategic partners, and when agreements are signed with the recipients of assistance, this means accepting oversight terms,” he said.

Al-Rabeeah said: “Saudi Arabia supports the safe return of Syrian refugees to their country, and so is the case for Yemen.”

“Saudi Arabia has supported peaceful dialogues, which restore security and stability,” he said. “In order for this to happen in Syria, we support the efforts of the United Nations and implement (as KSRelief) relief programs inside Syria. We also have major programs and we count on the UN to ensure a safe return for Syrian refugees.”

On the Syrian regions in which KSRelief is implementing its programs and the difficulties faced, Al-Rabeeah told Arab News: “We have nothing to do with military or religious matters, and wherever there is security, we work. We also work through the UN and the international organizations inside Syria, and we do not have any hidden agenda in this field.”

He stressed that “participating in rebuilding Syria requires security and stability, and the Saudi leadership hopes for a peaceful solution as soon as possible. Until this is achieved, the relief work will continue and won’t cease.”

Al-Rabeeah announced that KSRelief is implementing a quality program to rehabilitate recruited children in Yemen alongside its education, protection, health and environment projects.

“There are those who recruit children to fight in Yemen, violating all humanitarian laws. Our center rehabilitates them so that they are not used as terrorist tools in the future,” he said.

Al-Rabeeah emphasized that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 has given relief work its share, especially in terms of volunteering programs. “We have great examples involved in the field,” he said.

Among the signed agreements was one with the Lebanese High Relief Commission (HRC) to carry out a project to cover the food needs of Lebanese families.

Chairman of Lebanon’s High Relief Commission Maj. Gen. Mohammed Khair told Arab News that the agreement targets distributing 10,000 food rations to orphans, widows and destitute families in the poorest and most disadvantaged areas in Lebanon. “This project is encouraging and gives hope to people,” he said.

Khair said that there are 100,000 people in need in Bab Al-Tabbaneh district alone, pledging to commit to transparency during the implementation of the project. “It is not a question of sectarian balance; we are focused on those who are most in need,” he said.

The signed agreements include one for repairing, equipping, and operating the Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz Center for Dialysis at the Makassed General Hospital, an agreement with the UNHCR worth $5 million to implement a project for assisting the most affected Syrian families for six months, an agreement to support Souboul Assalam Association in Akkar (northern Lebanon), an agreement with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to implement a project worth $3.8 million to cover the needs of Syrian families that are below the poverty line for a year, and an agreement with UNRWA to cover the medical needs and treatment of cancer and multiple sclerosis in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.

UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl said: “The challenge facing UNRWA after the reduction of its budget is maintaining the operation of its 715 schools in the Middle East.”

“Saudi Arabia is a key partner for us, and owing to its help, we will be able to help cancer and multiple sclerosis patients,” he said.