TheFace: Ohoud Al-Harbi, supervisor at Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation 

Ohoud Alharbi with her brother Abdullah. ( AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 30 August 2019

TheFace: Ohoud Al-Harbi, supervisor at Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation 

I built myself from scratch. In a household with 10 siblings, I was a middle child, and my father’s favorite.

I’ve always been very opinionated, and my family has allowed me to be open about my stance on many things.

Growing up, I was immensely interested in art, specifically drawing throughout my adolescence. I do not draw anymore, but have taken an interest in photography, and I especially enjoy capturing people going about their daily lives.

I do not consider myself a professional, rather a semi-professional in street photography. On my Instagram account, I document stories from around the world through the cities I have visited.

When women driving was permitted last June, my life turned 180 degrees. It has allowed me to rediscover the city in which I was born. I started seeing Riyadh in a new light as a photographer. I became giddy about discovering new places that I could capture through the lens of my camera.

Before that, I used to always go out with my driver and felt like I had to accommodate him and other family members. During one of these drives, I came upon a spot that got me thinking about creating a personal project for myself.

It was right across King Saud University, targeting students and staff, where I decided to set up a high-quality coffee shop that was affordable and accessible to them.

Soho Shot opened four months ago, and my partners and I are anticipating the students’ return to school to test our brand and services. We’ve chosen the name based on New York City’s neighborhood of art, and our logo — a one-line drawing of a face sipping coffee — is artistic and minimalistic in a way that we hope will draw students in.

As a coffee lover myself, and keeping in with social trends, the idea struck me while driving past the empty spot and in a way, it felt right. Most students need their morning cup of coffee or a quick fix before exams. I made sure to design Soho Shot spaciously to provide them with a cozy place to study.

In our coffee house, we are also sponsoring artists to come in and draw and decorate coffee cups for customers.

For four years, between 2005 and 2009, I worked in Riyad Bank’s call center. I then suggested to management about monitoring call center demands and supervising service agreements, which enabled me to move to the back office to maintain quality assurance.

After that experience, I decided to continue with my studies, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration and administrative systems while simultaneously working at the National Water Co. (NWC).

At the time, the NWC had just launched, and I started in corporate relations overseeing quality assurance. I then moved up the ladder and joined performance management as a specialist, monitoring the company’s projects in Riyadh.

When I graduated from the Arab Open University, many more opportunities presented themselves to me. I started working for Tata Consultancy Services, providing service-level agreement reports for General Electric projects.

From there, I moved on to the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) where I am currently a supervisor in the project management office.

I have always been independent, even as a child and I am very lucky to have a family that has helped shape the woman I am today and is understanding of how demanding my career is.


Third Saudi aid plane arrives in Beirut

KSRelief aircraft contains medical supplies, ventilators and other relief goods for blast victims. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 09 August 2020

Third Saudi aid plane arrives in Beirut

  • KSRelief teams are also active in treating blast victims

RIYADH: A third King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) plane loaded with aid arrived in Beirut on Saturday as part of a relief air bridge that was set up to help the people in wake of the Beirut blasts.

The air bridge was established on the directives of King Salman to provide urgent humanitarian aid to Lebanon.
KSRelief Adviser Dr. Ali bin Hamed Al-Ghamdi said the third plane is loaded with ventilators, hospital and medical equipment, as well as various medicines and disinfectants. It also contains food, tents, mattresses, blankets and cooking supplies.
So far, 200 tons of aid from the Kingdom have been flown to Lebanon with specialized teams to follow up and supervise the distribution operations.
KSRelief teams are also active in Lebanon in treating victims of the blast.
Earlier, two Saudi aircraft carrying more than 120 tons of medicines, equipment, and emergency supplies were dispatched to Beirut.
KSRelief Supervisor General Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah said in a statement that the assistance highlights the pivotal role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in providing humanitarian assistance to all people in need around the world with complete impartiality.

The Saudi aid will help alleviate the sufferings of Lebanese people.

Maj. Gen. Mohammad Khair, Chief of the High Relief, Commission in Lebanon

The twin blasts devastated large areas of the Lebanese capital and destroyed vital infrastructure, including grain storage silos and port facilities.
Lebanon, already reeling from an economic and currency collapse, now faces the threat of food shortages and a major hit to exports and imports.
Countries around the world have rushed to help Lebanon in the wake of the port explosion on Aug. 4.
The secretary-general of the High Relief Commission in Lebanon, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Khair, thanked the Kingdom for the urgent humanitarian aid provided through KSRelief.
In a press statement, he praised the historical relations between the two countries, noting the Saudi aid will help alleviate the suffering of Lebanese people.
Residents in the Kingdom can also help Lebanon by making donations through KSRelief’s website.