TheFace: Ohoud Alhaqbani, Saudi educator

TheFace: Ohoud Alhaqbani, Saudi educator
Ohoud Alhaqbani with her husband, Sultan, and their twin daughters. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 06 September 2019

TheFace: Ohoud Alhaqbani, Saudi educator

TheFace: Ohoud Alhaqbani, Saudi educator
  • Overseeing young professionals in the field, I am overwhelmed by the abundance of talent and hard work before me

Ohoud Alhaqbani I am the eldest of five siblings, and my mother’s only child. I am also a wife, and the mother of beautiful twins. My mother raised me by herself, and her main value in life is education and work.
I attribute my success to her — a magnificent woman, the strongest most pure-hearted woman I know. She is my idol and the reason I am where I am today. Through her determination, she taught me that I can chase my dreams and make them come true. Through her gentleness, she taught me what pure love is and how to project it. I simply grew up looking up to her, hoping that one day I could be half the woman she is.
Since I was young I knew what my passion was and what career path I wanted to pursue. I knew that I wanted to be in education, and I studied special education at King Saud University before gaining a master’s degree in teaching people with autism through the Arabian Gulf University in Bahrain’s program for intellectual disability and autism.
During my studies, my mother was my number one supporter. She encouraged me to give back to society and help kids and parents improve their lives. Therefore, when I came back I worked with kids with autism and trained their parents.
Currently, I am the head of the early intervention unit at the Mohammed bin Salman Autism Center at Prince Sultan Medical City. Overseeing young professionals in the field, I am overwhelmed by the abundance of talent and hard work before me. With hard work comes success, and in the future I see myself obtaining my doctorate, contributing to the advancement of my field and, one day, owning my own clinic.
Sultan, my husband, has been nothing but supportive of my journey. While I’m drowning in all sorts of obligations in my life, he has been by my side, a true partner that stepped in whenever he felt I needed it. I am thankful to him and I am where I am today because of his support.
Most importantly, what fuels my passion today are my two lovely daughters. Wanting to set a good example in both their personal and professional lives, my achievements are directed toward inspiring them and providing for them, and their future brothers and sisters.
 


Overdue business rents waived by Saudi court

Overdue business rents waived by Saudi court
If a contract obliges one of the parties to carry out a task, which cannot be completed on time due to the pandemic, the court can temporarily suspend the implementation of the obligation. (SPA)
Updated 19 January 2021

Overdue business rents waived by Saudi court

Overdue business rents waived by Saudi court
  • The new regulations cover construction contracts, supply contracts, and the like, which have been affected by the pandemic

RIYADH: The General Assembly of the Saudi Supreme Court has ordered the waiving of overdue rents on businesses hit by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, and called for a review of such contracts between tenants and owners.

The steps have been taken in view of the circumstances caused by the pandemic, wherein an obligation or contract cannot be implemented without unusual losses.

The president of the Supreme Court, Khalid bin Abdullah bin Muhammad Al-Luhaidan, approved the decisions backed by 32 members of the assembly, Okaz newspaper reported.

Authorities have set conditions that have to be met before a case can be considered for review under the new regulations.

If a contract was concluded before the commencement of the preventive measures announced in the wake of the pandemic, then the impact was direct and unavoidable. If in such a case, an affected party was not compensated or did not reach a deal to mitigate the impact of the health crisis, then it qualifies for a review and the new regulations will then take effect, said legal sources.

The Supreme Court said a competent court will issue its verdict based on facts and circumstantial evidence, and may order amendments to a contract.

It also said the new provisions will be applicable to tenancy contracts and movable properties affected by the pandemic.

It clarified that if, due to the pandemic, a tenant was unable to use the leased property, in whole or in part, the court would reduce the rent as much as the usually intended benefit was reduced.

A lessor, meanwhile, does not have the right to terminate the contract if a tenant is late in paying rent for the period during which it was impossible to fully or partly use the property due to the pandemic.

HIGHLIGHT

The Supreme Court said a competent court will issue its verdict based on facts and circumstantial evidence, and may order amendments to a contract.

The new regulations also cover construction contracts, supply contracts, and the like, which have been affected by the pandemic.

If the pandemic causes an increase to the cost of materials and labor wages, etc., the court shall increase the value of the contract while ensuring the obligor can afford to bear the expense. The obligee, upon increasing the obligation, has the right to request the termination of the contract. If the increase in the cost of materials is temporary, the court reserves the right to temporarily suspend the contract.

If the pandemic causes a shortage of material in the market, the court can reduce the quantity to the extent it deems sufficient to protect the obligor from harm.

Moreover, if the shortage of materials is temporary, the court can temporarily suspend the contract if the person obligated to it is not severely affected by this suspension. If he is harmed, he may request termination of the contract. If the materials were not available at all, leading to the impossibility of implementing the contractual obligations or some of them, the court will terminate the clauses that are impossible to implement upon the request of one of the parties to the contract.

If a contract obliges one of the parties to carry out a task, which cannot be completed on time due to the pandemic, the court can temporarily suspend the implementation of the obligation. If the other party fears unusual damage due to the suspension, he may request termination of the contract.

In addition, the court also stressed the need to carefully assess the damages on a case-to-case basis, and that one or more experts should do the assessment. While assessing damages, it should be made clear what losses were incurred directly due to the pandemic and had nothing do to with seasonal upswing in certain activities.

The Supreme Court explained that a court is bound, when considering cases arising from contracts and obligations affected by the pandemic, not to apply penalty clause or fines in whole or in part — depending on the case.

In the event that a contract includes a clause of exemption from liability for one of the contracting parties when an emergency or force majeure occurs, the condition has no effect, and the party that breaches the obligation must provide evidence that the pandemic was the reason for the breach.

The affected contracts that are not covered by the provisions of this principle shall be subject to the legal and statutory litigation principles, said the court.

Commenting on the decision, Talal Albotty, the regional director of the Central Region, Salama Insurance Co., said there is a type of insurance called “suspension of operations” because of continuous epidemics, and falls under property insurance.

“This type of insurance can be found in European countries and some Asian countries but it is not applicable in Saudi Arabia,” he told Arab News. “The insurance against projects does not exist because when the project stops, insurance stops.”

Regarding the rise in prices of commodities, or the increase in prices because of pandemics and suspension of imports, a condition must be added stating that the value of property or project must increase by 10-25 percent, he added.

“Now most reinsurance companies around the world stopped offering insurance related to pandemics and contagious diseases in most countries, including COVID-19, because their impact was huge and the companies sustained huge losses,” he said.

Saudi lawyer Reem Alajmi said the resolution aims to treat and remedy the losses incurred by parties to the contract in terms of obligations.

“The parties could not fulfil their obligations because of a lack of sufficient resources or suspension of working hours during the pandemic. Fulfilling the obligation fully or partially was difficult because COVID-19 pandemic was a force majeure,” she told Arab News.

According to Alajmi, the effects or damage caused by the pandemic must not be covered by other laws. “Proving the occurrence of damage is the responsibility of the plaintiff and the defendant based on evidence submitted to the court,” she added. “The contracts and obligations are amended accordingly.”