Commonalities with Mishal

This teenage crush might be fading away, but it seemed like a silly and fun idea to identify what I have in common with the BBC’s Mishal Husain. Apparently, there’s quite a bit that based upon the list below.

Star Sign: We’re both Pisces. Kind. Caring. Empathetic. Down to earth folk.

UAE: Both lived in the UAE and left at the age of 12. That’s a daily double!

Language: People – in my opinion – find it cute when we speak our native language. Hey, at least we try.

Religion: We share the same views on faith. Progressive. Liberal. It’s not as simple as what you do on the exterior (i.e., praying).

Family: Both come from respectable families which contributed to the founding of Pakistan and its society.

Social Circles: We share common family friends.

Personalities: Both citizens of the world. Our parents were born in one country and lived in many others. We’re curious about the places we live in and the people we share it with.

The Rise of Incompetence in Today’s Workforce

You need no reminding that today’s global workforce and economy is rocked by instability. The sad part is the economic collapse in 2008 and 2009 gave companies a solid justification to reduce their respective employee counts. As those same companies earned record profits in recent years, the employees that were handed a pink slip were never hired back.

What is more troubling in this volatile economy is the rise of incompetent managers who don’t have the skill sets to manage employees and are simply doing the bidding of their unqualified leaders. Here are some hard truths.

1. It’s not about WHAT you know. It’s about WHO you know.

2. You may think you are performing well and will work hard to receive a favorable review at year end, but politics eventually comes into play and if you haven’t done enough brown nosing – despite all your achievements – those efforts will be useless.

3. The rise of incompetent managers is driving talented individuals to quit.

4. You are at the mercy and whim of your manager. This rule can be applied to any career level (i.e., entry, mid, senior).

5. Companies are not investing in their employees. Many people learn on the job and “fake it till they make it.”

6. If you try reporting a problem about workplace bullying, human resources will dance around the issue and ultimately point the finger at you. HR is their to protect the company. Not you.

7. Instead of promoting from within and offering an employee a decent pay increase, a company will seek external candidates who have no understanding of the company culture or inner workings and will shower them with an attractive salary.

8. During the glory days of the global workforce, employees would join a company and work there for the rest for their lives. Upon retirement, a person would walk a away with a golden handshake, a nice fat pension plan or both. It’s rare to find any of those things in the current climate.

9. Don’t ask us where we see ourselves in five years. We don’t even know where we’ll be next month. Our foremost mission is to hang on for dear life and defend ourselves from colleagues trying to sabotage our careers by dragging us down or stabbing us in the back – sometimes with the approval of management.

Dear Al

Dear Al,
Al Jazeera America (AJAM) finds itself in the news for the most unfortunate reasons. In recent days, countless articles have covered the issues facing the fledgling network. Yet few have shared their views on what can be done to right the ship. That is where is D.C. Internationalist steps in for this special blog post. I hope you read my feedback as I used to be a journalist who also happens to have a great understanding of the U.S. and global news media landscape…who know what works, what doesn’t and why. These ideas, not terribly unique in nature, are aimed to help AJAM be far less bureaucratic, nimble, and sharper. If you’re in doubt, call me? Maybe?
Branding – The network has a weak on-air identity and even weaker tag line. There’s more to it, no pun intended. Who is your target audience? What is their age? What are you trying to convey? Here is a link to a recent tv news branding project that was very successful. Now, that’s what I call an identity. Sharp, clean, and powerful.
Resources – When a breaking news story develops, AJAM and AJE should not be sending their respective correspondents to cover the story. It’s a waste of money, time, and, resources to utilize multiple teams. I think one correspondent is capable of covering the story for both networks.
Programming – Partner more with independent production companies to provide scripted programming. Also, how about a Sunday AM show that invites foreign journalists based in DC and NY to offer their views of events here in the US? Flagships shows will need to be developed for the morning and evening hours so you attract a decent amount of advertising dollars. Develop a show that is co-anchored by an AJAM and AJE presenters. The show can go out live on the networks at the same time. Big savings there and fills in an hour of programming.
Website – Merge the AJAM website with the AJE website. Contribute to one main site where I can read stories by reporters of both networks. Segregating stories based on network affiliation is silly.

What I Know…

Well, well. It’s been a while since I blogged. But with good reason or shall I say reasons. Life. Work. Motivation. Indeed, there has been a lack of motivation on my part to continuously write and keep you folks interested.

I’ve been eager to write this post for some time and while my english and grammar may not be polished, I hope you will not hold that against me in what I consider to be my final post. I knew exactly what I wanted the post title to be. “What I Know” sums up the essence of what I would like to convey. It also is the title of a music theme played in AMC’s The Killing. it’s a beautiful track if you ever get a chance to listen to it.

So, what do I know? Five years ago, I started this blog knowing that it was my last chance to cling to an industry that I had worked so hard to try and become a part of. Despite starting a career in a different field, this blog was my ticket. I worked tirelessly to build on a theme or niche that readers would find distinctive with a voice that was peppered with a mix of tongue and cheek. Within a few months of launching, I convinced other bloggers to add me to their respective blogrolls and public relation professionals to add me to their mailing lists. With a combination of luck and persistence, I grew my readership and managed to attract some influential folks to follow me on Twitter.

You see, I wanted to be part of the media industry since my early days at university. I was passionate about communication and the world itself. Like my parents, I was born in one country and lived in many others so there was a certain desire on my part to bring the world closer together through storytelling. Along the way I had role models to give me the inspiration to pursue this very competitive industry. My own family members such as my great-granduncle – who contributed to Pakistan’s founding after India’s partition in 1947 – proved to be altruistic as well. But five years later, it’s time to put the pen down. Why? Well, I shall tell you.

What I know…is that while I consider myself to be lucky (to an extent), I don’t have the experience, talent or connections to continue pursuing a career in media. I don’t have the star power or wattage to attract decision makers in an industry that is struggling to survive and be profitable. I wish more folks would communicate this to students aspiring to be in media or journalism. I am not my great-granduncle. I am no Brian Stelter. I am no Imran Garda. I am no Adrian Finighan. And I am certainly no Mishal Husain. Unlike most in my generation, I do no consider myself to be special. I am not special and I never will be. I’m just me…an ordinary chap who may have grabbed your attention with a few posts and that is perfectly okay.

So with a heavy heart, I want to thank all of you for your support and reading this blog. While I may pop up every now and again, for now…it’s good night, and good luck.

The Interview: Sean Doyle, EVP of The Americas, British Airways

British Airways and IAD Celebrate Arrival of A380

As the British Airways A380 aircraft touched down last week at Dulles, D.C. Internationalist caught up Sean Doyle, EVP of The Americas in the following Q&A (unedited).

DCI: Why did BA bring the A380 to the DC market? Aging 747? Competition?

SD: Washington DC is an important destination in the British Airways network.  By nature of the industry sectors located in DC we know it is important to offer a superior, premium, experience and fast, efficient access to London and Europe.  Washington was a Concorde route for us for many years and we are proud to be bringing one of our most innovative aircraft into the market again. This marks the first and only nonstop A380 service between the two nations’ capitals.

In regard to our Boeing 747s, we will continue the daily BA292 between Washington DC and London. Some of our much-loved Boeing 747 aircrafts are to receive a cabin refresh as well as state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment systems from next year. The refit will include a cabin interior refresh, bringing these 747s more in line with the airline’s newest aircraft. New seat foams will be installed in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus to increase customer comfort, and new style seat covers fitted to improve appearance and match those on the A380 and 787. Carpets and curtains throughout the plane will also be replaced to the new aircraft color palette.

British Airways Dulles Lounge Dining

The BA Lounge at Dulles remodeled in line with “The Galleries” at Heathrow Terminal 5

DCI: How does BA plan to engage and get involved with the DC community to promote its offerings?

SD: We have a broad marketing campaign in place to support the launch, including out of home and digital advertising as well as awareness-building through social media channels. We are also participating in Taste of DC this year, promoting our Height Cuisine approach to food and the new flavors to discover in London. All proceeds from our participation in the event will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington.

Dulles 787 & A380 Services to Increase


Passengers using Dulles airport will have more options to fly the 787 Dreamliner and A380. For these airlines to use the newest and most technologically advanced aircraft shows how important and competitive the Washington market has become in recent years. In my opinion, the quality of your flight experience truly depends on the aircraft you fly.


British Airways: Service scheduled to begin October 2 with flight BA 216/217. The will be the second airline – after Air France – to fly the A380 to Dulles.

787 Dreamliner

Virgin Atlantic: British Airways arch rival will deploy the Dreamliner aircraft to Dulles effective December 17, 2014.

Etihad: The Abu Dhabi-based carrier will use the 787-9 effective January 1, 2015.

Note: Ethiopian currently uses the 787 for service to IAD.