Thursday, February 19, 2009

Yusuf Islam and Me – Part 2

Part 1 HERE.





There was an American connection.

Some time earlier, I was introduced to a media consultant in Los Angeles, MN. The introducer was Dato Nazri Abdullah (the former boss of Berita Harian and director of NST/TV3/MRCB group during Anwar in UMNO).

Then, suddenly there was a midnight call from Los Angeles. MN mentioned that his client, Yusuf Islam had been planning to venture into Dubai and looking to set-up an office in Dubai Media City, which I was one of the pioneer staff.

MN would mention about me to Yusuf. OK, I said and went to sleep.

Nothing happened after that.

I was busy with the teleport project for Dubai Media City. The project had given me the opportunity to learn about satellite communication and broadcasting in terms of engineering know-how. Something that I had been learning by chance in TV3 through weekly management meeting and of course was bored to death (he he, my former boss should know by now why I would skip some meetings).

At that time, I was with two other managers. A young, single Emirati lady with a PhD in satellite communication and thick American accent (just returned home from study), a daughter of the owner of one of the biggest conglomerates in the UAE (she is now the CEO of Dubai Media City). Another one was veteran chap in teleport business from India (but based in the USA) and now a director at du, the second telco in the UAE. The teleport project later was officially established with its own decree by the HH Sheikh as another company, Samacom.

One fine day in spring of 2002, during lunch time, I was looking down from my cubicle to the ground floor of Dubai Internet City main office. The lobby area was unusually empty. I wanted to go down to read newspapers and have a sip of tea while enjoying the spring in the air.

While walking out from the lift, I saw a bearded Caucasian man seemed lost when he entered through the sliding doors towards the reception desk. Since no one there, it was a courtesy to greet any walk-in client into our office.

'Every client is important and customer service is everyone’s responsibility'. I like that corporate culture in Dubai Internet City. There was a big red carpet to welcome anyone into the office.

I approached the senior guy with loose shirt and white trousers.

“Can I help you sir?” I offered my assistance politely with a warm hand shake and big smile.

Surprise! Surprise!

"Salammualaikom...!"

There he was looking at me with his famous smile. Warm and friendly face.
Yes, he was the singer of Morning Has Broken in person. And time was frozen for a while. I was excited to meet an icon that once was known as Cat Stevens.

To be continued.

1 comment:

mo'on said...

salam ziarah...
tak sabar2 saya menunggu sambungan cerita ini :D