Last Thursday was my first day at Al Jazeera, or actually only half a day (I needed to sleep some extra after all the travelling). It started with one of my colleagues picking me up at my apartment. Then we went to pick up some papers for me to be able to get through security into the Al Jazeera compound. They take security very seriously (scanner, bag check), which is a good thing.
After that we went straight to my new office where I introduced myself to most of the New Media team. I met the rest of the team when we later went to the English building for some lunch. They are a very nice and smart bunch of people! Really looking forward to spend more time with them! One thing we got talking about was dress code, both at Al Jazeera and in Muslim countries in general. Being a good traveller I already picked up some stuff — wearing long pants and long shirt is good practice, because showing shoulders or your legs above your knees are disrespectful to the culture. But I found out that my sandals (not the flip-flop ones) weren't really ok at the Al Jazeera office. Luckily enough I was dressed properly enough for it to not show so much :)
The afternoon was spent going through all the current and upcoming projects that we in the New Media team are involved in. And it'll be a busy time here :) Lots of cool and interesting projects! I will write up in a separate blog post with more details of what I will be doing, but it's for sure going to involve cool Drupal stuff ;)
At the end of the day @itanio gave me a tour in the rest of the buildings. We went to the museum, the Arabic newsdesk, the Arabic broadcasting room and the same for the English channel. It was really exciting to be there, in the middle of live broadcasting, to see the heart and vein of Middle Eastern news and information being pumped out to the world. That'll be a big source of inspiration for me!