Davos: The press centre in Davos is always a bit of a scramble. There are always more journalists than seats so getting access to a place to work is tough.
Many of the networks who operate in Davos with teams of writers grab whole tables and station someone there to make sure no claim jumpers dare to settle on their territory.
After several unfortunate brushes with a steely-eyed Japanese financial team, a very polite but determined Norwegian, and a charming but very possessive group of Latin American journalists, not to mention the legendary Bloomberg mob who took two tables and loaded them with multiple terminals, I perched on a coffee table and got down to work.
Only to be interrupted by news of a surprise press conference by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif in the next door room. Zarif is very charming and fluent in English, and was well able to divert the inevitably aggressive questioning on Iran’s interference in Arab states, and its recent arrest of US sailors who entered Iranian territorial waters.
He focused on his case that the nuclear sanctions had just finished and Iran was open for business, and rammed home the point by saying that he was leaving Davos to get back in time to meet the Chinese President Xi Jinping who is due to sign a new letter of strategic understanding between the two states. Zarif reminded the group that China stood by Iran all through the period of sanctions.
After this excitement I headed back for more panel discussions in the Congress Centre. Much later I moving through the Congress Centre’s maze of passages and walkways and grabbed a much-needed coffee and was re-powering my exhausted mobile, when I met Sunny Varkey of Dubai education giant GEMS Education, who was with Vikas Pota, the Chief Executive of the Varkey Foundation, which manages the annual $1 million (Dh3.67 million) Global Teacher Prize, for which Sunny told me that they are getting ready for the next round.
Later in the evening I headed out into the snow looking for transport at the same time as two ladies who I was able to chat with once we were in the warmth of the bus. Kathy Calvin is the president of the United Nations Foundation that was set up in 1988 to use a $1 billion grant from Ted Turner, the founder of CNN, to back the aims of the UN, and I was delighted to find that Kathy will be coming to Dubai in a few weeks for the Government Summit. The other lady was the prominent columnist and blogger Trisha de Borchgrave who writes in the Huffington Post, among many other sites. We all got to the ubiquitous ‘shuttle hub’ and said our farewells as we headed off in different directions.