Monday, March 24
BBC star shines in U.S. capital
Frank J. Murray, The Washington Times, February 10, 2003

The young journalist, [Mishal Husain], is watched in an estimated 840,000 American homes, and by 180 million people in an international audience that the BBC finds particularly strong in South Asia and Latin America, where commercials are added.

The London Daily Telegraph has said the BBC is known for "boozy white males," but Miss Husain is an exception. She is a lively contemporary woman, attractive and close enough to the cutting edge for Vanity Fair magazine to be preparing a piece that required her to go to New York for a photo shoot.

She describes herself as a "liberal Muslim," sensitive to the complex issues in the Middle East. She says "horrible extremist groups" often seem driven more by politics than by religion. Islam is one part of their identity, but not necessarily all of it," she said of terrorists, a designation she said the BBC uses sparingly along with labels like "rebel." [...]

Miss Husain was born in 1973 in Britain to Pakistani parents. Her father is a surgeon. Her mother once produced arts programming for Pakistan state television. Miss Husain speaks fluent Urdu and Russian, but delivers news in English with a British accent sharp as cut glass. [...]

Fans started contacting Miss Husain after she shifted her base to the United States, and many now liken her to Daljit Dhaliwal, CNN's international star recruit from ITN. She is recognized on the streets of New York. People telephone, offer to send flowers or express open adoration despite her recent engagement to London lawyer Meekal Hashmi, 32.
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