Success on stage

Sami Nazzal scooped the Project Manager of the Year award at this year’s InAVation Awards. Nial Anderson talks to him about his inspiration and what he has achieved at integrator International New Technical Est. (INTE) in Jordan.

The thing about AV is that it is always challenging you,” says Sami Nazzal, the project manager at Jordanian integrator International New Technical Est. (INTE).
“I personally like the fast-developing nature of it. It is hard work keeping track of an industry that is constantly developing, but it makes your life much more entertaining.”

Nazzal’s firm, INTE, has a broad AV background but has added mechanics, machinery and lighting to its offerings to become a specialist in theatre installations.

“This is what makes us unique in the region; what we provide would usually require multiple companies to do,” he explains. “Even though we do other AV projects, when it comes to theatres we are really very good.”

Nazzal’s work with INTE led to him being awarded Project Manager of the Year at the InAVation Awards in February. A significant factor in the judges’ decision was the way Nazzal had handled a difficult installation at a theatre in the Palestinian city of Ramallah.

“The Ramallah project was very unique and very challenging in many aspects,” he recalls. “Most projects are usually challenging from one or two aspects, but when it’s six or seven that is not a normal project. If I was evaluating it now as if it was a project we were about to do, and I put down on paper all the difficulties we faced, I would say it would not be possible to complete the project in the way it was done.”

Nazzal’s task was to fit out the Ramallah Theatre with specialist AV systems some nine years after it was built by an NGO, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society. There were numerous barriers in his way. These included a lack of budget and skilled labour, and certain specified products being stopped in customs at Tel Aviv airport leading to alternatives having to be sourced under tight deadlines. Such a situation should sound like a nightmare to any integrator, but Nazzal remembers the project fondly.

“I think what balanced things out was the people that worked on the project; the work environment was extremely positive,” he explains. “The challenges were really unusual. I think we were doing something like 80 or 90 hours a week, but at the same time if you are happy when you are working then it doesn’t feel like that much."

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