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The Shortlist

23rd Feb 2018
The Shortlist

The readers of The Muslim News nominated them and our distinguished independent panel of Judges reviewed, deliberated and mused over the list and here they are. The illustrious men, women, children and projects deemed worthy of short-listing for a Muslim News Award for Excellence. These exemplars of good practice, excellence – our future role models – will be treated to a Gala Evening in the presence of their peers and other renowned guests in April, when the finalists are announced for the [15] coveted Awards for Excellence.

Alhambra Award for Excellence in Arts

Noori Husain is a fifth-year medical student and a keen historical painter. She uses mixed media to narrate the contributions of different cultures throughout history to modern medicine. She is currently exhibiting twelve paintings at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London. The exhibition conveys the important historical aspects of Ophthalmology and the contributions of global cultures. She was awarded a prize by Moorfields Biomedical Research Centre in 2015 for her painting depicting the pioneering contributions of Ibn Al-Haytham to the field of Optics during the Muslim Golden age. Her other paintings depict medical history from Ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China and modern-day Sub-Saharan Africa. She donated all proceeds from the sale of her artwork to a cataract camp in Tanzania where she volunteers.

Ruh Al-Alam is an artist and creative entrepreneur who has worked across multiple disciplines for over two decades. His ‘British-Arabic scripts’ takes inspiration from local Latin heritage. He has developed his own Arabic fonts, with the first one named after his home city of London. Ruh studied Graphic Design at the prestigious Central St Martins College of Art & Design and Arabic calligraphy in Egypt. He is known for developing his own calligraphic script styles and innovating Arabic typography. He has exhibited in galleries in the UK and the UAE, and last year he exhibited in a joint Muslim-Jewish exhibition in the UK. His community-based projects have included training young deaf students to make a successful film which won an international award from Adobe and he recently appeared in the BBC documentary The Hidden Art of Islam.

London-based Salah El Brogy is a dancer, choreographer and teacher. His approach to dance reflects his spirituality rooted in Sufism, his Egyptian heritage and many eclectic influences including hip-hop and ballet. He has developed improvisation-based choreographic style he calls ‘extemporaneous’. This innovative new style enables him to overcome the challenges of being dyslexic. He developed this into a workshop and has been invited by some of the UK’s biggest dance schools, including Rambert School of Contemporary Ballet and Dance. Since opening his own contemporary dance company in 2013 he has collaborated with various artists and performers across the UK. Salah is a regular at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s Nour Festival of Arts.

 

Annemarie Schimmel Award for Championing a Muslim Cause

Catriona Robertson is the Director of the Christian Muslim Forum (CMF), dedicated to building relationships between Christian and Muslims. The CMF organises church-mosque twinning and joint visits to Bosnia and Jerusalem. Catriona has worked in the intra-faith space across the UK for decades. She co-founded the Clapham and Stockwell Faith Forum, started the Wandsworth Multi-Faith Network, sits on the Diocese of Southwark’s Mission Group and is a trustee of Lambeth Mediation Service. Catriona is the convenor of the London Boroughs Faiths Network. She is also secretary and convener for the European Network on Religious Belief. The bridges and neighbourly bonds that she has helped forge have improved the quality of life of thousands of Muslims across the UK.

Grassroots is a Luton-based Church of England Ecumenical organisation in its 25th year. It has successfully secured the British Council Global Xchange and Community Exchange programme to Luton, whereby people from all around the world can learn from Luton’s diverse make-up and large Muslim population. Delegates and MPs from Somalia, South Africa and Tanzania, and across Europe have come through Grassroots to learn from its community diversity programmes. Under its Spirituality and Justice Programme, Grassroots has helped Luton mosques become some of the first in the country to adopt a fair-trade policy. It ran an Eco-iftar with Islamic Relief in 2015 and 2016 and is now leading the successful Multi-Faith Steering Group for ‘Making Luton a Fair Trade Town’ campaign. In response to the rise of far-right activity in Luton over the past 5 years, it has worked closely with local Christian communities to provide advice and consultancy on these issues.

James Fergusson is an award-winning journalist, based in Edinburgh. He is the author of Al-Britannia, My Country: A Journey Through Muslim Britain, a book which the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, described as a one that portrays “Islamic life in Britain in its human diversity, its three-dimensional reality.” In the book, James travels across the country presenting a balanced perspective that goes beyond the headlines to provide an honest insight into the lives of British Muslims. Writing for i News, fellow author Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, commended James for demystifying and detoxifying British Muslims in a book that she called a rejoinder for “the growing pile of panic books about the ‘Muslim threat’.” James has written for many publications including The Independent, The Times, The Daily Mail and The Economist. He is the author of five other books.

 

Imams Hasan and Husayn Children’s Award for Excellence

Ayan Qureshi became the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional in the world at just 5 years old, a qualification designed for adult professionals. He passed the standard certification exam at Birmingham City University Centre. He was interviewed by the BBC and was featured in The Independent, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Metro and The Mirror, amongst many other papers across the world. Ayan’s father introduced him to computers when he was just 3, by 6 he has his own computer lab at his home in Coventry, containing a computer network built by himself. Ayan has spoken of launching a UK-based IT hub similar to America’s Silicon Valley one day.

Ishal Mahmud, 11, from Portsmouth has received the rare offer of a full scholarship to study as a full boarder at one of the UK’s top girls’ boarding schools, St Swithun’s School in Winchester. Her extraordinary achievements include playing the organ, piano and guitar, scoring in the top 1 percent of the population in Mensa IQ tests, being signed up for screen acting, singing in Winchester Cathedral choir and being a Young Portsmouth Ambassador. Ishal is a keen equestrian and a member of the British Pony Club. She is a model student, with an unbroken attendance record and high scores in her year 6 SATs. Ishal has achieved great things despite coming from an underprivileged background. In addition to her extensive charitable work, she is now setting up a charity to help other disadvantaged children to acquire places at top independent schools.

Manal Faris from Leicester, published her first book last year aged just 13. The Boy in the Well; the Story of Prophet Joseph is a fictional style book about Prophet Yusuf’s journey to prophethood. Writing in the mornings before school, it took Manal just 18 months to complete her 440-page tome. As part of her research for the book, she memorised Surah [chapter] Yusuf and learnt its Tafseer [exegesis]. She studied the customs and traditions of Ancient Egypt to add historical authenticity to the book, delving into timelines to ascertain possible ruling dynasties of the time. She was very inspired by the story of Prophet Yusuf, which drove her to write the book, to share that inspiration with other young readers. The keen writer is already working on her second Islamic book.

 

Uthman Dan Fodio Award for Excellence in Community Development

Islamic Relief and Approachable Parenting have joined forces to work with over 500 children from Muslim families to provide culturally-sensitive, community-based support programmes across the UK. The aim of these programmes is to provide early intervention that can support families to provide the best childcare. The project has helped parents and guardians improve their parenting skills such as approaches to child discipline, health management and nurturing learning and development. It is hoped these programmes will eventually grow capacity within communities to deliver peer-to-peer parenting support for years to come. Approachable Parenting believes early intervention with parents of young children can have a dramatic effect on the children’s long-term development. Approachable Parenting has a deep cultural understanding of how to win the respect and trust of families in need.

Sofia Buncy from Huddersfield is the founder and Coordinator of the Muslim Women in Prison Rehabilitation Project and is renowned for her rehabilitation work with Muslim women prisoners, carrying out crucial work to support Muslim women in the prison. Working closely with young women and their parents, she successfully pioneered a leadership programme to support young Muslim women to raise their educational and career aspirations. Her decade-long efforts have helped some 200 young women back into education and careers ranging from medicine to youth work. Sofia researched and co-authored the first ever report into Muslim women in British prisons. She has provided evidence to MP David Lammy’s review of the BAME community’s treatment in the British criminal justice system and the Prison Reform Trust’s report on BAME women in the criminal justice. She received the coveted Butler Trust Award for good practice in a custodial setting by Patron HRH Princess Anne.

Visit My Mosque day is a national initiative facilitated by the Muslim Council of Britain, encouraging mosques across the UK to hold an open day at least once a year. Starting with 20 mosques in 2015, it grew to 80 mosques in 2016 and in February 2017, to 150 mosques. It is now a landmark event in the British Muslim calendar. An estimated 10,000 visitors visited mosques during February 2017. The #VisitMyMosque website map feature received over 350,000 search requests and the hashtag trended at #3 on Twitter. With Islamophobia on the rise, this initiative opened doors for further social integration and harmony. It aims to continue to help raise awareness about Islam for your not-so-typical mosque attendee. One of the aims of the initiative is to make the British public more aware of their Muslim neighbours.

Al Biruni Award For Excellence in Community Relations

Camden Councillor Abdul Hai has been a campaigner on reform of the UK coroners’ service for a number of years, to the benefit of the Muslim and Jewish communities, whose traditions require swift burial preferably within 24 hours after death. This process is adversely impacted by the unavailability of coroners during ‘out of hours’. The delay causes distress to bereaved families and disrupts the traditional mourning processes. Abdul has campaigned for reform of the coroners’ system which would ensure sufficient ‘out of hours’ provision particularly in areas where there are significant Muslim and Jewish communities. His efforts came to fruition this year when the Government announced a review of the coroner system. He is a strong advocate for faith communities and since June 2014, has been Co-Chair of the Camden Faith Leaders’ Forum.

Elinor Mair Chohan, originally from North Wales, has dedicated her time to helping communities in the UK and abroad those affected by the 1995 Srebrenica genocide. After visiting Srebrenica in 2013, Elinor decided to lead a fundraising initiative, in collaboration with the then Foreign Secretary, raising £50,000 to build a counselling centre in Zenica for 3,000 women and their families. She chairs the North West Remembering Srebrenica Board, which organised 35 discussion events for 4,000 people. Elinor set up an annual Civic Remembrance Service at Manchester Cathedral in memory of the genocide. Twice leading a team of 25 dedicated associates she undertook a 24 mile ‘Peace March’ from Blackburn to Manchester Cathedral, replicating the ‘Death March’ of men who fled from Srebrenica to safety. Elinor works extensively to promote inter-faith relations and community cohesion in the UK. She is the Muslim Adviser to the Manchester-based Reclaim programme and organised a 400-strong vigil after the Manchester Arena attack last year.

Mfa Zaman from Lewisham, London, has volunteered tirelessly for many causes, from walking 600 miles to commemorate the memory of Jo Cox, to running a dozen half marathons in aid of disabled children. In addition to running his own organisation Community of Jews & Muslims, he volunteers his services to The Royal British Legion, Muslim Aid, Islamic Relief, the NHS, the Near Neighbours programme, the Epilepsy Society and Streetlytes UK. He was nominated for a Community Spirit Award and was one of Muslim Aid’s volunteers of the year in 2014. His community efforts have been covered by the BBC and ITV. He has taken his volunteering to sporting events such as the Rugby World Cup 2015 and the London Olympics 2012.

Sankore University Award For Excellence in Education

Dr Imran Hamza Alawiye from West London is one of Britain’s leading Arabic teachers. He has developed publications to support the teaching of Arabic across a wide age range. Originally from Ogbomosho, south-western Nigeria, Imran obtained his BA and MA in Arabic from the University of Madinah, Saudi Arabia, and then went on to study for a PhD in Classical Arabic at SOAS. Imran’s Gateway to Arabic series is currently used by the majority of madrasahs in Britain. He has published numerous books which have attracted an international readership and has reached a global audience through his teaching videos on YouTube. He established a madrasah in West London and offers teacher training programmes and support to other madrasahs. He founded Helping Hands for Education, a charity which has established an educational resource centre and library in Ogbomosho.

London-based Lantern of Knowledge Educational Institute charity promotes secular and Islamic education through the values of peace, tolerance and harmony. It runs Jamia Siraj ul Uloom, a centre of Higher Islamic Studies, which provides a unique blend of classical and contemporary Islamic educational provision for adult learners. The Centre distributes hot meals to the homeless and helps with national relief efforts such as providing emergency assistance for the victims of the Cumbria floods. The Centre has been involved in addressing the growing needs of the Muslim and wider communities within the contexts of education, leadership and spirituality. It trains university-educated professionals as Imams. It runs Lantern of Knowledge Secondary School, which consistently achieves high GCSE results and is within the top 50 highest attainting schools nationwide.

Professor Mashood Adebayo Baderin is a Nigerian/British citizen who has made significant global academic and religious contributions towards a better understanding of the role of Islamic law in modern international relations. He is Professor of Law at SOAS where he headed the School of Law (2009 to 2012). The originality of his work has resulted in the international recognition of his expertise, notably through his advisory role to the Foreign Office and his UN appointment as Independent Expert for Sudan. He was commissioned by the Department for International Development as an Islamic Law and Human Rights expert on scoping visits to Sudan in 2003 and 2008. He presented his reports to the UN Human Rights Council from 2012 to2014. His contributions ensure that an Islamic perspective is considered in discussions surrounding Human Rights policy in the UK and internationally.

Fazlur Rahman Khan Award For Excellence in Engineering, Science or Technology

Camran Khan is a successful technology entrepreneur whose start-up BrightLET was named ‘Regional Best Innovative Start-Up’ for Barclays Entrepreneurs Awards 2017. It is a cloud-based property management company that allows landlords to take control of their letting properties. The Birmingham-based start-up was one of 12 companies selected by Innovation Birmingham Campus’ Serendip Smart City Incubator Camran wanted to find a solution to managing his father’s property portfolio but found that available products were very limited. In less than a year, BrightLET was able to provide a service which enables users to advertise, find a property, communicate and manage tenancies online without using a third party. Camran helped FTSE100 companies with scalable technology solutions and in 2015 was shortlisted as one of the Top 10 Disruptive CTO’s in the UK.

Dr Sheraz Gul is Head of Drug Discovery at the Fraunhofer Institute, the largest application-oriented research organisation in Europe. He is researching cardiovascular and neurological diseases, malaria, cancer and neglected infectious diseases in Africa with the aim of discovering novel treatments. He is also engaged in the discovery and implementation of cutting-edge research tools that can revolutionise disease treatment. These include stem cell technologies and the identification of epigenetic markers that may identify the risks of developing certain diseases at a very early stage. He co-founded a biotechnology company Transcriptogen Ltd in London that is developing first-in-class medicines for pancreatic cancer. He is the scientific advisor to a number of similar companies across Europe. Shehraz has organised and delivered educational events and courses across four continents and trained over 450 scientists.

Professor Kal Karim is an internationally recognised academic who has made a significant contribution to the field of chemistry through publications, patents and conferences. Based at the University of Leicester, he is part of the Leicester Biotechnology Group through which he is researching nanoparticles for use in medicine. He has worked in industry and academia to build partnerships and mutually beneficial collaborations, supporting high-quality multidisciplinary research and research-led teaching. As a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Kal’s teaching has been recognised and evidenced against the UK Professional Standards Framework. He has a passion for teaching and promoting the interests of students to provide the highest quality learning experience for them, whilst also committed to exemplary pastoral support.

 

Ummul Mu’minin Khadijah Award For Excellence in Enterprise

Hajera Memon is a dedicated children’s book publisher committed to producing stunning and accessible faith-based publications for diverse audiences through her hugely successful publishing company Shade 7. Hajera has also authored four children’s books that have sold worldwide. Her recent publication, Hats of Faith, is a direct response to the current climate of race and faith-based intolerance and an attempt to educate young children from all backgrounds early in life about different faiths and customs. Hajera worked hard to secure funding to ensure a UK-wide educational workshop tour in schools, libraries, and houses of faith. Her mission is to spread tolerance and interfaith understanding through education. She is a trustee of the Muslim Youth Helpline and is donating 50 percent of the profits from her book My First Wudu to support Islamic Relief’s water projects.

HalalBooking.com was founded by Enver Cebi, Elnur Seyidli and Ufuk Secgin – young Muslim professionals who wanted a search and book website for halal-conscious travellers. With a wealth of senior management experience from travel and blue-chip companies between them, the company has been successful with a current $30-40 million valuation. Halal food, non-alcoholic drinks, segregated pools, beaches and spa facilities, child-friendly entertainment programmes, are some of the services on offer to Muslim travellers. The website operates in six languages and 45 currencies. HalalBooking.com has attracted bookings from 74 countries. Its affiliate programme is enjoying rapid growth with approximately 970 affiliate travel agents participating globally. The company received the prestigious ‘Islamic Economy Award in Hospitality and Tourism 2016’ during the 3rd Global Islamic Economy Summit in Dubai.

Born in Birmingham, Shezad Nawab took his initial inspiration from his enterprising father who owned a large and thriving Post Office branch, a busy supermarket and properties. He has been involved in supporting a number of new business and start-ups over the last 15 years, as well working with small and medium-sized enterprises to help them grow. Shezad, who is profoundly deaf, has demonstrated his commitment to the community by constantly promoting entrepreneurship and business success. His passion not only lies in entrepreneurship in the UK but in the European and International markets too. He is fluent in British, Moroccan, South African, American and International sign languages. He received an MBE in 2017 for services to business and diversity and was listed in the top 10 Most Influential Disabled People in Business, 2014.

Alija Izetbegovic Award for Good Citizenship

Abdal Ahmed has served Tower Hamlets community as an educator, sports coach and mentor. For 5 years he managed sports competitions in the borough and has worked to deliver over 70 competitions for schools. Abdal has been dedicated to delivering curriculum support in schools and runs 150 sessions a week including after-school sessions. Abdal has fostered relationships with Muslim schools to promote sports engagement. He has also overseen and helped pioneer interfaith games in the south of England for the Association of Muslim Schools. Abdal has refereed the 2016 and 2017 London FA cup finals and is also on the London FA disciplinary panel. He is a Race Equality Board member for the London FA and is on the Grassroots Forum for Kick It Out. Abdal is working with a team of coaches in Ghana to build a school and sports academy for children.

Dr Fayyaz Afzal OBE is a barrister and Recorder, who was sworn in as a district judge at Derby Combined Court Centre, making him the first and only Muslim district judge in the East Midlands. When Fayyaz, aged 39, was called to the Bar in 1999, he was the only Asian blind barrister in the country. He successfully practised in areas of crime, family and immigration, serving on committees at the Advocacy Training Council, Bar Council and at Lincoln’s Inn. Fayyaz has also been a Legal Assessor and Legally Qualified Chair for health and professional regulators. He has won various awards including Community Lawyer of the year, Professional of the year and the Achievement through Adversity Award. Fayyaz has been a keynote speaker at events including The World Bar Conference in Hong Kong. His work in advocacy led to his achieving an OBE in 2008 and being made an Honorary Doctor of Staffordshire University in 2010.

Manningham’s Nazim Ali has raised £120,000 for a plethora of causes by running marathons and going on mountain treks. He visited Turkey several times to deliver aid to Syrian refugees and helped the homeless at the Curry Circle Project. In 2015, he assisted with the flood relief efforts in Carlisle and Todmorden and has been providing Eid presents to children in Bradford Royal Infirmary. Nazim volunteered as a football coach for Fairbank United and organises annual ‘Bringing Communities Together’ tournaments to promote cohesion as part of the Naqshbandia Active Development Association. In 2010 he was voted ‘Community Champion’ by Bradfordians in the Telegraph and Argus Community Stars Awards. Nazim is a member of the ICLS Board which organises interfaith residentials globally for young people. Nazim served as Lay Member on the North and West Yorkshire Advisory Committee for the last seven years. At 36, he remains the youngest on the committee. To counter a 2010 BNP rally in Bradford, he organised a Community Fun Day in which over 60 young people attended.

Ibn Sina Award for Excellence in Health

Dr Amina Jindani is an 82-year-old scientist from St George’s Medical school, London. Amina is internationally acclaimed for her research on tuberculosis, a disease she focused most of her life on. Amina has set up a global network of health workers to conduct trials in many countries, including Nepal, Guinea, Peru, Botswana, Uganda and Bolivia. She secured major grants from the EU and The Medical Research Council for St George’s University, making it the only entity internationally to be awarded such funding for global research. To maximise the value of these grants, she travels regularly to these countries to gather evidence on a voluntary basis. Her devoted efforts have led to significant changes in ethos, procedures and approaches to the eradication of this disease at both the World Health Organisation and the Food and Drug Administration in the US.

Dr Mohammedabbas Khaki, North London based GP, trains junior doctors and multidisciplinary teams, as well as training pharmacists, to run minor illness community clinics. He is a member of the General Medical Council and a Panel Member and Chief Invigilator for the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board entrance exam for foreign doctors wishing to practise in the UK. He was selected as a doctor for the 2017 IAAF Athletics Championships in London and has, contributed to a book on the history of the general practice. He volunteered as a doctor in Calais and Lesvos during the refugee crisis. He is currently completing further studies in ‘Conflict and Catastrophe Medicine’ at the Royal College of Apothecaries. He led a multidisciplinary team to Iraq to do a needs assessment and train staff on art therapy as a means of addressing the mental health problems of those orphaned by Daesh. He offered medical services after the Grenfell tower disaster, documenting his experiences for The Guardian. He was selected as 2017 ‘Next Generation GP’ and ‘Future Change-maker’ in General Practice.

Poppy Jaman is the CEO of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England, which delivers mental health awareness training and consultancy. Poppy is an internationally respected mental health advocate and national policy advisor with 19 years’ experience of leading change in public mental health. MHFA provides participants with the skills and confidence to recognise the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues and guide a person towards the right support. MHFA provides this training in a wide variety of communities through its in-house consultancy team and national network of over 1,300 instructors. Poppy, from Sussex, has been with MHFA for 10 years, and she has taken it from a start-up social enterprise to a position of financial strength and international standing. It is now a fast-growing, commercially successful CIC, recognised as ninth on the Fortuna 50 list of fastest-growing women-led companies.

 

Ibn Battuta Award for Excellence in the Media

Aisha Iqbal has been working for regional newspapers since 2004. She worked as a health reporter for the Reading Evening Post, and as a news editor for the Asian Express. In 2007 she began working at the Yorkshire Evening Post, where she has covered big national stories such as the Shannon Matthews case and published a range of hard-hitting features on many social issues such as alcohol and drug problems and their strain on the NHS. She was at the forefront of the paper’s coverage of the 2015 and 2017 general elections, and the 2016 EU referendum. She has spearheaded a series of exclusive features on the 10th anniversary of 7/7 and the Syrian refugee crisis, which helped towards her receiving a double nomination in the 2016 O2 Media Awards. In 2017, Aisha launched a column Any Other Business. She is a regular guest presenter on BBC Radio Leeds Connections community programme and on Leeds-based Radio station Fever FM.

TV Producer Mars El Brogy started her journalism career at the age of 16, working at a local Ipswich daily newspaper before graduating in journalism from Sheffield University. After working for local newspapers, she moved into TV, managing dramas for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4. She was at BBC Entertainment as a multiplatform producer developing game show formats and running social media for Comic Relief, Sport Relief and Children in Need. She was promoted to Online Producer for BBC Three, executing the channel’s overall digital strategy. She is currently the youngest Advisory Council member of the Royal Television Society and spearheaded RTS Futures Midlands. Mars is the youngest and only Muslim to deliver the RTS Baird Lecture at Birmingham Town Hall following the footsteps of former BBC Director General Mark Thompson. Mars is a patron of the National Student Television Awards and the Media Trust, where she mentors and runs workshops.

Shah Yousuf has pioneered new forms of media tailored to the British Bangladeshi community. He founded London Bangla, a newspaper addressing the interests of London’s Muslim Bangladeshi community. He launched East London News, an English language newspaper. Shah founded LB24TV, an on-demand video platform showcasing news, documentaries, lifestyle and cultural programmes. LB24 broadcasts programmes in Bengali, English and Sylheti – bridging the divide between older and younger members of the British Bangladeshi community. Shah’s media initiatives are facilitating communicating the voices of a Muslim community to a non-Muslim audience, countering the stereotypes and anti-Muslim bias in the mainstream media. Shah’s use of the media to promote community harmony was recognised with a Tower Hamlets Civic Award in 2009 and a community safety award in 2010.

 

Faezeh Hashemi Award for Excellence in Sport

Stanmore Jafferys Football Academy was formed in October 2015 and since then has accumulated more than 200 players on their registers, representing teams from the under 5s to the under21s, obtaining FA affiliation in November 2016. They have over 30 trained coaches, 28 of whom have completed their FA Level 1 Coach qualification. In 2016, they started the Salaam Cup, a community football tournament, which last year hosted over 500 players from 57 teams across London. The aim of the Salaam Cup is to bring different communities, faiths and cultures together to communicate through sport. The academy has also entered a Futsal mini league organised by ProFutsal London, with 17 of their coaches completing the FA Level 1 Futsal course. Through the academy’s community fundraising projects they managed to donate £1,700 to orphans in Diwaniya, Iraq. They won the “The FA For All” award at the Asian Football Awards in 2017 and have received recognition from both Barnet FC and the Middlesex FA for their community work.

Ramla Ali is the first ever British female Muslim boxing champion. She came to London in the early nineties after fleeing the war in Somalia. She studied law at university and upon graduating took up boxing. She has become a two-time national champion, winning the Elite ABA’s in 2016 and is the current English Champion at 54kg. She competed for team GB in the 2016 European Games. Ramla trains six times a week while also studying and working two jobs. She is helping the next generation of female boxers by coaching classes once a week in Vauxhall, southwest London. She is also using boxing to provide outreach for victims of rape and domestic violence through the charity Solace Women’s Aid.

Saba Nasim has devoted over eight years of her spare time to coaching at Wanstead CC in East London, whilst working as a full-time solicitor. In 2013, she set up a girls’ cricket project in Redbridge in collaboration with Essex County Cricket Board and the Chance to Shine charity. Saba uses sport to empower and promote social cohesion amongst girls from a wide range of backgrounds. The girls’ have won nine national Chance to Shine Street tournaments, with 12 of her participants now currently training to be cricket coaches. Saba was a part of a Guinness World Record which was broken in July 2017 for ‘the largest cricket lesson held in a single venue’ at Lord’s Cricket Ground, which she helped to coach and run. Saba has coached over a thousand girls in the South of England. In addition to winning various awards in the cricket community, she was recognised by former Prime Minister, David Cameron, and more recently by the Queen when she received her British Empire Medal.

 

Malcolm X Young Person’s Award for Excellence

Maryam Ali is a bright young lady who has completely transformed her life in the last few years. After a period of instability that involved leaving home and missing a year of school, Maryam has been able to channel her energies into childcare and is currently in the second year of her teaching degree. In her quest to help other girls gain confidence and improve their self-esteem, Maryam undertook a ‘cricket activators’ course and completed her level 2 cricket coaching course. She now engages Muslim girls and holds weekly sessions within community centres and a mosque in Leeds. She is attracting many girls to cricket. She was awarded ‘Young Coach Of The Year 2017’ at the ECB Coach Awards. Maryam has set up her own charity Orphan Care which has since ‘adopted’ a school in Zanzibar with the aim of supporting resident orphans and children with their education, food and vocational skills development.

Mohammad Mahdi Karim is an ambitious and diligent 16-year-old. After becoming a decorated Model United Nations delegate, winning six awards from six conferences, Mohammad established an award-winning Model UN society at Dr Challoner’s Grammar School in Amersham. He leads a team of 16 students and is organising a team to compete in Russia at MUN conference. He has pushed for healthier eating and fought for the rights of minority groups. He has participated at Parliamentary AAPG meeting on Islamophobia and E-Safety. He led a fundraiser at his school and raised over £2000 to build three water wells in the Thar desert now used by 300 families. He formed a school society to enable children to access a wide range of extra-curricular activities and has represented his school in regional tennis tournaments, winning the South East Buckinghamshire division.

Moin Younis,17, has a rare genetic condition, Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), which means Moin lacks the critical protein needed to bind layers of skin together. Moin’s severe type of EB is life-limiting and has been using the services of Acorns Children’s Hospice in Birmingham. EB affects virtually every aspect of Moin’s life; causing frequent pain and affecting his movement and eating. Moin became a Young Ambassador for Acorns, a role which gives him the opportunity to have a say in the way Acorns provides its care and enables him to reach out to inspire other children by offering advice and support. Moin gives tours to visitors at Acorns and flies the flag for Acorns through social media and through his connection with Aston Villa Football Club. His work as a Young Ambassador has seen him recognised for a number of awards, including Midlands Children of Courage 2016, Pride of Birmingham 2017 and most recently, ‘Teenager of Courage’ at the Pride of Britain awards.

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

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