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Community cohesion champion awarded the Freedom of Greenwich

29th Apr 2016
Community cohesion champion awarded the Freedom of Greenwich

Mayor of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Cllr Norman Adams presents Dr Tariq Abbasi, MBE the Freedom of the Borough. (Photo: Royal Borough of Greenwich)

Elham Asaad Buaras

Community cohesion advocate Dr Tariq Abbasi was awarded the highest civic award from the Royal Borough of Greenwich at a special ceremony held in the Town Hall on March 23.

Abbasi, who in 2011 was made an MBE for his services to community cohesion, was among five locals awarded the Freedom of the Borough for their long-standing service to the borough and its residents.

Abassi used his speech to promote charitable work and volunteering telling the attendees that, “When we give our time to different charitable causes – or even just spend little of time with others, it is not the time we give, it is piece of our life we give – each time we spend 1 hour, 30 min, 10 minutes with someone, we have given a small portion of our life to that person, which we never get back That is why this act of helping others is most loved by Almighty God. This is why the charitable work is extremely rewarding.”

Abbasi has served the local community for 25 years firstly as Director of the Greenwich Islamic Centre in Plumstead Road, Plumstead, and now as Director General of the World Muslim Congress.

Abbasi has worked as an Investment Banker and as a real estate developer. In addition to running his own business, he has been serving as a trustee for several national and international charitable organisations, supporting and advocating peace and justice. In addition he has also assisted in educating young children from under privileged backgrounds.

In April 2015 he received a personal commendation from the Chief of Defence Staff, General Sir Nicholas Houghton, for services to the British Armed Forces. Tariq is a founder member of the Armed Forces Muslim Forum.

Greenwich’s Leader Councillor, Denise Hyland, highlighted Abbasi’s work against radicalism and his work following the murder of Lee Rigby to stand by “our multi-faith community.”

Freedom of the Borough is the highest award that can be bestowed by the borough and is awarded to outstanding services to the borough. Previous recipients include Nelson Mandela, the Duke of Edinburgh and Royal Museums Greenwich.

Mayor of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Councillor Norman Adams, said, “Awarding the Freedom of the Borough is a marvelous way in which we can recognise individuals who make a positive difference to the lives of many. We are extremely grateful for all the work they have done in service of the community and the borough.”

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