The readership of The Muslim News selected and 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 to be worthy for a Muslim News Awards 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 March, when the finalists are announced for the  coveted Awards for Excellence
ALHAMBRA AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN ARTS
Sculptural Artist Halima Cassell was born in 1975 in Pakistan, brought up in Manchester and now lives in Blackburn, Lancashire. Her varied, multi-cultural background is tangibly present in her work. Her artwork is showcased in exhibitions globally, including at the renowned V&A museum in London, in Japan and India. Halima has had numerous achievements, from winning Public Art Commissions and through to achieving residencies and scholarships, she was one of the few British Muslim woman who works with sculptures and ceramic materials at such a high standard.
Hatiq Mohammed, a.k.a., Teakster, is a digital artist who draws inspiration from the concept of beauty in Islamic art and calligraphy. Currently living in Aylesbury, Hatiq’s work is a fusion of eastern and western styles, which is influenced by his background. He also uses photography to capture the beauty of modern life, which is normally missed in today’s fast paced culture. Hatiq’s work has a global following, featuring in exhibitions around the world.
Richard Fouad MacLeod is a multi-talented British Muslim artist who has been recognised by many for his different projects within the art sector and the community. Currently living in County Durham, Richard was born in Lebanon and grew up in Saudi Arabia where he learned about calligraphy and Islam. His calligraphic paintings have been exhibited around the country, including churches as part of inter-faith activities. Richard is also an accomplished poet, an award winning photographer, and a filmmaker, and has collaborated with world-class artists.
ANNEMARIE SCHIMMEL AWARD FOR CHAMPIONING A MUSLIM CAUSE
Charlotte Fischer is a Community Organiser for North London Citizens, which, as part of Citizens UK, is a community alliance of schools, churches, mosques and synagogues. Even though all British Muslims condemned the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in May 2013, Islamic centres nevertheless had to endure attacks. In Muswell Hill, North London, the Al-Rahma Islamic Centre, the home of the Somali Bravanese community, was viciously targeted and burnt down. Charlotte is nominated here for practically coming to the aid of Muslims at a time when Muslims were most vulnerable. Charlotte sprung into action, mobilising members of North London Citizens to come to that community’s aid. As a result, a local Jewish school offered its facilities to rehouse the Somali school, the local council were persuaded to offer its facilities for other events, and local synagogues offered their places of worship for Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr.
Canon Chris Chivers has been Vicar of John Keble Church, Mill Hill, in the Diocese of London, since 2010, where he pursues meaningful interfaith dialogue. At Blackburn Cathedral in 2005, he established a model of how a cathedral might be used as the base for inter-religious engagement. He made world history during his tenure by appointing the first Muslim staff member of a cathedral, who acted as a dialogue development officer, and the two of them have formed a Christian-Muslim dialogue partnership that is a first of its kind. Canon Chivers has continued this work into the international arena with partnerships in Nairobi, Cape Town, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe.
Since January 2011, Jonathan Freeman has been National Director of Mosaic, which is HRH The Prince of Wales’ mentoring charity. Mosaic inspires young people from deprived communities to realise their talents and potential. Based in London, Jonathan has worked with Mosaic since its very earliest days and having served as National Operations Director from March 2009. Jonathan was previously a member of the Senior Civil Service in the UK Government. By leading Mosaic Jonathan has been a tireless champion to highlight positive role models in the Muslim community and help the most vulnerable in the community.
IMAMS HASAN AND HUSAYN CHILDREN’S AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE
10 -year-old Ahmed Saleh has won numerous kickboxing and freestyle karate titles at national,European and global levels. At five he became the youngest World Champion, winning two World titles overcoming adversaries much older than him. Aside from his spectacular sporting achievement, Ahmed Saleh is doing exceptionally well at school, in Leicester, achieving high grades. He is also half-way into memorizing the holy Qur’an and the youngest volunteer at the H.E.L.P. Multicultural Centre where this year he has helped raised over £1,000 for the Lord Mayors Stroke Appeal for Leicestershire’s hospital Charity.
Fatemah Manji is noted for immersing herself in charity, education and activism. At the age of 12, she took part in a sponsored abseil down a 100 ft building, to raise money for St Luke’s Hospice. Fatemah, who lives in Northwood, has also initiated innovative fundraising projects in support of her community centre, Mehfil Ali in North Harrow, London and the Salaam Centre project, raising some £1200. Apart from being active in the community, she also enjoys extra-curricular activities, from martial arts to swimming. She has been training to attain her Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award, having achieved her Bronze Award earlier this year. Predicted to achieve top GCSE grades, Fatemah already has a GCSE in Arabic and aims to complete the Kumon Mathematics programme.
Maaz Bin Saud is three times world kickboxing champion. He won his maiden world title in Portugal aged just 11 in 2010, his second in Spain in 2011 and last year he won the world title in two different categories in Montreal, Canada. The achievement crowned a string of victories for Maaz where he won number of tournaments including the British Open Championships, English National Championship, and the MAI Open Championship. Maaz continues his studies at his local school in Liverpool and attends Madrasah where he memorising [Hafiz] the Qur’an. In 2010 Maaz was named Junior Sports Personality of the Year at the British Asian Sports Awards. Because of his achievements he was also invited to 10 Downing Street.
ALIJA IZETBEGOVIC AWARD FOR GOOD CITIZENSHIP
Emdad Rahman, MBE is a community activist, involved in raising money for Whitechapel Missions, Muslim Women’s Helpline and the Birmingham Children’s Hospital. He has also acted as a mentor and worked with young people at schools in his local area of Tower Hamlets, written on various social issues including domestic violence and served as an independent advisor to the British Transport Police. As a result of his work, he has been a recipient of numerous civic awards, from the Mayor of the City of London as well as being named ‘Londoner of the Day’ by Mayor Boris Johnson. He was named an MBE in the Queen’s 2014 Honour’s List. A keen sportsman, he achieved a Level 9 football referees status as well as gaining his FA Level 1 coaching certificate. He writes regularly on football and dabbles in poetry about the Beautiful Game.
For the last 15 years and in a variety of roles, Dr Kaneez Shaid has been working towards improving the lives of 14 to 19 year olds residing in East London’s most socially-deprived areas, East and North-East London. Kaneez is Director of Marketing and External Relations at Sir George Monoux College in Walthamstow. As a trustee of Citizens UK, she helped create City Safe Havens to protect vulnerable youth caught up in gang violence. Kaneez was also involved in the creation of hundreds of Olympic jobs for young people in East London, negotiating directly with the CEO of The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. She was a founder member of the ‘Legacy Champions’ Inspire Mark Project, bringing together host borough FE colleges committed to the 2012 games and ways of inspiring 80,000 students in London. She was named an MBE in the Queen’s Honour’s List in 2014.
Dr Parvin Damani, MBE came to UK from Kenya in 1986 settling in Southampton, Hampshire. She worked in the National Health Service (NHS) in obstetrics and gynaecology and very early in her career became aware of the inequalities that existed in this area particularly for Black and Minority Ethnic Women (BME). In 1996 she was elected as the first Muslim Woman Councillor in the city, becoming also the first Muslim Woman Mayor of the city in 2003. Parvin was a founding member of the Muslim Council of Southampton and the Southampton Council of Faiths. She is currently the Chair of the Southampton Muslim Women Network which she founded. In 2001 she was named an MBE and in 2006, received an Honorary Doctorate.
UTHMAN DAN FODIO AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
For decades, Mary Batool Al-Toma has been pioneering projects related to the support, education, and continued development of the growing Muslim convert community in the UK. A Leicester resident, she is Director of the ‘New Muslim Project’ and Editor of Meeting Point, the Project’s newsletter. She is a senior member of staff at the Islamic Foundation, Leicestershire. She has since sat on the Cambridge Theology Board and its symposiums relating to contextualising Islam in Britain; she has also advised on the Government’s research carried out on the training of Imams in the UK by Gloucester University. She is a UK representative on the European think tank, European Muslim Network (EMN) in Brussels, and is a professional mediator working with the National Family Mediation Trust.
Jamila Kossar is an active volunteer fundraiser having secured thousands of pounds for a range of charities including Islamic Relief and the READ Foundation. A teacher by day in Manchester, Jamila has devoted her spare time to charitable activities, organising the annual mountain trek up Mount Snowden, a 30 mile charity bike ride, a sky dive, a ‘walk to school/work’ day and recently supported 200 young girls to raise in excess of £7,000 in one week for orphans around the world. Within the local Manchester area, Jamila is part of a team of people who organise a monthly ‘feed the homeless’ event in the city centre. During Ramadan, this becomes a weekly event, enabling barriers to be broken and communities to come together as people from different faiths and backgrounds descend on Piccadilly Gardens.
QED UK is a national charity based in Bradford with over two decades’ experience addressing inequality for ethnic minorities. It operates at a local, national and international level. It tackles grass root problems by delivering ground-breaking services in health, education and employment to those most in need. It does this while engaging, influencing and advocating on the wider issues affecting Muslims in British society. Despite challenges presented by the current economic climate, which faced by all third sector organisations, QED continues to innovate and pioneer new services. QED has been awarded prestigious national awards, including the Charity Finance Award and the Alchemist Award. It was runner-up at Charity of the Year, competing alongside Wateraid, Fairtrade and the Samaritans. It is also a recognised accredited centre.
AL BIRUNI AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY RELATIONS
The Islamic Diversity Centre is dedicated to raising awareness of Islam in the North East of England. Based in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, it aims to humanise Islam for the wider community. The centre has initiated positive campaigns that benefit all the locals. During the snow storms of January 2013, the IDC team setup “The Muslim Snow Patrol” – where their volunteers and local Muslims shovelled snow from driveways and paths of non-Muslim neighbours and neighbouring streets. Working with local Muslim community, they initiated the “Muslims Be Positive & Give Blood” campaign, in association with the local blood centre to organise blood drives. As part of their Feed the Homeless project, volunteers worked alongside The Peoples’ Kitchen to distribute 100 food packs to the homeless people in Newcastle.
Ola Lawal is an active volunteer working to improve the lives of young and disabled people, as well as the local community around her. She is the founder Chairperson of Afro-Caribbean People’s Organisation (ACPO), which caters for the elderly, young and disabled people. She has been inspired by her own disability to attract donors to support her project in Brent, North London. For her work she has been awarded numerous awards including in 2002 the ‘Brent Citizenship Award’ for long and outstanding community service to the people of Brent. In 2005, she was awarded ‘Year of the Volunteer Award’ by CSV. And in 2006, ACPO was nominated and was among the assessment Organisations from the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. Ola Lawal is also an active member of the Muslim Association of Nigeria (UK).
Zulfi Karim is a social entrepreneur, Vice President of Council for Mosques Bradford, founder of the World Curry Festival, and established The Giant Chilli Project as a way of bringing together different communities. In 2013, the Project embarked on a series of events known as ‘Food in Faith’ where communities from Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths broke bread and got to know one another. In February 2013, Zulfi mobilised both the Project and the Bradford Council of Mosques to save Bradford’s last remaining synagogue. The campaign attracted the attention of the international press and received worldwide media coverage. As consequence of profile raising activities generated through The Giant Chilli Project, local community groups and businesses in Bradford are now working together, with the local authority, to ensure the building remains a sacred space for future generations.
SANKORE UNIVERSITY AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION
Maleiha Malik is a Professor of Law at the School of Law, King’s College, University of London. She studied law at the University of London and University of Oxford. She is a barrister and a member of the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn. Maleiha was an independent member of the Home Secretary’s Steering Advisory Group on the Lawrence Enquiry, a former member of the Council of Liberty and a member of the Scott Trust. Maleiha has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Passau, the Max Planck Institute, Germany, Freie University, Berlin. In 2013-14, she was appointed as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Brussels, Libre. She has been invited to present a number of prominent lectures including the Keene Lectures in Essex Cathedral. Maleiha’s research focuses on the theory and practice of discrimination law. She has also participated in high-level debates and intervened in the media to correct prejudice about Muslims and Islam.
After embracing Islam in 1991, Dr Matthew Wilkinson taught History and Religious Studies in mainstream, supplementary and faith schools in a senior capacity for fifteen years. In 2007, he was awarded an ESRC Studentship to undertake his PhD entitled “History Curriculum, Citizenship and Muslim Boys: Learning to Succeed?” at King’s College London. As a result of this research, Matthew established ‘Curriculum for Cohesion’, an initiative that aims to produce academically well-grounded proposals for changes to the National Curriculum for History, would develop improvements to the Religious Education Curriculum, would produce teaching materials and training. To achieve the aims of this pioneering project, Matthew has utilised extensive practical and grass-roots experience of the issues faced by Muslim pupils and parents in British schools having served on the Muslim Council of Britain’s Education Committee (2008-2012).
Last year, Blackburn’s Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School hit the national headlines after topping a league table of 3,000 state-funded schools based on more than 20 official Government indicators. Over the past six years, over 95% of its students have achieved 5A*-Cs including English and Maths. In 2012 and 2013, the Government confirmed that Tauheedul is the leading school in the country for improving outcomes for students with the lowest achievement at primary school. The school, rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted and as the ‘leading school for value-added’ by the SSAT, has a strong focus on personal development and community service. A commitment to serving others is core to each learner’s experience. As part of its citizenship specialism, students have led initiatives to deliver over 60 borough-wide projects and raised over £200,000 for local, national and global charities.
FAZLUR RAHMAN KHAN AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN ENGINEERING/SCIENCE/TECHNOLOGY
Dr Farid Khan has used his interdisciplinary training from GlaxoSmithKline and PhD at the University of Cambridge to impact human health in the UK and the Developing World. He has pioneered the drug repositioning approach, namely the use of old drugs for other indications. Dr Khan, who lives in Manchester, has been awarded several Technology Strategy Board grants totalling over £1 million for technological innovation. Dr. Khan’s funding includes the use of new fluorescent proteins to diagnose cancer, the development of new temperature labels for drugs and the use of smart phones for diagnosing diseases. Farid has also led a team that has invented water sterilisation devices at low cost, which can be used to disinfect water making it safe for drinking. The devices have led to two Bill Gates Foundation awards for water sanitation for use in the developed world.
Saumya Kareem Reni is a researcher at the University of Westminster and her topic of research is Malaria Diagnosis using Mobile Phones. She is a biomedical engineer who undertook her Masters degree in Electronics and is undertaking her PhD under full fee waiver scholarship provided by University of Westminster. Her research has already developed an effective blood analysis and malaria diagnosis tool for mobile platforms, which processes images of thin blood films. Her work had been widely appreciated in various conferences including University of Cambridge (UKSIM 2012), Pan American Health Care Conference and other Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers conferences. Saumya was the only Muslim woman from the UK who was selected to present her work at the prestigious Pathology Visions Conference, conducted by Digital Pathology Association at Baltimore, Maryland, USA in 2012.
Simi Ali is Professor of Immunology at Newcastle University. Her main area of research is studying the immune-biological processes that result in tissue damage, which has applications in transplantation immune-biology and cancer immunotherapy. She has held and still holds many senior management responsibilities within and outside the university. Simi also regularly reviews grants for organisations including Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation, Wellcome Trust, Asthma UK Foundation and the Singapore Biomedical Research Council. Professor Ali’s role has been recognised by the Inspirational Women of North East England which considered her commitment to help tackle the unequal representation of women in science and to improve career progression for female academics.
UMMUL MU’MININ KHADIJAH AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN ENTERPRISE
Launched in London’s Excel Centre in 2013, the Halal Food Festival aim was to introduce the very best in premium halal cuisine without Muslims having to worry about checking labels for non-halal ingredients. Established by ‘foodie’ Dr Imran Kausar and his friend Dr Noman Khawaja, the Festival was launched after a frustration of the lack of halal food offerings at the several food festivals taking place in this country. With no experience in event management, the Festival managed to secure high-profile support and coverage and participation from celebrity chefs. With over 15,000 attending, the organisers demonstrated that British halal food went beyond fried chicken and kebabs.
Saleem Asaria is Chief Operating Officer of Cambian Group, one of the UK’s leading providers of specialist services in education and care, mental health and learning disabilities. He joined the firm when it was known as NHP PLC. After it was acquired by Blackstone, Saleem, backed by private equity firm GI Partners, bought out the business and Cambian was born focusing on mental health. Cambian today provides care for over 1,500 individuals, in over 75 facilities, employs over 4000 staff and works with 140 public authorities. Annual revenues have grown from a standing start to over £140 million in this period. In 2012, London-based Saleem was named as one of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year.
Shabir Randeree CBE, is Executive Chairman of DCD Group with over 25 years of experience in Commercial Real Estate, Venture Capital, Finance and Banking. He has an active presence in numerous UK companies. Shabir sits as an Advisor to the Government’s Asia Task Force (2011- 2013) and the IIFTF Islamic Finance Task Force (2013). He served on the Labour Government’s Ethnic Minorities Business Task Force, chairing the Access to Finance Committee (2007-09). Shabir was recognised in Her Majesty’s New Year’s Honours last year with a CBE in recognition of his services. Based in London, Shabir was also acclaimed for his philanthropic support of charitable causes, through which he helps transfer the excellence he has demonstrated in all aspects of his work. Shabir co-chairs the London Business School’s Young Presidents’ Organisation Programme and devotes significant time mentoring young entrepreneurs.
IBN SINA AWARD FOR HEALTH
Farouq Sheikh’s business interests encompass healthcare, private equity, property investment and development. A resident of Hertfordshire, he is best known as co-founder, along with his brother Haroon, of CareTech Holdings PLC, a highly respected national provider of specialist services to adults and children with learning or physical disabilities or mental health problems which now supports over 1800 service users and employs more than 3500 staff. Farouq’s most recent business enterprise is as Director of a property and equity investment group, Sheikh Holdings Group (Investments) Limited. In 2007 Farouq became Entrepreneur of the Year in the prestigious Laing and Buisson business awards. In 2008, both Farouq and his brother Haroon were winners of the highly valued Coutts Family Business Prize and widely applauded for the quality and social integrity of the company they created. They were both finalists in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards in 2009. They established the COSARAF Charitable Foundation to benefit communities and individuals in the UK and abroad. They are also Patrons and Enterprise Fellows of the prestigious Prince’s Trust.
Dr Rawan Abdulla Khuwaileh is a young doctor and cardiovascular researcher at University of Leicester, who has been moved by the Syrian conflict to offer practical support to those who are subsequently suffering. Based in Leicester, she flies regularly to Jordan to offer her specialist expertise on a volunteer basis to save children in the dying in the Syrian conflict. Rawan has worked in several camps, particularly in Ramtha on the Jordan-Syria border. She refuses to be paid for any treatment she is giving. On average, she deals with about 15 cases daily from mild injuries to open traumas, she was doing medical treatment with some surgical suturing and in beside to showing children sympathy and empathy in order to encourage them.
Dr Sohier Elneil is a Consultant Urogynaecologist and Gynaecologist at University College Hospital and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London. She started her career in Urogynaecology in the early 1990’s when she became involved with patients who suffered vesico-vaginal fistulas and female genital mutilation in the developing world. Over the last nine years as a consultant, she has become increasingly involved in research, as well as teaching and training of junior and senior colleagues in the two specialties in the UK and further afield. Sohier is also an Honorary Senior Lecturer, Institute for Women’s Health, UCL, London and an Honorary Senior Lecturer, Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge. She has authored numerous articles in her field.
IBN BATTUTA AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN MEDIA
Iqbal Tamimi is a much-published poet and award-winning campaigning journalist. She has spent twenty years campaigning for women’s human rights, especially in the Middle East. Based in Bristol, she currently runs the online news website Journomania.net, where she oversees the publication and circulation of articles of interest to Arab and UK professionals interested in learning about media women’s work in the Middle East. She was one of the first bloggers to publish in the Arabic language and broke numerous stories. She was shortlisted for The Anna Lindh Mediterranean Journalist Award of 2012 in Berlin and the 2010 UK Journalism Award for accurate and ethical reporting of Muslim World News, besides winning the first prize of Social Photography in 2008 in Birmingham, where her chosen subject was refugee communities.
The ‘Who is Hussain’ campaign is a global public relations initiative designed to raise awareness about the life, message and sacrifice of Imam Husayn – the beloved grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, upon whom be peace – who was murdered on the plains of Karbala. The campaign aims to highlight what drove this remarkable man and what he stood for. In addition to a very active and sophisticated marketing campaign, using national advertisements and a bold social media tools, the campaign pursued practical initiatives, in particular, a national UK initiative to give blood to the NHS in memory of Imam Husayn and his followers. As a result, the ‘Who is Hussain’ campaign has caught the attention of news and media outlets worldwide.
Roohi Hasan is a senior producer at ITV News. Over the last few years in this role, Roohi has led the network’s coverage of vital national and international events, most recently, the passing of Nelson Mandela. Prior to this, she was a news editor at Five News. Roohi was voted Media Professional of the Year in the Asian Women of Achievement Awards back in 2003, and since then, she’s climbed even higher in the extremely competitive world of broadcast journalism. Committed to journalism from an early age, Roohi secured an internship at The Times as well as writing for her local paper.
FAEZEH HASHEMI AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN SPORTS
Abdi Jama is a wheelchair basketball player having played at a local and national levels. He has played for his local Vikings club in Liverpool, and co-captained the Great Britain Paralympic Team, leading them to the bronze medal where they narrowly lost to the USA. He was a double European Champion with the GB Junior Team, Abdi won bronze at his Paralympic debut in Beijing (2008). In 2010, Abdi assisted the senior GB Team to fifth place at the World Championships and in 2011, playing a fundamental role in the team’s gold medal campaign at the 2011 European Championships. Abdi was born in Burao, Somalia, and grew up in Liverpool in a large family. Abdi is currently the one point player in the team GB and is seen by many in the sport as one of the world’s best ‘one point’ players.
The athlete Mohamed Farah or Mo, as he is known now globally, is noted for his gold medal achievement at the 2012 Olympic Games, and his continued achievement as Britain’s best-known sportsmen. The young British Muslim, of Somali extraction, became a role model for all British people. The 2012 Gold was the pinnacle of his wins, the list too numerous to find space here. Off the track, Mo is additionally involved in various philanthropic initiatives, launching the Mo Farah Foundation after a trip to Somalia in 2011. In 2013, he joined legislators and activists in a campaign urging Barclays Bank to repeal its decision to withdraw from the UK remittance market and thus disadvantage Somalis. In 2011, he was voted European Athlete of the Year, and won the prize again in 2012. Mo was also named a CBE in the 2013 Queen’s Honour’s List for his services to athletics.
Ruqsana Begum is a kickboxing athlete and is currently the British female Atomweight (48–50 kg) Muay Thai boxing Champion and skipper of the British Muay Thai Team. She recently became world title competitor and is due for a re-match for world title in November. On top of her own professional commitments, Ruqsana is a personal trainer and instructor. Based in London, Ruqsana is a boxing and Muay Thai coach for Fight for Peace, a charity which uses boxing as a prevention and rehabilitation model to confront the problem of child and youth participation in crime, gangs and gun violence within disadvantaged communities. She is also an ambassador for Sporting Equals, a charity who help people from ethnic minorities to access sport, whoever you are and at all levels. In September 2013, Ruqsana was awarded Sports Personality of the Year at the Asian Achievers Awards.
MALCOLM X YOUNG PERSON’S AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE
Ahsan ‘Ruhi’ Raza Choudhury is a student with an extraordinary record of academic achievement. Having just turned 17, Ruhi is currently a first year undergraduate at Selwyn College, University of Cambridge reading Computer Science with Mathematics, hoping to complete the full four years of the course leading to an Undergraduate Masters of Engineering (MEng). Growing up in Essex, Ruhi entered Cambridge early with outstanding GCSE and A-Level results. Ruhi is possibly the youngest pupil of Bangladeshi origin from a state school to be admitted as an undergraduate by the University of Cambridge, having received his offer of entry whilst he was still 16 years old.
Masrufa Rofik Miah is a sixth form student currently attending King Edward VI Handsworth School in Birmingham. Last summer, she undertook an extensive autonomous research project regarding South Asian people and their prevalence of cardiovascular disease at the University of Birmingham’s Medical School. Working alongside a Clinical Lecturer in Cardiovascular Medicine, she discovered that people from the South Asian backgrounds are 50% more likely to die prematurely from heart disease than the general population. Throughout her month-long placement, she spent long hours independently researching why cardiovascular disease is so prevalent among this particular ethnic group and what could be done to reduce the risk factors of the world’s major cause of morbidity and mortality. Following her research, Masrufa has prepared packs and presentations to educate the local community around her.
Keen to help and give back to her peers, Tameena Hussain is a mentor for Aik Saath, a charity that runs peer mentoring and training on conflict resolution in schools and community groups. She also gives back to her old school by organising events and being a Community Governor. Rather than sitting back and criticising her local mosque in Maidenhead she has got herself involved and on the women’s committee. Tameena has done fundraising and events with Cancer Research UK and Thames Hospice Care and she chairs her local young Conservatives Association. She is an active member of her local Interfaith Forum. She recently had responsibility for the sport section at the local County Show which attracts more than 50k visitors each year. Her Interfaith Netball tournament has become a regular feature in the Maidenhead calendar.