The Muslim News Awards for Excellence, Grosvenor House, London, March 2013. (Photo: Heba Mohammed Yusuf)
Some of the many comments we received from guests at The Muslim News Awards for Excellence gala evening held on March 25.
The general ambiance and wonderful company is always a feature for me. Meeting new people each year and reacquainting with old friends, as well as seeing the fantastic Muslim talent out there makes the awards so enjoyable. I really enjoyed this year’s awards and just hope it sustains the momentum needed to make it such an important date in people’s calendars. Muhammed Sajjad Tharoo, Senior Clinical Programmer, Roche Products Ltd
Thank you for the nomination for an award and for the excellent evening that you and your staff laid on for all the guests. My wife and I had a wonderful time and it really was an evening to remember. The thing we enjoyed most was hearing about all the good work being done by so many different people and organisations. We also enjoyed the conversations around the dinner table and the chance for networking.
Dr Andrew Smith, Director of Interfaith Relations for the Bishop of Birmingham
Many congratulations to you and your team for hosting another very successful and inspiring evening. I was particularly impressed by the nominees and winners this year. The venue and food were excellent, as were the main hosts, and the entertainment. The programme as ever, was beautifully put together. Well done once again to you and your team for all your efforts in putting together this year’s Awards. It was good to have this event in the calendar again and I hope it continues for many more years, Inshallah. Dr Fauzia Ahmad, Research Fellow, University of Bristol
I thought the evening was brilliantly organised. It was great to see deserving members of the community get recognised for their brilliant and often unseen work, so thank you for providing a platform to celebrate our communities’ achievements, its successes and some of our unsung heroes. Please do convey my congratulations to the team, particularly the volunteers who were wonderful ambassadors for the event. Can I also extend my congratulations to yourself and the team at The Muslim News for your tireless efforts over the years and may Allah grant the team every success going forward towards your 25th year. Abid Hussain, Relationship Manager Diversity, Arts Council England, Birmingham
I enjoyed the recognition and celebration of the contributions and successes of ordinary Muslims who would not otherwise necessarily get acknowledged. The management/organisation of the ceremony was expertly handled. Roomana Mahmud, Head of Policy, Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Thank you so much for inviting me and for enabling me, in consequence, to feel proud of our vibrant and dynamic Muslim communities. The event has become the most important annual event for the celebration of success of our young and old. It is uplifting and inspirational. This year the event was delivered even better than before. The timing was excellent. The food was delicious and the hotel service was superb. But most of all the volunteers in the hall and at reception were just fantastic – professional, courteous and warm. Hats off to you and your brilliant team in putting this event together. Last but not least your comperes were just brilliant. Jeff Mirza was an excellent interlude. Judge Khurshid Drabu, CBE, Assistant Secretary General, Muslim Council of Britain
My first experience with the ceremony was brilliant. I was impressed with the range of nominees who were shortlisted, the mix of age, gender and talent. I was also inspired by many of the winners and nominees, and it’s great to see so many positive role models within the Muslim community. I think the event in general in terms of location, timing, service was spot on. Coming from an events background and running many major events both nationally and internationally, I was impressed with professionalism of your staff. Atiqur Rahman, BME Business Development Officer
It was really a special event. It seems that it is getting better every time. Actually I enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere which was obviously a result of hard work and efficiency. Huda Alrasheed, Writer/Broadcaster, BBC World Service
I most enjoyed about the awards was the focus on Muslim communities and their achievements/contributions –hitherto get negative publicity at the hands of mainstream media. Meeting with old and new friends, colleagues – good opportunity for networking. Participation of young people was very encouraging both in their roles as organisers/volunteers and as nominees. Some of the nominations were very good to highlight the achievements and contributions over so many years by certain individuals. It was good to recognise that. Dr Qadir Bakhsh MBE, Managing Director E.A.G.L.E.S. Consultancy, Essex
Volunteers were very friendly and hospitable, as always. This year’s event was more conducive to networking and social conversations due to the awards being presented before dinner and leaving an hour afterwards for socialising, and I found this very helpful. Overall, it was an extremely well organised event with excellent hospitality.
Dr Zainab Al-Attar, Chartered Forensic Psychologist, Manchester
Many thanks for a very enjoyable evening. It was fascinating to see the breadth of the awards and the quality of recipients. It was also good to see so many old friends. A very successful event. Peter Cathcart, Cathcarts Solicitors, Ickenham
The event was exquisite! I really enjoyed the professionalism of the evening, which I felt was carried out to the highest standard in all areas. I congratulate you on this great success and all your work and the work of The Muslim News, and pray for your continued achievement in this life and the next. Dr Sheikh Ramzy, Director, Iqra Institute, Oxford Islamic Information Centre
The event was fantastic. It was the first time I attended the awards, and I was impressed overall, very professional. I enjoyed the comedy by Jeff Mirza, the service and food was good too. Hope to see it next year as well. Aishah Ali, Teacher, Wolverhampton
I enjoyed the diversity of Muslim contributions to British society which I wasn’t aware of before. I was really happy to see someone like Tasneem Nazeer nominated because she appeared to be an ordinary mother of two, going unnoticed, doing good work for British society and Muslims. I think more ordinary community volunteers should be recognised. Imranali Panjwani, Lecturer, King’s College London
I was happy the fact that the awards were back on track and that this lovely event in the Muslim social calendar, has risen like a phoenix from the ashes, to honour humanity in its striving towards excellence in all fields of endeavour. The volunteers played the usual pleasant, welcoming and efficient part in making us all feel comfortable and created that warm atmosphere badly needed as we all emerged in from the cold. The organisation around the event is really perfected precision and gives us all a timely lesson in how to we should organise ourselves in every endeavour we are involved with. Mary Batool Al-Toma, Research & Education Officer, Islamic Foundation, Markfield
It was a fantastic evening. The comedian was the best. Congratulations on setting this up. Food was great too. Timing great. Prof A Rashid Gatrad, OBE, Consultant Paediatrician, Manor Hospital Walsall, West Midlands
I am writing to thank you most warmly for your kind invitation to The Muslim News Awards. It was a most enjoyable and impressive evening, with a huge range of skills and achievements being rightly celebrated. The fact that you were able to draw together politicians and people in public life from across the spectrum is a testament to both the work of the individuals and organisations represented, and more importantly the contribution of the Muslim community of wider national life. I was, of course, particularly delighted to see the work of Blackburn Cathedral recognised!
The Revd Canon Andrew Tremlett, Canon of Westminster & Rector of St Margaret’s
Networking, superb food, great comperes. All utterly professional. I had a lovely evening. Dr Sophie Gilliat-Ray, Islam-UK Centre (Director), Dept of Religious & Theological Studies, Cardiff University
I was pleased and honoured by the awards evening, the timing, the food and the service were top notch. The two presenters were great and I have to say the most thing that always impresses me is your dedication and attention to detail in everything and vast personalised memory. The awards were definitely well deserved and the everlasting political presentations were as always a great move to establish the islamic lobby power. The comic presentation by one of the winners was well thought of.
Amr Salem ENT Specialist Registrar Barking, Herring & Redbridge NHS Trust
I enjoyed the evening very much. I enjoyed meeting the guests both at the reception and at table and the awards nominees were inspirational. The event placed you and your guests at the centre of British life and provided a positive message of cohesion and acceptance .I enjoyed Jeff Mirza’s comedy act especially because it didn’t pander to political correctness. I must say that the presence of so many high profile politicians, from across the spectrum, confirmed the importance of the event, so congratulations and wishing you continued success. Michael McGough, Hon Treasurer, The Freedom Association, Loughton, Essex
The turnout was excellent, well organised and kept on time. Excellent speeches. Well done to you for doing a fabulous job! Rushanara Ali, MP.
I really enjoyed the whole occasion and particularly enjoyed the story telling as part of the entertainment. The two hosts were also very enthusiastic and welcoming. Overall, it was a fantastic event and I very much look forward to future The Muslim News Awards. Harriet Hine, Outreach and Project Co-ordinator, Ctr of Islamic Studies, Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge
It was a thoroughly enjoyable and wonderful event. May Allah reward you and all who were involved in organising the event. M Irshad Baqui, Chief Executive, The Muath Trust, Birmingham
It was the most enjoyable event. It was a good opportunity for Muslims to show each other and the community at large all the talent they have in a diversity of fields. I was impressed this year by the diversity of contribution of young and old Muslims in different fields, ranging from comedy to heart surgery. I congratulate the winners in all the categories who were successful in winning the prizes. The organising of the event was impressive. Thank you very much for bringing people of different nationalities and faiths to exchange their views and to establish or renew contacts.
Dr Abdul-Rahim Hassan, Academic & Freelance Editor, Southmoor, Oxon
Well done on organising a fantastic night. I’m so glad to see The Muslim News Awards back on the social calendar. It was a hugely enjoyable evening in so many ways and it’s a real credit to you and your devoted volunteers that the event passed successfully. Shenaz Bunglawala, Research Director, Engage
A huge congratulation to you and your team the awards were so well organised and I certainly had a wonderful time and met some wonderful people. Thank you so much for the invite and well done. Safiya Sayed Baharun, Media Coordinator, Islamic Relief-UK
I wanted first to congratulate you wholeheartedly for your unflinching perseverance in this laudable enterprise of The Muslim News Awards in spite of all the financial difficulties that have been in your way. The fact that the Awards celebration came back despite all these difficulties shows a strong commitment to our community in Britain and in defence of our faith. The organisation was really excellent in all aspects visible and an honour to The Muslim News. Secondly, I am deeply grateful to you, Ahmed, that Brother Hasher Faruqi’s selfless and sobering hard work through committed journalism was eventually acknowledged. Although Brother Faruqi does not like the limelight, the Awards have given him exposure and will no doubt help reveal his life-long writing at the service of the Ummah, which will surely be an inspiration to many young people. Rashid Messoudi, Avicenna Clinic of Medical Herbalism
Thank you very much for the wonderful evening of the 11th The Muslim Awards. I enjoyed myself thoroughly and as per usual was a great show for Muslims contribution to the society at large. As a regular guest of this event I felt that this year the organisation and timing were the best ever. Dr Najah Kadhim, Senior Lecturer, University of Hertfordshire
The evening was a wonderful spectacle and we were most humbled by it and the part we were asked to play. The generosity of our hosts was remarkable and the friendliness and efficiency of the staff were impressive. Rev Dean Christopher Armstrong, Dean of Blackburn Cathedral
We enjoyed virtually everything, venue, food, the hosts, entertainment and the worthy winners. It was obvious that a lot of time, effort and resources had gone into organising the event and everyone worked very hard, especially all the volunteers, well done! Tehsin and Anar Nurmohamed, Global Healthcare Recruitment Solutions Directors
Thank you for inviting me to The Muslim News Awards. It was a truly enjoyable evening and it was good to meet so many interesting people. Nirmalee Wanduragala, Political & External Affairs, Leader of the Opposition