Thursday, 21 January 2010

Ilm Day-Young Muslim Achievers Award Ceremony

ILM Day: Young Muslim Achievers
Award Ceremony

Dr. Mozammel Haque

The Young Muslim Achievers Award organized by Islam Channel and Islamic Help, was held at Hilton Metropole, London, on Saturday, 16th of January, 2010. The ceremony was attended by Cabinet Ministers, Lords, Baroness, Members of Parliament, community leaders, parents and young Muslim achievers.

Islamic Channel received many nominations from more than 3,000 schools, colleges and universities and educational institutions across the country highlighting the achievements of young Muslims. All nominations were made online and then they were ratified by panel of judges. The selection process were gone into Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum categories and there were all 18 finalists who were present at the ceremony and 12 of them won the trophy and also won an unforgettable Umrah tickets. The Judges finally selected four winners of each category. GCSE, A-Level and the Degree, 12 winners in total.

Inaugural Speech
While inaugurating the Award ceremony, Mohamed Ali, CEO of Islam Channel, said, “The history of the Ummah is one which we undoubtedly have much to be proud of, and we find therein an honourable legacy to be resumed by the Muslims today.”

“In order to help realize this endeavour, Islam Channel, in association with Islamic Help and the Dawah Project, has embarked on an exciting mission: to recognize, nurture and empower exceptional young British Muslim achievers who range from diverse areas of education, religion, sports and the arts,” added Ali.

Secretary of State for Children, Schools & Families
Secretary of State for Children, Schools & Families, Ed Balls, MP, said in his message, “There is no doubt that Muslim communities have a long and proud tradition of valuing their young people and the positive contributions that they make to our country.”

“These awards are a great example of that. Whether it’s been in achieving brilliant exam results, excellent in sport, showing talent and creativity in cultural activities or demonstrating a commitment to their faith, all of the winners are fantastic role models for young people in their communities and a source of great pride for their families and for us all,” added the Secretary of State.

Sir Iqbal Sacranie
Sir Iqbal Sacranie, chairman of Muslim Aid, said, “This celebration of academic excellence and promotion of high standards amongst the next generation of British Muslim citizens is an important step in the ongoing development and establishment of our community. These events are an inspiration and encouragement to our youth so that they can also succeed and excel in their respective fields of study.”

Sir Iqbal also said, “Tonight event gives confidence not only to young people but the society at large that yes, within the Muslim community, the community that has been demonized so much over the years, so much in the media that this is the negative asset that we have to see perhaps and how to resolve it. But let us show what the community could achieve.”

“I think today’s is the very powerful indicator that will go out across the community that yes, there are youngsters at every level of the education from primary, secondary, upper and even degree level that they have done so well and they are giving the very powerful message that our younger community can achieve as well. With those few words congratulations to Islam Channel and Islamic Help,” added Sir Iqbal.

Awards for GCSE Level
Mr. Andrew Slaughter, MP for Ealing, Acton and Shepherd’s Bush presented the GCSE Bronze Award 2010 to Tahmidah Kalam, currently studying AS Level Mathematics, Biology, Geography and Economics at St. Marylebone School, London. Tahmidah achieved 9 A*s and 1 A in a wide range of subjects. In recognition of 17 year old Tahmida’s efforts, her Duke of Edinburgh project was placed on display at the Design Museum.

Miss Dawn Butler, Labour MP for Brent South and also Minister for young citizens and youth engagement presented the GCSE Silver Award 2010 to Zahrah Madiha Hussain, a student at Dixons City Academy, Bradford. 17-year old Zahrah acquired 12 A*s and 2 A’s, including an A in Additional Mathematics. A passionate martial artist who thoroughly enjoys Jiu Jitsu.

Judge Khurshid Drabu presented GCSE Gold Award 2010 to Mohammed Naeem Iqbal, who is currently undertaking AS levels at the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe. He attained 12 A*s at GCSE, including full marks in both English Literature and Religious Studies, and close to full marks in the majority of the other subjects.

While presenting the Award, Judge Drabu said, “We are free to practice our deen, we are free to make a difference; that is the beauty that we have here. The youth of this country, the Muslim youth, have a duty, just as the elderly folk has duty, to engage in the political process and to make sure that our voice are heard.”

“We can not continually keep mourning about the image created by the media. We have to look within ourselves as well and make sure that we give out good stories,” Judge Drabu observed and added, “Of course, there is Islam phobia, we all know that; but we have a wonderful visionary among us, the great Mohamed Ali who has always delivered Muslim community great event like Global Peace and Unity and now today’s function is another vision that has brought together to celebrate the success of youngsters.”

Rt. Hon. Sadiq Khan, Minister for Transport, and Labour MP for Tooting and Balham, presented GCSE Platinum Award 2010 to Zakaria Djoudi. Zakaria attended Whitchurch High School in Cardiff where he achieved 12A*s and 2As in his GCSE examinations. Zakaria has won numerous awards including a poster competition for “Show Racism the Red Card” and the “Young Playwright’s Festival”. Additionally Zakaria was selected to attend a 10-week ‘Mathematics Masterclasses for Young People’ run by the Royal Institution of Great Britain.

While presenting the Award, the Minister Khan, said, “The young people have huge amount of talents.” After quoting verses from the Qur’an and Tradition of the Prophet, Peace be upon him, Minister Khan said, “There is a duty upon us to seek knowledge.”

Awards for A-Level
Lord Sheikh presented the A-Level Bronze Award 2010 to Zuhair Moeen Anwar, who has successfully developed proficiency in communication and lip reading and achieved 4 A*s and 8 A’s at Brondesbury College. He proceeded to achieving 3 As and 1 B’s at A-Level whilst studying Biology A-Level independently.

While presenting the Award, Lord Sheikh said, “I would say let sky be the limit; always keep for the best and this land is the land of opportunity. I would look forward to see you good professionals and good citizens and contribute to the advancement of this country.”

Dr. Muhammad Abdul Bari, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, presented A-Level Silver Award 2010 to Mohammed Saif Sait, who is a first year medical student at King’s College, London. Saif Achieved 10 A*s in his GCSE’s and 4 A’s at A-Levels at Eltham College, London. Having being recognized with numerous awards during his A-Levels for Biology, Latin, Maths & Statistics, he has also participated in a number of extra-curicular activities.

Labour MP for Regents Park Miss Karen Buck presented A-Level Gold Award 2010 to Raihazah Malek, who gained 5 A grades in her A-Levels after achieving exceptional GCSE results and completing a 6-year Alimah course in Bolton. She has been involved with a number of projects including “The Analyst Competition” organized by the Royal Society of Chemistry at Buckingham Palace. Presently Raihazah is reading Natural Sciences at Cambridge University.

While presenting the Award, Miss Buch said, “They are showing us that colour is no barrier to achievements, faith is not a barrier to achievements, or the country of origin, or the family origins not a barrier to achievements. The poison of racism and Islamophobia and the poison of poverty are still barriers for millions of people in this country and worldwide. “

Secretary of State Stephen Timms, MP presented A-Level Platinum Award 2010 to Musleh Uddin who achieved 4 A’s in English, Law, Politics and Psychology at AS Level, receiving the highest AS mark in the country in both Law and Politics respectively. He sat his GCSE’s at Darul Hadis Latifiah; East London where he successfully worked towards Musleh Uddin is a first year student at Cambridge University.

Awards for Degree Level
Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Chairman of Muslim Aid, presented Degree Level Bronze Award 2010 to Sami Yusuf, who, having achieved a 2:1 in B.Sc Neuroscience, is presently continuing his medical studies as a 5th year medical student at University College London. Sami achieved 5 A’s at A-Levels. An active sportsman, he has played badminton for UCL and participated in a number of charity football.

While presenting the Award, Sir Iqbal said, “We need to congratulate three groups of persons which is important.” Then he mentioned the first groups, all the nominees, the second group, the parents and the third group the teachers and the schools who deserve our appreciation.

Mohamed Ali, CEO of Islam Channel presented Degree Level Silver Award 2010 to Hira Amin, who was born and brought up in Kent and attained all A’s and A*s for her GCSE’s and 3 A’s for her A-Levels. She went on to study Maths and Mathematical Philosophy at Kings College University of London, where she achieved a 1st Class Honours Degree. She also studied advanced Arabic and Tajweed (pronunciation) while completing her degree. At present she is working as a Strategy Analyst for a niche marketing company in West London while continuing her Islamic Studies with the Al-Kauthar Student’s Guild.

While presenting the Award, Mohamed Ali, announced great news. He said, “The Oxford University has given ten scholarships to Muslims. Dr. Forhan Nizami, the Director of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies will be going to link five of them of this event. Next year, if you are UK citizen and if you are Muslim, it is a positive discrimination, next year, Insha Allah we will get free place fully paid in Oxford University and that’s great News.”

Baroness Paula Uddin, Peer of the House of Lords, presented Degree Level Gold Award 2010 to Nausheen Lal, who graduated from Cardiff University in 2009 with a First Class Honours in Medical Engineering. She was heavily involved with the Islamic Society during her time there and was also Chair of the Engineering Student-Staff Panel for 2 years. Nausheen currently teaches at SOBIS (the School of Basic Islamic Studies), a weekly Islamic Complimentary school. Nausheen is currently doing her Masters at Glamorgan University, is Vice-Sister of the FOSIS Wales & West Committee, and is also a volunteer for a charity. She regularly produces Islamic calligraphy pieces and is studying Arabic and Tajweed.

Dr. Suhaib Hasan presented Degree Level Platinum Award 2010 to Saad Raja who graduated from Imperial College London with a First Class Masters degree in Electrical & Electronic Engineering with Management after outstanding achievements throughout school and college. Working as a Strategy Consultant, Saad is also the Founder and Managing Director of Vidstar Ltd., a video recruitment solution. Recently shortlisted as a finalist for his idea to tackle Climate Change, Crime and Careers, Saad was invited to Number 10 Downing Street where he met the Prime Minister and presented his idea to the Cabinet.

While presenting the Platinum Award for Degree Level, Dr. Suhaib Hasan, the Secretary of the Islamic Shari’ah Council, said, “I say this is another way of saying congratulations in Arabic. In Arabic we say Mabrouk, no. Alf Mabrouk; I see in the Book of Hadiths that they devoted a chapter on knowledge, Imam Bukhari has devoted a chapter on ILM; in the same way Imam Shafie a chapter Kitab al-Ilm. Islam Channel has done both; they have opened a chapter about knowledge and I congratulate Mohamed Ali for that chapter; leave it open don’t close it.”

For knowledge, I would say to students, the youngsters that people used to travel for knowledge. “Thanks God, in London; you got all the knowledge’s on your door steps. So avail that knowledge and try to have an objective in your life. Your objective is given by God; to be a good witness, to be a true witness,” advised Dr. Hasan.


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