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March 03, 2009

Ninth The Muslim News Awards for Excellence' shortlist published

NINTH ‘The Muslim News Awards for Excellence’ Shortlist published To celebrate British Muslim contributions to society

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence has always been painstaking in its preparations to showcase both Muslim and non-Muslim achievements in the British society.

The annual arrangements for the latest award ceremony and gala dinner, now in its ninth year, have proved no exception in being carried out entirely by volunteers. This includes a customary independent panel of judges, which has meticulously pruned back scores of nominations to produce a shortlist for the awards presented in 15 different categories but with the winners not known until the night of the event in central London on Monday 30 March.

The coveted ceremony provides an exclusive platform for recognition and promotion of excellence amongst British Muslims at a time when their positive contributions to society continues to be under-recognised. Categories of Muslim achievements range from science and engineering to community development, young person and the arts.

Ahmed J Versi, Editor of The Muslim News says:

“The Awards celebrate the enormous contributions made to British society by hundreds of individuals and organisations. The Muslim News Awards has provided a steady stream of good news, repudiating stereotypes. For the past nine years we have been telling not just good stories, but excellent ones.”

Muslims have frequented news headlines consistently in the past year. In the face of continuing challenges, The Muslim News readers proceeded to nominate their role models from and associated with the Muslim community.

According to Versi:

“The Muslim News Awards recognises the achievements of unsung heroes and heroines. These awards are to honour those who make this country a beacon for others to emulate.”

The ceremony brings together politicians, religious leaders, journalists, community activists along with representatives from the world of sport, public services, culture, academia, and others under one roof, with the aim of encouraging and collectively inspiring individuals to recognise and embrace the diversity and talent displayed within the British Community.

Amongst the nominees shortlisted are: Mohammed Ali. Born and raised in Birmingham, Mohammed’s AerosolArabic is influenced by both classical Islamic calligraphy and urban street graffiti. He was once part of the underground graffiti scene in the UK and has since been painting on canvas and exhibiting his work throughout the UK and around the world. Namir Hassan. Dr Namir Hassan, from Greenford, Middlesex, holds a senior position at GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals. One of the major challenges facing the Pharmaceutical industry at the present time is overcoming the problem of high numbers of compounds reaching clinical trials with poor safety characteristics.
CKI School of Martial Arts. Based in Leicester with more than 820 members, the CKI School of Martial Arts is run as the only non- profit making club of its kind in the country. Its members are as young a 3 ½ and come from all races, religions and classes.
Andleeb Ahmed. Noted here for her community service from the age of 16 when Andleeb Ahmed started working as a volunteer with elderly and disabled people in a local village day centre in Leicester. During her time at university, she began working once a week on a voluntary basis with a children’s special needs charity the Shine Project. She worked there as a mentor and went on to become a volunteer co-ordinator. She is a trustee for the Pelvic pain Support Network group which is based in Pool, Dorset

The monthly newspaper launched its first awards ceremony in 2000, to mark the 10th anniversary of publication as Britain’s leading Muslim newspaper, when the guest of honour was International Development Secretary Clare Short.

Following on, the Awards for Excellence has been attended by high profile guests including Prime Minister Tony Blair, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.

Nominations from Britain's 1.8 million Muslim community are made by members of the public and the shortlist and winners are decided by an independent panel of seven distinguished judges.

The judging panel for this year were: Dr Afia Ali is a lecturer at the School of Pharmacy, University of London, where she has a research group studying the circuitry of the brain, the mechanisms for higher order brain functions. Dr Maria Holt is a Lecturer in Democracy and Islam at the University of Westminster’s Centre for the Study of Democracy. Ismail Oyzoyn has a long history of serving the British and European Turkish community and is currently the chairman of the UK Turkish Islamic Cultural Centre Trust. Ejaz Qureshi has been spearheading business development, for a range of public bodies, for the past twenty years. Qureshi is currently the Director of Business & Commercial Development at Kingston University, helping the University increase its knowledge transfer and facilitating access for its student’s to the region’s top employers. Hassen Basil Al-Sader is currently a doctor at St George’s Hospital in London. He was and remains an energetic student activist whilst training at the St George’s Hospital Medical School. Sa’ada Saidu-Bala specialises the primary care of patients and has been working in the health care sector for over ten years. Ms Saidu-Bala is currently a Patient Advice and Liason at the NHS Hillingdon Primary Care Trust in London. Salma Yaqoob is the Leader of the Respect Party. In 2006 she was elected as a city councillor to represent Sparkbrook ward on Birmingham City Council with nearly 50 per cent of the vote, one of the largest majorities in the city. A proud Briton of Pakistani heritage, Salma Yaqoob is a psychotherapist.

The finalists will be announced on Monday 30 March.

For the editors:

Full list of the shortlisted people is on our website:

For further information contact us on 020 8863 8586 or 077 68 241 325. Please acknowledge The Muslim News when using the press release

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