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March 02, 2010

TENTH ‘The Muslim News Awards for Excellence’ shortlist published

For the tenth year, The Muslim News Awards for Excellence will showcase both Muslim and non-Muslim achievements in the British society.

Nominations were selected by the readership of The Muslim News and reviewed, deliberated and mused over by a distinguished independent panel of judges until compiling a final short-list of illustrious men, women, children and projects deemed to be worthy of a Muslim News Award for Excellence. These exemplars of good practice, excellence – our future role models – are being treated to a Gala Evening in the presence of their peers and other renowned guests on Monday 15 March in central London , when the finalists will be announced for the 15 coveted Awards for Excellence.

The gala 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:

“This awards ceremony has come to showcase the enormous contributions Muslims are making in diverse areas of life. We are here to celebrate the hugely impressive array of talented Muslim men, women, and young people who are contributing not only to their own community’s development but also to the improvement of wider society.”

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: Shahida Ahmed, who has been shortlisted for the arts award, is from Pendle, W Yorkshire, is a ceramic artist and painter. Her work is a fusion of calligraphy and pattern influenced by her local Lancashire roots together with the traditions of the Mughal empire.

In the sport category, 18-year-old Azeem Rafiq has had an outstanding county form in cricket and recently made his debut Championship season with Yorkshire and captaincy of England Under 19s.

Sohaib Saeed has been shortlisted for the community relations award. Saeed is Director of the dialogue working group in the Scottish Islamic Foundation based in Glasgow .

Jamila Aftab, who has bee shortlisted for community development, co-founded Humdard, a Bristol-based charity dedicated to giving opportunities to Muslim and Asian families across the city of Bristol to improve their quality of life.

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: Rajnaara C Akhtar is an academic, freelance writer and activist in human rights. Having qualified as a solicitor with the international law firm, Evershed, Ms Akhtar is now completing her doctorate at the University of Warwick School of Law. Cynthia Capey is Managing Director and Training Officer of the East of England Faiths Agency CIC (EEFA) and has been involved in inter-faith education for most of her professional life. Akmal Hanuk is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Islamic Banking and Finance Centre, a leading UK training organisation for financial professionals globally in this growing industry. He is also co-founder and Executive Director of EBSP – Leadership, Equality and Diversity Training Centre. Dr Fatima Husain is a leading consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Heatherwood and Wrexham Park NHS Trust. With a career spanning over twenty years, Dr Husain has made several academic contributions to her field, being, amongst others, a former fellow in reproductive medicine at Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospital, London. Mustafa Köker is editor of the London-based Turkish weekly Haber Gazetesi. Mr Köker has been a newspaper and broadcast journalist for thirty years, heading up London bureaux of several leading Turkish media organisations. Rizqa Motunde Tomori Laditi is a former Treasurer of the Muslim Association of Nigeria and has been involved in several voluntary initiatives dedicated to the welfare of Britain ’s Nigerian and other ethnic Muslims in Southwark. Dr Adel Sharif is Professor of Water Purification and Process Innovation, and Founder Director of the Centre for Osmosis Research and Applications (CORA) at the University of Surrey . He is Britain 's leading scientist in the strategically important area of water osmosis – a potential means of converting salt water to fresh water.

The finalists will be announced on Monday 15 March.

For the editors:

Full list of the shortlisted people is on our website:

Those media wanting to attend the event, MUST register by 8 March.

Programme begins at 5.30 with Reception and the awards commences at 6.30pm.

TV footage and still photographs will be provided by The Muslim News.

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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