BRADFORD – The 7th British Muslim Awards took place in the city of Bradford.
With over 100 mosques and Muslim community centers in the area of Bradford, the Central Mosque in Westgate, known for its beautiful stained glass windows is a perfect reflection of the richness of color and diversity of British Muslim talents that were awarded at the Bradford Hotel on February 19th, 2019.
With 33 awards presented, Irfan Younis, the CEO of Oceanic Group, the organization behind the awards, said that he is “blown away every year at the talent… Sisters breaking so many stereotypes just by being here tonight.”
The evening began with a welcome drink, after which we were all sat. An introduction was followed by the first half of the winners being announced, each making their way to the stage to collect their awards. Starters were then served before the remaining winners were announced, followed by dessert then tea.
Sat towards the stage, my table included three of the finalists. Arqam al-Hadeed who was nominated for and won Young Achiever of the Year. Abda Khan, nominated for the Noor Inayat Khan Muslim Woman of the Year, she also won. And Razan Alsous, a Syrian refugee whose Yorkshire Dama Cheese has not only won her notoriety and a clientele that includes members of the Royal Family, but she also won an honorable mention certificate.
Speaking of his award Arqam said, “I feel really excited and I just wanted to thank everybody. To achieve this award it shows that you aren’t just doing everything for the community which you should be, but you are getting recognized for your efforts. And that recognition boosts you to do more work. To celebrate it amongst the best (Muslim) people in the UK.”
Abda Khan shared “I am a solicitor by profession, but also a writer. That’s what’s brought me here I think… A lot of issues affect Muslim and Asian women, domestic violence, forced marriage, and also modern slavery and human trafficking which is a global problem but also one here in the UK.”
With such a heavy subject, Abda was asked what she does to counter the high-stress role, what she does for fun, “I love going on holidays, a chance to travel. I like to read. Do my yoga. And I guess eating a box of chocolates is pretty good fun if you allow yourself occasionally.”
Abda Khan was in attendance with Sofia Buncy, who previously won an award for researching Muslim women in prison, and the Asian Woman of Achievement Award.