The Excel Award 2016 – Celebrating Success, Inspiring Change

High achievers from schools, colleges, universities and the community gathered in East End on Saturday, 12 November 2016 to celebrate their successes and to share their inspiring stories.

The Excel Award, a project of Dawatul Islam UK & Eire recognised the successes of students from KS2, GCSE, A Levels and Universities who have done exceptionally well to make themselves, their families and communities proud.

The evening celebration was attended by over 150 nominees and guests. Hosted by Raihan Karim and Niyaz Uddin, the evening proceedings begun with the beautiful recitation from the Glorious Qur’an by Qari Abdul Baqi. This was followed by a welcome speech from the Chair of the Excel Award, Shabbir Kawsar. Commenting on the importance of these awards, he said:

“Whilst our awards are open for all people from every community, we have a long track record of work within the British Bangladeshi Communities across the Country. Those familiar with our community will know that despite overcrowding, deprivation and lack of opportunities, our young people and grownups work extremely hard to make good of opportunities that comes their ways. It is therefore imperative that we find ways to recognise the hard work and celebrate the success to inspire future generations.”

“We recognise that academic achievements alone are not sufficient to usher in change. Community activists and organisations are extremely important too and it is for this reason we also honour those who made exceptional contribution to our community.” Mr Kawsar added.

Speaking as guest of honour, Harun Khan, Secretary General of Muslim Council of Britain commented –

“I am truly humbled by the success stories I have heard today, stories that will inspire me and my colleagues at MCB to work ever harder for common good and share the success stories to inspire the young generation. I am indebted to the organisers for their hard work and for allowing me the opportunity to be part of this celebration.”

Also speaking at the event was Shaykh Abu Sayeed, the President of Da’watul Islam UK & Eire, a pioneering community voluntary organisation working across the UK said:

“I am thrilled by the touching stories I have heard earlier this evening. There may be many stories of success, but at the core of them all is one story: determination, hard work and ambition of our young and old is what made all these stories possible. I therefore commend the work of the Excel Award Team and wish every success for all those recognised today.”

Keeping with the tradition which started in 2006, this year over 70 unique individuals have been awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze awards for academic success, professional achievements and distinguished services to the community. The quality and high standards of achievements were truly remarkable.

Azmaeen Zarif secured the top spot for GCSEs with 13A* & Distinction for Further Maths. Azmaeen gave a brief yet inspirational speech on how to organise one’s time and achieve success. Tofa Mehzabin secured the top spot for A Levels with an amazing 3A* & 1A. She is currently studying Medicine in Imperial College London.

In the degree category, a good number of nominees were given Gold Awards for securing 1st Class Honours in their respective studies, including Siddiqa Khatun in Study of Religions and Philosophy, Murshid Habib in Arabic & Study of Religions and Redhwan Karim in Arabic & Islamic Studies.

Dr Md Ziaul Haque, an eye specialist at Kingston Hospital Foundation Trust and Moorfields Eye Hospital received Gold Award for successfully completing the prestigious Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS). Upon winning the award, Dr Zia expressed his passion about helping the poor around the world and vowed to continue his work to prevent and cure blindness.

The awards did not end just there; numerous individuals and projects were recognised for their outstanding contribution to the community. Shaykh Abdur Rahman Madani won Community Award for his amazing passion, dedication and service to Jamiatul Ummah over a period of thirteen years. Unwind Summer School also won an award for their excellent summer provision for children aged 4-16 years.

The Excel Award Team takes this opportunity to express their gratitude to the sponsor and volunteers for their support without which this award would not have been possible. Above all, the team is grateful to those who participated in nominating, judging and giving out awards.

NOTE FOR THE EDITORS:

1) Da’watul Islam UK & Eire is a pioneering national voluntary organisation established in 1978. Working across the UK and primarily within the British Bangladeshi Community, the organisation is recognised as a leader in enabling the British Bangladeshi community the play a more proactive and participatory role in the wider British life whilst maintaining the unique characteristics that British Bangladeshi community inherits due to their ethnic and religious tradition.

2) The Excel Award is a project of Da’watul Islam UK & Eire which organises an annual award giving ceremony to recognise achievements, celebrate success and inspire change. This year, the Excel Award is sponsored and supported by: Darul Ummah Saturday School & Spiral Sunday School.

3) Please contact Ahsan Habib, Vice Chair of the Excel Award Team on 07949409227 to arrange Media interviews for the Excel Award 2016.

M: 07949 409 227 E: [email protected]

A: The Excel Award, Darul Ummah, 56 Bigland Street, London, E1 2ND