2020-21 Scholars

Our Scholarship programmes support exceptional men and women who want to facilitate better representation and contribution of the Muslim community to civil society, and raise aspirations and standards within British Muslim communities.
Our 2020 Scholars:
Mohammad Abbas
MEng Mechanical Engineering, University of Warwick

A Masters in Mechanical Engineering will equip me with the problem-solving skills needed to face any career challenge. I aim to use this opportunity to launch a successful career in the Professional Services sector. I aspire to serve the Muslim community, especially the youth. I want to increase the representation of Muslims in professional environments and be a role model for young Muslims who need guidance on how they can achieve the careers they dream of. Aside from studies, I have a passion for sports and fitness. I enjoy volunteering, especially giving back to my community. My goal in all aspects of life is to be better than the day before.

Iman Abdi-Ibrahim
MSc Women’s Health, UCL

I currently work as a caseload midwife and have decided to undertake a Women’s Health MSc with the support of the Aziz Foundation. I have aspirations to influence policies within women’s health and undertake research into the factors that increase the maternal mortality rate for black women giving birth in the UK. I also aim to gain an insight into the barriers faced by women of marginalised backgrounds when accessing maternity care. I hope to be an advocate with my research and to create an open dialogue with women and healthcare professionals to reduce these discrepancies. I believe that empowering women to take charge of the decisions being made about them is an important step in ensuring their voices are heard.

Anfac Ahmed
MSc Health Management, City University of London

Having worked as an NHS midwife for over three years, I have seen first-hand the poor health outcomes and experiences of BME Muslim women during pregnancy and childbirth. This is an area I became increasingly concerned about. Studying this Masters will enable me to progress on to senior leadership and management roles within the healthcare industry and therefore voice the concerns of patients who are often overlooked by healthcare systems. After all, healthcare organisations are only capable of delivering real change once these issues are prioritised and understood by those in management positions. In my free time, I enjoy long distance running and reading.

Sammera Ali
MBA Masters in Business Administration, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London

I believe innovation and creativity are central to development, products or a service in any leading organisation and it is key to sustaining a business in this fast-changing world. My 15-years of existing experience in the third sector, and working with Muslim and mainstream charities and businesses, has provided me with vital understanding of management, communications, and fundraising. The additional knowledge I gain through the MBA places me in a unique position to develop teams and organisations with further depth. Currently at the British Asian Trust, I have learnt the value of social finance, making sustainable changes for the longer-term, and helping marginalised communities in South Asia. I have a strong commitment to contributing to society, as demonstrated by my service in the sector and I hope to continue to empower the diaspora communities locally and internationally.

Zoheb Ali
MA Postcolonial Studies, SOAS University of London

I read English and American Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London and decided to pursue this MA directly after graduation. My Undergraduate research and writing was primarily concerned with literature of the diaspora, the marginalised and the outsider and was supplemented by a range of literary and visual forms of creative expression. The themes, explorations, and criticisms that I engaged with in my BA were very much concerned with the history and legacy of colony and cultural imperialism left in the wake of Empire. This MA enables me to further critique these facets of postcolonial British society and culture through the lens of literary expression. The realms of Academia, particularly literary criticism, are and always have been elitist and traditional – disseminating establishment voices rather than that of the wider community. I hope to break this mould of convention in order to secure and foster spaces of intellectual and critical thought for British Muslims.

Zahrah Awaleh
MPH Masters in Public Health, City University of London

After ten years working in youth guidance and careers education, employment and training as a Connexions Personal Adviser with clients from diverse backgrounds, and almost four years as a healthcare chaplain in a busy acute hospital environment within a multi-faith team, the motivation behind studying this Masters in Public Health is to better understand how the social determinants of health impact the life course of individuals and communities, and therefore their life chances. I want to learn more about these social determinants so I can enter the field of public health and help develop strategies with local stakeholders, multi-agencies and the third sector to improve the life expectancy and wellbeing of local communities. In my spare time I love playing with my children, walks, reading, swimming, yoga, music, volunteering, and catching up with friends and family.

Walid Elmi
MPhil Criminology, University of Cambridge

Whilst studying Social Policy, Crime and Criminal Justice as an undergraduate at the University of York, I have developed a firm understanding of the key themes and issues surrounding crime and criminal justice. I have been fortunate enough to be able to contextualise said issues through my role as a Special Sergeant in the Police. My undergraduate studies in conjunction with my role within the police have laid a solid foundation for me to embark on this Masters. The Institute of Criminology will provide the ideal environment to allow me to cultivate a more critical, deeper understanding of crime and criminological theories and debates which I can convey going into a wide range of law enforcement/government organisations, and Insha’Allah inspire more Muslims to take a similar path.

Yasser Fadhl
MSc Space Syntax: Architecture and Cities, UCL

I aim to specialise in areas relating to the understanding of human behaviour within the built environment such as spatial cognition, sustainable urbanism and social inclusion: experiential factors that underpin the success of the environments in which we live and experience throughout our day-to-day lives. I hope to utilise the skills and knowledge acquired by the course to develop strategies for local communities in reducing crime and promoting social inclusion. I also aim to develop an understanding of the various social factors at play within the built environment in order to diagnose the social impacts of high-density environments, particularly those driven by set processes such as transport interchanges and high-density religious complexes. The ability to consider human behaviour in my work will enable me to springboard my design abilities to unlock hidden design opportunities that otherwise could not have been considered with the ultimate aim of driving social inclusion.

Abdirahman Ismail
MEng Civil Engineering, Imperial College London

It is both an honour and a privilege to be awarded a scholarship from the Aziz Foundation. I intend to use this opportunity to complete my MEng Civil Engineering degree at Imperial College London. The course will enable me to study engineering design in more detail, alongside students from over 50 nationalities. Having already completed internships with Shell and Crossrail, I believe my masters will help me attain a management position working on mega infrastructure projects in the UK. The year ahead will be a challenging one, especially with the uncertainties surrounding Covid-19, but I’m looking forward to continuing my work as an Imperial STEM Ambassador for the 4th year running alongside my studies.

Bushra Jalil
LLM in Professional Legal Practice, University of Law

As an aspiring solicitor and recent Law graduate, I intend to study the Legal Practice Course and Master’s in Professional Legal Practice this academic year. My interest in law has always stemmed from the fact that it seeps into our everyday lives with so many different practice areas available, and so has the potential to act as a means of solving challenging issues in society. Through undertaking a variety of pro bono work and local work placements, which involved working with ordinary individuals, I became passionate about increasing access to justice for marginalised communities. Further, I wish to address social inequality and the need for reform, as well as adequate representation in the legal sector and beyond.

Yaseen Khan
LLM Legal Practise, University of Law

My interest in law was inspired by the roots of Islam, the key quote being ‘to save one life is like saving all of mankind’. This quote launched me into my journey of becoming a lawyer, to tackle inequality in society and to help those who otherwise would have no legal assistance. During my LLM I joined the Universities Law Clinic in providing pro-bono legal advice to people who either couldn’t afford it or had been overlooked. This passion to give back to the community drives me to undertake this Masters, which will allow me to gain more expertise in a range of fields and Inshallah enable me to help the society I grew up in. As an aspiring solicitor, I am of the firm conviction that more can be done to support vulnerable communities, and to this end I aim to improve the legal representation given to both Muslim and non-Muslim communities.

Ibrahim King
MA Education Management, King's College London

The Prophet Muhammad (saw) said “the best of people are those who are most beneficial to the people”. My aim is to establish a legacy which benefits Muslims in education, empowering them to make positive contributions to society whilst preserving their Islamic identity. Having completed my undergraduate in English Language and Linguistics, I became interested in how education systems work and how current policies that disadvantage Muslim students can be tackled within educational settings. This led me to pursuing a PGCE, wherein I recognised that Muslim students are confronted by a plethora of unique social challenges. As Muslims, our solutions are also unique as they are derived from our prophetic tradition. Completing the masters programme will prepare me for management roles and develop my ability to lead institutions attentive to the disadvantaged voice and facilitate change in establishments where minority concerns are not heard.

Sannah Manir
MA History, University of Manchester

“Women are the sentinels of the nation” – Fatima Jinnah. This quote has had a profound and thought provoking effect on my life as a British Asian woman. I understand the imbalance of representation within the British Asian and minority ethnic groups within Britain’s political and historical landscape. My aims are to be an advocate to educate wider society on the trials and tribulations the British Asian community are facing and have faced throughout history. The influence of my work will be the difference that contributes to society through further research in my MA and help pave the way to give British Asians the voice we deserve.

Ifrax Mohamed
MSc Medical Ultrasound, University of Derby

I graduated from St Georges University of London and continued to attain professional registration as a Biomedical Scientist. Ultrasound uniquely served as a tool to use my scientific knowledge in order to diagnose and aid patients when they are in most need. Traditionally, ultrasound has been used to scan in obstetric settings, whereas now it is at the forefront of almost all aspects of medicine, from ‘rapid scanning’ in emergency settings to bedside scanning for non-mobile patients. Thus, this Masters will prepare me for a highly advanced role in healthcare, whereby non-invasive ultrasound technology will be vital in the diagnosis of disease. I aim to inspire Muslim women to not feel that practicing their beliefs means that they must compromise on their aspirations.

Abdullah Mukit
MRes Health Sciences Research, University of Bristol

A key aspiration for me is enabling our youth to flourish in their chosen interests; the pursuit for knowledge is an obligation for many that crafts a path of ease for our ultimate goal in life. Alongside medical studies I have interests in academia, in particular clinical research to create exceptional care providers for the future. I have been fortunate to work alongside organisations with wider focuses on engagement and development in our communities and I intend to use the skills developed during this course as a means for making an impact in our circles inshaAllah. Lastly, I enjoy cycling treks, exploring the outdoors and reading thought provoking literature.

Raeesa Mulla
Msc Physician Associate Studies. University of Bolton

As a biochemistry graduate, I was keen to continue exploring human physiology and medicine, but on a more practical level. Pursuing a career as a Physician Associate, I hope to develop my understanding of disease conditions, whilst positively contributing to the health management of patients to help them live healthier, fulfilled lives. As a generalist medical professional, I am particularly enthusiastic about the overlap between physical and mental health, an area the Muslim community often misunderstand and overlook. I truly believe facilitating open conversations within our communities about the impact of negative mental health, is the key to ensuring people feel empowered to seek out help and embark on the road to recovery.

Mohammad Musharaf
MSc Advanced Mechanical Engineering, University of Birmingham

The continuous revolutionary changes that mechanical engineering has, is, and will make in our society are not unknown to many; however, the same cannot be said for the contribution made by British Muslims in this field, which is partially due to the lack of representation therein. This is something that has incentivised me to specialise in this field by pursuing a Masters in mechanical engineering so that I may acquire a deeper understanding of the application of engineering principles. Doing so will allow me to gain chartership with the IMechE, after which I can visit schools, colleges and other educational institutes as an experienced figure in the field to offer career advice and support to young engineering prospects, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds.

Monzur Rahman
MSc Mathematics, University of Warwick

Algebra finds its origin with the Muslim scholar al-Khawarizmi, yet, today, the field of mathematics is lacking Muslims. Through this MSc, I hope to inspire a new generation to take up study in the Mathematical Sciences. Having studied a BSc in maths, I learnt of the importance of maths in biological research. In particular, I hope to use algebra to study biological and molecular systems.

Sarah Salih
MSc Counselling and Psychotherapy, Keele University

An area of personal interest has always been how, for generations, scholars of Islam would speak about mental health and the necessity of its preservation in order for our potential as human beings to be fully actualised. After an introductory study of Islam and Psychology at the year long Qalam Seminary based in Dallas, Texas, this interest increased. I went on to pursue a BSc in Psychology at Queen Mary University. I would frequently draw clear links between the teachings of modern day psychology and the carefully preserved teachings of Islam. I would be amazed to know that widely practised counselling techniques were entirely prophetic in nature. Alongside my studies, I started an organisation called CONSCIOUS aimed at the development of young women of all backgrounds.

Yusuf Sharif
MSc Human Resource Management, University of Sheffield

Deciding to pursue a Master’s in Human Resource Management is a route to achieve my career goals, and a commitment I have to increase representation of British Muslims within the corporate space. While studying, I aim to actively increase my knowledge in areas such as diversity and inclusion, recruitment, training and development, as well as learning about best practice approaches to a wide variety of Human Resource concerns. I am particularly looking forward to focusing my dissertation research on the issue of diversity within the workplace. This will help me gain insight into ways to improve the progression of British Muslim talent into leadership positions across different sectors.

Ferdaousse Berrak Stitou
MSc Healthcare Technologies, King's College London

After completing my BEng in Biomedical Engineering, I decided to continue my studies in Healthcare Technologies. With the Aziz Foundation support, I aim to focus on medical robotics for eye surgery. As technology is becoming a crucial part of our everyday lives, it is also having an impact in the medical field. Robotic assistance can help clinicians improve the performance of their surgeries, as well as carry out procedures that are currently impossible. I am passionate about encouraging Muslim women to join the field and lead the development of future medical devices in order to improve the healthcare sector.

Muhammad Sultaan Mehmood
MA Islamic Education: Theory and Practice, University of Warwick

After completing my PGA, I intend to do the Masters in Islamic Education to further develop my expertise in the field. Currently, teaching young Muslims and serving our community, my goal is to impact society in a positive manner and bridge the gap that exists for young Muslims, Muslim women and new Muslims in the British context. I believe education is the key to a flourishing society. In a beautiful Hadith it states, ‘the ink of a scholar is more sacred than the blood of a martyr’. Thus, I wish to use a scholarly and academic approach to carry out this sacred task, to research pedagogic theories and practices to better educate our society and bridge the gaps in knowledge currently found in British Muslim communities, but also for the benefit of society at large.

Munazzah Saleem
MSc Applied Neurospychology, University of Bristol

I have previously completed a Bachelors in Neuroscience and Psychology from the University of Toronto with a high distinction after which I did a postgraduate certificate in clinical research. I am now pursuing my Masters in Applied Neuropsychology. Neuroscience and mental health have always been my core interests and through this masters I hope to further enhance my knowledge and develop clinical insight. I also aim to contribute in raising awareness and mitigating the stigma that is often attached with mental health. I wish to represent the British Muslim community in advocating for equal access and provision of neuropsychological services, and I understand that mental health treatment and rehabilitation options for Muslims are often shaped by religion. As such, I envision bringing science and faith together by becoming a qualified Clinical Neuropsychologist who shares the same faith ideologies as the British Muslim community.

Irfan Suleman
MSc Health & International Development, London School of Economics and Political Science

Faith is instrumental to many aspects of life. Having read Global Health at King’s, I developed an understanding of the role faith-based organisations play in health promotion. My dissertation on Islamic Relief displayed how they adopt faith as a tool to create culturally relevant interventions in displaced Muslim communities. This MSc will enable me to build on this foundational research and explore how elements of faith can influence secularised health organisations. I am also passionate about encouraging Muslims to consider public policy as a career to build realisation of the impact Muslims can have on civil society. I created a Muslim network during my Civil Service internship that challenged Muslim attitudes towards the profession and emphasised the importance of having Muslims at the forefront of policy shaping roles to ensure the needs of our communities are heard.

Maryam Syed
MSc Physician Associate Studies, Queen Mary University of London

After graduating with a BSc in Biochemistry and following eight months of research at the William Harvey Research Institute, I knew I did not want to pursue a career in scientific research. I wanted to do something that gave me direct interaction with people whilst using my scientific background to help them. Physician Associate Studies does exactly that – I study to the medical model thus becoming a clinician that works to serve the people but at the same time I can pursue other endeavours that I am passionate about. For example, I am the General Secretary for the London & South Lifesavers team at the British Islamic Medical Association, where we aim to teach basic life support to the community. Through many conversations, I have found that British Muslim women are underrepresented in the medical field and I aim to change that.

Maryam Al-Tamimy
MA Counselling, Goldsmiths University of London

Being a counsellor has been a lifelong dream of mine since I was a little girl, when seeking help from others was not an option. Having struggled myself, I realised that I did not want people to go through difficulty alone, and that asking for help should not be considered “embarrassing”. I want to erase the stigma of being a counsellor – especially in my community – and want people to know that there was no shame in seeking counselling services. Being a Muslim counsellor, I hope to be able to give back to my community and help people, especially since I attach a great of importance to representation. My lifelong goal is to help as many people as possible and be able to proudly represent my religion.

Atta Ul-Haq
MA Education (Leadership), University of Birmingham

After having completed a BA in Law and Religious Studies and a PGDipEd, I went on to study my aalimiyyah course. I am now fortunate to have been given the opportunity to study the MA Education (Leadership) programme. Synergising my knowledge and qualifications with my experiences of having served the community in matters pertaining to education, bereavement and various other community work, I hope to use my MA to implement research informed practice to augment what I have to offer to an array of institutions. I aspire to undertake translation projects, deliver public lectures, and participate in education and enhanced community services, in addition to carrying out advisory roles across various domains of our society.

Mussa Yousef
MSc Data Science, City, University of London

I have come to witness that data is rapidly changing the world. Everything we do now leaves a trail. Whether it is a transaction or a quick Google search, we are continually building our ‘cache’, which essentially makes us vulnerable. With the furthering of my education in this field, I aim to, firstly, gain insight then ultimately begin linking datasets without limitations, maximising adaptability within communities and breaking boundaries without any constraints. My wish is to inspire others with immediate effect in the field of data science, which is fast becoming a sought-after specialty. This degree will allow me to lead into an area where we as Muslims should be at the forefront.

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