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.

Naeema Abdin
MSc Mental Health: Psychological Therapies, Queen Mary University of London

My interest in mental health began at the age of thirteen after reading personal accounts written by individuals coping with depression. As years progressed, I noticed mental health was not commonly discussed within a Muslim household, and likewise research on how Muslims dealt with these conditions was practically non-existent. While I knew I wanted to tackle mental within the Muslim community, through my personal experience I realised I want to specifically help underprivileged Muslim women. For this reason, I am completing a Masters in mental health therapies to become a Clinical Psychologist who specialises in the mental health of Muslim women. I aim to incorporate Islamic teachings into current therapies while also expanding the literature dedicated to Muslim mental health.

Zahra Abdulle
MA Social Work, Middlesex University

I recently completed a BSc in Psychology at Queen Mary University where I focused on the neural impact of early development. My final year research showed me the impact early childhood experiences can have on the brain in adulthood. This is especially important for children with disabilities as early support and interventions can aid development. Working with children with special needs has shown me how children flourish when in suitable high-quality environments which meet their needs. The lack of culturally competent care can prevent Muslim families from gaining support. A Masters in social work will enable me to advocate for Muslim families in the social care field by researching the lived-experiences of Muslim families and highlighting the importance of meeting religious and cultural needs.

Farhan Affan-Ali
MA National Security Studies, King's College London

A graduate of BA Politics, Philosophy and Economics; I have explored the nuances of several political dynamics that influence interstate cooperation while exploring approaches to conflict, war, peace, and security. My keenest interest is how the securitisation of Muslims and Islam in the UK impacts the prevalence of Islamophobia. The MA in National Security Studies will equip me with a defined set of methodological aptitudes that can empower me to gather and analyse real-world data to test theoretically informed hypotheses about the sources, effects, and goals of numerous forms of peaceful and violent conflicts that not only result in the creation of state security and defence policies but the securitisation of ‘suspect’ communities.

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.

Aqsa Ahmed
MA History, SOAS University of London

As a History graduate, I am particularly interested in curating the histories of the untold and forgotten, especially within Islamic histories. To further this enthusiasm, I will be embarking on this Masters with the intention to increase my knowledge of early Sufi missionary activity and post-colonial feminist literature. I intend to use my historical knowledge and skills to create a better understanding of the complex Muslim identities which exist in the UK today. This MA will allow me to have a deeper understanding of Islamic histories pertinent to the reality of British Muslims. The experience of leading a Decolonisation campaign, launching research reports and advocating for better access to higher education, attests to my commitment in creating more inclusive industries and communities. Outside of academia, I have launched a historical project to curate experiences of the 1947 Partition, starting with my own grandfather’s account.

Nahim Ahmed
MSc Strategic Management of Projects, UCL

Over the past decade, I have been working both in the private and voluntary sectors to help people from disadvantaged backgrounds with their development. Having completed my undergraduate and postgraduate studies around Law, Community Leadership, Youth and Community work and currently working as a Youth and Community Engagement Manager, I want to take my career to the next level by directing projects that will help bring positive sustainable changes in regeneration development. I have already established enduring relationships with thousands of disadvantaged local residents and key stakeholders in order to make the society we live in a more prosperous one, full of opportunities to promote community cohesion. In July 2019, I was honoured at the House of Lords with a British Citizen Award in the Arts, which signified my commitment to helping disadvantaged young people.

Azaan Akbar
MSc International Social and Public Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science

I intend to research the intersectionality of race and class and its impact on aspiration, attainment and life outcomes. This interest has stemmed from my own experiences; being one of the few British-Asian Muslims in a majority white-working class school, in an area once led by BNP councillors, came with unique challenges. When I later returned to my school to teach, I realised that truly informed policy at all levels has the power to give students the opportunities to flourish. With experience working in education, policy and media, I am confident that my Masters will allow me to translate the findings of research into effective educational practice. It is my firm belief that the circumstances you are born into should never determine where you end up.

Saima Akhtar
MA Journalism: Broadcast, University of Salford

My lifelong passion for writing, coupled with my curiosity about people and events, has inspired me to tell stories for a living. In 2019, I obtained my undergraduate degree in History & American Studies from the University of Manchester. I am hopeful that this generous sponsorship opportunity from The Aziz Foundation will facilitate my ambition of producing news content for different multimedia platforms and documentary films. As a trainee journalist, I aim to act with integrity and objectivity, in order to challenge the culture of misinformation in the mainstream media today. Additionally, I am conscious that the media industry could benefit from better amplifying the voices of ethnic minorities and Muslims, hence why I am excited to advocate on behalf of these underrepresented groups. Therefore, I believe that pursuing journalism will award me the potential to foster positive change for the wider community.

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.

Bushra Amjad
LLM Legal Practice Course and Law of Masters, University of Law

Almost half of the Muslim population resides in the most disadvantaged areas in the UK and as a minority group, are deprived of legal representation. Muslims, therefore, experience the greatest economic hardship and as a result, are more likely to have poor legal representation. I intend to study the Legal Practice Course & LLM at the University of Law with support of the Aziz Foundation. My interest in this course stems from my time working as a Caseworker for the Islamophobia Response Unit (IRU) where I was exposed to the deep structural barriers Muslim face in the world of work. I am primarily interested in using my degree to support and improve legal representation for marginalised communities.

Hana Mohamed Ali
LLM LPC, University of Law

As an active member of the Somali and Muslim communities, I have witnessed how disadvantaged these communities are and how difficult it is to find adequate legal advice. Studying the LLM in Professional Legal Practice at the University of Law with the support of the Aziz Foundation will enhance my legal knowledge so I can give excellent legal advice to both Muslims and non-Muslims. Furthermore, I plan to use this scholarship opportunity to continue shifting cultural attitudes about Muslim women in the legal field. Growing up, pursuing a career in law was deemed haram (prohibited) especially for a woman. So, by qualifying as a solicitor, I hope to be at the forefront of change in these communities and raise the aspirations of British Muslims.

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.

Noha Baruti
MArch Architecture, London Metropolitan University

In September 2020 I will begin my final year of architecture studies at the London Metropolitan University. I am interested in the city and civic culture. In today’s interconnected world, I believe as a woman I can help to accelerate the engagement and the enabling of greater opportunities for women worldwide. I intend to work towards developing diverse, sustainable and prosperous cultures in each region of our planet. I am an affiliate member of Global Dignity, an international organisation with a mission to unite everyone with the belief that we all deserve to live a life of dignity. In my work as an architect I aim to contribute effectively to the cultural sector using creativity as a tool for human progress and pleasure. I love beauty and that’s why I choose architecture as a career.

Muhammad Ziyad Batha
MA Islamic Education, SOAS University of London

I have graduated from a prestigious Islamic seminary, where I obtained an Islamic Scholarship degree (‘Ālimiyyah) alongside receiving various licenses in Hadīth, variant modes of Qur’ānic recitation (al-Qirā’ah al-Sab’), Islamic finance and other subjects. My passion for education then led me to complete a Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training and teach at Muslim faith schools. I am also a keen writer and speaker which has allowed me to contribute to various local and international organisations and projects. I plan to undertake an MA in Islamic Studies in order to synergise my previous skills and knowledge with that which I will gain from higher academia. This will aid me to enhance the effectiveness of my endeavours and thus better serve the Muslim community in the current climate.

Anisha Begum
MSc Physician Associate, Sheffield Hallam University

Being the first generation in my family who has attended university and further education, I have always been a firm believer that hard work, dedication and resilience will enable you to make your mark on the world. Over the last 4 years I have been fortunate enough to get an insight of what day to day life is like in the health service for doctors and patients through volunteering. I have worked as an interpreter assisting individuals whose first language is not English and I have tutored children in my local area whose parents have struggled due to lack of knowledge of the curriculum and language barriers. I strive to ensure there is an increase in support and appropriate resources for ethnic minorities within society and local communities, especially within the NHS. I am passionate about women’s rights and I want to be a voice for the unspoken and the silenced.

Jume Begum
LLM in Professional Legal Practice, The University of Law

As an LLB Law graduate from SOAS aspiring to qualify as a solicitor, completing my LLM with the Legal Practice Course will enable me to fulfil this ambition, thanks to the Aziz Foundation. The legal system is the governing institution of a country, and I believe it must be representative of the nation’s diversity and include Muslims. The LLM will increase my legal knowledge and gear me up to become a solicitor, and enable me to facilitate access to law and justice. Gaining amazing work experience at an immigration law firm has confirmed my desire to pursue this field and continue to make a difference to people’s lives.

Samia Chowdhury
LLM with BTC, BPP University

I completed my undergraduate in Law (LLB) with First-Class honours from the University of East London in 2019. In the same year, the National Association of Licensed Paralegals awarded me the second highest grade in Level 6. Furthermore, I worked as a Vice President at UEL Students’ Union and founded many academic student groups and associations. Currently, I am working as a volunteer caseworker for MEND (Muslim Engagement & Development), focussing on hate crimes. In addition, I am passionate about working with disadvantaged people, particularly in issues relating to homelessness, domestic violence, community care and civil liberties.

Sahra Dahir
MSc Forensic Science, King’s College London

I chose to further my studies in Forensic science, as I believe that there is no greater charity than giving justice. As an avid charity worker, I am heavily involved in countless charity projects and initiatives for emergency relief, as it is our duty follow in the Prophet’s footsteps and help others. I will use my unique skillset to stand up for and be the voice of those innocent victims that are in real need of justice. We as Muslims face a higher danger of discrimination, Islamophobia and prejudice in today’s society, which leads to injustice and false criminal accusations. Forensic science is an important discipline that is vital to the investigation of crime and exoneration, so I will be able to use a combination of intelligence and evidence collection, to help these victims, inshaAllah.

Aisha Ejaz
LLM Bar Practice Course, University of Law

During the final year of my LLB, I undertook a module which comprised of meeting and representing clients who required help due to the complex welfare system. It was overwhelmingly clear to me that more than any other group of people, Muslims were the prominent minority who were coming to the clinic for legal aid. I knew then that upon completing my Bar Practice Course LLM, I would use the knowledge attained from the course and that of my undergraduate degree to provide the support and representation that these clients need. As a Muslim, I believe it is of immense importance that I make an active effort to change the narrative and by educating myself and helping others is the best way of achieving this.

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.

Leeban Gulaid
MSc Executive MSc Health Economics, Policy and Management, London School of Economics and Political Science

I am a Biomedical Scientist specialising in Haematology. I am also a part of the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme. However, my real passion and area of interest is tackling the issue of poor health outcomes and health disparities for minority communities, particularly Muslims.
Outside my role as a Biomedical Scientist, I work on a number of projects with the health charity Medical Information for Ethnic Minorities (MIEM). The aim of the charity is to promote and improve access to health and medical information for minority ethnic communities.
This Masters will enable me to enter the next phase of my career by moving into senior roles in health policy and management as a representative and advocate for the Muslim community.

Saara Grillo
MSc Human Resource Management, Aston University

Having worked as a senior chef in the hospitality industry for three years, the absence of British Muslim representation within the workplace was noticeable. Personally, I experienced difficulties with career progression due to company norms conflicting with my religious boundaries. The number of British Muslims in higher managerial positions within the hospitality industry in the UK is quite small. It is my ambition to influence workplace policies within organisations to encourage a more inclusive culture by eliminating recruitment bias, and to improve the representation of BAME Muslims with equal career progression opportunities. By studying this Masters, I aspire to focus my knowledge on the occupational barriers faced by BAME Muslims. I am also interested in learning more about recruitment processes, employment law, diversity and inclusion.

Anas Iqbal
MPhil Advanced Chemical Engineering, University of Cambridge

A question that is often echoed in STEM is “What does a sustainable future look like?” I believe that the field of chemical engineering will play a pivotal role in harnessing high-potential technologies and applying these for the betterment of society on a global scale. I hope to develop a strong technical grounding in the field of chemical engineering to allow me to attain my chartership as a professional chemical engineer – being voice for Muslims in this space and ensuring we play an active role in these cutting-edge developments. I am particularly motivated to proactively contribute to the sustainable development of smart processes; leveraging the skills gained to drive innovation, and thus be at the forefront of revolutionary redefinition of a plethora of sectors.

Shams Islam
MPhil Economics, University of Cambridge

I recently graduated from the LSE with a BSc in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics. During this, I was able to research the effects of ideological preferences on migration decisions, and I quickly realised I wanted to develop these research skills further. This is why I’ve decided to undertake an MPhil in Economics at the University of Cambridge. I plan to focus on public and labour economics, with a particular emphasis on education. An interest of mine is to explore the decision-making process of taking interest-based student loans for Muslim students, compared to non-Muslims students, and how this affects educational and labour market outcomes. Upon completion, I plan to pursue a career as a government economist within the UK civil service, with a particular interest in working for the Department for Education. I’m also considering undertaking doctoral studies mid-career, after finding the economic issues within society which most resonate with me.

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.

Sulekha Jama
MA Migration and Diaspora Studies, SOAS University of London

By embarking on this Masters course, I hope to able to give back to my community and increase the positive representation of Muslims. The Migrant story is both rich and complex, a story that undoubtedly needs to be told. I aim to further my understanding of Migration studies and apply new skills and knowledge by helping those who are in need, particularly those in the Muslim community. This has all been made possible by the generous support of the Aziz Foundation, an opportunity that I am extremely grateful for.

Faizan Kayani
MSc Counselling and Psychotherapy, Keele University

So few of us are blessed with being educated to this level that it is incumbent on us to give back to the Ummah. Mental illness is highly prevalent and the Muslim community are not immune to this. With mental illness, there is a lack of awareness or acknowledgement within our community. It is an illness that manifests without being seen. As Al-Ghazali states, this is an illness that if left untreated, will grow and devour the rest of the body. For this reason, I want to bring this issue to light and tackle it to bring a real change to our Muslim community here in the UK. Muslims were once at the forefront of this endeavour and I believe that we are still the most equipped to bring about this change.

Khizar Khalil
MSc Water Science, Policy and Management, University of Oxford

One of the most pressing scientific problems today is understanding climate change and its effects on the hydrological cycle. My research at the University of Manchester focused on the use of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to study submerged vegetation from River Mersey. Water pollution, management of floods and sea level rises are some of the challenges that remain unresolved. Thanks to the Aziz Foundation’s generous support, I will be able to further my understanding of hydrology at Oxford and make a contribution towards aiding communities particularly vulnerable to climate change.

Sahar Khan
MSc Urban and Regional Planning, University of Birmingham

With a BSc in Geography I have solidified my understanding of the environmental, social and economic factors at play across the globe, which has allowed me to pursue a role in the Strategic Planning Policy Team at Birmingham City Council. Working in the public sector has provided me with an invaluable experience within the planning policy sphere. I am constantly deciding how to strengthen social cohesion, especially in times of diversity and inequality. Everyone has an interest in their local environment and part of a planner’s job is mediating between competing interests, which is crucial in developing efficient, eco-friendly and well-built spaces that are inclusive of all. Already half way through my MSc in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Birmingham, my ultimate aim is to utilise the knowledge I obtain to address the socio-spatial issues Muslim communities are facing.

Shagufta Khan
MA Art & Design, University of Bedfordshire

Having graduated in fashion design from the University of Bedfordshire, I always had a passion to channel my creativity and explore Western fashion further. The link between culture and clothing is a strong one and I think a blend of Western and Eastern fashion has limitless possibilities. My main aim is to try and incorporate traditional hand embroidery and manipulation of fabric into contemporary fashion for women’s wear that enhances strong women and reveals cultural difference and connectivity. I aim to become one of the best known fashion designers with my own unique signature style of fashion.

Shazia Khan
MA Social Research, Manchester Metropolitan University

I currently work in the charity sector focusing on international development. The main purpose of this work is to provide some of the world’s poorest communities with access to education. I am also looking to plan and develop UK-based community projects which aim to support those vulnerable to educational marginalisation.

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.

Saywah Mahmood
MA Interactive Journalism, City University London

During my undergraduate studies, in Comparative Literature, I was heavily involved in student journalism and ran the student newspaper. For my degree and my work with the newspaper, I have written on issues such as colourism, far-right politics and representations of Muslims in literature. My extensive experience in student journalism has led me to embark upon a MA in Interactive Journalism. I endeavour to carry on writing about the topics I have written about previously and use dynamic methods to present them. I have a particular interest in data journalism because using data, to show trends such as increases in interactions with far-right ideology in light of various political events, provides more lucidity in reporting.

Amro Mahmoud
MA Acting, City University London

As an actor, my goal is to inspire and be an example for others to follow their dreams just like I was inspired through art. I want to create impactful art that educates and empowers people, challenges underlying social issues and improves the representation of Muslims and ethnic minorities. I want to globally represent Muslims and ethnic minorities, and lead a new era of actors who share stories that transform the world for all current and future generations. By studying for an MA in Acting, I’ll learn and gain all the skills, techniques and experiences needed to become an exceptional actor, artistic creator and change maker.

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.

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.

Amal Mohamed
MSc Sustainable Energy Engineering, Queen Mary University of London

I recently completed a BSc in Chemistry at University College London where I developed a special interest in green chemistry. A Masters in Sustainable Energy Engineering will equip me with the tools necessary to embark on a fulfilling career where I can apply my expertise to contribute to the needs of the renewable energy industry. Within Muslim communities, females can be placed in a box when it comes to the careers we should pursue. I would like to eradicate the perception that we should follow traditional careers and encourage females to break into male dominated careers such as engineering.

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.

Roda Mohamed
MSC GLOBAL HEALTH POLICY, LONDON SCHOOL OF HYGIENE AND TROPICAL MEDICINE

I am currently a Midwife Coordinator managing a fast-paced high risk labour ward. My interest in national and international health grew when I was previously the lead specialist for FGM- providing surgical and holistic care for women in the community. However, I still felt the need to do more, especially for ethnic minority groups and migrants where there are obvious gaps in the provision and access to healthcare. With this MSc I will gain knowledge and understanding of how to develop and partake in educational programming, public health policy making, research and epidemiology and explore the social determinants of health. These transferable skills will allow me to instigate change within the provision of health care for these service users and explore it at a global scale.

Safia Mohamed
MA International Journalism, City University of London

I am studying a masters in International Journalism. With a degree in International Politics with Arabic, I have always had an interest in world news. I have gained experience working in the media industry with Sky and BBC. With this masters, I hope to gain the confidence, skills and knowledge to really make a positive impact in my community.

Sahra Mohamed
MSC DRUG DISCOVERY AND PHARMA MANAGEMENT, UCL

My current work in Health Communications has enhanced my interest in improving health literacy in the British Muslim community, particularly in the area of vaccine confidence. I hope to use my experience in public health and social policy to address Islamic concerns surrounding vaccines and pharmaceuticals, whilst working to promote their vital uptake. Through studying this Masters, I will be able to combine my passions of science and business. Most notably, the Drug Discovery component of this degree will allow me to explore Halal-alternatives to current treatment options in the market, as well as build upon the research I conducted during my Bachelor’s thesis, surrounding ‘Novel Medical Therapeutics and Nutraceuticals’. In my spare time, I am an avid writer and poet – currently working on a historical fiction set in East Africa in the 1970s.

Fatima Moosa
MPhil Medieval History, University of Cambridge

I graduated with a BA in History from Queen Mary University of London, and have spent the past year working in the Civil Service. Now, with the generous support of the Aziz Foundation, I will be returning to academia by pursuing a Master’s degree. This course will allow me to conduct research in relatively unexplored areas of the early medieval past. I am particularly interested in cross-cultural history and interfaith interactions, and through my research I aim to promote a better understanding of the Muslim world, including the reception and impact of Islam in Europe from the early Middle Ages. In doing so, I hope to counter misconceptions and inspire greater diversity of thought in the humanities.

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.

Mohammed Hasan Patel
MA Religion, Culture and Society, University of Central Lancashire

The Masters at Uclan will build on my knowledge acquired from completing a Higher Diploma of Specialisation in Islamic Law at Jamia Al-Karam. A common principle amongst the Islamic jurists is that the one who is unaware of his society and tries to give a response is actually ignorant. Therefore, whilst serving my local community, as a qualified Imam, this course will equip me to fully understand British culture and society, from a holistic point of view, and then be able to provide an appropriate answer in light of Islamic teachings. Aside from studies my hobbies include cycling and taking part in charity events.

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.

Abu Rashid
MSc Elections, Campaigns and Democracy, Royal Holloway University of London

‘The ballot is stronger than the bullet.’ These famous words emphasise the importance of voting, campaigning and utilising democratic channels in order to bring about real change and progress. Although, you’d be forgiven for losing hope in recent years. But I’m still hopeful. Through greater understanding, stronger unity and a better strategic approach, I believe minorities in the UK – particularly the Muslim community – will be able to effectively influence public policy for the benefit of the whole country. And I want to help make that happen, explaining my choice of study. Previously, I read History & Spanish at the University of Manchester for my undergraduate. I then began my career as an intern in local government, and later moved into the civil service. I currently work in a strategy role at the Cabinet Office, supporting government departments set up and develop their commercial organisations.

Samirah Rokib
MSc Personalised Medicine and Novel Therapy, UCL

During my BSc in Human Genetics, I was exposed to the field of Personalised Medicine. Whilst current treatments/medications are prescribed on a disease basis, there are patients that don’t respond to the treatment or respond negatively. The aim of personalised medicine is to overcome this problem by prescribing medications after analysing an individual’s genome. This field is still up and coming with new research being conducted all the time. I want to be a part of the change that is happening within the healthcare system, so I am continuing my studies by undertaking a MSc in Personalised Medicine and Novel Therapy. The Masters will equip me with the skills and knowledge to contribute to research and design within this field whilst also increasing Muslim representation in scientific research.

Amina Saadi
MSc Health Psychology, Kings College London

Health Psychology demonstrates how physical and mental health are intrinsically linked, yet many individuals are unaware of the field. The diverse society that we live in today means that we should be taking a diverse approach in delivering healthcare and ensuring that regardless of your background or religion, services are accessible. Having worked at an in-patient psychiatric unit, I noticed that many Muslims were not actively seeking help for their emotional and physical well-being. I aim to increase awareness of Health Psychology in diverse communities to increase their access to services that help them manage long-term physical illnesses, whilst dealing with underlying psychological issues.

Sarah Salih
MSc Counselling and Psychotherapy, Keele University

An area of personal interest has always been how 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 & 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. Alongside my studies, I started an organisation called CONSCIOUS aimed at putting what was learned into practise and providing a safe socio-spiritual space for young people to thrive. In my experience as a youth worker, a grounding in faith and a focus on mental wellbeing are two vital ingredients for overall communal growth. My intent for pursuing further study in these areas is to become better equipped to serve the community.

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Rafiah Sattar
LLM BTC, Nottingham Trent University

Having recently graduated from the LLB with the aspiration to become a barrister, I will be pursuing the Barristers Training Course and LLM at Nottingham Trent University. Advocacy is at the core of my dream career and I hope to use my skills and knowledge to seek justice for both Muslim and non-Muslim communities. I aim to increase the levels of diversity at the Bar as I do not feel there are enough female Muslim candidates overcoming the intimidation caused by working within the field. I hope to inspire and assist future young British Muslims that wish to pursue the Bar through a mentoring scheme that I plan to set up once I have attained my Masters.

Hana Samawe
MA Mathematics Education, UCL

I completed my PGCE in 2018 and have found much joy in being a secondary school maths teacher, despite the many gasps and sheer horror I see on people’s faces when I first reveal my career choice. Being a teacher is a humbling and rewarding experience. More so, you are not only a teacher, but you are a cheerleader, counsellor, role model, hero, motivational source and many other things. Being such an influential person in a student’s life can be profound and is an Amanah. Hence why I want to become the best teacher I can possibly be whilst representing and impacting the Muslim community. Undertaking this postgraduate degree will equip me with the skill set to really maximise my students’ engagement, progress and improve attitudes towards maths in school.

Rakin Sayed
MA Strategic Communications, King's College London

Having completed my undergraduate studies in Arabic and International Relations and engaged in interfaith dialogue over several years, I have long been interested in the importance of language and communication. I believe that in order to effectively challenge misrepresentative narratives of marginalised communities, we must first understand how these narratives come to exist in the first place. My hope is that I can use the skills gained through the study of Strategic Communications to better understand the relationship between language and power and, in doing so, we can effectively offer alternative narratives that are authentic and true to the realities of marginalised communities.

Maryam Shah
LLM Law, London School of Economics

Having recently finished my BA in Law at Oxford University, I intend to study the LLM at LSE. From a young age I have cared about justice and equality for all. During my undergraduate, I spoke at 10 Downing Street on BAME issues; was elected as Oxford’s NUS delegate and served as Community Officer at my university Islamic Society. Through studying this Masters in Law I wish to learn how to challenge the barriers which are preventing equal treatment of Muslims and BAME individuals under the justice-system. I also wish to ensure that “freedom to manifest one’s religion” is given more respect by the Law.

Aafiyah Shaikh
MSc Defence, Development and Diplomacy

I am a graduate from Lancaster University with a BA in International Relations. I am also a published author and my work can be found in The Tempest. Moreover, I have recently published a book, which can be found on Amazon. In my spare time, I enjoy writing poetry and listening to music.

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.

Ruqayyah Siddiqui
LLM Law, City University of London

The Law plays a pivotal role in our day to day lives. We can address many social issues especially within the Muslim community through legislation changes. Yet so many of us sit back and do not work for that change. My dream is to create educated and affluent Muslim communities where we are no longer underrepresented in politics, legislative bodies and media. Thanks to the Aziz Foundation, I am now able to begin my journey to work towards legal reform by starting the Masters of Law programme at City University of London. I am also a business owner of an online bakery platform, and aspire to raise aspirations of young Muslim women, encouraging more entrepreneurship in our community.

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.

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.

Ranim Taha
MSc Social and Cultural Psychology, London School of Economicsa and Political Science

In Western society, you are arguably at a disadvantage if you are black, or from a minority ethnicity. You are at a disadvantage if you are female. You are at a disadvantage if you are Muslim. I am a Black, Female, Muslim. I am keen to study an Msc in Social and Cultural Psychology to understand the causes behind the disadvantages experience by people like me in society and what has reinforced it across time. By understanding the root causes, I believe I will be able to contribute towards influencing change in the current status quo. My BA in Anthropology and Law has laid down the foundations for the development my interest in culture and society. Studying this Masters will allow me to continue to pursue this interest in depth – particularly my interest in the matters of race and identity.

Rabiah Tariq
LLM Corporate Law, UCL

British Muslims are one of the largest minority groups in the UK and are gravely underrepresented in the legal field. I have long been fascinated by the development of law as a response to changes in society and I believe that with British Muslims making up a significant proportion of the population it is important that appropriate protections are available to them. My ambition is to qualify as a barrister and legal academic. My aim is to practise within the realm of commercial law, focusing specifically on property law issues, with a focus on a substantial amount of pro bono work as this is the best way I will be able to contribute to communities I identify with ethnically, religiously and socioeconomically. Pursuing an LLM will enable me to further develop my organisational and interpersonal skills, as well as a nuanced understanding of taking a critical disposition.

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.

Bilal Ur-Rehman
LLM Human Rights Law, University of Reading

Having studied Law LLB at the University at Reading, I decided to continue my academic journey and study LLM Human Rights. As a British Muslim living in 21st Century Britain, Human Rights are incredibly important to me. They impact our lives not only nationally, but globally. Understanding what rights we have, and what we can do to implement them is fundamental to protecting ourselves and ensure Muslims are able to live peacefully. This is what I plan to do. To learn, understand, and work in Human Rights law in order to ensure Muslims are able to live without interference.

Yasir Yeahia
MA Race, Education & Decolonial Thought, Leeds Beckett University

Growing up in East London I became aware of the lack of opportunities people like me faced in British society. I was empowered through my experiences to always “rise up” and grasp every opportunity that came my way. I sought after knowledge through studying at University and was particularly passionate about politics and the way society was governed, how power was determined and communities managed. After being elected as a President of my Student Union, I have worked within University institutions to understand the complexities of Muslim student needs across London and the Midlands. I now want to further my knowledge of race and decolonial thought so I can acquire the correct tools to unlock the spaces required by Muslims within society as well as establishing resources to bring communities together and eradicate existing racial hierarchies.

Hasnayn Yousaf
MSc Urban Infomatics, King's College London

Since graduating from King’s College London I have been working as a data analyst within the Lloyds of London insurance market assessing and quantifying the risk from natural perils. However, I would like to further my passion for data science but with a focus and application centred on cities and the built environment. Through this masters course I seek to enter into the emerging and rapidly evolving field of urban data science. It is vital that members of the Muslim community are embedded within this discipline not only to represent the community, but to ensure we are part of the process into how the spaces we live in are managed and developed.

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.

Ahmed Yusuf
LLM Law and Legal Practice, BPP University

As an aspiring lawyer, I want to ensure that there is a greater representation of British Muslims in the legal sector, and alleviate many of the barriers British Muslims face when seeking to access legal services. My deep commitment to this profession stems from observing the rising number of cases relating to Islamophobia being undertaken by law firms under the guise of ‘pro-bono’ services. Siphoning such consequential and high-stake cases as ‘pro-bono’ has often resulted in a lack of enthusiasm or passion by those handling these cases. I am keen to provide an alternative avenue for British Muslims and increase access to justice for marginalised communities. Through studying an LLM in Law and Legal Practice at BPP School of Law, I intend to pursue a career that will allow me to tackle socio-legal issues such as structural barriers to accessing legal services and social inequality.

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