Sixteen British Muslim dignitaries have been awarded in the Queens Birthday Honors 2006 for their valuable contributions in British society, The Muslim News reported Friday, July 28.
"I'm honored and pleased to receive this award," Jafar Mirza, Chair of Governors at Cambridge Regional College, said after being awarded the Order of British Empire (OBE) for his services in the education field.
Four Muslim figures were awarded OBEs, 12 awarded Member of British Empire (MBEs) in recognition to their contributions in the fields of education, enterprise, fashion and health.
"I am delighted and humbled to receive the award. And the people that deserve all of the credit are my team workers at Ethnic Support Program," said Saleem Asghar Kidwai, Chief Executive of Ethnic Business Support Program, who was awarded the OBE.
Involved in the grass roots of the ethnic communities, Kidwai has been working with the ethnic communities for over two decades.
Queen Birthday Honors are awarded twice a year, in June and at the New Year.
They are awarded to people for all types of service, including teachers, nurses, actors, scientists, diplomats and broadcasters.
The largest number of awards goes to those providing services to their local communities - mainly volunteers.
Bashir Ahmed was awarded an MBE for his contribution in the development of warden movements.
"It's been exciting to hear the news - for me it will provide more encouragement and motivation to do more good work in our society, improve & impact on the quality of local people," said Ahmed, who is the General Manager of the Walsall Housing Regeneration Agency and Head of West Midland Resource centre for wardens and neighborhood renewals.
Aftabuz Zaman, of Pakistani origin, was also awarded an MBE for his services to medicine.
"I am very pleased and flattered that someone outside the profession has recognized my contribution to the NHS (National Health Service)," said Zaman, the medical director of planning & development and clinical director for surgery.
"This is, however, not just a personal honor to me but an honor for all the excellent and dedicated staff at Sherwood Forest Hospitals. I feel very privileged to work with such fantastic teams in A&E, MAS and at Trust level."
Britain's Muslims are estimated to be some 1.8 million out of the 60 million population.
A recent poll has shown that sweeping majority of 91 percent of British Muslims are "loyal" to Britain and 80 percent still want to live in and accept Western society.
British Muslim women have also been awarded for their work for British society.
"I am delighted and honored to receive this prestigious award," said Yasmin Shakur after receiving an MBE for her services to the Preston's community.
As soon as she arrived in Britain in 1993, Shakur championed community initiatives, including setting up a careers group or people looking after Muslim elders and working for the Lancashire county careers services.
"May I take this opportunity to thank the Muslim and the wider community in recognizing my work. I could not have done it without their support and words of advice," Shakur said.
"I hope this leads the way for other Muslim women to be acknowledged for the part they play in society."
Sittika Nazim, of Turkish Cypriot origin, agreed.
"I'm very proud and honored to receive the MBE." said Nazim, who was awarded an MBE for services to higher education as a Conference Organizer.
"Also it is a great achievement as I am the first Turkish Woman to receive such an award," she added.
Rubina-Ishrat Hussain was granted an MBE for her 39 years of work for her community.
"I'm happy but my achievement was not one night of work. I've been helping communities since I first arrived in the UK in the late 1960s," she said.
Embarking on community initiatives since 1967, Hussein worked for disadvantaged migrant children in the 1980s and governed at schools around Peterborough.
She set up numerous youth groups and opened the first nursery in her local area and she was the first Muslim Asian woman to be appointed a magistrate at Peterborough Magistrates' Court.
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