Batley celebrates its women of achievement

MUSLIM women from all over West Yorkshire were commended for their achievements at a celebration in Batley.

More than 350 women attended the third annual achievement ceremony at the Al-Hikmah Centre, Staincliffe, to mark accomplishments in everything from education to contributions in the community.

Women's project co-ordinator at the centre, Mashuda Shaikh, said the aim of the event was to recognise the talents of Muslim women and to encourage others to follow suit.

Mashuda said: "The event was a great success and promotion for up and coming Muslim women. The initial response from the women was that they all thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon's event."

The event was attended by women from all walks of life, with guest speakers Jackie Eames – headteacher of Howden Clough Girls High School and the now former Mayor of Kirklees Coun Margaret Bates.

Other speakers included engineer Tabassoom Shaikh; mental health worker Fatima Makda and barrister Raffia Arshaad.

Awards for educational excellence at GCSE were presented to Saffiya Mayet, Asma Bahadur, Shima Tai, Fazila Patel, Shirin Lorgat, Khadija Vachiyat, Tasneem Patel, Muniza Daji, Uzma Ashraf, Nazia Saleem, Zainab Karolia, Rizwana Dabhad and Zainab Passwala.

The following women were recognised for educational excellence at A-level: Farida Mulla, Safeera Mayet, Rehana Patel, Salma Kasuji, Saban Shaikh and Shirin Kamal.

Similar awards for education at degree level were presented to Fatima Dadhiwala, Hawa Bibi Motara, Ruksana Hussain, Sahida Kahn and Shakeela Mumtaz.

Awards for adult education were received by Amina Chothia, Rehana Seedat, Aisha Patel, Saadia Mohammed, Naseem Chopdat, Sara Michla, Fatima Hasham, Shamima Dadhabahi, Fatima Loonat and Zohra Hussain.

Fatima Loonat was also presented with an award for her work with the community, while the young achiever award was given to Faheema Bala.

The IMWS student of the year was Wahida Shaikh, while the group's volunteer of the year was named as Somaya Suliman.

Throughout the programme Nazams were recited by Arrifah and Affifah Ravet and Somaya Suliman and Rubina Bayat and Humera Fadia wound up the day with a nazam and qiraat.