A Triumph for the Young Muslim Writers Awards 2016 with a ‘Special Recognition Award’ for Young Refugee….reports Asian Lite News
Young Syrian refugee Muzoon Almellahan became the centre of attraction in an award ceremony, Young Muslim Writers Award 2016, organised in association with the Yusuf Islam Foundation, here in London.
A Muslim Hands Project also presented in the function as three hundred people enjoyed an exciting afternoon when the talents of young writers were celebrated at the Young Muslim Writers Award ceremony.
Muzoon proudly received the Special Recognition Award for ‘Championing Children’s Rights to Education’ at the day. The 17-year-old Syrian refugee who fled with her family from the war-torn city of Daraa in 2013 spent much of her time in the Jordanian Zaatari and Azraq refugee camps going from home to home encouraging young people and their parents to continue their education.
Muzoon was then resettled alongside her family in Newcastle, England, where she is completing her studies and works with the Malala fund. “Education is my strength and my shield. It is everything. We need education to rebuild our country and to build a great future”, She said which shows her passion towards education.
The event was hosted by award-winning television and BBC radio presenter Nadia Ali and awards were presented by multi-award winning author SF Said who is best-known for his book ‘Varjak Paw’, children’s author and screenwriter David Solomons, Tim Robertson, Director of the Royal Society of Literature, Kate Wakeling, a poet and ethnomusicologist, highly-acclaimed writer and film producer Sheila Nortley, a Young Muslim Writers Awards 2015 winner and TEDxTeen speaker Safeerah Mughal, Mohamed Ali, the CEO and founder of Islam Channel, Asmaa Islam Georgiou, CEO at the Yusuf Islam Foundation, and Shahid Bashir, Deputy CEO at Muslim Hands.
Asmaa Islam Georgiou congratulated the winners and those who took part, saying “Well done to all the young writers themselves for putting pen to paper and fingertips to keypad, and to their parents for supporting them.”
SF Said describes how as a child he found sanctuary in books and urging the young writers to “write the stories you want to read”, and David Solomons gave an important and personal speech about how “not winning is crucial to the writer’s journey.”
Upon receiving the prestigious award, Writer of the Year Lamees Mohamed commented that “Being a Muslim woman is hard, and it feels amazing to have my voice heard.”
The Young Muslim Writers Awards was set up as a standalone competition for 5 – 16 year olds in 2010, following its success as part of Muslim Hands’ Muslim Writers Awards. Since then, it has encouraged and nurtured the writing talents of thousands of children through creative writing workshops and the annual competition.
For the fourth consecutive year, the ceremony is presented in association with the Yusuf Islam Foundation, an umbrella organisation which has over thirty years of experience operating in education, community development and philanthropy.
Performances on the day included a spoken word poetry performance by the Young Muslim Writers Awards 2016 judge, teacher and recently appointed Young People’s Laureate for London, Caleb Femi. There was also a performance of ‘The Little Pot of Earth’ by the acclaimed storyteller Vanessa Woolf.
Muslim Hands announced at the ceremony that as of 2017, the Young Muslim Writers Awards will be introducing three new categories: play script, screenplays and journalism.