Featured Scholars

Yasmin Rashid | MA Psychodynamic Counselling, Goldsmiths University of London

Yasmin Rashid is a qualified Psychology teacher, Psychotherapist, and writer. In 2018, she received a full scholarship for her two-year Master of Arts degree in Psychodynamic Counselling, at Goldsmiths University, and went on to graduate with both an overall course distinction as well as a distinction for her thesis entitled, ‘Psychotherapy for Survivors of Female Genital Mutilation’.

Yasmin has demonstrated consistent commitment to serving her community and is dedicated to applying her psychological knowledge and skills to provide support to and aid the emotional and psychological development of young people, including those from disadvantaged and Muslim communities.

Alongside her studies, Yasmin also launched her private counselling and psychotherapy practice, where she provides online psychotherapy for both adults and children. Alongside this, she has also established her own social enterprise called Well Minded, where she is currently developing community projects which bring people together to promote wellbeing and tackle isolation across generations.

Mussa Yousef | MSc Data Science, City University of London

Currently studying for an MSc in Data Science, Mussa Yousef is a current Aziz Foundation scholar. Intrigued by how data plays an integral role and is rapidly changing the world in which we live, Mussa intends to gain an insight into how datasets work and how he can link datasets without limitations to maximise adaptability between communities.

During his masters, he has been able to put these skills into practice, with his first project scrutinising the data behind the crime stop and searches in 2020 and how lockdown has affected policing. His most recent project was fuelled by the recent rise in the news surrounding the #BlackLivesMatter movement, which focuses on ethnic disparity amongst citizens and boroughs in London. By using clustering and regression techniques, Mussa is currently examining the disparity between different boroughs in terms of health, employment, education, social status and crime.

Hussein Kesvani | MSc Digital Anthropology, UCL

Hussein Kesvani is currently studying for an Msc in Digital Anthropology at University College London. He is the author of Follow Me Akhi: The Online World of British Muslims, which explored the ways in which young Muslims in the UK used social media to navigate questions of identity and belonging in digital spaces. Before pursuing a Master’s degree, he was an editor at MEL magazine, and has produced work for the BBC, The Guardian, Vice News, The CBC and Wired magazine.

While studying, Hussein has also taken up a board position on the Religion and Media Centre board, which advises government and media representatives on writing about faith and faith-based communities. He is also continuing work as a freelance writer, and is currently working on a soon to be announced project for BBC Sounds

Nimra Shahid | MA Interactive Journalism, City University of London

Nimra Shahid studied for an MA Interactive Journalism at City University, as part of the Aziz Foundation’s 2019-20 scholarship cohort. Whilst studying for her Masters, Nimra was also able to freelance with major newspapers, such as the Guardian, where she published a front-page exclusive investigation and a series on Britons stranded abroad during the Covid-19 pandemic, the impact of which led to a change in government policy.

Last year, her work was nominated in the Outstanding Young Journalist of the year category at the Asian Media Awards. Upon completion of her Masters, she was also awarded the 2020 Google News Fellowship to work with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. In 2021, she was also recently selected as a Finalist for the Amnesty UK Human Rights Journalism Awards and shortlisted for the Gaby Rado Prize.

Maryam Dharas | MSc Global Politics, LSE

Having studies a BSc in Government at the LSE, Maryam Dharas is now pursuing a Masters in Global Politics. In pursuing the study of politics through an international lens, she aims for her research to demonstrate the need for an intersectional approach when studying the workings of nation states. Through this, she hopes that this can take into account the implicit orientalism within discourse towards Muslim communities, and ways in which this can be challenged.

The Global Politics programme has entailed the study of various strands of the international sphere and has allowed her to present on topics within her own research area, such as globalised Islam. Her experience so far has highlighted the importance of the representation of ethnic and religious minorities within university settings.

Maryam is also currently involved in a project with LSE Media and Communications on migration and the media. Her research focuses on the depiction of Muslim migrants from the Middle East in British newspapers, and how divisive rhetoric within academia enters everyday public discourse.

Sahra Mohamed | MSc Drug Discovery & Pharma Management, UCL

Working in the Healthcare Communications industry for the past three years, Sahra has an enhanced  interest in improving health literacy in the British Muslim community, particularly in the area of vaccine confidence.

Alongside her studies, she currently works within the pharmaceutical field and focuses on stakeholder engagement, where she develops strategic recommendations and insights for top pharmaceutical companies to inform their relationships and strategies across Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America, as well as globally. This work centres around themes such as vaccine hesitancy, life-course immunisation, healthy ageing, pediatric pneumococcal and HPV.

Outside of academia and employment, Sahra’s most recent ventures involves working with Home Girls Unite (HGU), a support group and platform for eldest immigrant daughters, as well as being an avid writer and poet, with her most recent work focusing on a historical fiction set in East Africa in the 1970s. This has also sparked her current involvement in the Women Writers Project at Oxford House, where she is supporting to develop a Literature Festival to build and expand on Somali Arts projects.