Dr Salman Malik is an ex-scientist, an advisory board member and multi-award winning entrepreneur. He has been appointed as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Loughborough University London and an Associate Academic at London South Bank University teaching and building programmes to promote entrepreneurial skills. Following his PhD, he founded a biotech startup and successfully raised funding to work on the research and development of a process used to cost-effectively develop microparticles. He was awarded a prestigious Enterprise Fellowship from The Royal Society of Edinburgh, allowing him to transition into an entrepreneur and CEO.
Dr Tarek Younis is a Lecturer in Psychology at Middlesex University. He was previously a British Academy fellow, whose research explored the racialisation of Muslims as a result of statutory counter-terrorism policies in the NHS. He researches and writes on Islamophobia, the securitisation and racism of mental health, and how counter-radicalisation enters into clinical logic. He teaches on the impact of culture, religion, globalisation and security policies on health interventions.
Dr Shelina Khalid Jilani has a PhD in Artificial Intelligence and her area of research relates to automated ethnicity classification of human face and face-features, from a human and Deep Learning perspective. Dr Jilani is a Facial Comparison Expert with seven years’ industry experience within the discipline of facial image analysis, and works for a private digital imaging company. She is one of very few UK qualified experts in this field and regularly attends court to give expert evidence in many civil and criminal proceedings nationwide. She is a professional member of the Chartered Society of Forensic Science and The Facial Identification Scientific Working Group. Since 2018, Dr Jilani has been actively involved in developing and delivering lectures to undergraduate university students at the University of Staffordshire.
Sufina Ahmad is the Director of the John Ellerman Foundation. She works closely with trustees and stakeholders, including grantees, to deliver its strategic direction, governance and grantmaking. Previously, Sufina worked in corporate strategy and performance at the City of London Corporation. She also worked for the National Lottery Community Fund and City Bridge Trust, in grantmaking, strategy, policy and stakeholder relations roles. She holds trusteeships with Just for Kids Law and The Charterhouse, and previously volunteered with the Institute of Fundraising, as Chair of the Expert Panel on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, and is now an honorary Fellow of the Institute.
Tufyal Choudhury is an Assistant Professor of Law at Durham University, a Senior Associate of the Canadian Network of Researchers on Terrorism, Security and Society and a fellow of the German Marshall Fund Trans-Atlantic Forum on Migration and Integration. His research focuses on human rights, integration and counter terrorism law and policy. He is also a trustee of the Democratic Audit and the John Ellerman Foundation, as well as a senior research fellow at Rights Watch UK.
Tufail Hussain joined Islamic Relief UK in 2016 and has over 10 years’ experience in the sector, leading on marketing and fundraising campaigns for a number of international development and humanitarian agencies. As Director of Islamic Relief UK his vision is to help the organisation grow in all departments and in its strengths. Prior to this he held senior roles at various organisations where he established fundraising strategies and showed a strong track record of growing organisational income exponentially.
Dr Stephen H. Jones is a sociologist of religion whose research focuses on the intersections between belief, politics and public policy. His primary areas of expertise are in Islam and Muslims in the UK and religious and non-religious publics’ perceptions of science. He is General Secretary of the Muslims in Britain Research Network (MBRN), and a Lecturer in the Department of Theology and Religion, University of Birmingham.
Dr Shamim Miah is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Huddersfield. He is the author of three books: Race, Place and Space: M62 and the Corridor of Uncertainty (forthcoming, Palgrave); Muslims, Schooling and the Question of Self-Segregation, which won the ‘highly commended’ book award by the Society for Educational Studies’ in 2016, and Muslims and the Question of Security: Trojan Horse, Prevent and Racialised Politics. Shamim was the co-SIG convener for BERA (British Educational Research Association) and is a senior research fellow at the Centre for Post-Normal Policy and Futures Study. He is currently writing a biography of Ibn Khaldun.
Ferdousur Rehman is the Aziz Foundation’s former Communications and Public Relations Officer. He has worked as a curator and content editor in higher education and the public sector.
Maha Sardar has been working in the field of immigration, asylum and human rights for over a decade. Currently, she is a barrister at Garden Court Chambers, where she is passionate about the protection and representation of vulnerable clients, including victims of torture, unaccompanied minors and cases involving trafficking and FGM. Previously, she worked in the private client team at Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP, where she assisted individuals with a wide range of immigration services.
Dr Shah Tarfarosh (MBBS, MRCPsych) is a Psychiatry Specialty Registrar working in the beautiful city of Oxford. His clinical role involves assessment and treatment of patients with mild, moderate or crippling mental illnesses. His main interests include Emotional intelligence training, exploring Neuro Linguistic Programming and Spirituality as means of developing immunity to mental illnesses. He has more than 20 academic publications, was shortlisted for the Oscars of Medicine and also won a Youth-Icon Award. In his free time, he loves coaching people to improve their mental strength, often blogs short stories, enjoys sipping black coffee in green natural surroundings and adores travelling to new places.
Dr Gehad Youssef is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow, studying cancer stem cell heterogeneity in oral and breast cancer using 2D and 3D in vitro models, at the Adrian Biddle Lab, Queen Mary University of London. He obtained a BSc in molecular genetics from King’s College London and then an MRes in Biomedicine at UCL, where he also completed a PhD at the Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. He has previously worked evaluating prognostic markers in neuroblastoma, and at the UCL Cancer Institute investigated the role of DNA methyltransferases in embryonic stem cells.
Hassan Joudi is Deputy Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). He was elected at the age of 28 years old as the youngest ever elected Office Bearer to the MCB in 2018. He leads on the organising of MCB’s mosque-related projects, including #VisitMyMosque and the annual “Our Mosques Our Future” conference. Hassan believes passionately in the role of young people as a driving force for positive change in society. He works as a Chartered Mechanical Engineer in the energy sector.
Mohsin Butt graduated from Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry with triple distinctions, David Weitzman Memorial Prize in Cardiology and Strauss Prize in Psychological Medicine. Alongside his medical studies, he completed a BSc(Hons) in Neuroscience. He has an interest in education and medical research and, shortly after graduating, was appointed Clinical Research Fellow in the Centre for Neuroscience, Trauma and Surgery at Queen Mary University of London and Royal London Hospital. His research primarily relates to medically unexplained gut disorders (e.g., irritable bowel syndrome) and vagus nerve stimulation. He completed basic medical training at the Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead in liver transplantation, respiratory medicine and vascular surgery.
Dr Fatima Rajina is a Legacy in Action Research Fellow at the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre at De Montfort University. After completing her MA in Islamic Societies and Cultures at SOAS, she went on to do a PhD after successfully securing a Nohoudh Scholarship with the Centre of Islamic Studies, SOAS, University of London. Completing her PhD at SOAS, Fatima’s work looks at British Bangladeshi Muslims and their changing identifications and perceptions of dress and language. She has also worked as a Research Assistant at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge looking at police and counter-terrorism. Fatima was also a Teaching Fellow at SOAS, Research Fellow at UCL IoE, and, additionally, she worked as a Lecturer in Sociology at Kingston University London.
As the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Fellow in Islamic Finance, Muhammad Meki’s research interests are focused on the effect of equity-like (Musharakah-based) microfinance contracts (which involve profit and loss sharing and/or shared asset ownership) on the investment and growth of microenterprises in developing countries. Muhammad is also a lecturer at the Oxford Department of International Development.Before undertaking his doctoral research (in the University’s Department of Economics and St. John’s College, Oxford), Muhammad Meki worked for five years in financial markets (Bank of America in London and Deutsche Bank in Singapore) where he traded fixed-income products, foreign exchange derivatives and government bonds. He has previously completed postgraduate degrees in Finance (MSc, London School of Economics), Economics (PGDip, Cambridge), and Economics for Development (MSc, Oxford).
Roohi Hasan is an award-winning senior producer at ITV News, at ITN, working on series, specials, and investigations. For more than fifteen years, Roohi has produced original exclusive content highlighting the unreported stories of individuals in the UK and across the world including PTSD in the British military, climate change in the Arctic and India, the conflict in Syria, and Covid’s impact on ethnic minorities in the UK. Her journalism has been well recognised with personal awards and she has had shows she worked on recognised by BAFTA and the Royal Television Society. Roohi’s great passion is mentoring. She does this personally and at work as well as through several schemes including the Prince Trust initiative, Mosaic, which focusses on disadvantaged youth. She has written about mentoring for the Financial Times and has been working to improve newsroom diversity too.
‘Gaz’ Ghazala Koosar is a Mum to three teenage boys, a commercial contracts and procurement lawyer and an Independent Person to the Standards Committee at Oldham and Cumbria Councils. She specialises in IT contracts and procurement and has worked for local government bodies, central government departments and at an international law firm. Based in Oldham, Greater Manchester, she has extensive experience of working with under-represented groups through voluntary work with the Scouts Association, the RSBP and Northern Roots (Oldham) Limited. Gaz is happiest when she is outdoors, challenging young people and learning new skills.
Sajjad Khan is a Civil Engineer working at Jacobs Engineering in Glasgow, Scotland. During his university years, he was actively involved in local and international projects from which he found his passion for helping others. He is the founder of Al-Bir, a Scottish registered charity which is currently the largest charity delivering aid in the northern region of Chad (Sahara Desert). Sajjad is also the founder of the Scottish Annual Conference, a platform that brings the Scottish community together on an annual basis to deliver spiritually uplifting reminders and personal development workshops. He has previously delivered a Tedx talk about his journey across Chad and the establishment of Al-Bir at the age of 21. He has also been involved in managing several organisations such as Discover Islam UK, Al-Maghrib, and co-founded Explore Conference UK.
Khaled Moyeed is a solicitor at a boutique law firm and an elected Councillor in Haringey, London. He completed the Bar Vocational Course in 2007 and worked in the Cabinet Office as a Legal Policy Adviser advising ministers, peers and MPs on primary and secondary legislation. In 2013, he qualified as a solicitor at Herbert Smith Freehills, a leading international law firm working in its London, Dubai and Doha offices. Khaled specialised in international arbitration at another law firm in the City of London. In recent years, he launched his own legal practice at a boutique firm called Exons specialising in dispute resolution and charity law. He also entered politics getting elected as a Councillor in 2018. Khaled is pursuing an LLM in international dispute resolution at Queen Mary University of London to help him boost his legal practice. He is active in the Muslim community providing pro-bono legal advice through various organisations.
What is your current occupation and do you work on any projects or initiatives outside of this?
Ayesha: Currently Public Affairs Manager for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). Outside of work I’m very active in my local Masjid, West London Islamic Centre in Ealing, where I work on youth related projects and interfaith initiatives. I also work on promoting advocacy and policy professions within the Muslim community through the work of a recently established network called MIPA (Muslims in policy & advocacy).
Rakin: Although currently a full-time student, for a great part of my degree I was working for an interfaith charity in fundraising. The charity does great work in facilitating interfaith dialogue between different communities and so it was great to be part of such a fantastic cause. In addition to this, I am working with friends on a new start-up called ‘Ummazing’ which is a muslim-friendly online market place where you can buy and sell a diverse range of creative goods such as clothing, food, art etc. It is a great platform for Muslim-friendly creatives while simultaneously giving Muslims a broader and curated choice all on one platform.
What was your motivation in taking part in the mentoring scheme?
Ayesha: I feel that it is our Islamic duty to help and aide the younger generations where best we can – whether that be sharing personal or professional experiences. In particular, there are many sectors and industries that lack in diversity and this can be quite an isolating, so to have someone to talk to or ask for advice is so crucial. I know I would have definitely benefited to much from having a mentor during my post-grad and in the early stages of my career!
Rakin: I am firm believer of learning from other people and so many people have spoken about the benefits of having a mentor so when the opportunity was offered, I really wanted to get involved.
What were your expectations of this mentoring arrangement, and do you feel that they were met?
Ayesha: To be matched with someone who’s studying in a similar field or interested in my particular area of work. This arrangement was met perfectly as I really feel I’ve been able to provide Rakin with real life experiences and also, my own network of other professionals.
Rakin: I expected the mentorship programme to be a way for me to ask questions about a future career in communications and related fields but I have to say my mentor went above and beyond. She not only gave me insight into her own experience, she also facilitated conversations with people who worked in fields I was interested in. The mentorship programme greatly exceeded by expectations.
How have you benefited from this arrangement? What did you learn and has this experience affected your (professional or personal) development in any way?
Ayesha: This experience has made me realise how much I love what I do! Strategy, advocacy, communication roles – these are lacking in Muslim representation and this experience reminded me – through Rakin – how much talent we have as a community and how we need to invest beyond the traditional career paths (medicine, law etc).
Rakin: I would definitely say I have benefited from this programme because it has been such an organic way to gain insight into different fields while also being able to have a mentor that I can turn to for advice and guidance on both my degree and career. I think one of the key lessons I have taken away from the programme is not being afraid to put yourself out there and engage with people in fields and careers that interest you.
What do you think is the key to a successful mentoring arrangement? What was your approach to it?
Ayesha: Being open and setting expectations at the very start of what you can offer and how you can help was key. For Rakin and I, we started with monthly catch-up calls scheduled in advance but on top of this, he knew if there was anything urgent relating to his degree or career path he could always reach out, outside of our monthly meetings.
Rakin: I think communication is really important so that you clearly express what you hope to get out of the programme and can work towards that goal collaboratively with your mentor. I would also say trying to be consistent in communicating with your mentor so they know where you are in your journey (whether that be your studies or your career progression).
Would you recommend this experience to other professionals and scholars?
Ayesha: I would definitely recommend this experience to all other professionals and scholars. Having someone there to seek advice and gain a different perspective to your studies or career is so valuable. From a professional stand point, not only do you feel you’re making a difference in someone’s life but it also has reignited my passion for what I do and my work.
Rakin: I would absolutely recommend this programme to other professionals and scholars. You can only gain from this experience and I genuinely believe I have learned and taken so much from the mentorship programme. I cannot recommend it enough.