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Wednesday 18th May 2022

Friday, December 18th, 2015

Hundreds of people enjoyed an afternoon to remember when talented young writers were celebrated at the Young Muslim Writers Awards 2015. The event was organised and presented by charity Muslim Hands in association with the Yusuf Islam Foundation, on Saturday 5th December in London. There were nine trophies awarded in total with a special recognition award for Malala Yousafzai, received by her father Mr. Ziauddin Yousafzai and mother, Toor Pekai Yousafzai.

Mr. Ziauddin Yousafzai delivered a spectacular speech about the difference between indoctrination and education, the need for women to write and be empowered. He also stated “children are not only the future of the Muslim community. They are the future of the UK. Reading and creativity are at the heart of Islam”. Malala’s parents proudly received a special recognition award on behalf of their daughter, Malala Yousafzai for ‘Championing Children’s Rights to Education’.

The event was hosted by award-winning radio presenter Shemiza Rashid and awards were presented by Carnegie Medal winner Tim Bowler, novelist and poet Louis de Bernières who is most popular for his novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Tim Robertson, Director of the Royal Society of Literature, Caryl Hart, an award-winning children’s author, British Novelist Roopa Farooki, writer and broadcaster Yasmeen Khan as well as Zara Ayub, the 13 year-old writing sensation. Speeches delivered by these presenters were exceptional and a warm inspiration for the young writers sitting in the audience. During his speech, Tim Bowler said “Writing is not something you ever master. It’s a journey.”

After the event, famous writer Louis de Bernières commented : “The whole occasion was well worth attending,” he added jokingly “my only reservation being that it’s probably unwise for me to encourage any future competition!”

The following proud winners took to the stage with a round of applause and received their well-deserved trophies by the presenters:

Key Stage 1 Poetry
‘Kenning’ by Zakariya Robinson (from Rochdale)

Key Stage 1 Short Story
‘The Pen with 70,000 Heads’ by Abdul Maatin Riaz (from Bradford)

Key Stage 2 Poetry
‘Spring, Autumn and Winter’ by Aminah Rahman (from Cambridge)

Key Stage 2 Short Story
‘The Haunted House Strikes Again’ by Myra Durrani (from Birmingham)

Key Stage 3 Poetry
‘Free Dubai’ by Naima Mohamed (from Waltham Forest, London)

Key Stage 3 Short Story
‘Ivory Demons’ by Imaan Maryam Irfan (from Working, Surrey)

Key Stage 4 Poetry
‘A Quilt of Stars’ by Safeerah Mughal (from Bradford)

Key Stage 4 Short Story
‘Peaceful Sleep’ by Safeerah Mughal

Writer of the Year Award:
‘Kenning’ by Zakariya Robinson (from Rochdale)

Author, Sufiya Ahmed comments “The Young Muslim Writers Awards encourages parents to champion their children’s writing and to let their talents flourish so they may go forth and become role models and ambassadors for the generation that follow”.

The afternoon also consisted of exciting and varied performances for the audience including a comedy act from the Corner Shop Show, a British comedy drama web series. A mesmerizing storytelling performance of ‘The Ugly Duckling’ by Danae Eleni by a soprano, story-teller and educator. There was also spoken-word poetry by Azfa Awad, Oxford’s Youth Ambassador for poetry.

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 an annual competition.

For the third 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. The ceremony was broadcast on Islam Channel, the official media partner of the competition since 2006.

Photos of the winners


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