Amongst the hundreds of people who have been named on the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List, the Asian community has once again received a healthy acknowledgement with five per cent of the awards.
From Order of Merits to OBEs and MBEs, the 2014 list covers representatives from all sectors whose efforts have helped improve communities and people’s lives throughout the country.
Miss Zanib Rasool is to receive an MBE for services to the community in Rotherham after more than 30 years of volunteer work in the community.
Nominated by a co-worker from a former job, it came as a big surprise to the current director of women’s group ‘Grow’, who explained how the award is credit to everybody she has worked with over the years.
“I was absolutely delighted to receive the news, not just for myself but for everyone I work with,” she said.
“People in the Rotherham community work so hard to develop the lives of people in our local area and a lot of Asian women who I have worked with in particular deserve a lot of credit.
“It did come as a surprise when I received the news and it was great especially for my nieces as I can see it helping to inspire them, and other like them, to put back into the community.”
Also recognised with an MBE was fellow Rotherham-based community champion, Zaidah Parveen Ahmed.
Mrs Ahmed will receive the accolade for her services to the town’s community which includes sitting as a non-executive director on the housing board, helping establish and run summer schools for the past six years, working as a governor for the district and much more.
Like her fellow Rotherham advocate, the South Yorkshire recipient was unaware that she was even nominated for such a title yet regards the MBE as a huge honour.
She said: “When I first got the letter from the Cabinet Office I honestly couldn’t believe it; I had to read it at least three times before it could even sink in.
“There were apparently a few people who had nominated me for the award and it really does make me feel very privileged and proud to be held in such a regard by these people.”
Elsewhere, Shipley-based Yasmin Shabir Khan was recognised for her services to equality and diversity with an MBE. Mrs Khan is an administrative officer in Bradford for HM Revenue and Customs.
Mr Fathir Khan, 76, from Sheffield, will also receive an MBE for services to the Asian community in Sheffield.
His work has included acting as secretary of the Bangladesh Welfare Association, a member on the Sheffield Racial Equality Council and helping to form the Asian Ladies Club, since moving to the city from his homeland in Bangladesh in 1963.