Tag Archive: Bradford

Made Bradford market expands

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Made Bradford, located on Darley Street, set up to help regenerate Bradford city centre has expanded to monthly events due to popular demand.

The market opened on Darley Street during the weekend of the Tour de Yorkshire when it came to Bradford in April to give a boost to the area after a period of decline in footfall.

The market, supported by Bradford Council, is for traders from the district and Yorkshire, features stalls for original artists, crafters, designers and creative food producers and for anyone looking to buy something original in Bradford city centre.

It will next be held on Saturday, July 22, between 11am and 6pm, as part of the North Parade Music and Arts Festival and feature 12 gazebos selling items including pies and cookies.

Made Bradford markets will then take place in conjunction with the Bradford Festival on July 29 and 30, also in Centenary Square, from 10am until 4pm on both days.

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EXCLUSIVE: Curry boss unveils grand dining and leisure facilities

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Curry boss unveils plans for £5M Yorkshire culinary centre of excellence project with grand dining and leisure facilities

Bradford is set for a major £5 million development which will provide the city a unique multi-cultural dining experience under a massive 60,000-square-foot site.

The project has been forwarded by Saleem Akhtar of the Jinnah Group who already runs successful restaurants in Bradford and the North. He's looking to combine four of five different ideas together as part of the new development.

It will consist of a hotel with 25-bedrooms, restaurants, banqueting and conference facilities, while also running an academy for training up chefs and service staff in a ‘struggling industry’.

The welcomed landmark development will offering a multi-cultural buffet service, which will offer up to 100 different dishes of cuisine from around the world.

The restaurant itself will have a seating capacity of 500 and it will feature a car park with up to 300 spaces. It's predicted that this project will create between 150-250 jobs.

FIRST LOOK: This is an artist’s impression of what the multi-million-pound development by Jinnah Group could look like

FIRST LOOK: This is an artist’s impression of what the multi-million-pound development by Jinnah Group could look like

Situated opposite the current Jinnah restaurant in Bradford on Filey Street (off Leeds Road), the mega-development will see a complete overhaul of the former Royal Bank of Scotland building.

Managing Director Saleem Akhtar spoke about the development and Lloyds banks' eagerness to get involved with the project. He said: “The initial purchase was by us, but Lloyds bank were very keen to get on board and be part of the landmark development.

“Bradford is known as the nations ‘curry capital’ catering for the whole country as we have people travelling from all over for our food, this will offer something new for the city.”

Saleem, who is fronting the project, explained his journey and how he came up with idea he said: “I’ve been in the industry 25-years and been all around Yorkshire, ranging from York, Harrogate, Scarborough, Sheffield, Leeds and now Bradford.

“It was my children who persuaded me to come back to Bradford and create a family restaurant.

“Since August 2015 it’s been a great success in Bradford as it’s the only purely family-orientated restaurant in Bradford, I noticed during this time the need of a large establishment with a diverse range of cuisine.

“There are very good Persian, Kashmiri’s and Indians (restaurants), but I want to create something different where I could potentially give them Mexican, English, Thai, Chinese and more.

“Largely Asians can’t go to a pub, hotel or restaurant as 99% of places don’t serve halal food, and settle for a curry as it’s the only halal choice.”

Saleem then spoke about Bradford and why he felt this was an appropriate location for his project he said: “Being here in Bradford, looking at the catchment area and trade, after a while here I soon realized this was the market that was required and I could use world food to help expand us.

“There isn’t really an equivalent in the country for the range of foods that I have got planned, I’m looking at eight to ten different cuisines under one roof, it will be exciting for the Asian market to have change and experience something new.”

Saleem also spoke about the training and employment opportunities that will be crucial to the project and the future of the food industry in the area.

“In the last ten years the industry has really struggled in recruiting kitchen staff and waiting staff. It’s a very tough job. It’s hot in the kitchen - not everyone can do it.

“We used to have people come in from the subcontinent for work in this industry, but with new tight immigration rules that has stopped and the industry is struggling now to get staff.”

Saleem then revealed details about the training academy. “It is a large enough premises and I am going into partnership with Mr Zulfi Karim who fronts the World Curry Festival.

“Negotiations are ongoing with local colleges for course accreditations - this will include written courses as well as practical courses, which will help the industry and employment.

“Our group employs 200-people and other groups in Yorkshire are struggling for staff so we will be training youngsters to get jobs as we are all struggling and we need people.”

In terms of the process behind the project there are still a few things to sort out and a couple of years before the project is brought to life. Saleem commented: “The development is in the hands of planning at the moment but there are green signals.

“By the end of August, we will receive the end results of planning, and we hope to start developments at Christmas time or early January 2018, with the first phase set for the end of 2018 and looking at opening in 2019.”

Saleem give a brief overlook at what else the project will feature when finished: “There’s much planned for our patrons - things like hotels, conferencing, banqueting, a Mediterranean a la carte restaurant as well a ladies spa on the rooftop.

“There’s a lot going on, it’ll be something different for Bradford.”

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HARROWING ORDEAL: Taxi driver bricked by youngsters in senseless hate-attack in Leeds

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TRAUMATISED: Awais Hussain says that taxi drivers often don’t report hate incidents to the police as it goes to the ‘bottom of the pile’

TRAUMATISED: Awais Hussain says that taxi drivers often don’t report hate incidents to the police as it goes to the ‘bottom of the pile’

 

There has been an unprecedented spike in hate crimes with people receiving Islamophobic abuse following the Manchester Arena bombing and London Bridge attack, and taxi drivers are no exception.

Hard-working 29-year-old Bradford man, Awais Hussain, was bricked by hooded white teenagers whilst on his shift as he drove down Woodhouse Lane in Leeds on Friday 16th June.

With one brick flying in through the car window and hitting him in the face, others smashed his windscreen.

“The impact was so shocking I initially I thought I’d been shot. I looked down and all I could see was blood. It was everywhere,” says Awais reliving the harrowing experience.

“I was driving down the road with my window open and I heard a brick hit the front of my car but it hit the road and thought kids were messing about again.

“Two seconds later more stones were thrown and one made it through the window and hit me.

“I parked the car up, got out and fell to the floor. Someone walking by stopped and helped me to my feet. As I got up my head was in so much pain I got to my car and pressed the emergency button.”

Fortunately, a fellow taxi driver had seen the incident dialled the police, while a member of the public dialled for an Ambulance.

“I was at the LGI for about six-hours that night. The doctors glued and stitched my nose but I couldn’t get to sleep all night. I was in shock. I still am,” adds Awais.

Awais says the youngsters were in the area following the attack around 11pm that night, but police but officers were unable to make any arrests.

The shaken taxi driver says that incident could have been much worse had he swerved the car and hit pedestrians. He added that it could easily have been a more dire situation had he not slammed on his brakes.

Not only has the family man lost earnings with him being off work, his insurance company has refused to pay for damages to his vehicle.

“I go out every day to earn an honest living and provide for my wife and myself. No one expects to be unable to work for something like this.

“When people ring up the police with complaints, I believe it goes to the bottom of the list. Drivers have said the often don’t get an immediate response.

“Less people report an incident because they believe nothing will happen, so what’s the point?

“The only reason they were so quick with me was because I was actually injured.”

Awais had a final message for his attacker: “When you are out of school there are other ways to spend your time. It might seem fun but these actions are affecting lives and could cause serious injury to pedestrians and passengers in the taxi you’re attacking.”

 

Councillor calls for change

SOLIDAIRITY: Councillor Javaid Akhtar and local drivers stand together in support of Awais

SOLIDAIRITY: Councillor Javaid Akhtar and local drivers stand together in support of Awais


Following Awais’s attack, Councillor Javaid Akhtar called for a meeting with West Yorkshire Police, the press, Leeds City Council and taxi drivers at Woodsley Road Community Centre in Hyde Park.

Cllr Akhtar says that an alarming number of taxi drivers are not reporting hate incidents to the police, either because they just have the work ethic of “get on with it” or for fear of seeming to be wasting valuable police time.

“To be attacked for doing your job should not be tolerated and that’s why I called the meeting,” says Cllr Akhtar.

Speaking to the Asian Express, he adds: “We are trying to encourage drivers to report every single incident, and that schools need to educate their young people to be more responsible.”

“Children in school need to be told how dangerous their seemingly ‘bit of fun’ could be.

“Throwing stones or bricks at a driving vehicle could have dire consequences.

“More often than not, cabbies are not reporting these crimes because they see no end result – they still have to fix their own vehicles regardless of what the damage and still  need to get up and go out for work the next day because they need to earn a living.

“Unless we all collaborate, things will not change.”

West Yorkshire Police sergeant John McNiff said: “There have been arrests and they are usually school children, some even under the age of criminality.

“Ultimately we want to eradicate the issue but are best bet is to highlight ‘hot-spot’ areas.”

A number of drivers said they had been targeted by youth in Leeds throwing stones and provided a list of the most dangerous areas: Armley Ridge Road, Armley; Cockshott Lane, Armley; Easterly Road, Gipton and York Road and Halton Moor.

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Top tips from top children’s author

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Best-selling book writer Billy Bob Buttons visits primary school and gives them a “WOW” experience

Award-winning, best-selling children’s author Billy Bob Buttons helped improve writing skills as he spent a day with pupils at St Matthew’s CE Primary School, Bradford.

The day was one of a number of “Wow!” experiences the school has provided in Reading, Writing, Science and Maths, and included a book signing of Billy Bob Buttons’ best-seller “I Think I Murdered Miss”.

The author of 16 popular children’s books held workshops for pupils in Years 1 to 6 on Wednesday 7 June, 2017, focussing on Planning a Story, Adventure Writing, Characters and Top Tips for Writing.

The visit of Billy Bob Buttons builds on a series of events the school has organised in recent months to bring about further improvements in Reading and Writing. These have included visits from authors and participating in reading and writing “Wow!” experiences.

Headteacher Kay Remmer said: “The children were very excited with the visit of Billy Bob Buttons. The workshops are part of an ongoing programme of “Wow!” experiences for our pupils, which will aim to help improve reading and writing outcomes as well as being fun.

“We are planning more similar workshops for later in the school year which will enrich the hard work which takes place daily in the classroom.”

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Return of the Ramadan Runner: Bradford man completes fourth 10K run whilst fasting for 18-hours

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Fundraising hero Nazim Ali slam-dunked it again this year for the Jane Tomlinson ‘Run For All Hull 10K’ – all under the hot sun at 28 degrees and all whilst fasting.

The Hull 10K marked it’s eighth year on Sunday 18th June, with a record number of 5000 runners braving the sun –baked-day. Nazim, who Asian Express have fondly given the title of ‘Ramadan Runner’, completed the gruelling run in just one hour and 17 seconds to complete.

A minute's silence was held for the victims of the Grenfell Tower tragedy prior to the race, which created a real sombre community feel for everyone running.

Enjoying the scenic route, participants ran past some of Hull's iconic landmarks landmarks such as Guildhall, Victoria Park, the Deep (aquarium) and reached the finish line on Whitefriargate.

Nazim spoke highly of the Hull, the UK City of Culture 2017: “There was a wonderful carnival atmosphere with people lining the streets encouraging the runners on and the thoughtful residents were even using their hoses to cool the runners down, I just hope their water bills are not too high!”

“Different faith groups and ethnicities came together to collectively show their respect for the victims and the bravery of our emergency services.

But Nazim admits that this year’s run has been the most difficult to date.

“Fasting whilst doing a 10K run really was a gruelling challenge for the body, and never have I craved water as much as I did during and after the race,” confesses Nazim.

“In 2014 and 2015 I ran the Leeds 10K and the following year the Gateshead 10K but this was by far the hardest.

“There wasn't much shade on the route which meant the heat was zapping your energy levels and I still had eleven hours after I completed the run before I opened my fast which meant no access to water or drink.”

“I literally had to dig deep into my soul to complete the run and the wonderful crowd kept encouraging me – cheering me on - bless them.”

This was the Bradford careers officers fourth consecutive year completing a 10k during Ramadan and Nazim has raised over an epic £34,000. Over the last eleven years Nazim has done huge amounts of charity work and volunteering, raising almost £115,000 for both local and global causes.

 

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Leeds-Bradford’s record-breaking week

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The record breaking figures are in correlation with the start of the summer holidays

The record breaking figures are in correlation with the start of the summer holidays

 

With such huge numbers visiting LBA mean the month of June has the potential to be the busiest month in the airport’s history.

These numbers come only a few weeks after staff and passengers were evacuated after a suspicious package was found which is testament to people travelling that they continue as normal.

In the last 12 months LBA were statistically the second best nationally for its overall on-time performance as more than 3.6m passengers used the airports services.

The most popular departing destinations for last summer were Palma, Alicante, Malaga, Dublin and Faro, which look set to prominent again this time round.

David Laws, Chief Executive at LBA, said: “These passenger numbers are really encouraging and it’s great to set a new record of passengers coming through Leeds Bradford Airport.

“This achievement is a real team effort; working closely with all our partners has made this possible.

“We will be focusing continually on driving up standards here at LBA and we have undergone major developments in the terminal over the winter.

“Therefore, passengers travelling through the airport will notice significant changes and improvements in the coming weeks and months.

“We aim to be the number one airport of choice for passengers in the region and I have a clear vision as to how we can achieve this.

“I very much look forward to a busy and successful summer and beyond.”

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School hosts street party in honour of Jo Cox

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A Bradford primary school is helping bring its community together for a street party in honour of the late MP Jo Cox.

All Saints CE Primary School, in Little Horton, is hosting the event as part of the Great Get Togethers which are being held across the country to bring communities together on the anniversary of the Yorkshire MP's death.

The All Saints Street Party takes place on Saturday from 2pm in Kennion Street, Little Horton.

The school's head teacher John Davie said: "We serve a diverse community here and we thought that hosting this event would be a great way of bringing people together from our school, the local church and mosques to celebrate this diversity and to honour Jo Cox and the work that is being done in her name to promote hope, tolerance and understanding."

Guests will be welcomed by the Lord Mayor of Bradford Coun Abid Hussain, the Rev Canon Stephen Treasure of All Saints Church and Mr Davie.

The entertainment will include an All Saints Got Talent Final and a performance by children in year four of Bamboo Tamboo, a form of Caribbean music using tubes and beaters. There is also a street performance of Fools Rush In by Harry Kingham and friends, and the police and fire brigade will be attending.

The Lord Mayor Coun Abid Hussain said: "As Jo Cox said in her first speech to Parliament 'We have more in common than that which divides us'. It is good to see a school leading a Bradford community to come together like this to celebrate this important message. I am delighted to be able to attend the All Saints Street Party. "

The event is one of a series of Great Get Togethers taking place across the district and country. They are being launched by the Jo Cox Foundation along with dozens of other community groups.

A picnic and fun day takes place in City Park on Sunday (June 18) where people can enjoy a fun filled afternoon with music, activities, games and great community spirit. Then the Big Iftar takes place on Sunday evening from 7.30pm to 10pm, in City Park. This is a more spiritual event which includes the Iftar - the breaking of the fast for all those observing Ramadan.

Friends of Ilkley Lido are hosting an afternoon of games, entertainment, food and fun at a massive community picnic in The Grove on Sunday from 12 noon until 3pm with people being asked to bring their own food and chairs. And in Keighley, at the Highfield food co-op, an Iftar party is being held from 9.30pm at Sigh Airedale in Highfield Lane.

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RAKKAPOSHI: Sweet success

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Bradford dessert café wins award

A popular Bradford coffee and dessert cafe is celebrating after tasting success in the Asian Voice Charity Awards.

Rakkaposhi on Ebenezer Street reopened its doors on Thursday 8th June following repairs for roof damage shortly after hearing that it had been shortlisted in the start-up of the year category.

The cafe was set up as a social enterprise 18-months ago and donates all its profits to Bradford-based QED Foundation, a national charity that aims to create a peaceful and harmonious society by tackling poverty and inequality.

“We were over the moon to hear that our efforts had been recognised,” says Nazia Ali, the brains behind the venture.

“But when we announced closure for repairs soon afterwards, we were bombarded by disappointed messages from our regular customers. We are delighted that we have been able to open again so quickly.

“We have taken the opportunity to introduce new products to our range and are looking forward to meeting new faces and welcoming our long-standing customers back.'

Rakkaposhi, which is named after a peak in the Karakoram mountain range in Pakistan, has built up a devoted following among customers who appreciate its home-made cookie dough, thick shakes, Liege waffles and Fujis.

Just across the A6181 from the Broadway shopping centre, it also serves premium coffee, indulgent puddings and cakes, ice cream, sundaes and smoothies.

During the month of Ramadan Rakkaposhi is open from 8pm to 1am but after 27th June it will be serving sweet treats, house coffees and  hand-picked tea blends from 3pm -11pm Sunday to Thursday and 3pm – 1am on Friday and Saturday.

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Firefighters uncover Bradford cannabis farm

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CANNABIS FARM UNCOVERED: The empty shop on Thornton Road was the scene of a major fire in the early hours of the morning

CANNABIS FARM UNCOVERED: The empty shop on Thornton Road was the scene of a major fire in the early hours of the morning

 

Up to 15 firefighters from Bradford and Fairweather Green stations were on hand to battle a fierce blaze at an empty shop in Thornton Road.

The fire, at around  3.30am on 12th June, is believed to have been caused by faulty wiring after the electric meter was bypassed. The flames from the incident grew to such a severe size they were visible from outside the shop.

Two hours after they arrived, the shop was declared safe following which crew found the cellar and first floor packed with young and mature cannabis plants.  

Crew manager Mick Mawson also added: “The door had been left wide open we didn't even need to break in. Whoever it was had done a runner before we got there. Someone had been living there, there was a sleeping bag.

"It was all set up with a feed and watering system as well as lights but the wiring was dodgy. The place was also full of air fresheners to try and throw people off the scene.”

A West Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: “Officers have completed their enquiries at the premise and have recovered a number of plants for further investigation.

"It is believed there were as many as 500 plants in the building, but many of these were destroyed by the fire which is believed to have broken out in the early hours of Monday.

"Our enquiries are continuing and we would ask for anyone who may have seen any recent suspicious activity around the building to contact the Bradford City Area Neighbourhood Team on 101, quoting crime reference 13170266226.

"Information can also be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111."

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Fancy a choc fudge treat? Bradford duo takes on the challenge to shift tasty confectionary by the tonne for a sweet cause

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SWEET: Abdul Satar and Amjad Akram have been selling chocolate cakes to locals to raise money for charity

SWEET: Abdul Satar and Amjad Akram have been selling chocolate cakes to locals to raise money for charity

 

Two Bradford heroes have been overloaded with choc fudge cakes during the last couple of weeks, and you’d be forgiven thinking it was all to satisfy the whims of a having a sweet tooth.

Dedicated duo Abdul Satar and Amjad Akram have tirelessly been selling the yummy confectionary, all in aid to raise crucial funds to help improve the lives of innocent blind children.

But, this isn’t the first time they’ve committed to such a task. The pair have been doing charity work for a number of years and last year raised over £20,000 for AKAB school for the blind which is a children’s charity in Pakistan which aims to give hope to blind orphans in the country, who they are again raising money for.

Abdul and Amjad have once again already raised thousands of pounds for the project, and have now stepped-up the ‘sweet fundraising activity’ during the month of Ramadan.

With the cakes supplied by renowned Bradford business Seafresh, Abdul from the Office Furniture Company and Amjad of Letz Talk have been selling the cakes by knocking on doors and businesses, and using social media to plug the campaign.

“We deliver the cakes to people’s doors at £10 each and all the profits we raise go straight to the charity,” comments Amjad.

“We are doing this throughout Ramadan, but there are no hard set goals - whatever we raise is what we raise, they are only a small charity and can often be overlooked.

“It’s imperitive that we think of those less fortunate than us during this special month in the holy calendar.”

AKAB who’s mission statement is ‘to honour, empower the blind community by identification, education and employment’, have an enrolment of over 150 male and female students, which is funded through volunteers and fundraising.

So far, the charity-loving pair have sold over 800 cakes.

“All money from the sale of each cake is going directly to the charity,” adds Abdul.

“Is a very rewarding experience knowing that we’ve done something to assist the lives of young blind children.”

Abdul also carries out weekly charity work through his own local initiative Bradford Community Kitchen Centre for homeless people every Sunday from the Millside Centre in Grattan Road.

If you would like to buy a cake and help this cause, you can contact either Abdul on 07888693196 or Amjad on 07956566666.

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Vigils held in memory of those lost

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UNITED: Different communities came together as one to send love to the families and friends of those lost

UNITED: Different communities came together as one to send love to the families and friends of those lost

 

Thousands turn up for Yorkshire peace rallies to pay tribute to lives lost in Manchester and London terror attacks

All races and religions united to send a message of solidarity, one which has been shared with thousands around our county in support of all those affected in from the attacks in London and Manchester.

People in Yorkshire also gathered in a host of locations such as Sheffield where a peace rally was held, during which Asim Khan expressed his feelings following the despicable acts through a poem.

In this emotive reading he stated: “From the families of the victims their lives won’t ever be the same. So much hurt, so much anger, everlasting pain. And for the criminals responsible - you are totally insane.”  

Elsewhere Bradford Cathedral played host to a peace rally, which was attended by Bishop of Bradford Toby Howarth, the Dean of Bradford Cathedral Jerry Lepine, The Lord Mayor of Bradford Councillor Abid Hussain and other dignitaries.

The Muslim Engagement and Development Community and Stand Up to Racism organised several locations across the country including Hull and Leeds to pay tribute the lives cut short and to make a stand against hatred and division.

As well as the resilience in Yorkshire there was a vigil held near London Bridge with more than 100 Imams from across the country, co-ordinated by Leeds’ Qari Asim.

Qari Asim helped bring Imans from across the country together to condemn the recent atrocities in Manchester and London and make clear that there is no religious justification in the taking of innocent lives.

During the vigil a statement was read condemning extremism and terrorist violence, endorsed by 500 British Imams from all over the UK.

The Imams also set out the actions they will be taking within their communities and mosques to help eradicate the perverted interpretation of Islam that is put forward by extremist groups.

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MAN ON A MISSION: 2,400 food parcels distributed to refugees on Turkish/Syrian border

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“For me that is the best part just seeing them smile and taking their mind off the horrors no child should witness”

A good Samaritan from Bradford who self-funded a Ramadan food aid trip to the Turkish border has returned home and says the immense gratefulness of displaced Syrians moved him to the core.

Nazim Ali, who has been raising funds for both local and overseas charities over the past 19-years made his fifth humanitarian trip to the Turkish/Syrian border with Dewsbury-based international humanitarian organisation SKT Welfare last month.

Raising a whopping £100,000 for this particular Ramadan mission, SKT Welfare sent out 21 members of the team to distribute hundreds of essential food parcels, each feeding a family of five for thirty days.

Nazim himself raised £16,479 for Syrian refugees for this trip, making his personal total raised for a plethora of charitable causes so far, at an all time high at over £100,000.

“We packed and distributed almost 2,400 food parcels, and I also took a suitcase full of toys for Syrian refugee children, which I distributed to Syrian orphans,” says Nazim.

“The intense six-day aid delivery trip consisted of a gruelling challenge in the blazing heat up to 38 degrees, and then just three or four hours sleep a day, if that.”

The passionate team distributed food parcels to the Turkish/Syrian border town of Reyhanli, which is 25-miles from war torn Aleppo. People have sought refuge in makeshift tents and partially built homes.

“Nothing has improved in terms of the living conditions of Syrian refugees since my very first visit four years ago,” states Nazim.

“You know the situation on the ground is dire when children do not have appropriate footwear or clothing and when it is torn and dirty.

“They ration the little food they have so that it lasts as long as possible, as they often have large combined families of up to 12 people living in one-room accommodation.

“Other refugees are living in almost underground caves - premises which you wouldn't deem fit enough for animals let alone humans!

“For me helping those in need, irrespective of religious affiliation or ethnicity, is a religious obligation as a devout British Muslim, and that’s what keeps me going.

“I visited Istanbul (Turkey) and came across so many Syrian refugees seeking monetary assistance. Small children as young as five-years-old are selling tissues at road-side so they can help earn a living and provide for their families, often working until midnight.”

Nazim says seeing, first-hand, the horrific injuries some children have sustained is hugely distressing .

“My heart literally sunk when I saw loss of limbs on particularly children and young people and hearing their harrowing stories on how they suffered such devastating injuries.”

The dedicated aid worker says that it was heart-rendering to see the Syrian children smiling and elated at receiving the toys that he gave them.

“For me that is the best part just seeing them smile and taking their mind off the horrors no child should witness due to the brutal on-going Syrian conflict which is into it's sixth year and shows no sign of ending.

“The suffering of the Syrian people both internally and externally displaced is continuing and is the biggest humanitarian crisis since World War 2.

“I am grateful to the on-going support of the British public, as I often say it is through their kind support and generosity that I am able to do what I do on the ground.

“What sticks in my mind and is the reason I go back taking my annual leave from work is when Syrian refugees have said to me, 'We feel abandoned by the world buy you have left your family (3,000 miles away in the UK) to help us and that means ever so much to us.'

“The Syrian refugees were really surprised when I informed them that the donations from the Ramadan food parcels was from both Muslim and non-Muslim people.

“They have asked me to convey their greetings to you and to convey their appreciation and gratitude for donating towards the food parcels.”

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Braniacs! Titus Salt School Pupils Progress and Succeed with 0% NEET

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Titus Salt School, for the sixth successive year has each pupil that leaving at the end of Year 11 or Sixth Form studies has progressed to a high quality destination.  

They are the only school in Bradford to have achieved this.

0% NEET means that no pupil has become ‘Not in Education, Employment or Training’ and is one indicator of how well a school prepares its pupils for further learning, work and training.  

Each Titus Salt School pupil has a personalised programme of careers education, advice and guidance including opportunities for work experience, studying local enterprises as part of coursework and case studies.

The school works with Prospects to ensure pupils receive impartial and high quality careers advice.  Recent developments include sponsorship from Costain plc to extend our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) provision and also the involvement of Leeds Ahead who support the delivery of enterprise education and skills.

In addition, Titus Salt School continues to develop strong links with Universities and Further Education colleges and is delighted to see that the percentage of pupils going to the top Russell Group universities was double the national figure in 2016.

Ian Morrel, Headteacher said: “We are committed to help every pupil leave with a good education and ready to embark on their next steps.  

“Our zero NEET, development of STEM and collaboration with employers such as Costain plc means we can support our pupils to get a great insight into the world of work, training and further academic study.  

“We are grateful for the support we get from many local businesses, universities and colleges to ensure our offer is broad, high quality and personalised.”

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Icestone Gelato: Stopping the traffic on ‘GT Road’

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Powerhouse of all things yummy - Icestone Gelato sets benchmark for desserts with reopening of Bradford site

Parre hatt jao, hatt jao… for the undisputed king of desserts is back in Bradford with luxurious gelatos, crepes, Belgian waffles, hot cookie-dough, sweet ice-cream sundaes and cheesecakes.

After a fire devastated the much-loved Icestone Gelato site last year in Great Horton Road (AKA GT Road), the team worked tirelessly to completely refurbish the dessert parlour.

The refurbishment has been greeted with rave reviews and endless compliments from customers who love the new vibe that the store offers.

Bradford-based bosses of the Icestone Gelato ice-cream chain have spent a considerable amount of money on its Great Horton Road site bringing it in line with the newer more vibrant-looking stores in Huddersfield and Wolverhampton.

“Some things remain our secret very much like our logo ‘Nobody Has To Know’”, says Director of Operations Paul Morris.

“We are very conscious of our humble beginnings and would never devaluate the importance of our oldest and loyal customers who helped us to make Great Horton Road and obviously the Icestone Gelato brand into the thriving success it is today.”

Icestone Gelato set unprecedented standards being the very first to offer a dessert restaurant experience in the heart of Yorkshire over four-years-ago, and attracted customers from all over Britain.

The brand has ambitious plans announcing other new stores in some great locations such as Leeds, Newcastle and Liverpool; the expansion doesn’t confine itself to the UK, CEO Mahboob Hussain, is pushing Icestone Gelato internationally with his sights set on Asia and beyond.

“It really is amazing to see how our brand is capturing the imagination of other like-minded business people who recognise the strength and longevity Icestone has to offer,” comments Mahboob.  

“Icestone Gelato is unique as we are the innovators we believe in bringing luxury, authentic Gelato initially to the streets of Bradford and latterly to the country on a whole.

“Our Gelato is made and presented with artisan technique with some of the finest Italian Gelato experts overseeing our operation. We are always pushing forward with new ideas to continue to improve our products.”

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A roaring success

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Bradford’s Dragonboat Festival sees teams battling it out over three-day tournament

Thousands of people from different faiths and cultures descended upon Roberts Park in Saltaire to enjoy the spectacle of the Dragonboat Festival, now in it’s third year.

It’s been estimated that some 15,000 people turned up for the three-day event which ran from Friday 5th May to Sunday 7th May.

Whilst the festival was delivered by volunteers, many of them were council officers jointly working with local businesses and the community to showcase the positive attitudes and the best in community spirit within the city.  

Other cities have seen this and are now using Bradford as the benchmark.  

During the event supporters cheered on some 41 teams from across our region, including the first international team ever to participate from Pakistan, thanks to the Consul General of Pakistan, Ahmed Amjad Ali.

Committed to promoting Pakistani culture to both British Pakistanis and the wider community, is a passion very close to the Consul General’s heart. Says Mr Ali: “I am keen to promote a positive image of Pakistan and Pakistanis in Britain, as there is so much for us to give to the wider community.

“As Pakistanis living in Britain, we must take an active interest to educate people that Pakistan is a peaceful and loving nation.

Teams were raising money for the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Geoff Reid’s chosen charity YoungMinds, which helps children, young people and their parents to find out about the mental health and wellbeing services that are available to them.

As well as taking to the boats, other entertainment in the park included live music, an Army inflatable assault course, a climbing wall and public Zumba classes.

Registration for 2018 has already opened and people can register via the website http://www.bradforddragonboatfestival.co.uk

 


 

The winners of the championships

  • Day 1 Youth Championship (5th May)

Appleton Academy (Seniors) How to Train Your Dragon Boat (Juniors)

  • Day 2 The Charity Festival for the Lord Mayor's Appeal (6th May)

Provi-Ducks

  • Day 3

Socially Minded Mish Mash Splish Splash who are raising money for Centre Point

 


 

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Great Wall challenge will boost dementia fund

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It’s so huge it’s visible from space and has been named as one of the ‘New 7 Wonders of the World.’

Now, two intrepid members of staff at Bradford Royal Infirmary, part of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, will see the mighty Great Wall of China first hand when they attempt to walk sections of it – and all in the name of charity.

Consultant Physician, Care of the Elderly, Eliz Brierley and Lead Nurse for Dementia, Danni Woods are now headed for an adventure of a lifetime which will see them trekking around 35 km (22 miles) along stretches of the famous structure, in order to raise money for the Trust’s Forget-Me-Not charity which supports patients with dementia.

The momentous challenge will take place in the run up to National Dementia Awareness Week, which runs from 14th-20th May.

The terrain and the altitude will certainly be taxing with sections such as Gubeikou, Jinshanling, Mutianyu and Juyongguan described as “tough” and “challenging.”

And as well as various steep ascents and descents, there will be hundreds of steps to conquer as the walkers aim to master dozens of watchtowers during their five-day trek!

Eliz said: “People may well be asking why we are doing this but it will be a terrific experience and at the end of the day we will be helping our patients with dementia so that’s our motivation. When Danni asked if I fancied taking on the challenge, I thought ‘why not?’ We are both fully funded so everything donated goes to the Forget-Me-Not fund.”

Danni added: “This is a fantastic charity and a really worthy cause, and with the money we raise, we will be able to provide materials and equipment which can make such a difference to patients.”

Some of the resources already benefiting patients include brightly-coloured crockery which can help with visual impairment, and revolutionary ‘My Life’ digital reminiscence units, which can help with anxiety. Eliz and Danni hope the money they raise can help to provide more of these helpful aids.

Between them they have now raised almost £5,000, smashing their original target of £3,000 thanks to generous sponsorship from colleagues, family and friends as well as a number of fund-raising local events including a beetle drive and supper, ceilidh, wine tasting, race night and treasure hunt.

“The ‘My Life’ units are invaluable because they can really help patients with cognitive impairment,” explained Eliz.

“By simply touching the screen, the software stimulates people with dementia to start lively discussions, debates, and telling of anecdotes of long-forgotten tales. Personal media items can also be uploaded, allowing families, carers and people with dementia to view images from the past or other relevant images. This ensures everyone can have a meaningful and personal experience.”

Danni, who is being funded by ‘MY Dementia Improvement Network Life’, added: “So far we have 20 units but we would like to provide more. These units plus the other equipment we are able to buy all help to create environments which support our patients who are experiencing dementia-related difficulties.

“Our priority is to maintain a person’s independence as far as possible and make people feel relaxed while at the same time, providing a stimulating environment which provokes conversation and engagement.”

To prepare for the momentous trek, both Danni and Eliz have been in training, which has included regular walks, swimming and visits to the gym!

“I think the variations in temperature and the terrain will really stretch us and there will be cultural challenges too,” said Eliz.

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Pakistani sponsors of Tour de Yorkshire put on colourful show of prancing horses, disco buses, dhols and dancing

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PROUD PAKISTANI: Consul General of Pakistan, Ahmed Amjad Ali is committed to promoting a positive image of the country

PROUD PAKISTANI: Consul General of Pakistan, Ahmed Amjad Ali is committed to promoting a positive image of the country

 

‘Desi-style’!

Bradford’s Centenary Square was drizzling with colour on Sunday 30th April in a unique and cultural display of involvement from the city’s Pakistani community honouring Tour de Yorkshire.

In true desi-style, the Consul General of Pakistan, Ahmed Amjad Ali, one of the sponsors of the much-loved annual Yorkshire cycling event, pulled together key figures from region to infuse the culture of Pakistan with the mainstream celebrations.

Committed to promoting Pakistani culture to both British Pakistanis and the wider community, is a passion very close to the Consul General’s heart. Says Mr Ali: “I am keen to promote a positive image of Pakistan and Pakistanis in Britain, as there is so much for us to give to the wider community.

“As Pakistanis living in Britain, we must take an active interest to educate people that Pakistan is a peaceful and loving nation.

Students from Oasis Academy Lister Park represented the Consul General at the Centenary Square celebrations, dressed in Punjabi, Sindhi, NWFP’s, Balochistani and Kashmiri attire and performed traditional provincial dances.

Making a particularly beautiful spectacle were the horses adorned in Pakistani-accessories, a ‘disco-bus’ in all its glitzy splendour - thanks to Regal Bakeries and the sounds of beating dhols, which all encouraged hundreds of heart-lifting comments and talking points from the wider community.

“The showcase of Pakistani culture drew in the crowds with particularly non-Pakistani people taking snaps and asking lots of questions,” comments former England Rugby player Ikram Butt.

“It was a wonderful heart-warming and fun day, more of this should happen and more often.”

Waqar Younis of Regal Foolds says: “It was an honour to support the Consul General’s initiative to promote Pakistan. We felt the ‘disco-bus’ would be an iconic representation of the country – it’s colourful and  lots of fun and generated a lot of interest on the day.

“Being an established dominant Bradford brand which exports products globally, we feel a great sense of responsibility to influence diversity and take the lead where we can.

“Regal Foods is fondly called the ‘world’s local baker’ – we’re proud to be British, proud to be Yorkshiremen and proud to represent diversity in this city.”

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“I have heard first-hand accounts of mothers mixing water with sugar for their babies because they couldn’t afford baby milk.”

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GOOD SAMARITAN: Nazim Ali will be travelling to the Turkish-Syrian border with SKT Welfare to deliver food parcels to starving families

GOOD SAMARITAN: Nazim Ali will be travelling to the Turkish-Syrian border with SKT Welfare to deliver food parcels to starving families

 

Bradford man on a self-funded pre-Ramadhan food aid trip

A Bradford man who is self-funding his fifth aid trip to the Turkish-Syrian border, this time to distribute Ramadhan food parcels to displaced Syrians, says he’s compelled to do what he can as the images of their desperate faces haunts him.

Devoted humanitarian Nazim Ali has raised almost £100,000 over the last 19 years for numerous charities both locally and globally, by partaking in numerous challenges such as marathons, 10K runs and mountain treks.

Now, ahead of Ramadhan on 15th May, during his annual leave as a Careers Adviser, he’ll be travelling to Reyhanli and surrounding areas to provide supplies to displaced families in the Turkish/Syrian border.

Leaving the comforts of his home for a week, Nazim - also a Non-Magistrate for the North and West Yorkshire Advisory Committee, will make his way to the Turkish-Syria border accompanied by other humanitarians from Dewsbury-based international humanitarian charity SKT Welfare.

Speaking to the Asian Express, Nazim says: “This is my fifth visit to the region for the fourth consecutive year, it is also the third consecutive annual Pre-Ramadan Aid Trip.”

“My trip is self-funded ensuring 100% of donations go towards the food parcels.

“I can tell you the situation has not changed for the displaced Syrians. Many families are living in partially built homes with no windows or doors, some are living in tents and are in need of food and water – commodities we take for granted.”

The crisis in Syria is the biggest humanitarian emergency in our era, with almost three-million Syrian refugees fleeing to Turkey for safety and struggling to survive

“They (Syrians) need our help. The conflict has been going on for over six-years now and sadly shows no sign of ending.

“I have heard first-hand accounts of mothers mixing water with sugar for their babies because they couldn’t afford baby milk. Large families are rationing the very little food they have so that it lasts as long as possible.”

Nazim adds that one of the primary reasons he keeps going back are the Syrian refugees who have told him that it’s not just the aid he delivers that is appreciated, but the fact that his presence gives them solace.

“They are so thankful that someone has left their family 3,000 miles away in the UK to help them.

“They say ‘we (Syrian refugees) feel the world has forgotten about us but you being here (delivering aid to us) shows us and gives us comfort that we are not alone and in our hour of need are here to support us’.

“Just as many Muslims will be fasting in Ramadhan (for up to 20-hours without food or drink), so will they.

“The only difference is that we will be opening our fasts in our homes with our loved ones and in the presence of an abundance of food. They (Syrian refugees) however will be struggling to afford basic items such as dates and water.

“Hundreds of thousands of Syrians are suffering and in desperate need of assistance. In Reyhanli alone it is estimated there are almost 80,000 externally displaced Syrian refugees.

“I am also like previous aid trips planning to, God willing, take a suitcase full of toys for the Syrian Orphans and will hopefully visit SKT Welfare’s flagship state of the art ‘Springs of Hope Orphanage and Family Centre’ in the Turkish/Syrian border town of Reyhanli.

“For the last two years I have run 10K Runs in Ramadan for the aforementioned orphanage raising over £22,000."

 


 

Nazim had requested readers of Asian Express to assist in this aid mission. People can donate on: www.justgiving.com/nazim4syria or for further information can call 07825 698283 or e-mail: nazim27@hotmail.com - one food pack costs £50 and consists of two parcels each weighing 20.5KG each, providing enough food for a family of five people for one month.

 


 

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Yorkshire’s first hijab-wearing Police Officer handles pub brawls, domestic incidents, dead bodies and more

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INSPIRING: PC Tayyaba Afzal is Yorkshire’s first female Muslim hijab-wearing police officer pictured here with PC Amjad Ditta

INSPIRING: PC Tayyaba Afzal is Yorkshire’s first female Muslim hijab-wearing police officer pictured here with PC Amjad Ditta - Positive Action Coordinator and Authorised Firearms Officer

 

Super hijabi cop!

“A person’s role in society shouldn’t be seen as any different from anybody who doesn’t wear the hijab or the turban or the mosque hat.” PC Tayyaba Afzal

The Bradford District continues to set standards nationwide with it being the Curry Capital of Britain for the sixth year running, part of the epic Tour de Yorkshire (third instalment this weekend), UNESCO’s City of Film and home to some 200 South Asian restaurants, just to mention a mere handful of attributes.

And now, the City can add to its growing portfolio of sheer uniqueness, a female Muslim bobby patrolling the streets donning a hijab as part of her official attire. She’s involved with handling pub brawls, domestic incidents, dealing with dead bodies amongst some of her daily duties.

PC Tayyaba Afzal, one of the latest trained District Response Officers from the force, is Yorkshire’s first hijab-wearing police officer and marks the growing diversity and ever-evolving ethnic dynamics of West Yorkshire Police (WYP).

She became interested in a career with the police and attended a workshop led by PC Amjad Ditta a Positive Action Coordinator and Authorised Firearms Officer. Here she quizzed PC Ditta about if she would be accepted by WYP if she wore her headscarf and whether she’d be granted permissions to offer her prayers.

“I feel strongly about wearing the hijab as it’s an intrinsic part of my beliefs and values,” explains PC Afzal.

“PC Ditta answered all of my questions. He reassured me that WYP, due to the diverse work that it does and deep involvement with the communities, I’d be welcomed into the force.”

Following the application process, PC Afzal dedicated herself to completing each stage of the recruitment process. Finally, after finishing 12-weeks of intense training, she’s now a police officer serving the communities.

“Staying true to my identity has been really important for me, and what I have accomplished shows that no matter what background you're from you can be part of the service and make a difference; this reflects on the police force in a very positive way.”

“I would say it’s a career like no other and a varied role. You can still practice your religion and beliefs and have a career. It gives you skills for life and is a very rewarding job.

“A person’s role in society shouldn’t be seen as any different from anybody who doesn’t wear the hijab or the turban or the mosque hat.

“It’s a shame that we live in an age where we are judged by the way we look, but that’s why I have joined to bust these myths and overcome the barriers others may perceive that exist.”

The Muslim communities have given PC Afzal much respect, and she says mostly when dealing with disruptions or tense situations, seeing a Muslim headscarf-wearing female demands respect.

“It’s really encouraging,” comments PC Afzal.

“While arresting an individual recently they commented ‘It’s nice to see the police becoming diverse and accepting all other communities as well.’ I was totally taken aback, slightly amused and also pleasantly surprised – I took it as a huge compliment. It made my day.”

PC Amjad Ditta worked with PC Tayyaba Afzal to create the WYP-approved hijab which would be both professional and comfortable to wear and says he felt that WYP had taken a great positive leap in representing the communities out there

“There’s more to be done. However we are going in the right direction,” comments PC Ditta.

“The engagement that I and other officers including members of the community, mosque leaders, councillors and others have undertaken has had a significant impact in attracting a more diverse workforce.

“PC Afzal is a role model and an inspiration for other females who have always wanted to join but for reasons like "is the headscarf allowed" and "will we get time to pray" may have stopped them from applying.

“We as a force encourage all backgrounds to come and join our service.

“We need more individuals like PC Afzal and others to come and be part of the service.

“I would say it's a job for life and a vocation. No one day is the same and each day brings its own challenges and rewards.

If anyone is interested in any role in the police services, you can contact PC Ditta direct on Facebook PC Amjad Ditta or Twitter @wyp_amjadditta or email amjad.ditta@westyorkshire.pnn.police.uk

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Sikh New Year celebrated with vibrancy: Thousands turn out for Bradford’s annual Vaisakhi parade

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PANJ PYARE: The 'Five Beloved' of Sikh history - is symbolised here by five members of the modern Khalsa as they lead the procession (Photo credit: Jag Kalsi

PANJ PYARE: The 'Five Beloved' of Sikh history - is symbolised here by five members of the modern Khalsa as they lead the procession (Photo credit: Jag Kalsi

Hundreds of thousands of Sikhs across Britain celebrated Vaisakhi over the Easter weekend and marked the day with impressive holy parades throughout the country.

The annual festival is one of the most sacred days in the Sikh calendar and marks the creation of the Khalsa - the Sikh order into which all followers are baptised or initiated, something which is held dearly to the 300 million Sikhs worldwide.

In Bradford on Saturday 15th April, thousands turned out as per their annual commitment to put on a spectacular display of colour and pride to rejoice the Sikh new year from Ramgarhia Sikh Gurdwara. The procession takes a number of hours merging with people from other temples in the city as it goes along.

Dressed in orange, worshippers made their way through Bradford to celebrate the harvest festival, which traditionally begins with tea and traditional Asian breakfast of chickpeas, chapattis, samosas and Karah-prashad.

SIKH PRIDE: For Sikhs, Orange is the colour of connection, a sense of community and belonging. Here the Nishan Sahib is cleaned by Jeet Kalsi and other members of the congregation (Photo credit: Jag Kalsi)

SIKH PRIDE: For Sikhs, Orange is the colour of connection, a sense of community and belonging. Here the Nishan Sahib is cleaned by Jeet Kalsi and other members of the congregation (Photo credit: Jag Kalsi)

Jag Kalsi explains: “After breakfast, the congregation sits in the Diwan hall for prayers following which we prepare for the parade.

“If you’re not familiar with the parade, all the temples get together in Bradford and we walk from temple to temple, which takes around four hours. It’s quite an extensive walk.

“We prepared the outside area for the massive parade. Local businesses donate food, snacks, drinks and crisps for people to enjoy and get refuelled.

“The parade is a much-enjoyed spectacle for people of all faiths and we always have lovely comments from non-Sikh people. It’s always such a fantastic feeling being part of such a vibrant festival.”

COMMITTED: Crowds of Sikhs walked for up to four hours from temple to temple (Photo credit: Jag Kalsi)

COMMITTED: Crowds of Sikhs walked for up to four hours from temple to temple (Photo credit: Jag Kalsi)


The Five Ks

The Five Ks are the articles of faith that Sikhs wear as ordered by the 10th Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. Most Sikhs wear one or more of the articles but only Sikhs who have taken amrit - a ritual analogous to baptism, wear all. They include:

  • Kesh - Ushorn long hair, which is protected by a dastaar, or turban. The dastaar is worn by men and some women to cover their long hair. But most women keep their hair long and uncovered, except for when entering a gurdwara
  • Kangha - a small wooden comb meant to keep the hair combed twice a day
  • Kara - an iron bangle to be worn on the hand used most
  • Kachera - a specific undergarment for men and women
  • Kirpan - a short dagger

 

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Indian music extravaganza for Bradford’s older residents with south Asian sounds of tabla, dhol and harmonium

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Dhan dhanak dhin dha dha

Residents at a local Bradford Extra Care estate were treated to an Indian musical master class  when the QED Foundation visited the Dove Court development as part of its musical memories initiative.

The young-at-heart occupants of the Hanover Housing Association property couldn’t not believe their eyes and ears on Wednesday 10th April, when they were greeted by the delightfully infectious sights and sounds of percussion instruments from the subcontinent.

Joined at the music feast by the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Geoff Reid, and the Lady Mayoress, Chris Reid, everyone couldn’t help but limber-up with some Indian style tunes.

Along with help from trained volunteers, participants were encouraged to interact with the music by learning how to play instruments.

The musical treat from QED was thanks to funding received from the Postcode Community Trust to provide sessions for older people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in the Bradford area.

The QED program was established to help improve the health and wellbeing of older people in the Bradford area by increasing self-confidence and helping reduce isolation through music therapy.

Also attending the jam session was Hanover’s Chairman Dr Stuart Burgess, who said: “This has been a hugely successful and entertaining gathering.

“It is testament to our ongoing commitment to engage with the many vibrant cultures in Bradford and we look forward to working with QED to host further interactive events like this in the future.”

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Volunteers determined to help Forest of Bradford hit its one-million tree-planting target

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There’s just no stopping them…

It’s seems like there’s no stopping these green-fingered enthusiastic volunteers who’ve been working towards hitting the one million tree planting mega-mission for Yorkshire.

Eager individuals from the Sant Nirankari Mission, some as young as three-years-old, helped plant 700 trees at Lineham Farm in Eccup, Leeds, in an associated effort for Forest of Bradford.

It was a special day as two of the volunteers celebrated their 30th and 41st  birthdays on site and even cut birthday cakes there too.

This was the last tree-planting of the 2016/2017 season and Forest of Bradford Manager Ian Butterfield said: "We will hang our spades up now till the new season starts again in  October.

“In total 70,000 tress have been planted this season alone, and a great big thank you to all groups who have come out and helped plant these trees in all types of weather.

“We are well onto reaching our target of planting million trees in the Yorkshire  area. A really special thanks to Sant Nirankari Mission Yorkshire volunteers who come out with their youngsters and elders to do a fantastic job.”

Meenakshi Arya commented: " It was great to work alongside many volunteers to plant trees.

“The team effort on the day reinforced that when we come together to do good in our societies anything can be achieved.

“There is no better way to spend your Saturday morning in the beautiful countryside helping the environment we live in. I really enjoyed it and it was also my 30th Birthday it was the best way to spend it!

Sukhy Chahal who was also celebrating his birthday said: " I enjoyed my birthday tree planting with my son, daughter and wife and helping the planet for next generations to enjoy."
The day ended with a picnic in the lovely sunny weather. The faith group say they’ve had a great time helping to plant the trees and look forward to the new season.

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Solidarity: Community champion rallies over 200 people in Bradford graveyard clean up

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EXEMPLARY: Adil Shaan (left) urges young people to join in positive voluntary actions, pictured here with his colleague Isran Akhtar and in the background Suria Nawaz and her children Muhammad, Ahmad and Aminah

EXEMPLARY: Adil Shaan (left) urges young people to join in positive voluntary actions, pictured here with his colleague Isran Akhtar and in the background Suria Nawaz and her children Muhammad, Ahmad and Aminah

 

“Kullu Nafsin Zaiqatul Maut” (every soul shall taste death)”

In an amazing show of solidarity, over 200 people gave up their Sunday to join forces in a major clean up of one of Bradford’s largest graveyards.

Eager men, women and children equipped with their wellies, gloves, spades and bags descended upon Scholemoor Cemetery in Great Horton, one of 24 cemeteries in the Bradford Metropolitan District.

This was the graveyard’s second major clean-up and took over six hours to rid it from fly tipping mess that had been dumped there. The initiative was organised by voluntary group ‘Friends of the Deceased’ (FOTD).

27-year-old banking complaints manager Adil Shaan, founder of FOTD group, says that he was inspired to keep the graveyard clean and litter-free as his own grandparents are buried at Scholemoor.

Headed up by Adil, volunteers, many of whom don’t even have family members buried there, flocked the site to lend a helping hand. They ended up filling an entire skip and over 50 large bags of refuse.

“My social media post went viral last year after I called out for people to come and assist with tidying up the cemetery for the first time,” explains Heaton-man Adil.

“It’s been such an eye-opener.

There are so many good-hearted people around who are willing to give up some hours for selfless labour, all you have to do is ask.”

As well as rallying up support through Facebook again this year, which was shared widely by friends and family, Adil and his friends had posters and flyers made which were put up in businesses and community centres across Bradford.

The group saw many local businesses generously donating gardening tools, gloves, bags and refreshments for those toiling away on the day.

Adil reminisces that last year when the first ever clean up started, the late much-loved 33-year charity worker and humanitarian Syed Sharaz Ali Shah - fondly known as Shah Gee took part.

Shah Gee suffered from breathing problems and died during a major operation on his heart at Leeds General Infirmary in September last year.

“Now Shah Gee is buried on the same site he was cleaning,” says Adil sadly. It’s heart-breaking when you look back and remember.

“Friends Of Shah Gee all attended this years clean up too.”

Adil says that he hopes to inspire young people. “’Be part of something different that has never been done before.

“’Kullu Nafsin Zaiqatul Maut’ (every soul shall taste death).

“A lot of us will only be able to donate a relatively small amount of time at each clean up, but it is important to see the bigger picture you are contributing to.

“Powerful work is made up of thousands of actions from a number of people who come together.

“I would ask young people to volunteer their free time and give time to any projects that helps the local community.

“Myself starting from young age of volunteering,  it is very rewarding, you feel good about yourself and most importantly seeing changes that you made in your local community makes you proud.”

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Curry in a hurry: Proud Bradford-brand Aagrah gives authentic taste with handmade tarka cooking sauces

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INNOVATIVE: Aagrah Managing Director Mohammed Aslam MBE, DL, talks about his handmade cooking sauces

INNOVATIVE: Aagrah Managing Director Mohammed Aslam MBE, DL, talks about his handmade cooking sauces

 

Many of us are familiar with the Aagrah Restaurant Group famed for its delicious fine dining experience. Popularity of their “tarka cooking sauces” with home-diners has really hit the spot for those who wish to create award-winning Aagrah dishes at home.  

Using the Aagrah Cooking Sauces you too can become an expert chef and create delicious meat or vegetarian dishes.

It takes minutes to create Chicken Hydrabadi, Lamb Balti, Veg Achari, the much-devoured Chicken Tikka Masala or the original curry dish Chicken Karahi. Using any of their cooking sauces, simply add your choice of meat or veg for a mouth-watering masterpiece.

The handmade cooking sauces are a great healthy option and are free from artificial colours, preservatives, flavourings, nut and dairy. Featuring a combination of the chef’s innovation and tradition of taste, Aagrah’s Tarka Cooking Sauces offer a perfect solution for lovers of curry in a hurry.  

The range of five deliciously authentic cooking sauces, let you create the perfect meal in minutes. Each jar serves four portions and you can grab yours from supermarkets Asda and Co-Op.

The sauces are a creation of the much loved and respected Aagrah Restaurant Group, with 14 branches throughout Yorkshire.

The restaurant chain have been serving award-winning dishes for the last 40-years under the helm of Managing Director  Mohammed Aslam, MBE, DL. Joining the team is Shezad Aslam, Director of Aagrah Foods, son of the Managing Director who is now heading the Aagrah Tarka Cooking Sauces operation.

Shezad brings a vast experience in the food sector working for Mars as a Project Manager.

Commenting on his vision for the cooking sauces Shezad says: “I am excited about building on our customer-base and looking at new markets.

“With a strong brand like Aagrah behind the sauces, we will be exhibiting at major trade food shows around the country as well as exploring international markets”.

The Executive Chef’s team have travelled to regions of Pakistan where the recipes originate to appreciate the true taste of local culture. Blending the team’s innovative ideas into authentic local cuisine. The dishes created from Aagrah Cooking Sauces are essential for any store cupboard.

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Sufi music and dance to be celebrated at star-studded festival

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ORGANISER: Zaffar Tanweer is the brains behind the festival

ORGANISER: Zaffar Tanweer is the brains behind the festival 

A Muslim celebration of music and dance in the Sufi tradition is set to become a permanent feature on Bradford's cultural calendar.

Saif-ul-Maluk is an allegorical book of poetry from one of the best-loved sufi saints – Mian Mohammad Bakhsh.

This year the third Saif-ul-Maluk Festival is all set to take place at the beautiful Alhambra theatre over two days, and will feature a music concert boasting hugely popular A-list artists from the Indo-Pak subcontinent.

Organiser Zaffar Tanweer hopes to make the Saif-ul-Maluk conference and festival an indelible feature of Bradford's cultural calendar, a city which has been a strong contender for capital of culture, and is home to one of the most diverse populations anywhere in the country.

FESTIVAL: Punjabi singer Hans Raj Hans performing at tha previous festival

FESTIVAL: Punjabi singer Hans Raj Hans performing at tha previous festival

 

"We would like Bradfordians to embrace this event of love peace and respect for all faiths colours and creeds as taught by the great Sufi thinkers of the world," he said.

"Mian Mohammad Baksh who wrote the poetry more than a century ago is a highly respected thinker and an equally loved poet among Bradford's Asian communities. His message of love for all has never been needed as much as it is in today's world."

The festival will comprise of two sessions of discussion and music, and will feature prominent scholars, world famous singers Hans Raj Hans and Ustad Rafaqat Ali Khan, and will introduce new, home-grown talent.

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Prity City: Prity Beauty salon branches are conquering Yorkshire

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There’s been a lot of publicity in recent years around the art of threading as a beauty treatment. It seems every single high street pharmacy has a ‘threading bar’ just waiting to get at unruly brows and there are even shops devoted to the craft that offer 15-mins lunch-time-fixes.

Whilst convenience is great for some things; food, drink, travel etc., one thing we don’t want to go for quantity over quality on is how we look, and most importantly, how we achieve that look!

Enter Prity Beauty Salons, based in both Bradford and Harrogate.

Prity Salons are market leaders in the ancient Indian art of Ayurveda. This means they concentrate on natural and traditional beauty and wellbeing treatments, ensuring their philosophy of high quality, natural & organic ingredients are first and foremost in their approach.

Prity Salons have over 30-years of experience within the beauty industry, and are a fully licensed and qualified microblading salon. Microblading is a form of semi permanent makeup which uses hair strokes to enhance the shape of eyebrows. It’s recommended for people who want to achieve a new shape or combat sparse eyebrows and lack of hair growth.

Always being one step ahead of the trends, Prity are one of the first salons to offer Microblading in the UK. Combining this unique treatment opportunity with their extensive experience in the industry and being the first salon to offer a Hamam (Turkish Bath) in Bradford, Prity show why they are leaps and bounds above the rest in offering innovative, original and ground breaking beauty therapy.

For those wanting something extra after enjoying the decadence and relaxation of a Prity treatment, the company has evolved to create a unique cosmetics brand, offering Ayurveda inspired products to take home from their salons, also now available to purchase online via their website: www.prityskincare.com.

Open 7 days a week and offering a walk in service, Asian Express readers can find out about Prity Beauty’s latest offers, made available on their Facebook (prityskincare.com) or Instagram @pritysalon.

With salons located at: 65 Leeds Road, Harrogate, HG2 8BE and Bradford 14 Legrams Lane, Bradford, BD7 1ND. Appointments can be made by calling 01423 871286 and 01274 307040 respectively.

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Zahbro Sports Ltd are unstoppable force in ever expanding Bradford Boxing scene

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Boxing booms in Bradford

It feels like Bradford is synonymous with boxing with boxing legends Roberto Duran coming to Bradford in May and Floyd Mayweather making a stop off in the city this month, it’s a hotspot for UK-based boxing events.

This makes Bradford a natural home for one of the country’s best boxing outlets. Zahbro Sports Ltd based at St Andrew Mill, Legrams Lane, Bradford, is one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of martial arts and boxing equipment as well as other sporting goods, in the UK.

Having been in the business since 2009 and an (Amateur) International Boxing Association approved stockist, Zahbro Sports Ltd specialise in both the manufacture and retailing of sports equipment. Their unique standing as AIBA suppliers means Zahbro Sports Ltd can promise their goods are of top quality by ensuring all products are tested against arduous quality control measures, as required by the AIBA.

Zahbro Sports Ltd operates on numerous platforms including eBay and Amazon and prides itself in its adept level of customer service throughout. By keeping a close watch on market prices, Zahrbo Sports Ltd can ensure that they always remain competitive.

Speaking to Asian Express Muhammed Zahid, manager of Zahbro Sports Ltd said “Our mission is simple, quality, comfort, design and durability are the characteristics that are found within the DNA of all our equipment.  By focusing on comfort, design and durability together we ensure that the ergonomics of our products are balanced to perfection.

“Our vision is to bring the world together through sports. Our Passion for sports is the heart of our business.” Muhammed concludes.

Whether you’re looking for boxing gloves, focus mitts, shin guards, Muay Thai equipment, MMA  gear,  shorts , gym belts, skipping ropes or more, Zahbro Sports Ltd are your go to for quality and customer service.

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Running for £24,000: Bradford’s determined fundraiser helps to raise money for cancer care

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10K: Kamlesh Patel recently took part in a ten kilometre run in Bradford

10K: Kamlesh Patel recently took part in a ten kilometre run in Bradford

 

A man from Bradford has been instrumental in raising over £24,000 for charity.

Kamlesh Patel has participated in a number of fund raising events, many of them physically challenging, and he’s showing no signs so slowing down.

Marie Curie is a charity that is very important to Kamlesh, so much so that he’s helped to raise over £9,000 for hem.

“Marie Curie needs donations to continue running its nursing service, hospices, support line and much more,” Kamlesh explained.

“Cancer touches the lives of many, young and old.

“I feel emotionally touched seeing people suffering from cancer and wanted to do something for them and their families, which will help the cancer patient’s quality of life.

“The hospice in Leeds-Bradford provides free specialist medical cancer care for people with serious and terminal illnesses and emotional support for their families, giving them the best possible quality of life.”

The hospice is a place where cancer suffers can stay, or visit regularly to receive treatment such as pain relief, physiotherapy and complimentary therapies.

“It’s a warm, welcoming place where loved ones can be together,” Kamlesh said.

“And because the hospice works hand in hand with local nurses in the community, they also help people return to their own homes and be looked after there.”

FUNDRAISING: Kamlesh Patel has helped to raise an impressive £24,000 over the years for various causes

FUNDRAISING: Kamlesh Patel has helped to raise an impressive £24,000 over the years for various causes

 

The rest of the 55-year-old’s efforts have been for organisations both locally and internationally, raising money for causes like St Luke’s Hospital (Bradford), St James’s Hospital (Leeds), Oxfam, Sport Aid and the Kenya SEWA project (Selfless Efforts for Welfare of All - a Hindu faith-based humanitarian non-profit service organisation) to name just a handful.

“Fundraising is difficult, because with every challenge I do people’s expectations get higher. When I go around again asking for them to sponsor the next one they’re keen to know how I’m going to top the last challenge completed,” Kamlesh laughingly explained.

“They want me to do tougher challenges and it becomes even harder.”

Kamlesh said that marathons are very physically demanding and unpredictable.

“You don’t know what to expect on the day. Mental preparation is very important when you're running, you have to rely on yourself.”

Still, Kamlesh won’t be slowed down. He’s already planned several fundraising events for 2017, including the Greater Manchester Marathon in Trafford on 2nd April and a Yorkshire Three Peaks trek, which covers an exhausting 24 miles, and includes a 5,200ft ascent.

To help Kamlesh in his tireless efforts to raise money, check out his Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kamlesh-patel-2017

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Safety First: Steelis Workwear products offer protection at work

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STEELIS: Steelis Workwear is situated on Thornton Road, Bradford

STEELIS: Steelis Workwear is situated on Thornton Road, Bradford

 

With over 20 years in their industry, the goal at Steelis Workwear is to help make the workplace a safer place.

Their company roots may lie in West Yorkshire, but they offer their reputable products and services nationwide, boasting high profile clients like the NHS.

At Steelis Workwear, they offer a wide variety of products suitable for many different industries. If you work outdoors, their workwear will keep you warm, dry and safe. Wrap up in their coats, body-warmers, safety boots and hi-vis clothing, all high quality products available in top brands.

Steelis Workwear make it their business to help your business. To give you that professional look and help you build brand identity and stand out from the crowd, Steelis offer high quality embroidery and printing, which means several of their items can be branded with your company logo.

Steelis Workwear supply both individuals and businesses with industry standard footwear at competitive prices, which ensures not only a perfect fit for your foot, but for your budget too.

FOOTWEAR: Footwear on offer in Steelis Step Into Spring promotion

FOOTWEAR: Footwear on offer in Steelis Step Into Spring promotion

 

With their fully trained staff on hand to advise and recommend the correct equipment for any job, you can pop in to their Thornton Road, Bradford store to see what they have to offer, or you can visit their website and buy online. www.steelisworkwear.com offers free fast and reliable shipping on all orders over £50.

The workwear providers have handled contracts from large companies to sole traders all around the Bradford area, and the NHS Bradford could not speak higher of them, praising the quality of their products and their customer service.

‘We approached Steelis regarding supply of our uniforms as they are local to us and I hoped they would be more responsive than our current supplier,’ the NHS Bradford testimonial reads. ‘We were not disappointed. They were very obliging and helpful in sourcing what we needed, allowed staff to go in and try samples for correct sizing, and the end product is fantastic and great value for money.’

For more information visit www.steelisworkwear.com or visit their store at 544 Thornton Rd, Bradford, BD8 9NB

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Unstoppable humanitarian: Charity hero just can’t stop running around for the needy

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INSPIRING: Nazim Ali in his t-shirt commemorating his close friend Shah Gee, on race day

INSPIRING: Nazim Ali in his t-shirt commemorating his close friend Shah Gee, on race day

Nazim Ali completes part one of two 10k race missions

A full-time careers adviser who selflessly devotes every minute of his spare time to helping others is completing a double-header charity challenge for SKT Welfare’s ‘UK Homeless and Needy’ initiativein association with the Bradford Soup Kitchen.

Nazim Ali, who is no stranger to Asian Express, regularly involves himself voluntarily with charity fundraisers, Syria aid trips and multi-faith friendship building activities.

For over a year now UK registered charity SKT Welfare has been providing warm meals to the homeless and destitute in Bradford, regardless of their religious background. Nazim aims to raise £4,800 through completing the two races, which will see the food kitchen provide cover twice a month for a year.

Despite suffering a strain injury on his right knee both in training and on race day as well as feeling so unwell the day before the race that he spent the day recovering in bed. Nazim completed the race in a time of 01:01:11 – a truly remarkable result even without the preceding ailments.  

The race had over 2,000 competitors, the biggest ever in the history of the race and wet and windy weather and only occasional sunshine, but none the less, Nazim powered on.

Speaking about the challenge he faced, Nazim told Asian Express: “I felt emotional since the double charity challenge is in dedication to my late esteemed friend Sayyid Sharaz Ali Shah Bukhari, affectionately known as Shah Gee. He was a Bradford humanitarian hero and sadly passed away in September 2016 at the tender age of 33.

“We did many charity initiatives together. My focus now is firmly fixed on part-two of the double-header on this coming Sunday's (26th March 2017) Keighley 10K.”

To donate to the charities mentioned and help support Nazim towards his fundraising goal, you can go to: www.justgiving.com/nazim2017

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BOMBAY BITES: Bradford business is first Asian fast food retailer to open in Morrisons

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EXCITING: Naz Shah, MP cuts the ribbon with Bombay Bites director, Samir Kader and his mother and recipe creator, Sabra Kader.

EXCITING: Naz Shah, MP cuts the ribbon with Bombay Bites director, Samir Kader and his mother and recipe creator, Sabra Kader.

 

Bombay Stores have been making an impression in the city’s ever-expanding independent business landscape for almost 50 years and now the Asian retail mega-store has set a new standard.

With their desi street-food wing, branded ‘Bombay Bites’, being a major hit with customers old and new, the family-run business has added another distinction in their portfolio by becoming Britain’s first Asian fast food eatery inside a major supermarket.

Bombay Bites launched their Morrisons in Ingleby Road, Bradford concession last week, offering Pani Puri, Pau Bhaji, Papadi Chaat, Bhel Puri and other sensationally irresistible delights for the shoppers to enjoy.

The coming together of Morrisons and Bombay Bites may seem unusual to some; but with both companies founded in city of Bradford, it seemed like an instinctive pairing for the supermarket to recognise the magnitude of the Bombay Stores/Bombay Bites business empire.

Samir Kader, Naz Shah and Sabra Kader pose in their Bombay Bites instagram frame to promote the restaurants social media pages

Samir Kader, Naz Shah and Sabra Kader pose in their Bombay Bites instagram frame to promote the restaurants social media pages

 

Speaking to Asian Express about how the relationship developed, Samir Kader, director of Bombay Bites says: “It’s been hard work, very hard work, it was over nine-months of negotiations to secure this.

“But we’re here to stay now and it feels like such an achievement, not just for the business, but for everyone that’s supported us through the years and through each and every development of our business. This really is something everyone can be proud of.”

Samir isn’t shy of admitting that if it weren’t for the culinary expertise of his mother, Sabra Kader, he wouldn’t be where he is today.

“Everyone says ‘my mum is the greatest chef!’ – but my mum really is the greatest chef. I’ve been eating her food for years and it was her recipes that we built the Bombay Bites menu around.”

Having been brought up around such a passion for business and food this venture was something Samir felt came naturally to him. Keen to expand on what’s already being offered around the city, Samir told us: “With this being our second location, the first in Shearbridge Road, and it being such a major partnership with Morrisons, it’s a great opportunity for us to establish ourselves as a unique alternative in the Bradford food scene.

“We’re trying to create a unique Eastern and Western merger, using and crafting recipes that I’ve enjoyed for years and now making them available to the public. Mum’s so excited to share with everyone her life’s work and the quality of what we have to offer is something we strive ourselves on.”

A visit to the brand new premises just inside Morrisons on Ingleby Road in Bradford will offer you the chance to enjoy dishes such as Chat Platters, Masala Dosa, Pau Bhajis, Pani Puri and Dahi Balla, all cooked to Sabra’s own incredible recipes with top class ingredients.

TASTY: Director Samir with a platter of delicious snacks available instore

TASTY: Director Samir with a platter of delicious snacks available instore

 

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Bradford couple jailed for terrorism offences

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A couple have been sent to prison for terrorism offences after a man attempted to travel to Syria in the hope of joining ISIS.

Ijaz Khan, of Bradford, was arrested at Manchester Airport after information was received he was preparing to fly to Syria.

Leeds Crown Court heard that the 29-year-old was given money by his pregnant wife Afsheen Khan, 28, so that he could buy a ticket, as well as £1,000 in cash.

Ijaz Khan attempted to fly to Syria, via Athens, on February 1, 2015.

His brother-in-law, Rohan Malik, had previously flown to Syria to join Islamic State when he was 17. After Malik was killed in a coalition airstrike, Ijaz Khan is said to have decided to “replace him on the battlefield”.

Imran Shaffi, leading Khan’s defense, said he had previously been someone with a “western outlook”, but that contact with his brother-in-law had changed him – after initially trying to convince the teenager to return.

Mr Shaffi told the court: "In the grip of his grief over him the defendant resolved at the end of 2014 to travel to Syria himself.

"He was in an emotionally disturbed state and could no longer tell what was right or wrong."

Ijaz Khan, of Bradford, admitted preparation for terrorism acts and was jailed for five years. Afsheen Khan pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the offence and was sentenced to 35 months.

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Stick a needle in it: Bradford-man ready to donate blood for an astounding 175th time

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GRATEFUL: Long-term donor Thakorbhai Mistry with Mr Harkishan Mistry, UK Project Manager for Sewa Day

GRATEFUL: Long-term donor Thakorbhai Mistry with Mr Harkishan Mistry, UK Project Manager for Sewa Day

 

An unsung hero has given a whole new meaning to ‘doing your bit’ for charity.

Yorkshireman, Thakorbhai Rambhai Mistry has been giving blood for the last 36-years, donating (get ready for it) an incredible 174 units of blood in this time!

Now he’s all ready to stick a needle in it again in the hope that it will inspire people from ethnic backgrounds to donate blood and possibly save someone’s life.

Thakorbhai’s remarkable 175th donation will take place on 30th March and is tied in with the Sewa Day National Blood Donation Drive.

Speaking to the Asian Express spoke to Thakorbhai, aged 62, discloses just what it is that motivates him to keep going back and what got him into blood donation in the first place.

“Whilst working in the University of Bradford in 1981, I noticed my colleague would often disappear for an hour or so and I started to ask questions as to where he was going. I was surprised to find out that he was going to donate blood,” reveals Thakorbhai.

“The University of Bradford were and still are, a really responsible employer, and were happy for their employees to take time away from their work in order to give blood.

“After having some questions initially such as, ‘Does it hurt?’ ‘Will it take a long time?’ and ‘Will I feel weak?’ I attended the next donation with the reassurance of my colleague.

“I haven’t stopped since then because I know it will benefit others, including my family and members of my wider community, especially as there is such a shortage in Black and Minority Ethnicity donors and blood types.

“I do it on a regularly because the blood I give is replenished within a few days and only takes an hour of my time.”

Mr Mistry says he has never felt unwell after giving blood and feels it’s an insurance, as it means blood is checked on a regular basis, meaning any potential illnesses could be detected.

 


Feeling inspired to help an incredible cause? Thakorbhai gIveS us some essential advice for first time donors

  • Go with someone you know and feel comfortable with. “Whether it’s a friend, family member or colleague, going with someone familiar will help you feel more relaxed.”
  • Being fit and healthy, looking after your diet and exercising regularly will go a long way in ensuring you have a great reaction to donating. “ I make sure I am careful with my diet and like to lead an active lifestyle, this has definitely helped me in being able to donate for such a long time. Although don’t push it too much on your donation day, you don’t want to be too tired!”
  • Find out information beforehand if you’re curious about the process. “Back in my day, there were leaflets available at the donation centre which were great for providing more information. These leaflets are still available if you go along to a centre – although you can find out everything online nowadays!”
  • It’s understandable to build up a sense fear and apprehension before going along, but there’s nothing to worry about. “Once you donate that first time and realise what amazing, life changing work that unit will do for someone, you will realise there was never anything to fear!”

 

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Sewa Day blood donation drive

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SEWA DAY: Donors at the last Sewa Day National Blood Donation Drive in Preston

SEWA DAY: Donors at the last Sewa Day National Blood Donation Drive in Preston

 

Bradford charity launch campaign to encourage Asian blood and organ donors

Did you know, that around 14% of the population of England are black or South Asian but less than 3% of people who have given blood in the last twelve months are from these communities.

Now a Bradford-based charity is on a relentless mission to change the lack of Asian blood donors and has partnered up with NHS Blood & Transplant services for ‘Sewa Day.’

Coming together to raise awareness of the shortage of Asian blood types donating blood, they hope to encourage more people to get involved taking up regular donation when possible.

The number of patients from South Asian communities on the transplant waiting list are exceptionally high, yet are hugely under-represented on NHS Organ Donor Register.

Speaking to Asian Express, Theo Clarke, National BAME (Black, Asian, Minority, Ethnic) Manager at NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We are very grateful that Sewa Day is working with us to help save more lives.

“South Asian patients wait longer than white patients for transplants as there are not enough suitable organs available.

“By joining the NHS Organ Donor Register and sharing your decision with your families you could save up to nine lives, if you are able to donate after your death. By becoming a blood donor, you can save up to three lives every time you donate.”

In the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, Sewa means selfless service and on Sewa Day  individuals, voluntary groups, schools, and companies are encouraged to commit their time to doing a good deed with an aim of making a positive difference to someone else’s happiness, quality of life and prosperity.

Bharat Vadukul, Sewa Day Chairman told Asian Express: “When people from South Asian communities find out they may have rare blood and tissue types, I’m sure they will want to do everything they can to help save lives.

“There are many South Asian people who actively donate blood but we need more. I urge people to find out if they can donate blood, register online at www.organdonation.nhs.uk and to join the NHS Organ Donor Register. One day it could be someone you love who needs an organ transplant or a blood transfusion.”

In order to give people more information Sewa Day are running two Donor Drive events happening soon, the first on 30th March and then a second event on 30th April.


Sewa Day Donor Drive

30th March at the Bradford Blood donor Centre 11 Rawson Street, Bradford BD1 3SH

30th April at Shelf Village Hall, HX3 7NT

You can also join the NHS Organ Donor Register or become a new blood donor by calling 0300 123 23 23.


 

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Opening boundaries: Women’s cricket coach uses sport to break down barriers in the community

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SIGNING: Halima Khan and Irkam Butt signing the Armed Forces Covenant with Major Lisa Marr and Richard Lenton

SIGNING: Halima Khan and Irkam Butt signing the Armed Forces Covenant with Major Lisa Marr and Richard Lenton

 

A global not-for-profit sports organisation has shown its support to the UK Armed Forces by signing the Armed Forces Covenant at its Bradford base.

Opening Boundaries, founded by women’s cricket coach Halima Khan and former England Rugby player Ikram Butt, uses sport as a means for spreading their message about peace, whilst raising the awareness of positive health, and domestic violence. 

Under the covenant the British Army and Opening Boundaries can work more closely together, exchanging skills, knowledge and opportunities.

The signing was attended by Major Lisa Marr, Head of Engagement for 4 Infantry Brigade & Headquarters North East and Richard Lenton, Regional Employer Engagement Director for the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association for Yorkshire and the Humber  (RFCA).

Recently Opening Boundaries won a national award for an initiative called “Bowling Out Domestic Violence“ at the British Muslim Awards - a campaign they are looking to continue this year over multiple venues to be announced at the launch event in the House of Lords later this month.

CO-FOUNDER: Halima Khan is working hard to end domestic violence and spread awareness about health matters

CO-FOUNDER: Halima Khan is working hard to end domestic violence and spread awareness about health matters

 

Halima, who grew up in a Bradford terrace house, has worked in the sports industry for over a decade, coaching women’s cricket locally and internationally. She is conscious of the power sport can have when trying to get across a sensitive message.

“When we get on that playing field, we are all one. Nothing matters but teamwork and supporting one another. There are no barriers left between players and this is vital if we are to help get our message of peace and tackling issues of gender based violence through sport.”

The organisation founders have also been busy using the power of sport to help with refugees during a recent visit to Athens, organised by the charity Moonlight Trust.

Halima and Ikram saw first-hand the power of sport being used in breaking down barriers between a local football team and a team made up of young, talented footballers who came to Greece as refugees from various war-torn countries such as Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Top of the Docs! Inspirational Bradford-based gastroenterologist wins place on influential medical committee

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INSPIRING: Dr Sulleman Moreea welcomed to an international medical council

INSPIRING: Dr Sulleman Moreea welcomed to an international medical council

 

To some of us, eating our five-a-day, taking the stairs instead of the lift, or doing the dishes immediately after cooking dinner, is a worthy cause for applause, but one man has taken personal achievements to completely new highs.

Bradford-based doctor of Gastroenterology, Sulleman Moreea, who has the highest medal of honour Mauritius Grand Officer of the Order of the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean’ from his native country (equivalent to our knighthood), has now added another international acclaim to his portfolio.

Dr Moreea has been recognised with an inaugural appointment on the International Committee of the British Society of Gastroenterologists (BSG), a leading global health society.

The BSG International Committee was set up to strengthen its work in developing countries and bring the organisation’s expertise to those less fortunate than ourselves – so combining his work in his homeland with his research here in the UK, it was a natural choice for such an accolade to go to Dr Moreea.

Dr Moreea said: “I feel very privileged to have been chosen to serve on the committee. I see this appointment as a great honour for both myself and Bradford Teaching Hospitals.”

He went on: “To be able to help other consultants set up international projects and to promote the best practice in as many developing, less well-off countries as we can, is an exciting responsibility.

“This work is an area I am very passionate about because here in the UK, we have a lot to offer to other medics across the world.”

As a member of the new BSG International Committee, Dr Moreea will join representatives from across the UK in deciding the organisation’s direction of international travel over their forthcoming three-year-tenure.

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UPDATE: Quran and other Islamic transcripts found dumped in skip

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Speaking on behalf of the Bradford council for Mosques, General Secretary Zulfiqar Karim said: “We hope to reassure the public of our best intentions to resolve this speedily and peacefully.We now ask members of the public to stay away from the premises."

A video taken by a local resident, which featured the Quran and other Islamic literature dumped in a skip in Bradford caused an outrage across social media last night.

Adil Shaan, who first heard about the religious scripture’s disposal from Victor Street Mosque, investigated the allegations and took the footage outside the former Book Centre building in White Abbey Road on Thursday 16th March.

Crowds gathered outside the site and residents delved into the dumpster to salvage the Islamic books, wall hangings and other items which had been throw away.

The scene sparked anger around 6pm, with dozens of Muslim men ready to unleash their fury at the act described as “shameful.” Some individuals even took it upon themselves to harrass the elderly, retired 80-year-old Mr Iftiqar Qureshi, who had sold the site some months ago.

With the threat of a violent outburst looming, demands were made to know who had carried out the "disgraceful act," it’s unclear who threw the religious books into the dumpster.

Police attended the scene at White Abbey Road last night and community leaders called for the public to remain calm.

This morning Friday 17th March, all related Islamic transcripts were removed from the skips outside the premises by the community members. The skip company refused to move off site until all of the religious material had been recovered and members of the Muslim community were satisfied they had retrieved all the holy material.

A meeting took place with the owner of the closed down business - Mr Qureshi and members of the Muslim community at the police station.

Mr Qureshi stated that while the old Book Centre site is being cleared, no Islamic material was purposefully disposed of.

He apologised for any misdoing and reiterated that a small team was clearing out the building and that “this has been a genuine mistake” by the workers, who were given repeated guidance by himself as to what material must not be disposed of.

Now, the removal of any remaining scriptures from inside the building will be overseen by nominated members of the Muslim community and elected members and distributed sensitively for community use.

Mr Qureshi has agreed all remaining items for charitable use by mosques and madrasahs.

Speaking on behalf of the Bradford council for Mosques, General Secretary Zulfiqar Karim said: “We hope to reassure the public of our best intentions to resolve this speedily and peacefully.

“We now ask members of the public to stay away from the premises.

“Once again we thank the Muslim population for their support in this matter by showing maturity in dealing with a sensitive issue which touches everyone.

“We also thanks to police and council for assisting in resolving the matter sensitively and promptly.

“Bradford’s strength is its people.”

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Campaign Highlights best chance of quitting for Bradford smokers

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Smokers in Bradford are being targeted by a new campaign to highlight the effectiveness of local Stop Smoking Services.

Cancer Research UK has launched an advertising campaign, aimed at increasing awareness and encouraging people to get help from their local Stop Smoking Service, which give smokers the best chance of giving up for good.

Starting on 13 March, and running across a total of 12 towns and cities across Yorkshire and The Humber, the three week awareness drive will see posters across the city.

The campaign highlights familiar frustrations smokers may experience, such as getting out of breath easily while playing football with their kids or when climbing the stairs. These examples are followed by information about the effectiveness of local Stop Smoking Services and how to access them.

The posters feature a simple message which fades out from black to grey to help illustrate the idea of running out of breath, and some digital versions of the posters actually invite people to experience the feeling of being out of breath while reading it.

Specialist support and prescription medication from Stop Smoking services give smokers the best chance of quitting for good. They offer free one to one or group support from a specialist team of advisers, along with stop smoking medicines which are available for the price of a prescription. Sessions usually start a couple of weeks before a person quits and the service can be tailored to an individual’s needs.

Cllr Val Slater, Deputy Leader and portfolio holder for Health and Wellbeing: “Many smokers know they should stop and want to, some may have tried to quit previously via willpower alone and failed. For a variety of reasons, we know a lot of smokers feel it is just too difficult for them to give up for good.

“With help from one of our Stop Smoking advisers in Bradford, offering support and advice, you will have the best chance of quitting for good. You’re around three times more likely to stop smoking* if you use a local Stop Smoking Service rather than going it alone. The proof is there with hundreds of former-smokers in Bradford who quit for good after using the Bradford District stop smoking service ”

Scott Crosby, Regional Tobacco Control Policy Manager, Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “We’re pleased to support Cancer Research UK in delivering this campaign. Smoking rates in Yorkshire and The Humber are higher than the national average therefore it’s important that those who want to stop, are aware of the best way of achieving that goal”

In Yorkshire and The Humber, around one in five people (18.6%) smoke, which is higher than the UK National average of one in six (16.9%)**. And the rate of deaths caused by smoking in the region is 313.1 per 100,000, higher than the UK national average (274.8 per 100,000)***.

George Butterworth, Cancer Research UK’s Tobacco Control Manager, said “We can’t forget that tobacco is the single biggest preventable cause of cancer. It is linked to at least 14 different types of the disease including most lung cancers – the leading cause of cancer deaths in Yorkshire and the Humber****.

At Cancer Research UK we have a vision for the future – a tobacco free UK where, by 2035, fewer than one in 20 people smoke. If we are to realise this ambition, then it is vital to help smokers beat their addiction for good. That’s why we’re running this campaign, and why we’re also working hard to protect local Stop Smoking services from further Government budget cuts. We believe that every smoker should have access to the most effective method of giving up smoking, which is available through specialist Stop Smoking Services”

To find a stop smoking advisor who’ll give you the best chance of quitting for good visit nhs.uk/smokefreelocal or contact the Bradford District Stop Smoking Service on 01274 437700

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MAYWEATHER IN BRADFORD: Boxing champ brings the city to a standstill

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Asian Express speaks to burger boss Tausif Malik of Mr T’s eatery in Bradford following a once in a lifetime midnight visit from international boxing megastar, Floyd Mayweather

 

International boxing champion and sporting superstar Floyd Mayweather may have a busy schedule, but that didn’t stop him from taking time out to enjoy pizzas, milkshakes and burgers at Mr T’s gourmet burger joint.

Floyd Mayweather made the shocking, unexpected stop in Great Horton Road to not only meet fans but also to stock up on food in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Still buzzing from the excitement Tausif AKA Mr T, tells Asian Express of how this incredible visit on 11th March came about, and most importantly, to know what Mayweather’s munch of choice is.

“It’s amazing how it all happened,” stated a stunned Mr T.

“My friend knows Mayweather and would always talk about Mr T’s with him, and the great food we have on offer here.

“Mayweather started noticing our posts on Instagram and social media, and he decided he just had to try some of what we’ve got.

“We were told late on Friday night that Mayweather would be coming after an event in Liverpool, so we reopened the shop at 3.30am to serve him.

“There were well over 100 people on the street, the police had to close the roads, and things were crazy busy!”

He added: “Mayweather noticed our wall of sporting greats, and he signed a photo we have of him there, as well as taking a painting home with him to hang on his wall in Los Angeles.”

“He’s never been to Yorkshire before, and when he finished he said this was the best food he’s ever had in England, so that’s a massive honour for Mr T’s and a huge testament to the quality of our food,” he adds.

“He spent well over an hour with us, commenting on how much he loved the restaurant and the décor and even invented his own milkshake which we’ve added to the menu. The ‘Mayweather Milkshake’ comes with a red velvet cupcake on top and then when he was leaving, he took ten chicken fillets and five pizzas with him for his team to enjoy.”

“We had the great pleasure of providing him with a birthday cake too, as it was his 40th birthday only a few weeks ago. It’s a massive honour to have been host to someone we admire so much – but even more amazing is how down to earth and keen to spend time in Mr T’s he was!”

 

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Tasif Khan in knock out form!

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It may have been extremely windy and absolutely bucketing down with rain in Bradford, but even the ridiculously inclement weather couldn’t deter around six hundred plucky fans turning out for a special four-bout dinner show.

At the Connaught Rooms, headlined by a ten round non-championship International contest between local hero, two division World Champion Tasif Khan, and top class opponent, Ghanaian Ekow Wilson (16-2-0, 14KOs), fans were buzzing.

The atmosphere was electric when the MC announced the impending headline bout, each and everyone in attendance were on their feet enthusiastically clapping and cheering as Ekow Wilson made his way to the hallowed ring.

However, in comparison the noise level went through the roof when their man Tasif Khan began his ring-walk.

Khan started hard and fast, much to the delight of the partisan crowd, and took the fight to his esteemed opponent. It was clear that Wilson hadn’t made the trip from Africa to just make up the numbers though, as he responded to every Khan attack with equal venom.

The first round was a cracker, both men standing toe-to-toe slugging it out for much it.

Round two was fought in a very similar manner for much of the time, however Khan had really started to get into a dominating flow, throwing some sensational body-shots that clearly affected Wilson. Don’t get me wrong, Wilson held his own for long periods and landed some wicked shots of his own.

Round three was definitely the turning point for Khan; he started strong again and landed some fantastic shots to both head and body. By about the midway point Khan stepped up the pace and landed a seriously vicious body-shot that completed winded Wilson, forcing him to take to drop to his knees.

They definitely breed them tough in Ghana, as he made his way back to his feet before the count reached six. However Khan could sense an early victory and went straight back on the attack.

Wilson clearly wanted to protect himself from more body-shots so came in close and once again it reverted to a sensational toe-to-toe slugfest; that was until Khan did a little step back and let rip with another evil body-shot in the final minute, that forced Wilson to once again drop to his knees and catch his breath, again the tough Ghanaian was on his feet well before the count reached six.

Wilson’s team clearly switched to ‘Plan B’ for the fourth round, the canny lad covering up more to protect his body, in an effort to prevent further Khan Exocets finding their target. It was a fantastic round, fought in a far more technical way than the previous ones.

More of the same in round five, but unfortunately for Wilson, Khan once again found the smallest of gaps in his defense and landed another potentially rib breaking shot, to force the Ghanaian down to the canvas once more.

Amazingly Wilson not only made it to his feet but in the final seconds of the round made life a little difficult for the local hero.

Round six was another cracking round, once more Wilson had decided to keep Khan tied up on the inside, much to the delight of the fans as the duo went at it hammer and tongs.

The crowd, who had remained on their feet throughout the contest, were treated to one helluva seventh round, both men came out with serious intent and what followed can best be described as a full on war!

It was clear that Wilson had decided to revert back to ‘Plan A’ and loaded up some serious big shots, however that meant that opportunities were there for Khan, and boy oh boy did he take them when they opened up, landing some sensational body-shots once more.

As the seconds ticked down towards the final minute Wilson left a gap in his defence, Khan didn’t need a second invitation and immediately let rip with a superb short sharp shot to the body to send the Ghanaian down once more.

The crowd went absolutely mental, believing the fight was over, as Wilson struggled to get to his feet, but no, Wilson once again beat the count, just. What’s more on the restart had clearly decided attack was the best form of defence and a seriously entertaining toe-to-toe slugfest ensued until the bell.

About half way through the minute break Wilson’s corner summoned referee Matt Scriven, after which the referee turned to the officials’ table and signaled that the fight was over.

What followed next was pure pandemonium, Khan, his team, headed-up by former Two Division World Champion and current WBF Intercontinental Welterweight Champion Lee McAllister, and the fans began celebrating in style.

So enthusiastic were the celebrations that it would be a good ten minutes or so before the official result could be announced and the winner’s hand raised. TV crews from both the UK and Pakistan entered the ring along with Khan’s enthusiastic extended team, four of whom proudly carried Khan’s Championship Belts, and surrounded him as the TV commentators tried to interview him.

Eventually Khan was able to undertake the interview, in which he said: “Ekow Wilson is a dangerous fighter with a very good record and high percentage knock out ratio; out of his sixteen wins, fourteen came by way of Knockout.

“Ekow did a lot of talking in the build up to this fight, claiming he has wanted this fight for a ling time, but my team had refused because we were scared, that was utter nonsense.

“I didn’t respond as I wanted to let my performance in the ring do the talking for me, I respect all my opponents and all who get into the ring to fight and to a certain extent my team and I did respect his power and trained accordingly.

“This fight wasn’t about titles and belts this time, it was about pride and setting the record straight, as well as making Ekow show me the respect I deserve as a fighter, we believe we did just that.

“I believe at points I could have made it easier for myself and stuck to my boxing skills, but as we both promised fireworks there was no doubt at some point that's exactly what the fans were going to get.

“Again I’d like to thank everyone in attendance for making it such an electric atmosphere and a very, very special night, I really appreciate the support and my very enthusiastic fans motivate me to perform at my best.

“I want to say a massive thank you to my sponsors; Kingsland Business Recovery, Broadway Solicitors, Janan Fashion, SouthPaw Fight Gear and Vista Gym, for their continued support in allowing me to give boxing 100%.

“Thanks to the venue Connaught Rooms, a wonderful historic venue in my hometown, after tonight I think this could well be our new home for special events.”

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Plenty to cheer about at Bradford Sports Awards

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Bradford College student Harris Akbar is celebrating after being named Bradford’s Young Male Sportsperson of the Year – for the second successive year.

The boxer, who studies sport and trains at the Bradford Police and College Boxing Academy at the college’s Trinity Green campus, was hailed as one the district’s Young Achievers at the Bradford Sports Awards 2017 that was held at the Bradford Hotel on 2nd March.

He won the same honour 12-months ago at the inaugural ceremony.

Since last year’s award, the 17-year-old has added a World Youth Boxing Championship bronze medal to his impressive catalogue of achievements.

The Great Horton teenager travelled to St Petersburg in Russia with England for the AIBA tournament in November and was the only member of the national team to bring home a medal.

He has since been called into the Great Britain Academy squad alongside Keighley-based Olympian Muhammad Ali, a former Bradford College student, who represented Great Britain at the Rio Olympics last summer.

Ali was highly commended in the Sportsman of the Year category at the prestigious awards.

Akbar, who goes by the nickname Hurricane Harris, dreams of following in Ali’s lead.

"Now I am in the GB Academy squad, joining Muhammad Ali, it will hopefully bring my boxing up to the next level,” he said.

"Training hard is the path to winning."

Also celebrating was Harleen Kaur who is a Year 13 pupil at Appleton Academy, which is part of the Bradford College Education Trust. Ranked number two in the world at kickboxing, she picked up the award for Student Sportsperson of the Year.

Another former Bradford College student was among the night's big winners - shooter Michelle Smith. The 33-year-old, who achieved a distinction in her Foundation Degree in Sports Coaching at Bradford College University Centre, was named Female Sportsperson of the Year.

She won gold, silver and bronze last May at the English National Championships, was part of the Great Britain team that won the Randle Trophy in August and also became British Long Range women’s champion.

Unfortunately she was unable to be present to collect her award because to coaching duties.

The Bradford Sports Awards are organised by Active Bradford to celebrate the inspiring achievements of Bradford’s sporting heroes from professional sports clubs and future stars in the making, through to the grassroots volunteers.

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New £28M Information Centre opens

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Patients have all the information they need at their fingertips, thanks to a new hub at Bradford Teaching Hospitals.

The Information Centre is part of the Trust’s new £28m wing and is housed close to the new retail concourse, which opened recently at Bradford Royal Infirmary.

It will house a variety of information leaflets from the likes of stop smoking to cancer, measles and heart conditions and a host of other medical and general conditions.

Voluntary Services Nurse Manager, Chris Heaton, is heading up the new centre which will be manned by our volunteers. She said: “Research tells us that patients consistently report wanting more, and better, information about their health, health care, and treatment options.

“It’s great to see the new service up and running as it provides people with the latest information on a range of medical conditions, public health  literature and signposts patients and visitors to the services that can give them the support they need.

“The Information Centre will also become a hub for awareness-raising events so that our hospital teams can get key healthcare messages out to the public and our patients.”

The volunteers, who have all been supported through a robust training package, won’t be able to give medical or health advice but can provide resources. They’ll also have the ability to print off information sheets on illnesses from the NHS Choices website.

Recently Lead Cancer Nurse Specialist, Amanda Procter marked World Cancer Day by providing specialist information while audiologist, Mohammed Suleman, from the Trust’s Ear, Nose and Throat outpatients department has also hosted a tinnitus awareness event.

Lifeline Bradford’s Community Services, which offers support to isolated and lonely older people, have also staffed an awareness stand providing information for patients, their carers and families.

The centre will be open from 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

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Raise the flag for International Women’s Day

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A flag in honour of International Women’s Day will be raised to mark the annual event by the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Geoff Reid, next week.

NEESIE, a community voluntary organisation for single mothers which provides support to help them prosper in society, has organised the event which takes place at 10am in Centenary Square on Monday 6 March.

Lord Mayor, Coun Geoff Reid, said: “I am delighted to be involved in the flag raising event to mark the start of International Women’s Day.

“There are many events taking place throughout March in celebration and I hope as many people as possible will attend this one on Monday.”

Noreen Khan, Director of NEESIE, said: “We are delighted to be raising the first flag to mark this annual occasion. We are very pleased that the Lord Mayor will be assisting us in this inaugural event.

“International Women’s Day continues to grow and NEESIE is proud to take the lead role in celebrating the achievements of women. NEESIE believes that International Women’s Day is about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action.”

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Million dollar woman: Landscape architect secures a further £2M for Bradford

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ASTUTE: Saira Ali Team Leader for Landscape, Design and Conservation at Bradford Council

ASTUTE: Saira Ali Team Leader for Landscape, Design and Conservation at Bradford Council

Million dollar woman: Landscape architect secures a further £2M for Bradford

Yes, she’s a woman, yes she’s an architect and yes she’s a proud Bradfordian.

Team Leader of Landscape, Design and Conservation for Bradford Council, Saira Ali, has secured the first steps towards £2million in National Lottery funding for its City Centre Conservation Area.

Saira’s passion for regeneration and conservation has been spilling over for 14-years by her securing millions of pounds of funding during her time at Bradford Council.

Now, she’s been heavily involved in securing £2million to breathe life into the area centred around Rawson Place, Darley Street, James Street and North Parade.

The funding, which was awarded through the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) Townscape Heritage (TH) programme will be used to make improvements to the ‘Top of Town’ area also known as the Bradford Independent Quarter.

It is a distinct part of the city centre, characterised by small shops and fledgeling independent businesses and is an area made up of mostly 19th-century buildings of high architectural quality.

Saira worked extensively with property and business owners to produce the bid, and the continuation of these key partnerships will remain a vital part of the success of the project.

“For me, Bradford is where I was brought up, where I went to school, where I work and what I call ‘my home’” says Saira.

“For me, it's about conserving and promoting the rich heritage the city has to offer; and now these are exciting times for Bradford.”

The announcement by HLF is part of £17million of National Lottery investment to help revitalise ten conservation areas across the UK. The funding for Bradford is the only one granted in Yorkshire in this round of funding.

The vision for this area is to continue to grow a thriving and well-connected quarter with a vibrant day and night economy, with high quality independent shops, bars and restaurants. The reuse of the upper floors for offices and residential accommodation will breathe new life into these historic buildings.

REGENERATION: Landscape architect Saira Ali with Julian Jackson - Assistant Director, Planning, Transportation and Highways

REGENERATION: Landscape architect Saira Ali with Julian Jackson - Assistant Director, Planning, Transportation and Highways

 

The award includes initial funding of £61k to develop a more detailed proposal to secure the full award in the next 12 months.

The funding will be enhanced with a further £250,000 from Bradford Council, with additional investment from property owners and businesses.

An important part of this project will focus on education and skills initiatives. This will see partnerships forming with key primary, secondary, higher and further education institutes to teach local children and young people the importance of heritage and the craftsmanship involved in preserving historic assets.

Local communities and businesses will continue to be consulted on the progress of the project which aims to promote and regenerate the area bringing back into use vacant or underused historic buildings, enhancing historic buildings, improving connectivity in the town centre and public realm works.

Working on numerous projects over the years, Saira says her favourites are: Broadway public realm scheme; Kirkgate public realm; Public realm improvements along key Gateways and Corridors in the city; Securing funding for many community-led schemes across the district in  Manningham, Great Horton, Cottingley, Barkerend, etc.; Tour de France and Tour de Yorkshire.

Talking about her recent £2million bid, Saira says: “It was a great opportunity to create a piece of work where we could deliver a project of heritage capital works, improving the aesthetics of the buildings and help them remain fit for purpose.

“These buildings will become the springboard for a programme of exciting activities, which allow people of all ages to be excited and learn and become engaged with their local heritage and the history of the area.”

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport said: “The heritage led regeneration of the ‘Top of Town’ through the reuse of historic buildings will protect links to the past and help secure their future.

“This project provides a unique opportunity to restore Bradford’s fabric and promote engagement, learning and skills.

“Forming part of a wider programme of targeted heritage activity, this scheme complements recent and on-going activity within Bradford city centre and promotes connectivity between key destinations.

"The scheme will help deliver regeneration and draw in investment, drive the economic development of the city centre with new job opportunities and restore civic pride in this area.”

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said:  “We’ve been investing money raised through the National Lottery in the UK’s historic conservation areas for more than 20-years and we’ve seen first-hand the incredible difference it has made to local communities. This project in particular has the potential to have a powerful effect not only on local pride but also on local economic prosperity in Bradford.”

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Gurinder Chadha all set for her visit to Bradford

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‘Bend It Like Beckham’ film-maker braves up and questions historical narrative of 1947 India-Pakistan divide in new film

British Sikh director Gurinder Chadha is all set to visit West Yorkshire where she will talk about the build-up to the India-Pakistan divide leading up to 1947.

The avid film-maker, who’s been setting a benchmark for British Asians in the entertainment industry for over two decades, is renowned for the context of her films.

Chadha’s much-acclaimed films include her ground-breaking 1993 debut ‘Bhaji On The Beach’, ‘Bride and Prejudice (starring Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan, Nitin Ganatra and Anupam Kher) and box-office smash ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ (starring Parminder Nagra, Ameet Chana, Kiera Knightley and Johnathon Rhys Meyers).

Her visit to Bradford’s National Media Museum on Sunday 5th March will be open to a live Q&A session followed by a screening of her new film ‘Viceroy’s House’, which challenges the historical narrative of the Partition of India.


Gurinder Chadha braves up and questions historical narrative of 1947 India-Pakistan divide


 

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£28M information centre for Bradford

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Patients have all the information they need at their fingertips, thanks to a new hub at Bradford Teaching Hospitals.

The Information Centre is part of the Trust’s new £28m wing and is housed close to the new retail concourse, which opened recently at Bradford Royal Infirmary.

It will house a variety of information leaflets from the likes of stop smoking to cancer, measles and heart conditions and a host of other medical and general conditions.

Voluntary Services Nurse Manager, Chris Heaton, is heading up the new centre which will be manned by our volunteers. She said: “Research tells us that patients consistently report wanting more, and better, information about their health, health care, and treatment options.

“It’s great to see the new service up and running as it provides people with the latest information on a range of medical conditions, public health literature and signposts patients and visitors to the services that can give them the support they need.

“The Information Centre will also become a hub for awareness-raising events so that our hospital teams can get key healthcare messages out to the public and our patients.”

The volunteers, who have all been supported through a robust training package, won’t be able to give medical or health advice but can provide resources. They’ll also have the ability to print off information sheets on illnesses from the NHS Choices website.

Recently Lead Cancer Nurse Specialist, Amanda Procter marked World Cancer Day by providing specialist information while audiologist, Mohammed Suleman, from the Trust’s Ear, Nose and Throat outpatients department has also hosted a tinnitus awareness event.

Lifeline Bradford’s Community Services, which offers support to isolated and lonely older people, have also staffed an awareness stand providing information for patients, their carers and families.

The centre will be open from 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

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Jolly green fingers: Happy diggers plant 2000 trees in less than two hours!

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Armed with their spades and wellies, over 154 energetic volunteers got stuck in the mud and begun to dig in an initiative increasing Bradford district’s woodland.

The eager green-fingered helpers from the Sant Nirankari Mission joined in the tree planting at Low Moor in Bradford, including volunteers who travelled from as far as London, Oxford, Birmingham, Leicester and Scotland.

Toddlers as young as two-years-old also took part and helped with the assistance of their parents.

The trees were planted in less than two hours.

The group at Sant Nirankari Mission regularly partakes in tree planting and environmental initiatives as it is part of its philosophy that one should keep the environment around themselves healthy and render selfless service to the community.

Mohinder Ram, volunteer in charge of the day's activities commented: “We have a great friendship with Forest of Bradford. It has been a wonderful day full of teamwork."

Ian Butterfield, Manager for Forest of Bradford said: "A huge thank you to all the volunteers from London, Oxford, Birmingham, Leicester, and Scotland, who have traveled up North to join in, it has been an overwhelming and organised day.

“Two thousand trees got planted so quick, we have a great partership with the Sant Nirankari Misson and look forward to more tree planting together!”

Many public people out walking were impressed with what the Mission was doing for the community.

Gurpreet Bhatia, Member in charge of Social Welfare at the Mission said: "We are encouraging members towards social citizenship within our communities and enhancing our responsibility towards our planet by such initiatives, we are proud of all the volunteers who took part young and old."

A community picnic was arranged at the end, which was thoroughly enjoyed alongside the lovely sunny weather.


"I enjoyed tree planting as more trees will make loveliness for the world" Sadhik Anand age 4, Leicester

“It was my first time and I enjoyed helping my mum, I am going again next time too" Sonakshi Chahal age 4, Leeds

"The long journey was worth the amount we got to help the community. 2,000 trees in 2 hours, I think my Spiritual Guide will be proud" Manu Sidhu, Oxford


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Brutal killing of his wife’s lover and friend in family home gets 32-years prison sentence

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Double-murder cabbie guillty

A taxi driver from Bradford who fled to Pakistan after ferociously murdering his wife’s lover and a friend has been given a life sentence. 

Mohammed Zubair was given a minimum term of 32-years for the murders of Shahbzada Muhammed Imran and Ahmedin Sayed Khyel, whose bodies were found in New Lane, Tong in May 2011.  

Mr Zubair’s wife, Kainaat Bibi, had been having an affair with Mr Khyel, 35, who lived in London with his wife and seven children, Tahir Khan QC, for the prosecution told the court.

Mrs Bibi had visited Mr Khyel, and Afghan electrician, during a temporary separation from her husband and he would visit her in Bradford where the pair would have sex when Mr Zubair was out.

Mr Khyel visited Mr Zubair's home on Heath Terrace, Bradford, with his friend Mr Khan, 27, on 10 May 2011. The men took their shoes off thinking they would receive a "warm welcome" but the attack that followed was "ferocious" and "brutal", said the prosecution.

DOUBLE-MURDERS: Imran Khan (left) and Ahmedin Khyel (right) were “hammered” to death and then bodies dumped in Tong, Bradford

DOUBLE-MURDERS: Imran Khan (left) and Ahmedin Khyel (right) were “hammered” to death and then bodies dumped in Tong, Bradford

The QC suggested Mr Zubair had "became enraged" when he saw the man who had had sex with his wife standing there in his living room.

Zubair, now aged 36, flew to Pakistan soon afterwards and remained there until May last year.

Extradition proceedings brought him back to the UK, where he was charged with the murders of Mr Imran and Mr Khyel, who were aged 27 and 35 respectively at the time of their deaths.

SENTENCED: Mohammed Zubair, 36, gets life sentence for hammering his wife’s lover and friend to death

SENTENCED: Mohammed Zubair, 36, gets life sentence for hammering his wife’s lover and friend to death

 

He was found guilty of killing both men by a jury at Bradford Crown Court earlier this week.

Speaking after Zubair had been sentenced, Senior Investigating Officer Detective Superintendent Simon Atkinson, said: "I would firstly like to thank the Pakistani authorities, who have played a crucial role in this investigation by arresting Zubair and ensuring his extradition back to the UK to face justice. 

"His victims, Shahbzada Muhammed Imran and Ahmedin Sayed Khyel, were brutally murdered and I hope their families will finally have some comfort knowing that their killer is now facing a life sentence. 

"Zubair fled the country shortly after he had killed his victims in the belief that he would also escape justice for these horrendous crimes.  

"I hope this case sends out a message that West Yorkshire Police will use all available methods to bring dangerous men like Zubair to justice, wherever in the world they might be."

Meanwhile whilst Zubair was on the run, his friend and fellow minicab driver, Sabir Hussain, was jailed for ten years after he was convicted by a Bradford Crown Court jury of the manslaughter of Mr Khyel and Mr Khan.

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‘Spice Queen’: Is this Asian housewife Bradford’s answer to Nigella Lawson?

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SPICE QUEEN: Parveen Ashraf hails from Bradford, which has held its title as Britain’s ‘Curry Capital’ for four years

SPICE QUEEN: Parveen Ashraf hails from Bradford, which has held its title as Britain’s ‘Curry Capital’ for four years

This lady is on a mission to teach the nation to cook Indian and believes that her book 'Parveen The Spice Queen' is her secret weapon - well not that secret really as it’s available to buy!

Proud of her culture and cooking, a tumour-defying local mum brings together the flavours of Asia with a huge dollop of Yorkshire common sense.

After successfully defeating a serious illness, Bradford-born Parveen Ashraf arrived at a pivotal juncture in her life, and decided to leave the corporate working day behind and turn her passion for food into her career.

The 51-year-old married mother-of-three has been fuelled by the desire to cook for the man in her life and her children, for whom she believes is essential to provide good, wholesome and healthy food.

For almost a decade, Parveen has taught Indian cooking, run cookery demonstrations and catered at glamorous Bollywood-themed dinner parties. Now, she brings all of this experience to life in her step-by-step cookbook.  

Her first book ‘Parveen The Spice Queen’, includes every favourite traditional delight including Chicken Masala, Lamb Bhuna and Samosas.  

KITCHEN TOOL: Beautifully illustrated and full of anecdotes from Parveen’s childhood, this book belongs in every kitchen

KITCHEN TOOL: Beautifully illustrated and full of anecdotes from Parveen’s childhood, this book belongs in every kitchen

But what makes Parveen’s culinary masterpiece stand out is her innovative “spice bags,” which are little parcels of pre-mixed spices designed to work hand-in-hand with her recipes, taking the fear and uncertainty out of Indian cooking.

Parveen recognised that there had been a shift away from traditional cooking and that more and more people were relying on ready meals and jars to fit in with a busy lifestyle.

“Even in Asian families, the art of cooking was being lost and this struck a chord,” says Parveen.

“Having been asked to teach the daughter of a family friend how to cook simple Indian meals in preparation for getting married, I realised that so many young people today did not know their way around a kitchen and appeared scared to even give it a try.

“Hopefully the combination of my book and the spice bags will give even the beginner the confidence to try.”

She recalls that the focal point of family life was family meal times when all seven siblings, mum and dad would sit down to the evening meal, eat chat and spend time with one another, she says of her childhood that was a wonderful time "were like the Asian Waltons!"

Parveen’s real love affair with food began in the 70’s watching her mother and big sister cook “amazing food” and all her recipes are based on the ones her mother used to use.

The only difference, says Parveen, is that her mother “cooked by eye” and didn’t actually measure anything. Parveen's recipes are thought through very carefully with each gram of spice being weighed precisely.

Parveen designed a pre-made “spice bags” out of sheer necessity when her son, Imran, left home for university. She wrote a few recipes and emailed them over to him.

Unfortunately, much to Imran’s dismay, the dishes did not turn out the way he wanted, so she blended a few sachets of spices and posted them off to him.

Despite her journey has being full of ups and downs and at times sheer hard work, now her determination, patience and perseverance has paid off with the launch of her book.

She says “It was bitter sweet time as I had lost my mother a few months before and naturally the book is dedicated to her.”

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