Lest We Forget

Fann alQalam - the Art of the Pen - by Soraya Syed

by Tam Hussain

On 4th of December, a rainy Friday evening, I visited Al-Khair school in Croydon. The school together with the Muslim Writers Awards were hosting a talk entitled ‘Creativity within Multi-Cultural Britain’. It had attracted me because of its absurdly ambitious vision: To jump start the creative processes which produced the likes of Iqbal, Ghalib and Al-Mutanabbi. The event was opened by Ms. Aisha Choudhry, head of Al-Khair, followed by Irfan Akram, Project Coordinator for Muslim Writers Award, Sufiya Ahmed, author of the Khadijah Academy series, Moazzam Begg, author and spokesperson for Cageprisoners, Zahid Hussain, author of The Curry Mile and Andrew Pelling, MP. The event was chaired by Abdul Fattah Hussain, organiser of the event.

Irfan Akram set the tone by pointing out that whilst Muslims in Britain are facing immense challenges, the positives outweighed the negatives. He brushed aside suggestions that publishers didn’t want to hear the voice of the Muslims; rather he suggested that Muslims should not expect automatic publication just because they have penned something. “If it is good enough it will get published and MWA is here to help.”

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