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Somali voices are recognised at civic awards

Labour leader Corbyn joins praise for community leaders at Holloway event

12 April, 2019 — By Calum Fraser

Sharif Abdalla Abubakar Sangaaaf, SBA chairman, Jeremy Corbyn and Cllr Rakhia Ismail

JEREMY Corbyn praised leading voices in the Somali community as annual civic awards were handed out in Holloway.

Ten certificates were given to residents living in and around Islington in recognition of their contributions to the Islington Somali-Banadir Association and the wider community.

The Labour Party leader had come off the back of Brexit talks with prime minister Theresa May to attend the event in the Old Fire Station Community centre in Mayton Street.

The Islington North MP said: “It’s people who stand up for the rights of all of us who actually do change society in the future and it is communities coming together, such as your association here, that strengthen people and give our young people some understanding and some hope.]

“I thank the Somali-Banadir Association for what it does, particularly in supporting young people. Growing up in London is complicated and difficult. There are many distractions and many dangers as well.”

The award ceremony took place on Friday, April 5.

Islington’s deputy mayor and the borough’s first Somali councillor Rakhia Ismail said that next year she hoped the award ceremony could be held in the Town Hall in Upper Street.

She added: “Without our chairman Abdalla we would not be here today. I heard great stories from my sisters as well.

“Some of their daughters are lawyers, barrister and university lecturers. There’s a lot to be proud of.”

Dr Medina Jeylani, who was also invited to speak at the event, said: “We need unity. When we come together like this it is great, but once a year is not enough.

“We need to know what the community is doing every month. We are responsible for what is going on in the community.

“Our neighbours, they need to know us. They have just heard from the media what a Muslim is like. They have not heard from us.

“They think whatever they see in the media is right. If we don’t have a plan, to stand up and show the way forward, then we are going to be a lost generation.”


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