1172. Ali Mahmood
Ali Mahmood, from Manchester, is the founder of the ‘Myriad Foundation’, a community-based Islamic charity dedicated to supporting social welfare and interfaith outreach projects.
Ali established the charity in 2013 with the aim of promoting Islamic humanitarian values but reaching out to people of all faiths across Greater Manchester. The Foundation has pioneered a ‘Tech Buddy’ project to help older people develop digital skills to enable them to communicate online and use the internet. It also runs a bespoke personal “buddy” service to patients at local hospices to reduce isolation, and holds ‘Unveiling Islam’ workshops in schools to educate schoolchildren on Islam and counter Islamophobia. One of Ali’s other projects is ‘Taste Ramadan’, which encourages mosques around the city to collectively open their doors on the same day for a communal Iftar. Launched in 2017, over 4,000 non-Muslim guests attended an open Iftar last year, and this year over 100 mosques will open their doors.
Ali was presented with his award by his local MP Mary Robinson.
In a personal letter to Ali, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Through the ‘Myriad Foundation’, you are sharing a spirit of neighbourliness and compassion with thousands of people of all faiths across Manchester. Your inclusive outreach work is not only promoting a greater understanding of Islam in local schools and communities, but also making a real difference for those facing social isolation or in need of further welfare support.”
Mary Robinson, Ali’s local MP for Cheadle, said:
“It’s great to hear that Ali has been recognised for his outstanding work locally, and he truly embodies the community values we all hold dear in Cheadle. The importance of building sound interfaith relations and endorsing positive messages in schools is important, that’s why the outreach programmes Ali has launched are so valuable in breaking down barriers between different sections of society. It’s also inspiring to see Ali’s work bridging the generational divide too, by helping older people with their digital skills, and tackling loneliness and isolation. I’m delighted that Ali has received this well-deserved award, and I look forward to seeing the Myriad Foundation go from strength to strength in helping communities across Greater Manchester.”
“It is a huge honour to be recognised with the Points of Light award. As a 100% voluntary based organisation, I am proud to be accepting this award on the behalf of every single volunteer who has been involved with the journey of the Myriad Foundation over the past 5 years. All of our projects and initiatives have been driven by passionate, dedicated and hard working volunteers who as well juggling every day life challenges, take time out to make a positive contribution to society. As Muslims, this is an integral aspect of our faith and we are all proud to have the organisation as a vehicle to fulfil our obligations.”