The East London Mosque and Baraka Khan Foundation was delighted to host HRH Princess Anne alongside 12 senior leaders from the commonwealth to participate in the Commonwealth Study Conference (CSC) Leadership programme, on the 9th May 2017. The programme provided an opportunity for the participants to collaborate to tackle challenges that businesses, governments and society face today and build the global relationships needed by the leaders of tomorrow.
HRH and the CSC Leaders benefited from a diverse range of presentations and learnt about the rich history and heritage of the East London Mosque from its inception in 1910. They visited some of the projects and services including the archives, Al-Mizan Junior School, the observation beehive and the National Zakat Foundation (which is housed in the recently acquired Great Fieldgate Street synagogue).
Dilowar H. Khan, the Executive Director, chaired the discussions, highlighting the challenges and opportunities of the Mosque sharing the vision for the largest Muslim community in Britain.
Sufia Alam, Manager of the Maryam Centre, reflected on the importance of creating a dynamic and safe space for women, “the commitment that women and their families put into making this dream into reality is a testament to their shared hopes and aspirations.”
On emerging leadership from women and youth, Lucy Bushill Matthews, the CEO of MADE, spoke about the barriers for Muslim women and young people and shared the potential energy there is for change. This led into a productive discussion by the participants on what we can all do about it.
Iqbal Khan, a long-serving member of the Mosque, shared the incredible story of his late daughter, Baraka Khan, a young, bright woman who was passionate about bringing hearts together. He told of his family’s enthusiasm to support the Mosque’s visitor centre to be able to host more events like these that increase understanding between people of all faiths and none.
Muhammad Habibur Rahman, Chairman of the East London Mosque Trust, closed the day’s programme commending the CSC leaders for taking the time to visit a mosque, to engage with Muslims and to witness how this mosque contributes to the community and to wider society. He thanked Princess Anne in particular for her time and gracious interest in the work of Common Purpose and of the East London Mosque.