While not an AMSI event, I was honoured to be invited to a truly inspiring event and a farewell gala dinner for the current serving President of the Law Society Lubna Shuja .
Shabana Mahmood a British politician and barrister who has served as a Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood since 2010.
Shabana is a Labour Party member, she has served in the Shadow Cabinet of Keir Starmer as Shadow Secretary of State for Justice in September 2023.
Shabana ended the event and said thank you to Lubna for paving the way for a whole generation of women and Muslims.
The other speaker at the event was Keith Ellison, the Chief Prosecutor in the George Floyd case, both Lubna and Keith are exceptional, they are good role models, and visionaries.
Someone said after and a retired Judge that was on our table, that it is hard to believe that this is Great Britain.
But, it is easy to forget that until 1919, women were not considered fit to be a member of the law society, that is when the Sex Disqualification Act was approved by the UK Parliament and it was this four-page document, the shortest Act ever that changed history, and made Lubna's Presidency possible.
Therefore the event felt like a milestone moment, that made history, I think they said Lubna was the seventh woman and the first Muslim President of the Law Society, it felt very special to be there.
In conversation with Lubna Shuja, serving president of the Law Society.
Lubna attended law school on Chancery Lane, she had no idea that she would one day be president of the law society.
There were very few women when she started in the profession, very few ethnic minorities and Muslims.
Along the way, she met many allies, they saw her potential before she did.
It was not easy, many expectations on women, including how to dress, and trousers were not allowed, the drinking culture was hard for a Muslim woman, but she navigated.
During the presidency, she has been visual, the profession now has 52% women and 200,000 members.
Lubna has started a number of legacy items.
Russia Ukrainian, as soon as the war started members that acted for Russia were questioned, it was a difficult dilemma for them, so there is more professional guidance in development.
Climate change challenge, some people ask why some firms act for non-planetary friendly people, again guidance is in development.
There is also the legal aid challenge.
Despite the odds, Keith secured the conviction against Derek Chauvin for second and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
The odds were against him, as in past similar cases officers had been let off, I think I have that right, I am not an expert.
Keith’s recent book "Break the Wheel - Ending the Cycle of Police Violence," asks society to take a good look and learn from the case and history.
Keith is a Muslim man, he said it is not only your outer Muslim that matters, but it is also your inner Muslim as well.
Keith said to seek fairness, stand for the oppressed and weak, also justice.
He told a few young women, to seek a purpose, not to just focus on what you achieve, focus on more.
After you have gone and many after you, what will society remember you for, what do you stand for?
I asked Keith if he was born Muslim, and he said no, so I said why did you convert, he said that is a long story, too long for today.
The lady with him in the photo with Keith is Sarah Khan-Bashir, she specialises in family law and recently wrote a book on the Nikkah Nama, which is the Muslim marriage.
A Muslim marriage, which can be a contract and a piece of paper or verbal, unless registered formally in the UK, is not a recognised marriage in UK law, this can be very difficult for some .
I spent the evening, sat next to this young man, he asked me what university I went to, I said I am a lot older than you.
The Aziz Foundation does excellent work, they provide an educational platform through funding young people’s degrees.
That is a very commendable initiative and legacy, it is lifting people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Although Home Group funded my qualifications, particularly the MBA and Postgraduate Diploma.
My work through the Association of Muslim Surveyors (AMS) Initiative by Surveyor Store Ltd aims to take people out of university or into jobs and connect them with professions and professional institutions like the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
This week I started once again as a lecturer at the University, this time teaching the MSc Land, Development and Investment Module, complementing that I also Counsel, Assessment of Professional Competence Students for their Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Professional Exams.
Maybe one day I might have a legacy as well.
The Importance of Reading.
Muslims around the world reflect this month on the life of the Prophet Muhammad, who was born and died this month.
The opening revelation he had and the first word of the Quran was the word Iqra, which means to read.
To read, seek knowledge, educate, and learn are key and a starting point in Islam.
As the event showcased, reading, seeking knowledge, educating, and learning can lead to success beyond what one person can even imagine possible for themselves.
The work Lubna, Keith, and Ibrahim do, particularly his work in the Aziz Foundation is life and society-changing, it all starts with reading.
It was this ability to read and to be highly skilled that led to colonial society previously, countries welcomed Britain in as they were skilled.
As people become skilled, and societies change, old historic UK societies now have people from all over the world who hold public-facing visual roles and their top roles.
There is still someway to go but change is happening, it is ever present and around us.
Surveying School and AMSI
I have already mentioned the work I do to help candidates become RICS Chartered, but I also am the Founder of AMSI which I work on developing.
While we are still in our first year and forming a calendar of what we do each year as a baseline, it is through our events, seminars, and talks that people like to come together.
Corporate organisations have started to invite us along to relevant events, and I have a few requests which I need to respond to, but I am keen now to sign organisations up as corporate partners.
Individuals can sign up as well, we do not cost much, but each pound we get keeps us going, it is a good thing I have started.
You can book a conversation here to find out more:
The AMS Initiative
Surveyor Store Ltd