Chief executive of the Balsall Heath Forum to receive an MBE honours this year
Abdullah Rehman, a chief executive of the Balsall Heath Forum, received an MBE honours in this year’s New Year Honours List, awarded in recognition of his Services to the Community in Balsall Heath.
The Asian Today had the pleasure of interviewing the inspirational community leader.
What was your reaction to receiving the honour?
It is hugely humbling to receive this honour, and a testament to the contribution made by the Balsall Heath community over the past few decades.
What has motivated and inspired you in your business and community work over the years?
My father was my biggest inspiration who always showed kindness, compassion and generosity to others around him in the city of Birmingham. Sufi Abdul Rehman started his business in Balsall Heath back in 1969 and was the founder of Willows Crescent Masjid, which still stands to this day, acting has a place of welcome to the whole community.
I also pay my respects to my mother Sofia Rehman who prayed for me every step I took in my life. I really wish they were still here today, and I pay my utmost respects to all our parents and forefathers who struggled so much in order for us to become something in our lives.
What have been your key achievements or milestones in your business and community work so far?
My milestone has been the awards ceremony we hold every year in Balsall Heath, both for the young and old. The Dynamic Youth awards recognises those youngsters who are excelling in education, sport or just being good citizens, and this is done in order for them to become role models for other young adults.
The Heart Of Gold awards recognises adults who are good citizens in our communities who go beyond the call of duty to improve their neighbourhoods. I have been fortunate to meet these amazing individuals over the past 20 years. They are the real unsung heroes of our society, and I really enjoy making them know how much we at the Balsall Heath Forum and I personally value their individual efforts, making Birmingham the most cohesive city in the world. I hope to be representing not only them, but also the staff and executive members of the Forum when I accept the MBE later on in the year.
How have you seen Birmingham, specifically the city’s Asian communities, progress and change in the past decade(s)?
I am proud to have seen the Asian community in Birmingham city excel in all fields in the past decade, and it is all down to the foundations set by our forefathers who struggled so much for so many of us to enjoy success and prosperity today. I humbly thank and pay homage to them.
Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about you?
I was brought up in Balsall Heath and feel this neighbourhood is an example of all that is good about our city, where people from all faiths and backgrounds get on, regardless of creed and colour, and it is this that motivates me to carry on doing what I do.