Past Events

The City Circle is an open circle for open minds

Young Muslim change makers

Challenging power and ethics in society

Young Muslim change makers

Date: Friday 2 February 2018 

Time: 18:45-20:30

Venue: Abrar House, 45 Crawford Place, Marylebone, London W1H 4LP

Speakers: William Barylo, Iqbal Nasim, Sahar Al-Faifi, Omar Shahid and Soleha Khawar

The Muslim charity sector is stronger than ever, attracting thousands of volunteers and millions of pounds in donations every year. Multi-million pound NGOs along with more discreet grassroots charities are quietly giving rise to the next generation of Muslim entrepreneurs, scholars, politicians and other influencers.

What motivates these young Muslim volunteers? What shapes the socially-engaged behaviour of young Muslims? What is the place and the role of Islam in their involvement and commitment to their causes? What social impact do these organisations have in their local area? How do they understand religion, faith, participation and citizenship? What challenges do they face and how do they overcome these?

Join us as we bring together William Barylo, author of the new book ‘Young Muslim Change-makers’ along with voices from both grassroots and larger organisations to discuss topics related to ethics, sustainable growth and the desire to create change.


Host: Umair Saeed, City Circle Management Team @AreWeRobots

William Barylo, Author of the new book "Young Muslim Change-makers"

Author of "Young Muslim Change-Makers" William Barylo is a researcher in sociology and an award winning photographer and filmmaker.

Iqbal Nasim, National Zakat Foundation @iqbal_nasim

Iqbal has led the National Zakat Foundation since November 2011, a few months after its inception and launch. Since then NZF has collected almost £6.5m of Zakat for local distribution and now has over 20 staff across the country. Prior to joining NZF, Iqbal worked for over five years in investment banking as an equity research analyst in London. He holds an MA in Economics and Management from Cambridge University, where he was President of the Islamic Society, and an MSc in Voluntary Sector Management from Cass Business School.

Sahar Al-Faifi, Assistant Secretary General, Muslim Council of Wales @SaharAlFaifi

Sahar is the Assistant Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Wales (MCW), former Chair of FOSIS Wales and a community organiser for Citizens UK Wales. Sahar is a graduate from Cardiff University in Genetics; she has a MSc in Biomedical Science and previously worked as a molecular geneticist at the NHS.

Omar Shahid, Founder of the Muslim Influencer Network

Omar has a degree in journalism and went on to write for national publications including The Times, The Guardian, The Independent and The New Statesman. He has taken part in conferences across Europe on religion and been interviewed on Sky News and the BBC. He’s a co-founder of the Muslim marriage website Alif and Ain and the world’s first Muslim Influencer Network, M.I.N - an agency that connects leading Muslim influencers with global brands. Over the past five years, he has managed various Muslim influencers in music, comedy, sport and public speaking.

Soleha Khawar, Founder, Streethands @Streethands 

Soleha set up Streethands in 2012 as a response to the service gaps she encountered whilst working as an independent domestic violence advocate through a charity in east London. As a grassroots charity, Streethands works to break the cycle of domestic violence and homelessness, creating sustainable futures for vulnerable children in these situations. Soleha recently created an app enabling the everyday person to be an active citizen and empower them to signpost vulnerable people to local resources. She is passionate about social entrepreneurship and believes that every individual is a catalyst and should be encouraged to bring about positive social change in their communities.

Additional details

Free entrance. All welcome. Prayer space available. Street parking free from 18:30. Doors open at 18:45 and the talk begins at 19:00. If you have any questions, please contact the event organiser: