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How attending Cambridge changed my life

Summary

Delivered 5 November 2013. Posted 16 November 2013.

After Lord Sheikh learned that Clare College Cambridge had selected me as Alumnus of the Year 2014 he invited my wife and me to a celebratory dinner. He then extended his invitation to the entire Executive of the Conservative Muslim Forum and to Carl Arrindell, Director of International Operations and Head of News & Current Affairs at the Islam Channel who is our mutual friend, and to Carl's wife.

The dinner took place on 5 November 2013 at Layalina Restaurant, Knightsbridge. While I knew about the dinner, I was very surprised to receive an engraved glass trophy from the Conservative Muslim Forum Executive, paid for by a collection amongst the Executive. It can be seen in the video below as I rest my hand on it while speaking. I have reproduced the inscription below:

Presented by Members of the Executive Committee of the Conservative Muslim Forum to Mohammed Amin to commemorate the honour bestowed upon him of Alumnus of the Year 2014 by Clare College Cambridge.

Although I was aware that at a celebration dinner I might be asked to say a few words, for some inexplicable reason I had done nothing about preparing a speech. Accordingly after Lord Sheikh stood up and surprised me with the presentation of the trophy, I was literally speechless! However as I say in the video below, in politics you have to be able to speak at the drop of a hat.

One of our Executive, Cllr Asif Ayub, had his camera with him and recorded Lord Sheikh's speech and my own, which he has assembled into a 13 minute video which can be watched below. As it was an emotional occasion, and also perhaps because I had not prepared, I shared some things which are very personal. Below are some pointers towards the content of the video:

 

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