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Yorkshire Asian Young Achiever Awards (YAYAs) Shortlist Unveiled


The shortlist for the prestigious Yorkshire Asian Young Achiever Awards (YAYAs) has been officially announced, celebrating the remarkable accomplishments of young individuals of South Asian heritage who have made significant strides in various fields while overcoming challenges.

Founded four years ago by the QED Foundation, based in Bradford, the YAYAs have evolved into a prominent event in the awards calendar, recognizing individuals between the ages of 16 to 30 who were either born in or reside and work in Yorkshire. These honorees have either triumphed over adversity or broken through barriers to become inspirational role models in their respective domains.

The awards span ten distinct categories:

Achievement in Sport:

  • Tanisha Jain, 20, the first Asian woman to serve as Sport Union President at the University of York
  • Anil Nawaz, 28, a football coach from Bradford
  • Hussnain Chaudary, 23, a premier-level American football player, also from Bradford

Health, Mental Health, and Healthcare:

  • Rhea Narang, 24, a junior doctor from Bradford, who also volunteers at a charity for domestic abuse survivors
  • Nusaybah Tufail, 22, a children’s nurse working on the neonatal ward at Bradford Teaching Hospital
  • Zenab Eman Sabahat, 24, a PhD researcher at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust, advocating for race equity in healthcare

Arts and Creative Industries:

  • Mohammed Saeed, 19, from Bradford, recognized for his achievements in dancing
  • Gaby Gohlar, 26, an artist whose work sparks conversations about mental health
  • Zara Sehar, 22, from Halifax, a published poet

Achievement in Media:

  • Amani Khan, 27, from Leeds, content editor at ITV Calendar news
  • Mahnoor Akhlaq, 22, a multimedia producer at Channel 4 News
  • Kimia Modaressi Chahardehi, 21, a filmmaker from Bradford

Achievement in Education:

  • Mohammed Malik, 24, who progressed from a council estate to pursue a PhD in Politics at the University of York
  • Malik Fraz Ahmad, 19, from Bradford, recipient of a scholarship from Bradford Grammar School, currently studying Law
  • Nuraniyah Maroof, 24, from Bradford, who overcame adversity to pursue a Master’s in Physician Associate Studies

Private Sector or Young Entrepreneur:

  • Safura Said, 29, from Halifax, who overcame an abusive marriage to qualify as a Conveyancer
  • Awais Hussain, 23, from Bradford, working as a management consultant for PwC
  • Hasnain Akhmat, 28, founder of Bradford’s leading restaurant and shisha lounge, the Marha Lounge

Achievement in School or College:

  • Umair Khan, who moved to Bradford from Pakistan at age 11 and is set to graduate in Accountancy and Finance from the University of Bradford
  • Safah Aftab, 17, diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in 2022 but aspires to study Human Rights’ Law at university
  • Hammad Khan, 17, from Bradford, achieved outstanding grades to pursue a career in Medicine

Achievement in the Public Sector:

  • Sadiya Salim, 30, who supports children in Leeds and has worked with refugees in the city
  • Shuaib Hussain, 24, former Sensory Needs Services worker at Bradford Council, now a case worker for failed asylum seekers
  • Maaria Shakoor, 29, from Kirklees, working in the Policing and Crime Team for West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Not-For-Profit Sector:

  • Samiyaa Ahmed from York, who volunteers in refugee hubs
  • Adnan Hussain, 26, from Sheffield, serving as a civil servant
  • Rohan Ashar, 22, from York, an Activities Officer at the University of York’s Student’s Union

Overcoming Life Obstacles:

  • Enosh Siraj, 30, from Hull, who left Pakistan as an asylum seeker at age 15, completed her degree in Biomedical Sciences at King’s College despite health issues
  • Mariam Habib, 29, from Leeds, pursuing a degree in Health and Social Care in Huddersfield after overcoming an abusive marriage and raising a child with multiple health conditions
  • Mohammed Hamad, 26, from Bradford, born with a rare genetic disorder (Fuhrmann syndrome), graduated in Accountancy and Finance, and now works for the NHS as a Purchase Ledger Officer

The selected candidates will attend a prestigious gala dinner in November at the Cedar Court Hotel in Bradford, joined by influential business leaders, celebrities, and influencers. The award ceremony will be hosted by BBC TV and Radio presenter and stand-up comedian, Noreen Khan, featuring guest appearances by NHS doctor and TV personality, Dr. Amir Khan, and CEO of Morrisons, David Potts CBE.

These remarkable YAYA nominees showcase the resilience and achievements of Yorkshire’s young South Asian community, serving as essential role models and proving that obstacles can be overcome to achieve greatness.

The awards’ high-profile sponsors include PwC, the Home Office, the National Science and Media Museum, Barnardo’s, LanguageCert, University of Bradford, LocaliQ, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, MyLahore, University of York, Cedar Court Hotels, Bradford Bulls, Janan, HSBC, and Morrisons. The headline sponsor remains York St John University.

Dr. Mohammad Ali OBE, CEO of the QED Foundation, remarked, “All these shortlisted young people are important role models for other young Asians because you can’t be what you can’t see.”

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