Ibrahim’s Review of 2017

Annual review number nine! Can’t say I’m a novice at this anymore. I can already imagine next year’s review. We’ll be throwing a party. Cakes and balloons. Lots and lots of balloons. And cakes. I like cakes. Especially fresh cream. With a jam filling…

But then the balloons burst, and I wake up. The calendar still shows it’s 2017. It’s not quite over yet, but it’s time to look back on some of my personal highlights of the year.

In January, I was at the British Muslim Awards 2017, shortlisted as a finalist under the Services to Creativity and Technology category. The awards ceremony was at the Athena in Leicester. The winner was tech reviewer Safwan Ahmedmia, widely known as SuperSaf. Congratulations to you Safwan! I am also pleased to announce that I have been nominated as one of the finalists in the “One To Watch” category for the British Muslim Awards 2018, which will take place in Bradford. I am humbled to have been shortlisted again and wish all nominees the best of luck.

Ibrahim was a finalist in the Services to Creativity and Technology category at the British Muslim Awards 2017

Between February and April, I was one of the presenters of “@7”, a topical magazine show on Cambridge TV. It was really fun presenting alongside co-hosts Billy Pointon, Victoria Innes and Bridget Bradshaw, as we looked at all kinds of local stories to do with arts and culture, entertainment, current affairs, and much more. It was also a pleasure to collaborate with Rick Pinder, the producer and director of the series. Many thanks to the Cambridge TV School for the opportunity and also to Billy, Victoria, Bridget and Rick for being so awesome to work with!

The “@7” gang: Ibrahim with co-hosts Billy Pointon (top-left), Victoria Innes (top-right) and Bridget Bradshaw (bottom-left), and series producer/director Rick Pinder (bottom-right)

Along came May when I appeared on “Unsung Hero”, a talk show on IQRA Bangla (Sky 825) presented by Ishaque Uddin. I talked about my work as a blogger and presenter, as well as discussing various issues affecting the youth and the British Bangladeshi community. You can watch the full interview right here:

Between May and June, it was certainly a very exciting period for British politics. We had a snap general election that coincided with the month of Ramadan. I invited each parliamentary candidate, standing to be MP for Cambridge, to my home for a live interview/chat on Facebook. I really enjoyed the experience of interviewing the candidates, listening to them all discuss various key issues in the run-up to Election Day. It was a Labour hold for Cambridge, winning with more than 12,000 votes. Many thanks to Daniel Zeichner, Julian Huppert, Stuart Tuckwood and John Hayward for joining me on Facebook Live during the election period.

Ibrahim interviews the 2017 parliamentary candidates for Cambridge on Facebook Live: Stuart Tuckwood (top-left, Green), Dr John Hayward (top-right, Conservatives), Dr Julian Huppert (bottom-left, Liberal Democrat), Daniel Zeichner (bottom-right, Labour)

My biggest highlight of the year was in July when a childhood dream of mine became a reality. I was offered a work experience placement with ITV News to assist the newsteam with their coverage of the 2017 Wimbledon Championships. The two weeks I spent at SW19 were amazing, and I am so grateful I was given the opportunity to be part of one of the world’s greatest sporting events. Huge thanks to the ITV News team for everything, it really was an incredible experience.

Ibrahim at the 2017 Wimbledon Championships

Fast-forward to October. My mother and I co-launched Cambridge Rise, a digital media network providing positive news coverage online for the Cambridge community and beyond through multiple social media platforms. Since the launch, we have produced video reports on the completion of a community mural and the Cambridge Mosque Open Day. There’s still more to come as we keep on producing news reports as well as making mini-documentaries, sharing untold stories from the city’s wider communities. The website currently features various articles and blogs, and we’re hoping to publish more content in 2018 from new contributors. Exciting times ahead!

2016 was a tough year for me, but there have definitely been some great moments this time round. The hard work always continues of course. Business as usual. How many times in our lives have we thought about doing things but felt we could never pull it off? Of course, it’s important to be realistic and not set ourselves a target that is unattainable. Why not break it down? Make it easy. There is another way. Even when you’re faced with restrictions and limits, you can still do it.

I recently came across a motivational quote from Mufti Ismail Menk:

“Many of us are guilty of overthinking. Remember, the battle starts in your mind. Don’t defeat yourself in your own mind before you’ve even started. Focus your mind in the right direction. Be positive about things. You will see the difference.”

To all those who have supported me through the good and bad times, I thank you. Let’s continue to have hope. Keep on spreading the positivity into the new year and beyond. I’m looking forward to seeing what 2018 brings.


Ibrahim’s Review of 2012: Part Three

“Part Three? You’re certainly making a habit of creating trilogies Ibrahim…”

I know. Good, isn’t it?

For those wondering about the wedding that I went to yesterday, it was really good! The food was nice too. Wedding food is always nice. Well, most of the time…

Playtime is over now. Ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts.

I have less than 24 hours to finish off this review. Time is running out and when it does, there is no turning back…

In this case, let’s rewind all the way back to January. Six days into the new year, I made a brief appearance on television. I was interviewed by Felicity Simper, a journalist for BBC Look East. She asked me about the rise in university tuition fees and how this could result in more students applying to Anglia Ruskin University. You can watch this news clip on the Videos page of my website and on my YouTube channel. I remember that day. I was working in the university library, finishing off my assignment. It was unexpected, but a welcome surprise.

In September, I was invited back to BBC Radio Cambridgeshire to participate in a live debate on whether too many people are going to university. The discussion was hosted by presenter Jeremy Sallis, and I was joined by Professor Farah Mendlesohn (Head of Department for English, Communications, Film and Media at Anglia Ruskin University) and Steve Favell (Business Manager for Huntingdon Regional College). I was asked about my experiences as a university student and my plans for the future.

A month later, I was asked to return for another radio interview with Suzie Roberts. I talked about Eid-ul-Adha, the Islamic festival that marks the end of the pilgrimage (Hajj). I was also requested to record the atmosphere at this year’s Eid Prayer in Cambridge, as well as asking three other people to describe what Eid means to them. Their responses were included halfway through my interview.

As you can see, 2012 was very eventful. It was dramatic, exciting and fun. 2013 will be interesting though. I have absolutely no idea what to expect. I am currently available to start work on new film projects right now, so I am hoping that I will be more active next year.

I have nothing else left to say. This will be my final blog post of 2012. I hope you have enjoyed reading my “essays” and watching my videos this year. Thank you very much for your support and I wish you all the best in 2013.