Calgary Board of Education considers Arabic in public schools

Metro Calgary – May 12, 2011

The Calgary Alberta Board of Education is now considering Arabic language studies in city schools. With a growing Arabic-speaking population, a group of parents banded together to petition the CBE for this change and with enough demand the board could move forward.

Like all of CBE’s bilingual programs, 30 per cent to 50 per cent of classes would be taught in Arabic, with the rest being taught in English. A cultural component would also be included. The parents are expected to present their case May 19 at Central Memorial High School. The CBE is expected to make a decision thereafter. Arabic would join four other languages offered by the CBE, including French, Spanish, German and Mandarin.

Twenty two Muslims honoured in Queen’s honour list

Twenty two members of the Muslim community were named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for their contribution to society: two CBEs, seven OBEs, 11 MBEs and two overseas & military MBEs. Amongst the four women and 18 men are an artist, barrister, doctor, professor and translator. The number of Muslims awarded for their work is considerably higher than last year when only seven were honoured. Other members minority faith groups have also been included, with 14 members of the Hindu and Sikh faiths (2 OBEs, 11 MBEs, 1 Diplomatic Overseas List MBE) and 22 members of the British Jewish community being awarded two knighthoods, seven CBEs, seven OBEs and six MBEs. Chair of the British Muslim Forum, Dr Khurshid Ahmed, is to be made a CBE for his services to community relations in Birmingham and the Black Country. Dr Ahmed served as Chair of the audit committee, CRE envoy to the Muslim community and as Assistant Chief Executive at Birmingham City Council from 1984 to 1999. He is currently the Chair of the Dudley Community Partnership. He told The Muslim News he felt humbled by the award…it is for the hard work and dedication of all my staff. Mohammed Afzal Khan is to be a CBE for his service to Manchester’s community and interfaith relations. He told The Muslim News, I enjoy serving the public and look forward to carry on serving the public for many years to come. Khan worked as a youth worker before serving as a police constable with Greater Manchester Police. He began his legal career as a solicitor and is now a senior partner at a law firm. Khan has acted as lead member for Race Equality and has been involved in interfaith work for 20 years. Elham Asaad Buaras reports.

Former Lord Mayor honoured with CBE

Manchester’s first Muslim Lord Mayor was among the local heroes saluted in today’s honours list. Councillor Afzal Khan was made a CBE for unstinting services to local government and race relations. Mr Khan, who was born in Pakistan, said: “I was a bit shocked when I was told about the award but I feel genuinely honoured, and not a little humbled.” The solicitor moved to Britain when he was 12 and started his working life as a mill worker. He resumed his education before joining Greater Manchester Police as a constable and entering politics. Also honoured were Riaz Ahmad, JP from Oldham who made an OBE for services to local government, the administration of justice and to the community in Oldham. Iqbal Bhana from West Yorkshire received an OBE for services to community relations in West Yorkshire.