Asian of the Year Lord Hameed: from Lucknow to London
Submitted by Mudassir Rizwan on Tue, 10/30/2007 - 09:54.
• Indian Muslim
By Prasun Sonwalkar, IANS
The 2007 Asian of the Year award was presented to Lord Khalid Hameed,
a medical doctor, at a glittering ceremony here Monday night.
Lord Hameed, 66, who hails from Lucknow, accepted the award in a soft-
spoken speech that reminded many of his city of origin. He said it was
a "great honour" and he considered himself "extremely privileged" to
be selected the Asian of the Year.
The man who was honoured by India with a Padma Shri in 1992 for his
contribution to medicine said: "We British Asians have contributed to
British life to the best of our ability. I have worked here for the
past 30 years. A lot has changed for us, it is changing. We are
Lord Hameed completed his MBBS from Lucknow University in 1967.
The publishers of the Asian Who's Who International Directory -- now
in its 32nd year -- have instituted the award. It was established in
1975 amidst the negative press associated with the perceived high
levels of immigration at the time. Its mission was to highlight the
contribution made by Asians to the fabric of Britain.
Monday evening's event in central London was attended by over 400
leading lights of the British Asian community, including celebrities
from the worlds of business, politics and the arts. Cherie Blair, wife
of former prime minister Tony Blair, Baroness Warsi (Conservative) and
Lord Ahmed (Labour) were among those present.
In February this year, it was announced by the House of Lords
Appointments Commission that Khalid Hameed would be made a life peer
and would sit in the House as a crossbencher (non-party political peer).
His peerage was gazetted on March 27 as Baron Hameed of Hampstead in
the London Borough of Camden. He is a hospital management expert and
leader in the promotion of international understanding and the
development of young people.
Lord Hameed has been chairman of the Commonwealth Youth Exchange
Council since 1997. He is also the High Sheriff of Greater London and
chairman of Alpha Hospitals. Earlier, he was executive director and
chief executive of the Cromwell Hospital. He currently heads the
London International Hospitals (LIH).
Lord Hameed is involved in a number of organisations and charities
that help develop harmony between diverse faiths and cultures in
Britain. He was given the Sternberg Award for 2005 for his
contribution to further Christian-Muslim-Jewish relations.
Educated at Lucknow's La Martiniere Boys College and Colvin Taluqdar
College, Lord Hameed retains links with his city of origin. During a
recent visit, he said Lucknow held a special place in his heart, and
he missed many things about it when he was in Britain.
He had said: "(I miss) my friends, the culture, the whole atmosphere.
This is a special town. I believe people from this part of the world
are different which gives them a head start in the world."
Previous Asian of the Year awardees include entrepreneur Karan
Bilimoria, Labour MP Keith Vaz, academic Bhikhu Parekh, Indian food
chain owner Ghulam Noon and industrialist Swraj Paul.
Others awarded on Monday were Avtar Lit, chief of Sunrise Radio (Asian
Leadership in Promoting Harmony), Tony Deep Wouhra, MBE, chief of the
East End Foods (Asian Leadership in Europe) and Ashraf Chohan, General
Secretary of India Pakistan UK Friendship Forum (Asian Leadership in
The first Asian Who's Who International Directory was published in
1975. Since the third edition in 1987, it became an annual
publication. It is a directory of the best and brightest Asian
talents, and charts the ascent of the community, providing role models
for the new generations of British-born Asians.
The first edition contained 200 entries while the current edition
contains over 2,000, reflecting the progress made by the Asian
community since the time the directory was introduced.
Old Boy of La Martiniere, Calcutta