Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 28 September 2020

Achievements of British Arabs ‘should be celebrated more widely’

The Council for Arab-British Understanding released a report mapping Arab life in the UK

London Central Mosque pictured from the boating lake in Regent’s Park.
London Central Mosque pictured from the boating lake in Regent’s Park.

British Arabs in the UK can and will play a greater role the life in the country, the Council for Arab-British Understanding said.

As it releases a report on the extent and influence of Arabs in Britain, the council said more needs to be learnt about the success and achievements of those who have made the UK their home.

Chris Doyle, the council’s director, explains in the preface to the report that it is looking to accelerate the involvement of UK Arabs in all aspects of British cultural and political life.

“[We have] always believed that British-Arab communities can and will play an even more vital role in British life. Our role is to help accelerate that process,” he wrote.

“It is based on the sincere belief that vibrant, confident, participative British-Arab communities are a huge asset to this country and that as it stands, and the research bears out, we do not know or understand enough about their successes, achievements and also challenges.”

The report is intended to act as a baseline and maps Arab organisations, cultural works and individuals, among other things, already found throughout British life.

It hails the achievements of figures such as Layla Moran, the first British-Palestinian MP, but looks forward to the day that she has colleagues of Arab heritage. The report questions when the first British-Arab governor of the BBC, or the first British-Arab ambassador, will take their posts.

“All of this is totally and utterly winnable. We know that because other communities have made great progress, including British Muslims of non-Arab descent,” Mr Doyle wrote.

The council also suggests initiatives to ease this process including the creation of a conference to discuss opportunities, a youth scheme for political participation and a fund for young artists, among other measures.

Updated: July 28, 2020 11:37 PM

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