Community organisations are getting together to host Great Get Together with a Big Iftar in memory of the late MP Jo Cox

    The event, which takes place on Sunday 18 June at City Park in Bradford is being hosted by Muslim Women’s Council in partnership with Bradford Council, MyLahore, Martin House Hospice, Bradford Council for Mosques, Bradford Reform Synagogue, Touchstone Bradford, Wellsprings Together Bradford and Carlisle Business Centre.

    The Great Get Together is a joint initiative between More in Common, led by Brendan Cox (husband of the late Jo Cox MP) and Eden Communities who organise the annual Big Lunch. The initiative has been organised in memory of Jo Cox MP, who was killed on 16 June 2016. Her husband, Brendan and friends want to remember Jo by communities coming together.

    The date for the event this year falls within Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting. To take account of this The Big Iftar has partnered with The Great Get Together to make it a truly inclusive event.

    Chief Executive of Muslim Woman’s Council Bana Gora said: “In the spirit of the unity Jo Cox lived and died for, the Muslim Women’s Council has worked in partnership with Bradford Council, MyLahore, Martin House Hospice, Bradford Council for Mosques, Bradford Reform Synagogue, Touchstone Bradford, Wellsprings Together Bradford and Carlisle Business Centre, and Noor Ul Islam Mosque, pulling together people from all corners and from all walks of life. On Sunday, Bradfordians of all faiths and none can share a meal with their fellow Muslim who will break their fast as the sun goes down.

    “There is so much to be worried about. Our small blue and green planet really does feel like it is hurtling down a rabbit hole of chaos. As much as it pains us that we had to lose Jo in order to launch such a beautiful event, we cannot ever forget that, as Jo said herself in her maiden speech to parliament, there is more that unites us than divides us, even if what unites us is a simple love of food”

    Chris Verney, community fundraiser for Martin House, said: “At Martin House we value the importance of sharing food together and the sense of community it brings – every day our families and care team eat their meals together, and the kitchen is at the heart of the hospice. Currently around a third of the children and young people we care for come from the Bradford area, which includes support at our hospice, in hospital and in their own homes. So we are delighted to be partner in Bradford’s Big Iftar and share in this community celebration.”

    Bradford’s Great Get Together and Big Iftar will take place on Sunday 18th June in City Park from 8pm – 10pm. Please let us know if you can join us for delicious food, inspirational speeches and a lot more!

    Bring along your prayer mats. Refreshments will be served at iftar (breaking of the fast) and there is lots of free street parking available.

    Email directorsoffice@muslimwomenscouncil.org.uk  or call 01274 223230.

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    Seventy years on: Peace after Partition

    August 2017 will mark the 70th anniversary of the Indian partition, the birth of two separate countries: India and Pakistan, before a further split after the independence of Bangladesh in 1971. The 1947 partition is one of the largest migrations ever recorded in history. Not only did this transform the landscape of South Asia, but the consequences are still affecting the lives of millions of people today, which includes communities who migrated to the UK.

    To chronicle these events and to share the experiences of Partition, the Peace Museum has put together an exhibition titled Peace After Partition. The exhibition will aim to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the event, showcasing a collection of stories and artefacts and will also include invitations for school, youth and elderly groups to participate in workshops.

    Launching on 14 June 2017, and running till 29 September 2017, the Peace Museum will offer a guided tour and Bradford residents will be encouraged to document their own family histories relating to Partition, share stories of peaceful reactions between communities in response to the violence that erupted, and map their migrations from South Asia.

    Diversity Development Officer, Samayya Afzal, said “this will be an opportunity for South Asians and non-South Asians of all backgrounds and ages to come together, to learn about and discuss our shared history, relate to the decisions and events that paved the way to Partition, and perhaps most importantly, see Partition through a perspective different to our own.”

    The exhibition is free and open to all. Tickets for the launch can be booked here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/peace-after-partition-exhibition-launch-tickets-35014578547

    If you would like more information, please contact Samayya Afzal at 01274 780241 or email at samayya.afzal@peacemuseum.org.uk.

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    Just two weeks left to see Splendours of the Subcontinent

    There are just two weeks left to see Splendours of the Subcontinent: A Prince’s Tour of India 1875-6 exhibition in the north of England before it moves on to Leicester.

    The free exhibition, which contains Indian works of art from the Royal Collection, tells the story of the grand tour of the Indian Subcontinent made by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) in 1875-6.

    The exhibition has been developed in collaboration with Bradford Council’s Museums and Galleries Service and Royal Collection Trust, and runs at Cartwright Hall in Bradford until 18 June.

    Splendours of the Subcontinent: A Prince's Tour of India 1875-6 at Cartwright Hall, Bradford

    Since opening in March Splendours of the Subcontinent: A Prince’s Tour of India 1875-6 has proved extremely popular, with a well over 18,000 visitors enjoying the special exhibition to date.

    Maggie Pedley, Bradford Council’s Libraries, Museums and Galleries Manager, said: “This exhibition has been so successful. We have had over 18,000 people from all over the country coming to see the amazing objects so far.

    “As there are only two weeks left for people to see Splendours of the Subcontinent: A Prince's Tour of India 1875–6 in Bradford, I would encourage people to hurry up and not miss out.”

    In October 1875, the Prince of Wales set off on a four-month tour, visiting over 21 localities which today encompass India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nepal.

    He travelled nearly 7,600 miles by land and 2,300 miles by sea and met over 90 rulers of the different regions he visited. His visit sought to establish personal links with the local rulers and strengthen ties between the subcontinent and the British Crown prior to the declaration of his mother, Queen Victoria, as the Empress of India.

    Over 70 exquisite works of art that were presented to the Prince as part of the traditional exchange of gifts will be on display at the exhibition alongside watercolours, photographs and items from the Council’s own collection of South Asian metalwork.

    A beautifully illustrated full colour catalogue accompanies the exhibition for £15.95 whilst stocks last.

    Cartwright Hall is open 10am to 4pm Tuesday to Friday and 11am to 4pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays. For further information and bookings contact Cartwright Hall Art Gallery 01274 431212 email cartwright.hall@bradford.gov.uk or visit www.bradfordmuseums.org.

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    David Laws appointed new Chief Executive of Leeds Bradford Airport

    Leeds Bradford Airport has appointed David Laws as its new Chief Executive in succession to John Parkin who is retiring, having substantially developed the airport during the last 10 years.

    The airport now operates to over 70 destinations in 25 countries and has grown passenger numbers by 6% over the last 12 months to 3.7 million passengers.

    LBA is a major contributor to the economic development of the region and new investment is underway to improve and expand the operations. John Parkin will continue as a non Executive Director.

    David Laws was previously Chief Executive of Newcastle Airport for 10 years and has 39 years’ experience in the airport sector. He began his career as a trainee Fireman at Newcastle Airport in April 1979 and went onto become Fire Officer, subsequently becoming the Airport’s Safety advisor.

    David held a number of roles in airport operations, before becoming Commercial Director responsible for the development of the Airline and Retail business and then Chief Executive.

    David Laws, Chief Executive of Leeds Bradford Airport, said:
    “My passion is for airport development and ensuring that the customer journey is a truly great experience. I am excited about joining Leeds Bradford Airport to further improve, expand and develop the business and look forward to working with the team at Leeds Bradford Airport and all those involved from the airlines, stakeholders and partners to develop the next phase of the airport’s growth.”

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    Muslim Women’s Council: ‘Naz Shah employs cheap publicity stunt that will divide communities’

    At 'An Audience with Naz Shah and Salma Yaqoob' last night, Naz Shah left shortly after arriving on the grounds that the Conservative candidate for Bradford West, George Grant, was discriminated against by the Muslim Women’s Council on the basis of his faith and gender, as he wasn't given a platform to speak.

    The event was framed from the outset as an audience with Naz Shah and Salma Yaqoob, never a hustings. Both candidates were contacted prior to the event and informed that the audience would be mixed. It was explicitly pointed out that the purpose of the event was to allow the constituents of Bradford West to engage with the two Muslim women standing for election. Naz Shah had the opportunity to decline our invitation in full knowledge of this. If she was taking a principled stand as she claimed, she should have declined our invitation. Instead we were bombarded with a barrage of calls from Naz Shah’s office and her male supporters, who eventually hijacked the event and were restrained by police and our own security. The heckling and tense atmosphere yesterday was reminiscent of the baradari clan politics that have marred Bradford for so long. Had Naz Shah sincerely believed this was a women-only event, she should not have invited her male supporters to attend, which leads us to believe she was intent on mounting insurmountable reputational damage on our organisation and by extension, on Bradford, the very city she claims to champion.

    We have two prominent British Muslim women standing for the same seat, a first for this General Election which is worth celebrating. Rather than creating division on the basis of gender and faith, we wanted to reach out to an electorate often overlooked, and in fact to honour requests from these women to have an audience with the two candidates. Our decision to host an audience with two female Muslim candidates was deliberate. As an organisation that works at a grassroots level with Muslim women in Bradford, we wanted to mobilise them to exercise their right to vote. Muslim women have historically been sidelined in areas of political engagement. Recent findings that up to eight million women may not vote at the general election are incredibly worrying.

    We take seriously any accusations of discrimination on the basis of faith or gender. We regret Naz Shah chose not to remain and participate in the event. The Muslim Women’s Council was founded on values of fairness and equality. This is evidenced throughout our work such as the Curry Circle which feeds predominantly white men, Bradford Women for Peace, the Great Get Together, and our head coverings book project which has brought together Muslim, Jewish and Christian women, to name but a few.  In the spirit of values of fairness and equality that are at the very crux of what we stand for, we will continue to organise events that promote inclusion and dialogue for the betterment of our community, not just during election time.

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