When British Politician Sadiq Khan was recently announced as the new Mayor of London, my heart seized to beat… A fragment of shock before chanting and rejoicing… YES, WE KHAN! YES, WE KHAN! Never had I felt so proud to be British. Sadiq Khan is a testament to those daring to achieve their dreams. He won the hearts of Londoners and achieved what seemed to have been an impossible dream. A contemporary man with charisma and honour – He had my vote.
Born in Tooting, South London to a working-class British Pakistani family, he grew up in a council flat and worked at the Peter Jones Department Store during weekends, all whilst studying to become a Human Rights Lawyer. His life story ripples a deluge of hope to Londoners, the UK and the world at large.
When the invitation arrived to perform for the Mayor and the City of London Police at the iconic Guildhall, I was both stunned and overwhelmed yet oh so ready for the challenge! Excitement brewing, I immediately rang my folks in South Africa whilst doing the ‘happy dance’. This living dynamo had just been elected as the new Mayor of London and I was bestowed the rare opportunity to not only meet, but also perform for him. Alas! It was a dream come true. Hasina was in heaven… Hasina was making history!
The Reception was truly an evening of inspiration, celebrating interfaith communities and inter-religious cohesion in the UK. Guests comprised of distinguished diplomats, dignitaries, inter-faith delegates, politicians and city professionals who were treated to a five-course Michelin-star meal with silver-spoon service.
The Mayor Sadiq Khan delivered a strong message of unity at the Dinner:
“London doesn’t just tolerate difference, it celebrates it, so it’s great to see London Citizens’ members rallying together to show that there is no place for division in our communities. I urge anyone affected by abusive behaviour to report it to the police immediately, and for Londoners to pull together and rally behind this great city now more than ever.”
He said “We have the most diverse city in the world, but we don’t have people mixing as much as they could. I want to enable people to have a sense of belonging. ‘London Is Open’ aims to show the world that London remains entrepreneurial, international, and full of creativity, while reassuring the more than one million foreign nationals who live in London that they will always be welcome, and that any form of discrimination will not be tolerated.”
I proudly thank my team of talented Darbucka Drummers for providing the best Middle-Eastern entertainment London has to offer! And thanks to the City of London Police/Association of Muslim Police for inviting Hasina Belly Dance to entertain your distinguished congregation of high profile attendees at this inspirational event.
Events such as these unite and strengthen communities. Bridges are built by promoting better understanding and tolerance for different cultures and religions, creating a healthy environment to foster real change.
“Now more than ever we must come together. London will not be divided.”