Higher York Volunteering Award for research student

Posted on 16 May 2012

York postgraduate Ahmed Khaleel was presented with a Higher York Award for Student Volunteering, at a ceremony on 8 May at which his wife Noor also received an award.

Ahmed and Noor

Higher York is a partnership between Askham Bryan College, the City of York Council, the University of York and York St John University. The awards celebrate the achievements of student volunteers in their local communities across York.

Ahmed is a PhD student in the Department of English and Related Literature.  He was nominated by Kay Mitchell, the Representation, Advice and Welfare Co-ordinator at the University’s Graduate Students Association.  After moving to family accommodation in Halifax College in October 2011,  Ahmed and his wife became active in the York Student Family Network, becoming instrumental in its development and enhancement.  Ahmed’s commitment was unfortunately tested in a number of tragic incidents in the community.  Kay said in her nomination “My encounters with Ahmed have been truly inspiring as I have seen how regardless of personal difficulties and outside pressures he has managed to put his own needs aside to in order to serve those of his community.  His personal strength during this period has been nothing short of outstanding.”

Ahmed has also played a pivotal role in negotiating a formal agreement between the Iraqi government and the University which allows nationally funded students to attend programmes at York.  He was formerly a member of staff at Baghdad University.  A committed human rights and anti-corruption practitioner, his life was at serious risk many times and he was eventually forced to flee Iraq.