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Meera Syal and others awarded at Nazia Hassan foundation launch
16th October, 2003

At Portcullis House in the House of Commons yesterday, a tribute was paid to the late Nazia Hassan with the launch of an award ceremony in her name.

The British based Pakistani pop singer, immensely popular around the world for her hits 'Aap jaisa koi' and 'Disco deewane', died at the young age of 35 in 2000. Nazia came to London as a teenager, where she went into song recording after meeting Bollywood filmmaker Feroz Khan at a party.

In light of her philanthropic work and wishes to help under-privileged children around the world, her family established the Nazia Hassan foundation to carry on her work. The awards were set up to promote individuals who 'combine the best of East and West and who have made outstanding contribution to promote cultural fusion in their respective vocations'.

The recipients included TV personality Meera Syal; Labour politician Shahid Malik; documentary film-maker Sangeeta Datta; Editor of Asians in Media, Sunny Hundal and theatre promoter, film-maker and journalist Suman Buchar.

The Awards were presented by the Patrons of the Nazia Hassan Foundation, Lord Ahmed Of Rotherham, Baroness Flather, Lord Paul, Baroness Uddin, and Labour MPís Mohammed Sarwar and Khalid Mahmood. Also present were representatives of the Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan governments.

The keynote speech was made by Dr Maleeha Lodhi, High Commissioner Of Pakistan who said "Nazia was truly a citizen of the world... her message of peace, brotherhood and harmony was all the more relevant today."

All pictures are by Sohail Anjum

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