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Engineer to be profiled in National Exhibition

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A BAE Systems engineer at Warton in Lancashire is to be profiled in a national photographic exhibition which aims to showcase the valued contribution that individuals of South Asian background are making to British life.

zma Khan, aged 29, from Preston in Lancashire, has been selected as one of the success stories to be profiled by top photographer Tim Smith in a new exhibition to go on show this month (Nov 22nd) at the National Media Museum in Bradford – and later on a national tour.

The “Making Britain” Photographic Exhibition will profile a wide cross-section of well-known and not so well-known individuals of South Asian background in a visual celebration of their cultural, political, artistic and economic contribution to British life.

The event has been organised by QED-UK, an ethnic minority focused education, employment and training provider now celebrating its 21st anniversary and a body which is becoming recognised as one of the most influential organisations of its kind in the country.

Uzma, who has worked on BAE Systems’ Eurofighter Typhoon, F-35 Lightning II and unmanned air vehicles programmes, will see her portrait hang alongside those of professional footballers, TV personalities and leading figures in the arts and politics.

Photographer Tim Smith said: “These photographs celebrate everything QED has worked hard for over the past 21 years. As a photographer I’ve been witness to this period of extraordinary change, where British Asians have moved from the margins to the mainstream. This new project is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate success stories that embody this transformation, and to illustrate how British Asians are a vital part of our contemporary, cosmopolitan society.”

Uzma, who is currently working on unmanned air vehicles at BAE Systems Warton facility said: “It’s a real honour to have been selected for this exhibition. If it helps inspire others then I will be delighted. My advice to others is: follow your dreams. Don’t presume that some jobs are aimed at particular types of people. I have been greatly lucky in my career journey. I have always been supported by BAE Systems and I can’t actually think of anything either I or the company could have really done differently.”
(Photos courtesy of Tim Smith – please credit accordingly)
Background notes:

• ‘Making Britain’ runs from 22 November to 2 December at the National Media Museum in Bradford. It will showcases a professional footballer, the Bush theatre’s Artistic Director, the Secretary General of Amnesty International, a broadsheet columnists and stand-up comic and rising BBC sitcom star. And they share one other quality aside from success in distinctly British institutions and fields – they’re all British people of Asian origin.

• Making Britain is a celebration of British Asian integration. It’s a reminder amongst on-going controversy, and sometimes prejudice around immigration in the UK, that we have in fact a lot to be proud of.

• Photojournalist Tim Smith's work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. His books include the groundbreaking ‘Here to Stay,’ a portrait of Bradford’s South Asian communities, and ‘Asians in Britain’, which includes photographs taken over the past twenty years.

• Making Britain shows the power of education and inspiration and the importance of creating ambition and hope. It celebrates what makes Britain great with its different immigrant communities that have defined and shaped the identity of this island nation through the ages.

• The exhibition is seen as a fitting celebration of QED-UK’s 21st anniversary. Founded in 1990 by Dr Mohammed Ali OBE, QED-UK has worked towards creating a society in which opportunity is not dependent on ethnic origin, race, religion or gender. Its work is focused on eradicating poverty, disadvantage and ignorance - the main causes of conflicts and discrimination.

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