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Graduate launches regional branch of global tech community


Alumni ambassador

A University of Bradford graduate is part of a new initiative to inspire and help the next generation of Muslim technology changemakers in the region. 

Zoya Naz Raja who graduated with a BSc (Hons) Computer Science in 2021, helped organise the launch of a new West Yorkshire chapter of Muslamic Makers this week, together with a committee of Muslims in the tech industry. 

Muslamic Makers is a non-profit organisation which brings together people working in, or aspiring to work in, tech and digital careers through regular events, networking sessions and various other programmes. It started in London in 2016 and has spread to Manchester, Boston, USA, and Toronto, Canada. 

The inaugural West Yorkshire Chapter meeting was held on Thursday, 21st September, at Bradford’s Impact Hub, on Peckover Street. 

Zoya, an Alumni Ambassador for the University of Bradford, said: “The inaugural event went really well. Twenty people came along, including those in junior roles, those working in senior positions and career changers, from developers to designers and those working in data. 

“Muslamic Makers is open to anyone and although we are Muslim-friendly, people from any walk of life and faith are welcomed.”

Attendees heard from guest speaker Imran Afzal, Principal Designer at Co-op. Imran has 15 years of experience with design and delivery and volunteers with Diverse & Equal, a 'tech for good' organisation.

Zoya, pictured above at the launch event, works as a Product Analyst at AND Digital.

She said: “I grew up in Bradford and I strongly believe in giving back to the community. I’m particularly passionate about encouraging women into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), especially those from lower socio-economic backgrounds and the BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) community.

“When I heard about Muslamic Makers starting a chapter in West Yorkshire, it married three of my greatest passions: faith, technology and West Yorkshire. It was a no-brainer to get involved.

“The events are mostly free and will be held across the year, starting in Bradford and Leeds and expanding out to other towns and cities across the region.

“I would encourage anyone who is interested in tech to come along, whether you are already working in the industry, a university student, a career changer or a recent graduate who is wondering how to get into the industry.”

Zoya is part of a West Yorkshire committee including:

  • Arooj Shah, Chief Operating Officer, Muslamic Makers
  • Mohammed Pakwashee, data engineer, NHS
  • Rehan Hussain, data engineer, Oakland
  • Sajad Mahmood, community organiser, VergeLabs
  • Musab Hussain, software engineer, E-Commerce SaaS
  • Adam Derradji, Start-up Founder, Productivity Game.

To keep up to date with the next Muslamic Makers events, you can follow them on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram - @MuslamicMakers

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