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My Story
Balancing Life between as an Opticican and Community Activist
Date : 19/ 7/ 2012
By :


Fozia Parveen's Story....
My name is Fozia Parveen and I am currently working on an exciting NEW Muslim youth lifestyle magazine called Fifteen21. The magazine was launched in March 2012 for teenagers to educate, inspire and engage the future generation of British Muslim society and is available to view free at So far we have had over 75,000 visitors to the website alhumdullilah. The magazine is aimed at the 11+ age group. It was set up because I couldn’t find anything suitable for my youngest siblings which combined deen with youth lifestyle so decided to set something up myself! The name itself Fifteen21 is derived from both the 15th century of the Islamic Hijri year and the 21st century of the Christian era. Fifteen21 aims to reconcile both Muslim and British identity.

Apart from being a magazine editor I spend some of the week sitting in a very dark room examining people’s eyes in my role as an optometrist! I have also set up my own business Signs4Life ( which is a training consultancy in deaf and disability awareness. I am a teacher of sign language (BSL) and have been awarded a number of accolades for my work and very much enjoy mentoring future female talent in my role as an Everywoman Modern Muse mentor.

Community work is what I have enjoyed most since my teens. I love learning new skills, meeting new people, good banter and helping and assisting individuals and causes where I can. My voluntary work has included work in radio, Islam awareness weeks, work on honour related violence with the CPS, cultural awareness for ITV, promoting the engagement of BAME women into public office positions through community partnership events and currently volunteering in befriending Muslim women.

Never short of ideas to challenge myself, I am currently studying Arabic and German, and a second degree with the Open University which I hope to use towards work in academia. I enjoy travelling and will probably be in Istanbul when you are reading this, on a two-month spiritual Islamic education retreat which I am very much looking forward to but also alittle apprehensive about!

My message to others would be to always do something you really enjoy, and if you can achieve that then you will never have to work again! It’s not been easy having also lost a parent at a young age and taking on a ‘third parent’ role to my youngest siblings. There is nothing wrong with failure as long as you never give up and if you are determined, and persevere you will inshAllah achieve what is best for you.

 - Fozia Parveen
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