Sharifah Rahman, the youngest British Councillor
Sharifah Rahman has been elected as a bar councillor in a by-election in Darlington located in the Northeast of Britain. She was elected to represent the Red Hall and Lingfield ward after standing as a Labour candidate against independent Kevin Brack, Conservative Jonathan Dulston, Liberal Democrat Harry Longmoor and the Green Party's Mike McTimoney. She is a British, Bangladeshi-origin from Barmara, Sunamgonj in Sylhet division. The youngest among her siblings, she was born and brought up in Darlington.
The Bangladeshi community in Britain expressed their regard and happiness at her win in the election.
A member of the Labour Party, she stood against representatives from the Conservative Party, Liberal Democrats, Green Party and an independent candidate to obtain 249 votes and win the by-election held last month (Thursday, November 16, 2017).
Throughout her campaign, Sharifah ensured that every person she would be representing was contacted at least once, mainly through door-to-door canvassing, with full support of Darlington MP, Jenny Chapman. Whilst studying her A Levels in Geography, Law and Politics at QE, Sharifah campaigned endlessly against hate crime and this determination brought her Young Citizen of the Year at the Best of Darlington Awards in 2016. She has also become the first British Bangladeshi-Muslim-woman to be elected as a councillor at Darlington Borough Council.
Sharifah faced racist violence after the recent terrorist attacks in Europe. Sometimes, she would be targeted by the zealots and fanatics for her religious practice and belief. Women wearing hijab were targeted across Darlington and elsewhere in Britain and Sharifah too was a victim of these attacks. But the young and determined Sharifah was not to be cowed. She decided to raise her voice and engaged in Labour Party politics. She served as secretary in the Darlo Young Labour Group for a long time. She used to campaign against hate politics and racism.
Sharifah has always been a bright student in her school and college. She achieved a brilliant result in her A Level exam. Describing her victory in the election, Sharifah shares, "I am so honoured to represent my home community and to have been elected by my ward. This is such an exciting time to support the area I love. I feel incredibly grateful and humbled."