Fouzia Younis makes history after appointment as His Majesty’s British Consul General to Toronto
Image by Twitter @YounisFouzia
A British Pakistani diplomat has made history by becoming the first British Muslim to be appointed His Majesty’s British Consul General to Toronto.
Fouzia Younis is wrapping up her tenure as a senior diplomat at the British High Commission in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Born in Birmingham, Younis has spoken about the challenges, including racism and Islamophobia, faced by her immigrant parents who came to the UK in the 1970s. She revealed how her mother, Zohra Begum, faced trouble in being able to adjust to the new life in the country.
She took to Twitter to announce the historic appointment and wrote: “To my aba who used to drop me at Digbeth Coach Station at 4 am so I could get to my work interviews, & my late ama who stood up for 18 year old me to go to uni & waited at bus stops to walk me home through dark streets. You went without for our today. Shukriya”
“To the girls who look like me, who are battling prejudice, racism & sexism from within communities & outside, who are told they can’t do it, or that they don’t sound or look the part. Don’t let anyone dim your power.”
Younis’s mother passed away due to complications from Covid-19. She paid tribute to her and said, “Mum called out racism from society, stuck up for women’s rights in the community & wore her headscarf with pride. She cleaned eggs thrown at our doors & when comments were made post 9/11 about our faith, she responded with dignity. ‘We set the standard’ she said.”
According to Dawn, she is the first in her family to go to university and did her bachelor’s degree at University of Birmingham and completed her master’s at University of Cambridge. She was appointed the director of communications at the BHC in Islamabad three years ago and was the co-chair of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Race Network previously.