University of Westminster alumnus Faisal Abbas was announced as the winner of the Social Impact Award for Saudi Arabia at the British Council Study UK Alumni Awards on Wednesday 1 March 2017.

Faisal studied on the Marketing Communications MA course at the Westminster Business School, graduating in 2010. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of Arab News, the Middle East’s leading English-language daily newspaper. Prior to this he was Editor-in-Chief of the digital English service of the Al-Arabiya news channel, media editor at pan-Arab daily, Asharq Al Awsat and senior Middle East correspondent for the International Resource Journal.

Unable to attend the award ceremony, Faisal recorded a thank you message also mentioning the University of Westminster and his lecturers.

The Social Impact Award recognises Faisal’s achievements in building bridges and narrowing cultural gaps between different cultures, addressing misconceptions of the Middle East and explaining the complexities of the area to an international audience.

Faisal told us: “Winning the Social Impact Award is a great honour but more importantly, it is a great responsibility, which I will not take lightly. 

“I was very lucky to know from an early stage what I was passionate about, and that always has been and will be journalism. I was also very lucky to have been blessed with not merely lecturers but life-mentors at the University of Westminster and on that front, I especially wish to thank Westminster Business School's Jonathan Pike and Trevor Wright. 

“Last but not least, it is only because the United Kingdom - which I experienced was open, diverse and cosmopolitan - that my university experience was such a rich and rewarding one. So it is my sincere wish not to see the UK become less welcoming and less tolerant following last summer's alarming Brexit vote."

The British Council Study UK Alumni Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of international alumni and showcase the impact and value of a UK higher education. They recognise and reward alumni who have used their UK education to make a positive contribution to their communities.

The awards were presented at a high-profile ceremony in the British Ambassador’s Residence in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The finalists and award winners were given an opportunity to meet other successful alumni and influential guests and extend their professional networks.

For each eligible country there are three awards available – the Entrepreneurial Award, the Professional Achievement Award and the Social Impact Award – with finalists being judged on their impact, the influence of a UK education on their success, media traction, and their potential to influence and aspire.

The University of Westminster has two finalists for the upcoming awards in India. Rohit Pradhan (Audio Production MA, 2006) for the Professional Achievement Award, and Sameer Pitalwalla (Media Management MA, 2007) for the Entrepreneurial Award.

Find out more about studying in the Westminster Business School.

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