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Alumna wins prestigious Diana Award

Hughes Hall alumna Mashal Aamir (2019, Criminology) has been awarded a prestigious Diana Award in recognition of her humanitarian and social work.

The Diana Awards were created in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales and are awarded retrospectively to individuals who demonstrate a longstanding commitment to the betterment and advancement of human welfare.

Over a number of years, Mashal has undertaken a wide range of work both within the UK and further afield. This includes at The Red Cross, The British Heart Foundation, The Faculty of Advocates, Legal Aid USA, an international law firm in South Korea and the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Mashal told us: “When I started off more than 13 years ago my earlier projects focused on the barriers to education for children, especially from low socioeconomic and financially dependent backgrounds. My work involved providing free legal advice and raising funds for scholarships as well as promoting awareness of groups that are marginalised. My current work has progressed to supporting women from under-developed regions in becoming economically independent. This in turn has a strong correlation towards their children being able to attain an education.

“I feel very fortunate to have had an incredible time at Hughes Hall. I rowed for the college’s Women’s Team, was an Associate Editor of the Cambridge Human Rights Law Review and remain a current writer for the Cambridge Newspaper Varsity. After completing my Masters I clerked at the Supreme Court of Pakistan and collaborated with LUMs University in re-writing Supreme Court cases. Recently I have finished my Barrister training course and await being called to the Bar of England and Wales.

“Hughes Hall fosters a collaborative and cross-disciplinary approach to tackling global problems, it is an approach I try emulate. I am contributing to a book on Transgender Rights, focusing on their treatment in custodial settings. Transgender people are an underrepresented community globally therefore this work allows their perspectives to be heard. Furthermore with the Australian Human Rights Institute I am excited to be working on a book that aims to improve accountability for gender based crimes at the International Criminal Court.

“I am so grateful for the international encouragement I have received since being awarded The Diana Award. It provided me with a platform to voice the challenges and difficulties faced by underprivileged, underrepresented groups of society as well as raise awareness of causes that are very dear to my heart. Alongside the gracious support of my family, this encouragement has empowered me to take the next steps in fulfilling what has long been a dream; starting my own charity.”

Many congratulations to Mashal for her fantastic achievement!

Mashal and her grandparents at Hughes Hall

18 August 2021