Makbule Gunes should receive a Migrant Woman of the Year Award because, in a world that wears women down and tells us implicitly or explicitly that we are better off staying in the shadows where we belong, she says loudly and clearly “Here I am and I am not going anywhere, so you’d better listen and learn something from me and my experiences”. She demands a place in the mainstream arena that is dominated by white men. In so doing, she sets a great example to young immigrant women in the community.
Makbule truly turned her life around the moment she set foot in the UK. She refused to live a life away from British society in a bubble made up only of members of the Turkish and Kurdish community. Instead, she strove to learn English as fast as she could, to have friends of different walks of life and of different nationalities. Makbule undertook a BA in History and Politics, giving her a good grounding in British and European politics and history. This enabled her to make the links between her culture of origin, which she never lost contact with, and her new home.
One of the biggest milestones in her journey of integration was being fully embraced by the Tottenham Labour party and then being elected as one of its Councillors. However, Makbule is still a work in progress because she wants to be even more involved and to have more of a positive influence in the future.
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