The Life & Deaf Association are delighted to share the fantastic news that Nadeem Islam, a Life & Deaf poet and actor, was selected as a ‘Young person of the year’ highly commended finalist at the 2012 Shine a Light Awards.
Why did the Life & Deaf Association nominate Nadeem?
Like many of the young deaf poets involved, Nadeem has contributed to Life & Deaf at every stage. He is a very talented poet. He has submitted many poems to our website. Nadeem reflected “I wrote my first poem, “Changing Me”, I was having a hard time going through the adulthood, it just the way of how teenagers behaved in the society and what is the strong effects happening. The gangs always have their weapon or people to attack innocent for items or money. It show me how stupid people can be. I feel stronger about how I can learn from the bad effects and I can at least make a huge step away from it.”
Nadeem has a strong sense of empathy – this means that he really understands how other people may be feeling. He also has a mature sense of responsibility within his communities. In 2011 the Life & Deaf Association organised workshop days in which deaf young people from across the UK met one another to explore their thoughts and feelings about their deafness. Nadeem attended the first day of workshops as a participant and we specifically invited him to the second day as a peer role model.
Nadeem is currently studying GCSE drama. He contributed great ideas at the planning stage of creating a professional short film. He then took on the challenging role of playing a hard, hurt and angry character. He showed outstanding acting ability. The film won the Ritter Sport award at the Zebra International Poetry Film festival and Nadeem and Kayleigh represented the Life & Deaf poets in Berlin later in October.
Through his enthusiastic participation in Life & Deaf Nadeem has helped to address the key project aim of improving the mental health of future generations of deaf adults. He has helped to raise the profile of deaf students within families, schools and wider communities. For example, he is one of 20 deaf students educated among over 1500 hearing students. He recently gave a confident, well-delivered speech to all of his year 11 peers.
During the Life & Deaf workshops Nadeem helped to put familiar and unfamiliar peers at ease and facilitated group discussion, encouraging and inviting others to contribute.
Nadeem’s positive engagement in the project has meant that this has had a huge impact on his own personal development. He recently reflected “Life & Deaf is a greatest thing I ever experienced, because the way of deaf people open up theirselves up via poems … “My feeling is on my sleeves and I thought I want to get this out, so I decided to do it in perfect way”, through poetry.
Through the powerful, thought-provoking lines of his poetry Nadeem has led varied audiences to a greater understanding of young people’s experiences of deafness. In his own words “the impact on the audience just jaw-dropping. I want to do it front of all of people in this world, wanna make them understand”. Nadeem’s dreams for the future are to become an “actor on television, deaf show or hearing show. I just want to entertain people and make them laugh, cry and dance”.