I am writing this blog about someone that I wasn’t particularly close to but someone I had worked with in my professional capacity in the union. Firstly, I want to start by saying how impressed I am with what he has accomplished in such a short space of time. Within a year he became the most senior student ambassador of the college, a student trustee, union’s court advocate and one of the most (if not most) popular and recognised guys around college. He did this whilst still obtaining a high first and being one of iconic figures around college. I used to love going to ethos sports gym when he was there. He would liven the place up with his Ronnie Coleman’s impression and put people in awe with his 150kg bench presses. The amount of people he inspired to go to the gym is astonishing and an accomplishment in itself! He is without doubt, one of the funniest guys I have come across but when you converse in a serious discussion with him, you will be amazed at how intelligent and calculated he is. I remember I used to look forward to union council meetings just to hear what he said – because it just made sense. He was in touch with the people and one of the few peoples in the union that genuinely cared about the students and not another bureaucrat. This inevitably caused rift within the members which were not used to this exposure of creativity and new ideas. When he ran for union president this year, I experienced something I have not since my four years at Imperial – hope. For once the union had someone that was in touch with people and had original, feasible and sensible ideas. His manifesto points did not resolve around drinking or an open bar summerball but contained points that involved everyone – such as addressing Imperial’s falling in league tables. The amount of effort and heart he put in has earned most people’s respect – even those that might have not necessarily voted for him. Almost every senior staff you speak to that knew Abdul would sing his praises. As an ambassador, I spoke to Jo (head of the scheme) and the international office on a frequent basis. They would argue how Abdul is one of their best ambassadors due to his work both within college and when he was sent abroad (such as Texas in the summer last year). It is for this reason why they purposely select him to give tours to VIPs. No one in college has ever had the charisma of flair he possesses. His head of department was devastated when he heard Abdul had decided to graduate early to do a Masters at Cambridge. Within his home department he is admired. The younger years all look at to him and I don’t think anyone would disagree that he has helped so many out morally and on supportive roles. This is testament to the caring person he is. So why am I writing this blog? Well I think he does not get the recognition or credit he truly deserves. During the election this year Paul Beaumont campaign team (which included Alexander Kendall) went on a mission to defame his name by accusing him of some ludicrous and asinine things which has subsequently found to be untrue (Kendall was cautioned and addressed by the college for his actions). They did this because they knew his popularity was huge and he was without doubt, at the time, the most recognisable figures around college. They did it because if they hadn’t Paul Beaumont would have had no chance of winning. I feel had this not been allowed, many others and I would have had a union president and year to look forward to. I guess it is funny how things work out. I just admire Abdul’s forgiving nature – had I been in his shoes, I would have done things differently.
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