Magid Magid: ‘I don’t intend to try to fit in’

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Image copyright Chris Saunders
Image caption Magid is most likely best understood for “prohibiting” Donald Trump from going into Sheffield

Magid made rather an impression as he got here for his very first day at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Using a baseball cap and a T-shirt bearing an anti-fascist motto, the freshly chosen MEP stated he was asked to leave the structure .

Who is Mr Magid and what barriers has the 30-year-old Somali refugee from Sheffield get rid of to wind up as a Green Party MEP?

Image caption Mr Magid wore his hallmark yellow baseball cap for his very first day at the European Parliament

“I understand I’m noticeably various. I do not have the benefit to conceal my identity. I’m BLACK &&my name is Magid. I do not mean to attempt fit in. Get utilized to it!”

This was Mr Magid’s action to being asked to leave the European Parliament structure by somebody he stated he thought to be an authorities.

While the European Parliament stated no member of personnel was included, Mr Magid – among 6 MEPs for Yorkshire and the Humber – stated the occurrence “states a lot about what individuals believe the stereotyped political leader is suggested to appear like”.

And it’s difficult to argue he does not have a point – of the brand-new European Parliament’s 751 members, less than a lots are black.

To individuals of Sheffield, where Mr Magid just recently completed a year as the city’s Lord Mayor, his straight talking will have come as not a surprise.

Image copyright Mark Howe/Sheffield City Council
Image caption Mr Magid has actually ended up being a source of motivation for youths throughout the world

From his appealing design – Dr Martens and baseball caps combined with the 18-carat gold chain of workplace – to his back story – the Somali refugee who pertained to the UK aged 5 – he was absolutely nothing like the stereotyped picture of a Lord Mayor.

During his 12 months in workplace he struck the headings time and once again, most significantly for “prohibiting” United States President Donald Trump from Sheffield .

Born in Burao, in northern Somalia, Mr Magid and his household left the war-torn nation in 1994 looking for “a much better life”. After 6 months in a refugee camp in Ethiopia, the household – his mom and 5 older brother or sisters – settled in Burngreave in Sheffield.

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Media caption In 2018, Magid informed the BBC about how he went from an Ethiopian refugee camp to Sheffield Lord Mayor

He went to Sheffield’s Fir Vale School, where he stated he was “much like your typical kid”, prior to studying marine zoology at the University of Hull.

Mr Magid ran a digital marketing service prior to being chosen as a councillor in 2016, and was selected Lord Mayor in 2015.

Image copyright Family image
Image caption Magid minute: At house in Sheffield as a young kid

The function is a ritualistic one, however Mr Magid was identified he would be kept in mind as more than simply a token shaking hands at church fetes.

Image caption He kept a set of customised Dr Martens boots and Donald Trump bathroom roll on screen in the Lord Mayor’s parlour

Asked if he set out to shake things up, he stated his really presence in city government was “extreme to a great deal of individuals”.

But Mr Magid stated he would faster deal with the flak – things were tossed at his main vehicle and he was sent out racist hate mail and death risks – than remain quiet.

“As long as I am making individuals feel something, engage or link, even if that is calling me [names], a minimum of I’m stimulating some interest in the function and individuals are caring,” he stated.

Image copyright Magid
Image caption Mr Magid got a variety of hazards throughout his time as Lord Mayor

His method to the function polarised popular opinion.

The Lord Mayor’s position on Mr Trump triggered some to state they were “ashamed” to confess they were from Sheffield, while others implicated him of abusing his position.

More acerbic remarks were aired in a series of letters to the regional paper, soon after his consultation.

One reader stated he represented “whatever that is incorrect with our when terrific city”, while another stated the function must be “scheduled to an individual of white, English descent”.

Image caption Mr Magid stated he felt obliged to stand as an MEP at a “turning point” he views as a “fight for the soul of Britain”

Mr Magid easily acknowledges he is “not everybody’s cup of tea”.

“People actually either love me or they dislike me, however in any case they’ve got an enthusiastic viewpoint,” he stated.

Image copyright Magid
Image caption He is popular for using T-shirts bearing political mottos

Speaking in May, Mr Magid stated he keeps a message on his phone from a Somali refugee living in Austria who stated she had actually been influenced by him to stand in her regional elections.

His story likewise reached students at Crocker Farm Elementary in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Classroom assistant Jean Fay stated 2 children, one from Sri Lanka and the other from Cape Verde, had actually hung out investigating his increase.

“The trainees were thrilled that somebody so young like them, somebody who is an immigrant like them, who speaks a various language like them, can be somebody who is chosen by a big group of individuals and can make a distinction worldwide,” she stated.

“Seeing somebody like Magid, who they can associate with, makes them think this is possible.”

Image copyright Jean Fay
Image caption Young trainees in the United States performed a research study task on the political leader

Closer to house, in Burngreave, the denied part of Sheffield where Magid matured, he has actually been hailed a “hero” by Safiya Saeed. She is the creator of neighborhood group Big Brother Burngreave, which, to name a few things, intends to divert teens from violent criminal offense.

She stated youths in her group, initially from locations consisting of Somalia, Yemen, Ethiopia and Congo, might connect to the truth Mr Magid had actually sustained bigotry and bias.

“For much of them, for a number of their moms and dads, politics is not something they engage with, however Magid has actually made it trendy,” Ms Saeed stated.

“He’s revealed you can use your own equipment and fitness instructors – you do not need to remain in a match.

“That’s genuine for them. It’s revealed them [politics] is no longer simply a white individual’s position.”

In the view of Kate Dommett, a senior speaker in the general public understanding of politics at the University of Sheffield, Mr Magid’s actions “totally redefined” the function of Lord Mayor.

“There have actually constantly been extremely minimal expectations about what the mayor in Sheffield did, however he can be found in and simply right away challenged those expectations, acting in an extremely, really various method,” she stated.

“It’s rather extraordinary for basically a regional councillor who has just ritualistic powers to have that type of nationwide profile, and he’s constructed that out of absolutely nothing.”

Image copyright Joanna Hall
Image caption Joanna Hall states youths typically have a hard time to have their voices heard

Sheffield youth councillors Joanna Hall, 15, and Jude Smith, 14, stated previous Lord Mayors did not stand apart and mostly stopped working to listen to youths.

“We’ve had genuine problem getting across individuals in power,” stated Joanna.

“There have actually been a great deal of individuals that are simply there for program.”

Image copyright Jude Smith
Image caption Jude Smith states Mr Magid is a “beacon of hope”

Jude, who states he talks with Mr Magid on Instagram, stated: “I have mates who were indifferent in politics who have actually now delved into it due to the fact that of him.

“I believe he’s been a huge beacon of hope.”

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-48037783

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