This article is published in today's Leicester Mercury:
Volunteer is made MBE for city work
A community leader was presented with an MBE by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace yesterday.
Hashim Duale, 44, a hard-working volunteer and member of the Somali community on Leicester's St Matthew's estate, was recognised for his work to promote harmonious relations between the city's different communities.
Mr Duale was one of hundreds of thousands of Somalis who left his country during the war and famine of the 1990s.
He said: "There were 43 of us receiving honours and we went up to collect them and had a chat with the Prince, and then he shook our hands to signal the conversation was over and we stepped back.
"I think my conversation was one of the longest because he was very interested in the situation in Somalia.
"He was saddened by the fact people are still dying and there's still war going on. He clearly knew a lot about it.
Mr Duale was accompanied on his trip to the capital by his family.
He said: "I took my children aged seven, 10 and 11 along, as well as my wife. My children were hoping to see the Queen. They were very well behaved."
Mr Duale's volunteer work is aimed at integrating the Somali community in Leicester. He serves on advisory panels for both the Bishop of Leicester and the police.
He is also involved with the Federation of Muslim Organisations in Leicester, and the Muslim Burial Council of Leicestershire.
Hashim was a member of Leicester Council of Faiths when I took up my post in the summer of 2007.