Shaista Aziz

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Shaista Aziz
Native nameشائستہ قوال
Born1978 (age 39–40)
Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
ResidenceManchester, England
EducationBA English literature and women's studies
OccupationJournalist, writer, stand-up comedian, politician
Political partyLabour

Shaista Aziz (Urdu: شائستہ قوال‎; born 1978) is an English journalist, writer, stand-up comedian, Labour Party politician, councillor for Rose Hill and Iffley in Oxford City Council, and former international aid worker of Kashmiri-Pakistani descent.

Early life[edit]

Aziz's father arrived in Britain from Kashmir, Pakistan, at the age of 16.[1] She is her parent's only daughter with two younger brothers.[2] Aziz was born and brought up in Oxford,[3] and read BA in English literature and Women's studies at university.[4]

Journalism career[edit]

Aziz has worked as a newsroom journalist for Al Jazeera's English news website in Doha, Qatar,[5] a broadcast journalist and producer for the BBC and has written for New Internationalist magazine. As well as media specialist for Oxfam,[6] Amnesty International, Save the Children and Islamic Relief.[4] She has travelled and worked all over the world from Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Gaza and Yemen to Haiti, Tajikistan, Burma, Russia, Pakistan and Indonesia.[7]

Aziz writes for The Guardian newspaper,[8] and is a regular panel guest on BBC Radio.[9] In January and February 2011, she wrote a series of scripts for BBC Radio 2's Pause for Thought,[10][11][12][13] In March 2011, she appeared as a guest on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour.[14] In August 2011, she appeared on Channel 4's[15]

In March 2015, Aziz presented the BBC Three documentary A Nation Divided? The Charlie Hebdo Aftermath, in which she visited France to find out why the country has become so divided, with young Muslims feeling alienated from mainstream society since the Charlie Hebdo shooting.[16][17][18][19][20]

On 25 June 2017, Aziz appeared on the BBC programme Sunday Morning Live.[21]

Stand-up career[edit]

Aziz has performed stand up across the UK, including at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with the Laughing Cows in August 2010, the Hong Kong International Comedy Festival[22] and the Global Peace and Unity Event in October 2010.[23]

Aziz is writing a sitcom and new comedy material reflecting her experiences of travelling the world.[24]

Political career[edit]

Aziz is the Constituency Labour Party Women's Officer for Oxford East Labour Party. In May 2018, in the Oxford City Council election, she was elected as councillor for the Rose Hill and Iffley ward.[25][26]

Aziz is also a member of the Stop Trump coalition, a coalition of organisations and individuals protesting against U.S. President Donald Trump's planned state visit to the UK.[27][28]

Awards, nominations and recognition[edit]

In 2006, Aziz was elected to the National Union of Journalists Black Members Council.[6]

In May 2010, she reached the final of the Liverpool Comedy Festival Best Newcomer Awards[7] and won the "King Gong" open mic competition at the Manchester Comedy Store.[29] In September 2010, she reached the semi-finals of the Funny Women competition.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Aziz is a Muslim.[24] In 2004, she began wearing hijab.[6] In 2007, she married an Iraqi trauma and orthopedic surgeon in a nikah ceremony in Jordan.[2] In March 2010, she and her husband left London and moved to Manchester.[3] Aziz now mostly lives and works in Pakistan.[24]


  1. ^ "Pause For Thought from Shaista Aziz". BBC Radio 2. 15 September 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
  2. ^ a b "A Night of Piece & Laughter". Piece Initiative. Maida Restaurant, Blackburn: YouTube. 15 January 2011. Retrieved 12 March 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Pause For Thought from Shaista Aziz". BBC Radio 2. 19 January 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  4. ^ a b "The League of Extraordinary Women". emel. August 2008. Retrieved 29 August 2011. Shaista Aziz
  5. ^ Kiss, Jemima (2 January 2004). "Al-Jazeera sacks another English journalist — Outspoken union member and ex-BBC journalist dismissed". Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  6. ^ a b c "Muslim Communities in Europe: Britain". Sala@m. Retrieved 29 August 2011. Shaista Aziz
  7. ^ a b c "Shaista Aziz". Cheryl Hayes Management. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  8. ^ Aziz, Shaista (20 July 2010). "Profile". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  9. ^ "Shaista Aziz". comedy cv. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  10. ^ "Pause For Thought from Shaista Aziz". The Early Breakfast Show. Pause for Thought. BBC Radio 2. 12 January 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  11. ^ "Pause For Thought from Shaista Azi". BBC Radio 2. 26 January 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  12. ^ "Pause For Thought from Shaista Aziz". BBC Radio 2. 2 February 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  13. ^ "Pause For Thought from Shaista Aziz". BBC Radio 2. 9 February 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  14. ^ "Women of the World". Woman's Hour. London Southbank Centre: BBC Radio 4. 29 August 2011. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
  15. ^ "Should Muslims adapt to Britain or should Britain adapt to Muslims". Channel 4. 29 August 2011. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  16. ^ "A Nation Divided? The Charlie Hebdo Aftermath". BBC Three. 30 March 2015. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  17. ^ Sweeting, Adam (31 March 2015). "A Nation Divided? The Charlie Hebdo Aftermath, BBC Three". The Arts Desk. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  18. ^ Virtue, Graeme (30 March 2015). "Monday's best TV". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  19. ^ Aziz, Shaista (30 March 2015). "Paris Muslims struggle to feel accepted". BBC News. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  20. ^ "Biblical blockbuster". The Herald. 31 March 2015. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  21. ^ "Sunday Morning Live, Series 8, Episode 2". BBC One. 25 June 2017. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  22. ^ "Shaista Aziz Comedy Success". 1st witness. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  23. ^ "Artists & Performers". Global Peace and Unity Event 2010. October 2010. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  24. ^ a b c "Q&A with presenter Shaista Aziz". BBC Three. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  25. ^ Riley, Hannah (20 March 2018). "Rose Hill and Iffley". Oxford Labour. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  26. ^ "Labour tighten grip on Oxford City Council". The Herald. 4 May 2018. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  27. ^ Miller, Nick (27 April 2018). "Trump confirms Friday 13th UK visit, to protesters' horror". Sydney: The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  28. ^ Coulter, Martin (26 April 2018). "Protesters to greet Donald Trump with 'Carnival of Resistance' during US President's July visit to UK". London: London Evening Standard. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  29. ^ Video on YouTube

External links[edit]