Dr Mariyah Esmailji with her 'Freedom of the City' [London, UK] award
After being invited to join the Merchant Taylors’ Company as an apprentice 7 years ago, Dr Mariyah Esmailji neé Salemwala took part in multiple activities to help raise money for their associated charities and to improve education both in the UK and abroad. In recognition of this, on the 14th of December 2016, Mariyah was awarded the 'Freedom of the City of London'.
The Merchant Taylors’ Company is one of the original twelve Livery companies of London; they were founded in the 1500s and commissioned to trade in the square mile of The City of London by Royal Charter. Today, The Merchant Taylors’ Company is highly focused on education and charity work.
As Head Girl of Merchant Taylors’ Girls School in Liverpool, Mariyah had been associated with the Company for many years. Particular highlights have been, attending the model United Nations Summit with the King of Nigeria, and receiving the Crosby Lions Shield for volunteer work. Since graduating from university she has been able to dedicate more time to the good causes they are affiliated with.
Traditionally to become a ‘Freeman of The City of London’ you would have to make a significant contribution to your trade as the honour was given as a mark of quality. Today the honour is given to those who have helped to uplift the community and promote the values of education and charitable giving.
'Through the Merchant Taylors’ Company , I have had some amazing opportunities and had the chance to meet interesting people from all walks of life. I feel very honoured to be given the Freedom of the City of London and to be a part of a tradition so steeped in history. I intend to translate my experience and skills as a Freeman for the upliftment of momineen as per khushi of our beloved [Syedna] Mufaddal Maula. Mariyah
The award ceremony took place at the Guildhall of London and was conducted by Mr Murray Craig of The Lord Chamberlain’s Court. This involves reciting the ‘Freeman’s Declaration’ and signing of the Freeman’s Declaration Book. The ceremony has been conducted in this way since the 1500s and is an important tradition of the City of London dating as far back as 1237.
"We attended the ceremony at the London Guildhall, which was a magnificent function. As parents, Mariyah has made us immensely proud throughout her school life and career as a doctor. She was recently awarded the Foundation Doctor of the Year, 2016. Mariyah has conducted medical talks for ladies of the communityon cancer awareness and women’s health; and in 2015 at the doctors' ziyafat in London, she washonoured to receive Aqamola's [Syedna] keen interest in the poster on how to stay healthy during Ramadan." - Shk Dr Ammar Salemwala.
Dr Mariyah Esmailji is the first female British Muslim from the Merchant Taylors’ Company to be given this award, joining a quite elite group including Princess Diana, Benjamin Disraeli, Florence Nightingale and J.K Rowling - to name a few - as Freeman of the City of London.