– Anne Frank Trust co-founder and Vice President Gillian Walnes, Anne Frank Trust CEO Robert Posner and Anne Frank poetry prize winner Maha Salman. Photo credit: Brendan Kelly/Mousetrap Media.

Anne Frank Trust co-founder and Vice President Gillian Walnes, Anne Frank Trust CEO Robert Posner and Anne Frank poetry prize winner Maha Salman. Photo credit: Brendan Kelly/Mousetrap Media.

A muslim student from Birmingham has been awarded the national Anne Frank Poetry prize.

Maha Salman, a Year 8 student, won the award with “Hope”, a poem that beat entries from all over the UK.

A bronze bust of Anne Frank writing in her diary will be housed at her school, King Edward VI School for Girls in Birmingham for one year.

On receiving her award Maha spoke of how Anne Frank had had a huge influence on her life. 

Gillian Walnes MBE, Vice President of the Anne Frank Trust, said of Maha’s poem: “It is an acutely thoughtful and mature reflection of the feelings of those who suffered in the Holocaust.

The message of the poem really resonates – the diary Anne left behind is a testament to “Hope”, and the structure of the poem allows the reader to fully appreciate the contribution Anne Frank’s diary has made to our understanding of the Holocaust and indeed the current world around us.

In these times of turmoil and intolerance, the fact that Maha, a young Muslim girl, has spoken so eloquently about a Jewish Holocaust victim, is in itself a wonderful cause for hope.”

The prize is a popular category in the NASUWT teaching union’s annual Arts and Minds Awards, which reflect and celebrate cultural diversity in Britain’s schools. Chris Keates, General Secretary of NASUWT, said: “This is the eleventh year of the competition and each year it goes from strength to strength. We were delighted that once again this year Gok Wan was prepared to give up his time to judge the overall winning entry.”