It’s a warm welcome for the new citizens of Calderdale

British citizenship ceremony at Halifax Town Hall'Pictured is new citizen Arshad Mahmood from Pakistan
British citizenship ceremony at Halifax Town Hall'Pictured is new citizen Arshad Mahmood from Pakistan
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The Mayor of Calderdale Nader Fekri was present as 23 new citizens were welcomed to the area in a ceremony at Halifax Town Hall.

During the service, the mayor encouraged the new members of the community to get involved in the borough and share their individual cultural backgrounds with the people of Calderdale.

British citizenship ceremony at Halifax Town Hall'Pictured are Raheem Badshah, Seema Badshah, mayor Nader Fekri, Farhana Dasneem and Hafeez Ullah Khan

British citizenship ceremony at Halifax Town Hall'Pictured are Raheem Badshah, Seema Badshah, mayor Nader Fekri, Farhana Dasneem and Hafeez Ullah Khan

Two of the assembled citizens were husband and wife Hafeeza Ullah Khan and Farhana Daseema, who had spent seven years in the UK before becoming British nationals.

Hafeeza, a nurse at the Claremount Residential Home, said: “It’s all completed now and we are happy. It was a very nice ceremony, a great experience.”

His wife Farhana, a chef at the same home, added: “The people are very friendly here and I really like all the historical buildings in the area.”

Arifa Grebennikova, 38, is originally from Russia and also took part in the ceremony, where each person signed the Citizenship Register and received a certificate.

She said: “It was very exciting and a very important step in my life. This is a new responsibility for me and a new opportunity, a new life, especially for my children. They are one of the main reasons for me doing this and that’s why I’ve been working hard to do this.”

Mayor Fekri added: “It’s a really important rite of passage to mark new citizens and I think it’s wonderful. It’s humbling really because they bring with them much of their culture and their experiences.

“It’s a huge thing. People are making a commitment to Calderdale and to Britain and saying ‘I want to be involved in public life’.”