Bashir Osman, 26, president of the Federation of Student Islamic Societies, had been travelling in Switzerland with friends.
The president of Britain’s largest Muslim student society died in a swimming accident in Switzerland over the weekend. Bashir Osman, 26, president of the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (Fosis), drowned on Saturday, according to a statement issued by the group.
Osman was in the water for more than 10 minutes before rescue services got to him and he was pronounced dead at the scene, Fosis said. He had died in a river in the Landquart District of Graubünden, after entering the water for a swim and being swept away by a freak current, according to the Birmingham Mail.
He had been visiting colleagues at a youth organisation for European Muslims. In one of his final Facebook posts Osman wrote of Lake Lugano, situated on the border with Italy: “I have never seen or been in a more beautiful place than this.Switzerland I have no words.”
The friends he had been travelling with wrote in a post online: “This is the very last picture we’ve taken together with our dear brother Bashir Osman just moments before he tragically passed away.
Bashir Osman with friends. Photograph: Facebook
“The five of us were spending a few days in Switzerland during the holy month of Ramadan in order to share moments of spirituality and togetherness, brotherhood and reflections on the commitment/engagement of young Muslims in Europe.
“Everything happened in a glimpse of an eye, and even though we and the rescue services did everything we could to try saving him, God has decided otherwise.”
The University of Birmingham civil engineering graduate, who was from the Netherlands, had been re-elected for a second term as president of Fosis, a UK’s umbrella student body representing about 115,000 Muslim students.
Fosis said: “Bashir’s leadership, compassion, and commitment to serving his community and those less fortunate than him were inspiring traits that make his death such a grave and heartfelt loss to us all.”
Bashir Osman was in his second term as Fosis president. Photograph: Facebook
Megan Dunn, the president of the National Union of Students, said: “Under Bashir’s leadership for the past year, and earlier as vice-president, Fosis has grown and become one of the leading sources of talented activists, and supporting many to represent students across the country in their students’ unions and NUS.”
She added: “Fosis’ work, securing the rights for the Muslim community, fundraising and developing people are a testament to Bashir’s commitment and life.”
Ibrahim Ali, a close friend of Osman, told the Guardian: “He was so humble and was great at making people feel at ease.
“If we were sitting in a circle, he would speak to everyone. His memory was impeccable and he always saw the good in everyone. He was someone who would always want to push himself and really moved the organisation forward.”
Another friend, Areeb Ullah, said: “Feels like only yesterday Bashir Osman came up to me to give his legendary bear hugs. He was one of a kind with the ability to instill confidence in you no matter what.”
Dr Shuja Shafi, the secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: “I saw in Bashir a man of great humility but also one who was anxious to get things done for the betterment of people around him.
“Though his life has been cut short, he has achieved much during his brief tenure for British Muslim students and the community. He will be remembered as a role model for us all.”
Osman, who was of Somali heritage, had started training for Tough Mudder, a 10- to 12-mile long endurance challenge, aiming to raise £165,000 for charity to build wells in east Africa.
Friends on social media said that Osman had been religious and had memorised the entire Qur’an. He was planning to do Hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, with his mother this year, they added.
Fosis said Osman’s family had travelled to Switzerland to repatriate his body. It added: “They will be liaising with the Swiss authorities, and providing us with updates as to when they will be coming back to the UK.”
Students posted their memories and condolences on social media.
Source Link: http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jul/06/president-fosis-muslim-student-society-bashir-osman-drowning-switzerland?CMP=share_btn_fb