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Zia Chaudhry

Zia Chaudhry was born in Burnley, Lancashire and moved to Liverpool at the age of seven. Although he comes from a Pakistani background, he is very much a "product" of Britain and, therefore, conveniently placed to offer insights into both cultures.

Having been a pupil at the Liverpool Blue Coat School, he went on to graduate from Manchester University and was called to the Bar in 1991. Thereafter he returned to Liverpool where he has been practising as a barrister specialising in criminal law ever since.

Aside from his legal practice he has been involved in inter-faith dialogue for well over a decade, during which time he has addressed a variety of audiences, including the judiciary, school pupils, criminal offenders subject to probation orders, undergraduates at Cambridge University, and assorted church groups.

He was the Chair of the Merseyside Council of Faiths from 2005-2008 and a founding member of the North West Forum of Faiths, as well as being involved in other inter-faith groups. He featured as part of the ITV series Soul to Soul hosted by Jo Brand and has had numerous radio appearances discussing Islam and related issues. He has spoken at Christian-Muslim seminars at the EU and is acutely aware of the need to expand inter-faith dialogue. More recently he has become a Trustee of Gladstone's Library after having been involved in the library's successful initiative to open the country's first Islamic Reading Room.

Zia has been married to Nabela since 2004 and they have three young children who, aside from being adorable, also serve as the inspiration and motivation behind the Just Your Average Muslim project.