A TRAVEL writer’s debut documentary earns him global recognition with a prestigious award nomination.

Tharik Hussain, of Highams Park, is packing his bags for the States after being shortlisted for a New York Festivals World’s Best Radio Programs award.

The 37-year-old’s first radio documentary ‘America’s Mosques; a story of integration’ aired on the BBC World Service journeying listeners through America’s oldest and newest mosques.

He said: “I’m astonished, I’ve never made a radio documentary before, so to be nominated for a global award for my first go is just unbelievable and a real honour.”

In the show Mr Hussain met Muslims in Iowa, Washington and in Brooklyn, New York where he discovered the country’s oldest surviving mosque.

He added: “It’s wonderfully apt that the awards ceremony is in New York, where we made some of our most special recordings.

“I was stunned to learn that this mosque in Brooklyn was the oldest one in all of North America and no one knew about it.”

Mr Hussain hopes the nomination and potential award will allow him to keep producing radio which addresses misconceptions about Muslims and their history in the western hemisphere.

“The fact that nobody in America seems to know about this historic mosque in Brooklyn tells you how little we know about Muslims and their western history.

“Muslims are having a tough time in the west right now, which is why it is even more important that people are made better aware of this history.

“That way there would be less ignorance all round.”