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Hussain Manawer, The Essex Boy Who'll Be First British Muslim In Space, Is Dedicating His Trip To Mental Health Sufferers

23/11/2015 10:25 | Updated 23 November 2015

A 24-year-old from Essex who is set to become the first British Muslim to go to space after winning a competition has dedicated his win to everyone who lives with mental health problems.

Speaking to the One Young World summit after he was announced as the winner, Hussain Manawer, who hails from Ilford, said: "This spaceship, I want to dedicate this to every single person who has suffered from mental health, every young boy, girl, man, woman who sits in their bedroom crying and you don’t know why, everyone who avoids mirrors because you don’t like what you look like.

"I want to tell you, if you are suffering from mental health it is absolutely fine.

"Welcome to the club, there are seven billion of us."

Manawer, whose acceptance speech earned him a standing ovation from the crowd, also spoke on behalf of "two billion sane Muslims on the planet", saying he stood in support of the war on terror.

My name is Hussain and I am not a Terrorist. #OYW One Young World Summit 2015. Full link in my bio.

A video posted by Hussain Manawer (@hussains_house) on

Once Manawer was announced as the winner, the summit was shown his entry video, which consisted of a spoken word poem addressing his battle with mental illness.

"I don't mean to take this deep, in fact I really do. You asked me to make a video, so this is my testimonial to you.

"I can't go to sleep at night, knowing misfortunes occur on this planet. I feel like a bandit, covering his eyes with a blanket, then has the nerve to say he's a creative and his ideas are organic.

"I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and raised thousands for charity, but what that money done I don't know and I really need clarity. I spent 19 days in Botswana helping rebuild a village, and that showed me we need to donate more than 19 days to help the world and everyone that's in it.

"I was in Chicken Cottage thinking 'trust me, yeah, man's going to take this far'. Then I'm sitting with.. talking about world peace when I'm out in Qatar...

"...We need to pay more attention to our psychological injuries, rejection, deceit, failure, are all a part of our journey to victory. Do you know how many people I know who suffer through depression and anxiety? And to me they're all princes and princesses that every day is a performance for royal variety.

"Am I going too deep? Shall I drop an anchor? I can switch it up if you want, trust me, I got banter."

Manawer beat nearly 90 competitors to claim the incredible prize, which was presented by NASA astronaut Ron Garan and sponsored by talent agency Kruger Cowne.

kruger cowne

The plane Hussain Manawer will be travelling to space in

He'll be travelling 60 miles into space in 2018, and will be put through a training programme to ready him for the trip.

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