She's one of Scotland's highest profile Asian females, a communications specialist with passionate views about the under-representation of women in business and politics, and the need to motivate young people to achieve personal success. Hamira is currently Chief Officer of the Scottish Youth Parliament, and her work these days is all about inspiring, motivating and empowering young people to engage with and become more fully involved in our democratic society.
It’s almost unbelievable that families face ‘Dickensian levels of poverty’ in modern Scotland, but that’s how John Dickie, of the Child Poverty Action Group, described recent research by Save the Children and Citizens Advice Scotland which outlined the scale of the crisis.
I wonder why not? Is there something we do in Scottish schools that allow our young people to vent their frustrations in a civilised manner and through democratic means?
Is it down to Curriculum for Excellence and Scotland developing responsible citizens?
Is it the work of the Scottish Commissioner for Children and Young People and young people’s awareness of Article 12 and ‘children’s rights’ in general?
Or is it down to the work of Pupil Councils and possibly the unsung heroes in the youth work sector?
In 2010/11, the police caught someone with a knife every 90 minutes in Scotland, and there was a murder once a week.
The previous year was no better, with three people a day being admitted to hospital. There is no doubt knife crime is still an enormous issue for this country.
The reasons we give people the vote are straightforward. We expect them to be fully developed citizens, resident in the state. They have to follow the rules of society, and they should be engaged with the political process.
As the United Kingdom, and indeed most western liberal democracies, have evolved in the last century, we have seen an expansion of those entitled to vote. First women, then those over 18 were given the chance to shape their country.
It's hard to believe that Dubai, the most ostentatious of the Emirates, only became computerised in the early 1980's. Back then there was no Burj al Arab hotel, no Palm Jumeirah, and no eight-lane motorway.
Like the First Minister, I am on a visit to the UAE, sitting on the roof of a luxurious Dubai hotel, sipping my chai latte and enjoying the gentle Arabian breeze as I write this – and finding it extremely difficult to believe that this country has grown so voraciously – it is 40 years young and thriving.
With so many unexpected events, 2011 will not be a year that I will easily forget. From the SNP landslide to the Arab Spring. Phone-hacking scandals to the death of Osama Bin Laden. Not one royal wedding, but two. Earthquakes, tsunamis - we’ve seen it all this year, haven’t we? Or have we.
I was at an event recently sitting with a group of women, talking about our year, when a 19-year-old girl very humbly said that she was “just glad to be home”.