Sir Magdi Yacoub honoured on International Day of Human Fraternity

Ingy Deif, Saturday 10 Feb 2024

The renowned Egyptian heart surgeon was selected as one of the recipients of the Zayed Human Fraternity Award, which honours individuals and institutions who work to enhance solidarity, integrity, justice, and optimism locally and internationally.

Sir Yaqoub receiving the prize


Yacoub was presented with the award on Thursday during a ceremony held at the Zayed Founder’s Memorial in the UAE.

"I am honored to be a small part of this great endeavor that unites people around the world so that we contribute to spreading justice, integrity, and non-discrimination among people everywhere," Yacoub said after receiving the prize.

Other recipients of this year’s award, in its fifth edition, included Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah, two Islamic humanitarian organizations from Indonesia, and Sister Nelly Leon Correa, a Chilean nun known for her work with female prisoners.

This year’s ceremony, the fifth since the award’s inception, was presided over by UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Several notable figures, including Pope Francis, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayyeb, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, and Chilean Minister of Foreign Affairs Alberto Van Klaveren, sent congratulatory messages via video.

The award commemorates the signing of the Document on Human Fraternity by Francis and El-Tayyeb in 2019. The document inspired the creation of the International Day of Human Fraternity in 2020, which aims to promote cultural and religious tolerance and is celebrated annually on 4 February. 

Yacoub, 87, is a professor of cardiothoracic surgery at Imperial College London and is the founder of the Magdi Yacoub Institute at Harefield Heart Science Centre.

In 2008, Yacoub established the Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation to provide free medical services to underprivileged individuals and offer scientific, medical, and nursing training.

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