On the occasion of the New Year, many public figures were honoured by Queen Elizabeth who awarded them the Order of Merit. The order was founded in 1902 by King Edward VII.
Anisa Essam Hassouna, the CEO of the Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation, announced that the award is in appreciation of all of Yacoub’s contributions and accomplishments in surgery and heart transplants. On receiving the award Yacoub has become one of the 24 members of the order. Yacoub, who also holds the British nationality, is the first Egyptian to receive the award.
Yacoub was honoured before in 2007 and was given the title “sir” by the queen in 1991. He is listed in the Guinness World Record for doing 100 heart surgeries in one year in 1980. In 2011, he was honoured for his work in Egypt when he was awarded the Nile Collar for science and humanity.
According to the website of the British Monarchy, “the Order of Merit is a special honour awarded to individuals of great achievement in the fields of the arts, learning, literature and science. There are very few foreign recipients, although those given the Order have included Dr Albert Schweitzer, General Eisenhower, Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Nelson Mandela.”