Professor Muhammad Yunus Receives Congressional Gold Medal

Posted by Robert O. Blake
April 23, 2013
Muhammad Yunus Poses for a Photograph in January 2010

Last week, I had the honor of attending the Congressional Gold Medal ceremony for Professor Muhammad Yunus. Eight Members of Congress representing the leadership of both chambers and both parties, came together to pay tribute to this remarkable man. As Senator Durbin pointed out, Professor Yunus is just the seventh person in history to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Congressional Gold Medal. He is also the first Muslim of any nationality to receive the award. Along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian award in the United States.

The ceremony was a moving tribute to a man who has dedicated his life to eliminating poverty, first in his native Bangladesh and later across the globe. As the founder of Grameen Bank, he not only created one of the world's most instantly recognizable institutions, but he launched a revolutionary new approach to development that placed unprecedented trust in the people it assisted to chart their own course out of poverty. Grameen's success speaks for itself.

Professor Yunus was joined yesterday by many friends and family from around the world. We were all touched as his daughter Monica sang "Beautiful Dreamer" in honor of her father. Professor Yunus accepted the award on behalf of all the people of Bangladesh, noting that it was an honor bestowed not just on him but on all of the hard-working people of his native country. Our political leaders may disagree on a great many issues, but they are clearly unified in their respect for Professor Yunus' life and achievements. It was a great day for Bangladesh and an honor for all of us who call ourselves friends of Bangladesh to be there to witness history being made.



Em P.
Maryland, USA
April 23, 2013

Dr. P. in Maryland writes:

I am proud of Professor Dr. Muhammad Yunus and grateful to the US Congress.

-Dr. Em Pannah
a Bangladeshi American

Frank C.
California, USA
April 23, 2013

Frank C. in California writes:

I don't see anyone from the government giving medals to the brave contractors who have been wounded or died in the war zones around the world. When you start doing that, then MAYBE we'll start caring that you gave the Gold Medal to a Muslim.

Mohammad S.
District Of Columbia, USA
April 24, 2013

Mohammad S. in Washington, D.C. writes:

I am delighted to see Professor Muhammad Yunus is honored for his global tribute "Grameen Bank". His dedication and success to eliminating poverty is unparalled. He is the hero of Bangladesh. Thanks to the U.S. Congress.

Tushar B.
April 25, 2013

Tushar B. in Bangladesh writes:

Thank you Mr. Blake for sharing your expression with us. :)

Kazi I.
April 25, 2013

Kazi Khairul I. in Bangladesh writes:

Sir, We salute you for not what you have achieved in your life but for your trying and effort to eliminate poverty from the world.We are living in a poor country in where we have seen devastating poverty in our early life.Time is getting well.Our country is doing well for reducing of poor people and we are hopeful during the period of our life time our country status as poor nation would go for ever.I pray to Almighty Allah for your long living, good health and peaceful life.

Anup k.
April 25, 2013

Anup K. in Bangladesh writes:

At first i want to say professor md. Yunus is great person in Bangladesh. i am proud of professor Yunus and grateful to the U S congress.May you live long & God bless him.

Shahidur S.
May 4, 2013

Shahidur S. in Bangladesh writes:

Thanks for receive the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Congressional Gold Medal. He is also the first Muslim of any nationality to receive the award. Along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian award in the United States.

Ultimate reality of Philosophy is wonder of creation.

Consequently, if understand about the fact! Strike the right note or put up to note sheet on this information.

Peter G.
May 2, 2013

Peter G. in Australia writes:

Congratulations to all the members of Congress who supported Yunus' gold medal.

Congratulations also to former Secretary of State Clinton, for her support of Yunus during his removal in 2011 from the Grameen Bank by the Government of Bangladesh - for being "too old".

More positively, as Professor Yunus has demonstrated, it costs very little to give impoverished people the wherewithal to improve their lives and a few dollars do make a difference. According to a 2012 World Bank report, as at 2008 about 1.3 billion people around our world lived below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day.

In 2006, Muhammad Yunus received the Nobel Peace Prize for the noble cause of championing a world free of poverty, and for pioneering the microfinance approach of a hand up not a hand out.

The UN Secretary-General recently reminded us that there are now less than 1,000 days left for achieving the remaining Millennium Development Goals.

It's time to stand with this gold medal champion and give some small credit to the world’s poor.

Microfinance helps make poverty history.

Anja G.
May 3, 2013

Anja G. in Australia writes:

I remember learning about Prof. Yunus and the Grameen Bank in school ten years ago. I also recall how impressed I had already been back then with its successes and flagship role in the fight against global poverty.

It is gratifying to hear about the bank's development into a well-established and strong institution, and that millions of people have been helped out of poverty through microloans.

I was happy to hear about the recognition of Prof. Yunus' achievements as founder and director of the bank - in 2006 with the Nobel Peace Prize award and now with the Gold Medal of the US Congress.

This goes to show that despite the struggle Yunus faces in his own country (with a government trying to increase its control over the institution) world leaders agree on the importance of the bank's role in eradicating poverty.

In regard to the remaining Millennium Development Goals, Australia is currently at a significant point of the year to ensure its compliance with them. The Federal Budget for 2013-14 will be tabled in only 11 days, and it is hoped that Australia will honour its commitment to increase the foreign aid budget to 0.37 per cent of the GNI.

Ullah E.
June 30, 2013
Why he is in a Pakistani cap !!!!!!!!
Rajiur R.
Michigan, USA
June 30, 2013
Would you care if the medal was given to a Christian, Jew or Buddhist?? #Salute to your religious racism.


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