Islamic Relief’s (IR) founder and president, Dr Hany El Banna, has been awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Birmingham.
The doctorate - in recognition of IR’s worldwide aid work - was awarded at a ceremony held at the university on Friday December 14.
“This doctorate is a reward for the effort of the people who are trying to help the poor and needy and to alleviate their poverty. It is a reward for the people who suffer. This should not be seen as a personal achievement; I am merely collecting the reward on behalf of these people,” El Banna told IR UK staff, adding that his “greatest pleasure” in receiving the doctorate was in highlighting the IR cause.
In 2004 El Banna was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his work with IR, and this invitation, from one of the UK’s most acclaimed universities, reiterates the continued value of the work IR carries out both nationally and internationally.
El Banna, a former student of Birmingham University, is a trustee of the Disasters Emergency Committee and a member of the Advisory Group to the International Department of The Charity Commission. As well as the OBE he was awarded the Ibn Khaldun Award for Excellence in Promoting Understanding between Global Cultures and Faiths in 2004.