Thursday, October 19, 2006
Great Muslim of the day: Muhammad Yunus
This story actually occurred last week, but I forgot to write about it. The Nobel Peace Prize this year was awarded to a worthy individual, rather than a terrorist. (Yassir Arafat) This year, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Muhammad Yunus, and from what I read, he is doing incredible work and deserves this recognition. In fact, he is an inspiration to us all. (and also very importantly, an inspirational Muslim who shows how peace is a possibility) Mr. Yunus has been involved with "microcredit." He is an economist who has provided millions of seemingly insignificant loans to lift millions of people out of poverty. Such a loan would enable a peasant to buy a few chickens, but that purchase enables the peasant to suddenly be able to provide for his family. This has a tremendously positive ripple effect throughout Bangladesh, which is no longer the poorest country on earth. (I think, in part to him!) No collateral was needed for the loans, and repayment was based on the honor system. There has been a 99% repayment rate! The 65-year-old economist said he would use part of his share of the $1.4 million award money to create a company to make low-cost, high-nutrition food for the poor. The rest would go toward setting up an eye hospital for the poor in Bangladesh, he said. This is a man who is a true mensch. You can even seen the kindness in his eyes, in the picture posted. He started a microcredit revolution with his Grameen Bank. Go read more about him on wikipedia.