Pakistani Author and Humanitarian, Arif Anis, Receives MBE in King Charles III’s Inaugural Birthday Honours

Pakistani Author and Humanitarian, Arif Anis

Arif Anis, a renowned Pakistani author, leadership strategist, and humanitarian, has been recognized with an accolade in King Charles III’s first official birthday honors list. 

Buckingham Palace unveiled the king’s initial birthday honors list, which featured an array of influential figures and public celebrities. These individuals were acknowledged for their remarkable contributions and services by the British monarch. 

Arif Anis, a celebrated author and the Bureau Chief of Express, has been awarded the prestigious Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his commendable humanitarian work. 

In response to the worldwide spread of COVID-19 in March 2020, Anis spearheaded the One Million Meals initiative, aimed at supporting those at the pandemic’s frontline. He launched this initiative with the assistance of his friends, Suleman Raza and Bilal Saqib. 

Reminiscing about the motivation behind his initiative, Anis said, “As the UK’s National Health Service was battling a colossal crisis, with eateries closed and their staff depleted, it was shocking to witness ambulance teams without sustenance. I knew immediate action was imperative.” 

High-profile celebrities, including David Beckham, Amir Khan, and The Proclaimers, rallied in support of the cause. Between April and July 2020, the initiative provided meals for the vulnerable and essential workers. 

Speaking with pride about the response to their initiative, Anis remarked, “Despite the trials COVID-19 brought, we stood together. The gratitude and emotion in the eyes of our frontline workers were palpable. We made them feel appreciated, and One Million Meals became a profound expression of love. Suleman was the first to pledge his support, and the rest followed.” 

Read More: King Charles III Crowned in Westminster Abbey in Pomp and Tradition

Restaurants from diverse culinary backgrounds—Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi, and Afro-Caribbean—joined the cause. Even Prime Minister Boris Johnson acknowledged One Million Meals with the Points of Light Award in May 2021. 

Beyond his humanitarian work, Anis is a best-selling author, a respected leadership mentor, and a coach to top-tier Fortune 500 executives. He has made his mark on the global stage, working with some of the world’s most influential personalities and sharing insights on crisis leadership. 

Anis reflected on King Charles’ response to their initiative, stating, “His Majesty was deeply impressed by the achievements of One Million Meals, expressing his admiration for such inspiring actions during such challenging times.” 

The One Million Meals campaign successfully expanded to 203 locations, including NHS trusts and hospitals. 

Anis elaborated on the ethos of the initiative, saying, “One Million Meals symbolised diversity. It was a unity of heritage, languages, and cultures, aimed at delivering comfort and nourishment to our frontline heroes. Our meals became their lifelines. It was an affirmation that humanity will not capitulate in the face of adversity.” 

Of the recipients in King Charles’ first Official Birthday Honours List, 6% come from Asian backgrounds. 

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