Province honours “Lentil King” with Order of Merit

Lt.-Gov. Vaughn Solomon Schofield is pictured with Saskatchewan Order of Merit recipient Murad Al-Katib.
(Photo courtesy Government of Saskatchewan)

By Joel van der Veen

REGINA — When Murad Al-Katib came home Wednesday night, his teenage son Tariq greeted him with a hug and told his father he was proud of him.

In the last two years, Al-Katib has been celebrated and honoured on the global stage multiple times.

But as he told the Leader last week, there’s something special about being recognized by those closest to you.

On Wednesday, Al-Katib was one of 10 inductees into the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, the province’s highest honour, presented at a ceremony in Regina by Lt-Gov. Vaughn Solomon Schofield.

As a first-generation Canadian, Al-Katib said the honour meant a great deal to him.

“This is home, this is Saskatchewan,” he said in an interview with the Leader. “We were raised with that pride, that this was our (home) and our province.”

Al-Katib, a native of Davidson who now lives in Regina, is president and CEO of AGT Food and Ingredients, one of the world’s largest suppliers of pulses, staple foods and food ingredients.

The citation from the province called him one of Saskatchewan’s “greatest homegrown success stories,” crediting him with creating jobs here and linking the province’s producers to new and emerging markets across the world.

He was also recognized for his philanthropic work, based on a philosophy he has called “compassionate entrepreneurialism.”

Last year AGT worked with the United Nations, Red Cross and other organizations to distribute more than 4.5 million food parcels to refugee families.

Al-Katib said receiving the award was an emotional experience, as he stood alongside nine other people, noted for their accomplishments in the arts, education, business, government and military.

For the full story, please see the Dec. 4 edition of The Davidson Leader, or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.