News & Events
AKDN, FOCUS and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services signed a Memorandum of Understanding in December that aims to reduce loss of life from man-made and natural disasters. The MOU builds on the Agreement of Cooperation that has been in place between the Ismaili Imamat and the State of California since 2009.
Dar es Salaam, 8 February 2014 — RAYS OF LIGHT: Glimpses into the Ismaili Imamat was inaugurated at Diamond Jubilee Hall today by the Prime Minister of Tanzania, the Right Honourable Mizengo Peter Pinda. A Golden Jubilee International Programme depicting the first 50 years of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Imamat, the photographic exhibition also coincides with the upcoming 50th Anniversary of the Union of Tanganika and Zanzibar.
Berlin, 5 February 2014 — Mawlana Hazar Imam held meetings with the German foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and led a delegation of senior Aga Khan Development Network executives to meet with leaders of Germany’s KfW Development Bank and its DEG Development Corporation branch today. The long-standing partners discussed ways in which Germany and AKDN could intensify their joint efforts to stabilise fragile states.
This summer, Ismaili secondary school students from countries across the globe will have an opportunity to get to know one another as they take part in the 2014 Global Encounters programme being held at the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa. The international programme is currently inviting applications from Ismaili students all over the world.
Aga Khan Hospital cancer programme is an important step towards premier healthcare system in East Africa, says Princess Zahra
Dar es Salaam, 27 January 2014 — A new cancer treatment programme at the Aga Khan Hospital, Dar es Salaam was launched today in the presence of Princess Zahra. Part of a significant five-year expansion of the hospital, it complements a wider effort by the AKDN to establish a high quality, affordable, integrated healthcare system in East Africa.
Nairobi, 17 January 2014 — Prince Rahim and his wife Princess Salwa travelled to Kenya this week, where they joined in marking the opening of new facilities for the Diamond Trust Bank and Jubilee Insurance, and visited the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa.
RAYS OF LIGHT: Glimpses into the Ismaili Imamat, a Golden Jubilee International Programme depicting the first 50 years of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Imamat, completed its Canadian tour in Toronto last week. The exhibition is set to open in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania next month.
Kabul, 21 December 2013 — Mawlana Hazar Imam visited Afghanistan today, where he met with the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, as well as ministers and other senior government officials.
Karachi, 19 December 2013 — Mawlana Hazar Imam set out a bold vision for the Aga Khan University, an ambitious challenge that will see it evolve into “a distinguished liberal arts university” over the next few decades. Presiding over the 26th Convocation of the University, Hazar Imam also announced the creation of seven graduate schools.
Islamabad, 16 December 2013 — In separate meetings with the President, the Prime Minister, the Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs and the Finance Minister of Pakistan, Mawlana Hazar Imam received praise for the leadership role taken by the AKDN in the country’s development, and for its effectiveness in improving the quality of life of those whom it reaches.
Islamabad, 15 December 2013 — Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Islamabad this evening, commencing an official visit to Pakistan. During the visit, Hazar Imam will meet with government officials, attend to AKDN related matters and preside over a convocation of the Aga Khan University.
Video: Canadian pluralism at a crossroads, says John Stackhouse, delivering the Ismaili Centre Lecture
Burnaby, Canada, 1 December 2013 — John Stackhouse, Editor-in-chief of the Globe and Mail, delivered the Ismaili Centre Lecture, in which he described pluralism as being central to Canadian identity. Featuring speakers of distinction, Ismaili Centre Lectures are held regularly at Centres around the world, and seek to encourage exchange, mutual understanding and friendship between peoples of diverse communities and faiths.
Video: Ismaili Centres are symbols of new hope, says Mawlana Hazar Imam upon receiving RAIC Gold Medal
Ottawa, 27 November 2013 — In a ceremony held at the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat, Mawlana Hazar Imam was lauded by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, who presented the Imam with their highest honour — the 2013 Gold Medal. In his remarks, Hazar Imam expressed his gratitude and went on to describe the connection between architecture and quality of life, explaining how the Ismaili Centres embodied for the Jamat the hopeful aspirations of a forward looking community.
Video: Mawlana Hazar Imam receives honorary degree from Trinity College at the University of Toronto
Toronto, 25 November 2013 — The University of Toronto’s Trinity College held a special convocation this evening, to bestow upon Mawlana Hazar Imam the degree of Doctor of Sacred Letters, honoris causa. In a glowing citation, the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, presented Hazar Imam before the Chancellor of Trinity College.
Hyderabad, India, 20 September 2013 —The Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad, the second in a global network of 18 schools, was officially inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and India’s Minister for Human Resource Development in the presence of Mawlana Hazar Imam.
» AKDN press release, photographs and media page
» Speeches by Mawlana Hazar Imam and Salim Bhatia, Director of the Academies network
» Video - Ethical, Effective, Pluralistic: The Aga Khan Academies
» Website of the Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad
Delhi, 18 September 2013 — The restoration of the 16th century garden tomb of the Mughal emperor Humayun was inaugurated in Delhi today. Mawlana Hazar Imam, the Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh, the Minister of Culture, Chandresh Kumari Katoch, and Chairman Ratan Tata of the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust presided over the ceremony together, a reflection of the public-private partnership that was pivotal to the project’s success.
Delhi, 17 September 2013 — Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in India today, starting a 10-day visit during which he will join Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in marking the completion of the restoration of Humayun's Tomb. He will also inaugurate a new Aga Khan Academy in Hyderabad.
Dhaka, Bangladesh, 17 September 2013 — Concluding a two-day visit to Bangladesh, Mawlana Hazar Imam departed from Dhaka this afternoon. Hazar Imam travels on to India for a two-week visit.
Dhaka, Bangladesh, 16 September 2013 — An agreement was signed between the Aga Khan Development Network and the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh today, that will work towards improving the quality of life of the people of Bangladesh.
Dhaka, Bangladesh, 16 September 2013 — Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Dhaka this morning for a two-day official visit to Bangladesh at the invitation of the government. During the visit, Hazar Imam is expected to meet with government leaders, sign a protocol agreement between the AKDN and the Government of Bangladesh and meet with the Jamat at the new Ismaili Jamatkhana and Centre.
Video: Aga Khan Award for Architecture reflective of Portuguese ‘world awareness’ says Mawlana Hazar Imam
Five projects from Austria, Iran, Morocco, Palestine, and Sudan were presented with the 2013 Aga Khan Award for Architecture on Saturday. The Award ceremony was held at the Castle of São Jorge in Lisbon in the presence of Mawlana Hazar Imam and Portugal's head of state, President Cavaco Silva.
Lisbon, 7 September 2013 — Mawlana Hazar Imam is in Portugal for the 12th cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, which was presented yesterday at Lisbon’s São Jorge Castle. As part of his visit Hazar Imam also held meetings with a number of senior Portuguese officials, and presided over the signing ceremony of a renewed Memorandum of Understanding between the Catholic University of Portugal and the Aga Khan University.
The 2013 ceremony of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture will take place on 6 September in Lisbon, Portugal, and will be broadcast live on the AKDN website starting at 8:30 PM Lisbon time (7:30 PM GMT). Find out more about the webcast and other ways to follow coverage of the Award.
The Aga Khan Museum, which is scheduled to open in Toronto next year, will hold its first series of outreach events this autumn in three American cities. Enlightened Encounters will introduce the public to some of the key pieces in the Museum’s collection, as well as to the Museum’s performing arts and education programmes.
The Harmony Project premiered before audiences at the Ismaili Centre, London on 13 and 14 April 2013. Written, directed and performed by members of the United Kingdom Jamat, the theatrical production follows the story of a group of fictional characters from completely different backgrounds, brought together to create a show.
A Golden Jubilee International Programme, RAYS OF LIGHT: Glimpses into the Ismaili Imamat, will make its much-anticipated Canadian debut in Edmonton on 4 July 2013. The exhibition provides a unique opportunity for the Jamat and the wider public to understand the scope and scale of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s tremendous work across the globe.
London, 16 May 2013 — At a special event held at the Ismaili Centre, Prince Amyn spoke in honour of the illustrious career of Professor Charles Correa, and acknowledged his long-standing partnership with the AKDN. Professor Correa is widely recognised in the field of urban planning not only for creating significant designs, but also for addressing social challenges through the medium of architecture.
During a recent on-stage conversation held at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby, Dr Farhad Daftary spoke about what motivated him to abandon his doctoral pursuits in Economics in the 1960s in order to seek out a future in Ismaili studies. The dialogue took place as part of a book launch for a recently published collection of scholarly perspectives on areas of Ismaili history and thought titled Fortresses of the Intellect.
Culture is a trampoline for development says Mawlana Hazar Imam, speaking at UNESCO conference in China
Hangzhou, China, 15 May 2013 — Mawlana Hazar Imam delivered the keynote address today at the Hangzhou International Congress "Culture: Key to Sustainable Development" organised by UNESCO, the People’s Republic of China and the Hangzhou Municipal Government. The Congress provided the very first global forum to discuss the role of culture in sustainable development, with participation of the global community and major international stakeholders representing 82 countries.
Lisbon, 30 April 2013 — The shortlist of nominees for the 2013 cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture was announced today at Portugal’s Palacio das Necessidades (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs). The 20 nominees for the US$ 1 million prize range from a modern high rise apartment block to the revival of traditional building techniques.
Full details are available at the AKDN website.
When heavy January rains caused massive flooding in south and central Mozambique, the Ismaili community and the institutions of the Ismaili Imamat quickly mobilized a response. A donation of food, medicine, tools, and supplies was assembled to help the Government of Mozambique support victims, volunteers and military forces who were providing assistance on the ground.
The Far East Jamat had an opportunity to experience Treasures of the Aga Khan Museum – Architecture in Islamic Arts, a special exhibition of the Aga Khan Museum Collection that visited Malaysia and Singapore last year. The exhibitions also provided an opportunity for the Jamat to reach out and share Ismaili culture and values with the wider public.
Prominent female entrepreneurs, business leaders, policy makers, and academics shared their experiences, challenges, and opportunities, at a launch event for Technovation Challenge, held at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby. The Technovation programme, which is sponsored by the Aga Khan Education Board, is designed to inspire teenage girls to explore studies and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
Milad-un-Nabi marks the anniversary of the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him and his family). To commemorate this anniversary, The Ismaili Centre, London hosts an annual lecture on a particular aspect of the life and teachings of the Holy Prophet.
Ottawa, 1 February 2013 — The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat in Ottawa was among twelve projects that had the honour of receiving the Governor General’s Medals in Architecture. Presented at Rideau Hall by Governor General David Johnston, the prestigious award recognises outstanding achievement in projects built by Canadian architects.
The search for sustainable approaches to alleviating pressing societal challenges requires pioneering innovation, strategy and collaboration. What differentiates social entrepreneurs is their penchant for enabling this across sectors.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Open House London took place on the weekend of 22 – 23 September. Buildings such as the Bank of England Museum, the Royal Courts of Justice, the BBC Television Centre, and the Ismaili Centre, London opened their doors, inviting Londoners to to view and celebrate the diverse architecture of their city.
Nairobi, 29 November 2012 — Mawlana Hazar Imam and Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga marked the signing of an important agreement between the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the Government of Kenya to rehabilitate Nairobi City Park. The 60-hectare heritage site is a natural preserve and an important cultural asset whose restoration can contribute to improving quality of life in the busy urban centre.
Nairobi, 28 November 2012 — After attending the inauguration of the new headquarters of the East African Community in Arusha earlier today, Mawlana Hazar Imam travelled to the Kenyan capital, where he will witness the signing of an agreement for the rehabilitation of the Nairobi City Park.
Arusha, 28 November 2012 — Mawlana Hazar Imam took part today in the inauguration of the new headquarters of the East African Community. The building, situated on a parcel of land in Arusha town, houses the EAC Secretariat, the East African Legislative Assembly and the East African Court of Justice.
Arusha, 27 November 2012 — Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Tanzania earlier today, where tomorrow he will join the presidents of the five member states of the East African Community to tour the organisation’s new Arusha headquarters on the occasion of its opening.
Bridge-building between cultures and religions through dialogue and cooperation is an important means to promote a peaceful and humanistic society. In September, the Ismaili Centre, Lisbon played host to a lecture that was part of the UN Alliance of Civilizations Summer School programme.
Edmonton, 24 October 2012 — Mawlana Hazar Imam and Alberta Premier Alison Redford signed an Agreement of Cooperation today between the Ismaili Imamat and the Government of Alberta. The agreement facilitates further collaboration in the areas of health sciences, education, the environment, forestry and natural resources management, culture, and private sector and economic development.
Edmonton, 23 October 2012 — Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in the capital of Alberta this evening, where he will meet with Premier Alison Redford to sign an historic Agreement of Cooperation between the Ismaili Imamat and the Government of Alberta. The agreement is the first of its kind in Canada, and marks a special milestone for the Canadian Jamat.
London, 22 October 2012 — Mawlana Hazar Imam was awarded the David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award by the Synergos Institute. In a letter that was read before the audience, David Rockefeller commended the Imam’s work through the Aga Khan Development Network for having “leveraged the social conscience of Islam in ways that benefit people of all faiths; promoting tolerance, pluralism, and broad-based development.”
Princess Zahra was in the Kyrgyz Republic on Thursday to mark the 10th anniversary of the Aga Khan School in Osh. Established in 2002, the school provides close to 500 students with quality learning experiences in an environment which values diversity and responds creatively to the educational needs of children.
Mawlana Hazar Imam reopens Timur Shah mausoleum; participates in foundation of maternal care facility in Kabul
Kabul, 19 – 20 October 2012 — During an eventful weekend, Mawlana Hazar Imam and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai officially opened the restored mausoleum of Timur Shah. Hazar Imam also took part in the foundation ceremony of a new Women’s Wing for the French Medical Institute for Children in Kabul.
As the Jamat in Uganda — and Ismailis of Ugandan heritage around the world — join in celebrating 50 years of Ugandan independence, RAYS OF LIGHT: Glimpses into the Ismaili Imamat, will open in Kampala, marking its East African premiere. The exhibition adds a special dimension to the country’s commemoration of this historic occasion.
Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives for opening of Bujagali hydropower plant and to mark 50 years of Uganda’s independence
Entebbe, Uganda, 8 October 2012 — Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Entebbe today for the opening of the Bujagali Hydropower Project and to participate in the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Uganda’s independence.
Visitors from the Middle East, North Africa and nearby countries had a chance to take in RAYS OF LIGHT: Glimpses into the Ismaili Imamat earlier this year at the Ismaili Centre, Dubai. The exhibition was an opportunity for Ismailis and the wider public to explore Mawlana Hazar Imam’s extraordinary work across the globe.
Over 900 senior members of the Jamat from around the United Kingdom participated in a Seniors Fair organised by the Aga Khan Social Welfare Board last month. The event, which took place at Watford Colosseum attracted interest from the BBC Asian Network, who reported on how the Ismaili community is helping its elderly members stay up-to-date with technological advancements.
Arusha, 18 July 2012 — Mawlana Hazar Imam signed an agreement with the East African Community (EAC) today, that will strengthen and broaden cooperation between the Aga Khan Development Network and the EAC in the areas of economic, social and cultural development throughout East Africa. The agreement highlights the need for improvements in education and healthcare, including efforts to promote the expansion of the Aga Khan University as a regional university for East Africa.
Singapore, 18 July 2012 — Prince Amyn and Singapore’s Minster for Information, Communications and the Arts, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, opened a new exhibition titled Treasures of the Aga Khan Museum today. The exhibition runs from 19 July – 28 October 2012 at the Asian Civilisations Museum.
Dar es Salaam, 17 July 2012 — Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Tanzania for a brief visit to meet with senior government officials and review progress on AKDN projects in the country.
Ismaili tradition of voluntary service and contributions to Ontario recognised by province’s Premier
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty generously praised the Ismaili community at a gathering of Jamati and civic leaders held at Toronto’s Headquarters Jamatkhana in April. Recognising the long-standing relationship and common values shared between the Jamat and the province, he presented certificates to the Presidents of the Ismaili Councils for Canada and Ontario.
Mawlana Hazar Imam introduces former Kyrgyz President at inaugural Global Centre for Pluralism lecture
Mawlana Hazar Imam was at the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat in Ottawa on 28 May for the inauguration of the Global Centre for Pluralism’s Annual Pluralism Lecture series. As Chairman of the Centre’s Board of Directors, Hazar Imam introduced the speaker, Her Excellency Roza Otunbayeva, former President of the Kyrgyz Republic, whom he had invited to launch the lecture series.
Runners Nash Pradhan and Dan McCormack ran the London Marathon in support of the Aga Khan Development Network. Dressed as characters from the video game Super Mario Brothers, they set a new Guinness world record and achieved their goal of raising funds for the Khorog Diagnostic Unit in Tajikistan.
A graduation ceremony for the third cycle of the Lifelong Learning Certificate Programme was held at the Ismaili Centre, Lisbon this spring. Thirty-seven graduates, hailing from France, Germany, Portugal and the United Kingdom, received a Certificate in Lifelong Learning from the London School of Economics.
Marking Navroz, some 2 500 Ismaili volunteers gathered on 30 March to plant 5 000 trees in the city’s Afshar area. Organised by the Ismaili Council for Afghanistan, the tree planting took place in the presence of Kabul’s mayor, Eng Mohammad Younus Nawandesh, and was part of an ongoing effort to make the city more beautiful and greener for its inhabitants.
Lisbon, 9 May 2012 — Representing Mawlana Hazar Imam, Prince Amyn signed the renewal of a partnership agreement between the Aga Khan Foundation and the Patriarchate of Lisbon. Programmes implemented under the partnership, which aims to improve the quality of life of marginalised groups in Greater Lisbon, benefited almost 43 000 people in 2011.
Ottawa, 9 April 2012 — The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat in Ottawa has been named a recipient of the 2012 Governor General’s Medals in Architecture. The award recognises outstanding design in projects by Canadian architects, and is administered by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts.
Dedicated to promoting harmony among peoples of all faiths, World Interfaith Harmony Week is observed around the world each year during the first week of February. In Portugal, the UN Alliance of Civilizations sought to present a unique multicultural perspective on the week. The Ismaili Muslim community was among 15 religious traditions represented at the event.
Nairobi, 16 April 2012 — A Memorandum of Understanding was signed yesterday by Prince Hussain on behalf of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture to collaborate in the rehabilitation and restoration of the Nairobi City Park to international standards in terms of architecture, landscape and horticulture. “This partnership represents a continued commitment to working with the Government in order to support development for all Kenyans,” said Prince Hussain.
Prominent religious historian and well-known author, Karen Armstrong, was the keynote speaker at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby on 25 March 2012, where she delivered a lecture on Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) and the relevance of his life to our present time. The visit was part of Armstrong’s “12 Days of Compassion” tour of Greater Vancouver.
Dushanbe, 4 April 2012 — Mawlana Hazar Imam travelled to Tajikistan for a brief, but historic one-day visit. In a meeting with the leaders of the newly-established Jamati institutions in Tajikistan, Hazar Imam emphasised the significance of the formal establishment of Jamati institutions to serve the needs and requirements of the Tajik Jamat.
Urumxi, China, 4 April 2012 — Mawlana Hazar Imam paid an official visit to Urumxi, China from 2–4 April 2012, at the invitation of the Governor of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Mr Nur Bekri, to discuss collaboration between the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and the Government of Xinjiang.
Singapore, 2 April 2012 — Mawlana Hazar Imam's visit to the Far East drew to a close this morning as he departed Singapore. During his visit, Hazar Imam met with the Far East Jamat over a two-day period. Members of the Jamat had come from 13 countries across the region.
Singapore, 31 March 2012 — Continuing his visit to the Far East, Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived at Singapore’s Changi Airport yesterday evening. Meanwhile, members of the Far East Jamat celebrated Mawlana Hazar Imam’s arrival and made preparations for his visit with the Jamat.
Kuala Lumpur, 30 March 2012 — Mawlana Hazar Imam inaugurated Treasures of the Aga Khan Museum: Architecture in Islamic Arts today, at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia. On display until 29 June, the Malaysian exhibition marks the first time that objects and art from the Aga Khan Museum collection have been displayed in Southeast Asia.
Kuala Lumpur, 29 March 2012 — Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Malaysia for the start of his visit to the Far East. In the country’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, he will officially inaugurate an exhibition of objects and art from the Aga Khan Museum collection at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia.
RAYS OF LIGHT: Glimpses into the Ismaili Imamat will be opening in Dubai later this month. A Golden Jubilee International Programme, the exhibition depicts 50 years of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Imamat, against the backdrop of the Jamat’s 1 400-year history.
Addressing a gathering of India’s Jamati institutional leaders last month, Princess Zahra spoke of the immense opportunities available in India. She was in Mumbai to review the ongoing expansion of the Prince Aly Khan Hospital in her capacity as Chair of the steering committee for its redevelopment.
Princess Zahra Aga Khan arrived in Mumbai on 19 February to visit the Prince Aly Khan Hospital. The hospital is undergoing an expansion, and Princess Zahra toured the facility and reviewed its plans in her capacity as Chair of the Steering Committee for its redevelopment.
Universities have a role in encouraging pluralist encounters says UBC President at inaugural Ismaili Centre Lecture
Speaking at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby, Professor Stephen J. Toope, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of British Columbia said that creating an environment that fosters “global citizens” is crucial to seeing pluralism in action. His address marked the inauguration of The Ismaili Centre Lectures, a series of intellectually stimulating speaker-based events held at the Centre.
Mawlana Hazar Imam underscores the value of land planning in sustainable development during an address to the Urban Land Institute in Paris
Paris, 31 January 2012 — On the heels of being awarded the J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development, Mawlana Hazar Imam addressed a leadership dinner at the Urban Land Institute Europe Annual Conference held in Paris. In October 2011, the Urban Land Institute honoured Hazar Imam for his commitment to the highest standards of responsible development.
The AKDN has launched a mobile app featuring the winners of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture over the past three decades. The app is available for free in the iTunes App Store and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices, and includes video, photographs, drawings and descriptions of each of the winning projects.
Mawlana Hazar Imam receives honorary doctorate from the University of Ottawa; lauds Canada for “what it can do for others”
Ottawa, 13 January 2012 — At a special convocation ceremony held this morning at the University of Ottawa, Mawlana Hazar Imam was awarded the honorary degree Doctor of the University for his service to humanity. The convocation was presided over by University of Ottawa Chancellor Huguette Labelle, in what was her last official event following an 18-year tenure as Chancellor.
Ottawa, 12 January 2012 — Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Canada today, landing in Ottawa this evening. Tomorrow, Hazar Imam will receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Ottawa.
A weekend-long Opportunity Africa conference held at the Ismaili Centre, London hinted at what is already spreading across the continent. With a growing middle class, an impending housing market boom, an infrastructure deficit waiting to be filled, and a common East African financial market on the horizon, Africa is a focal point for new expansion and entrepreneurship.
Bishkek, 1 December 2011 — Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Bishkek today for the inauguration of the new President of the Kyrgyz Republic, Almazbek Atambaev. During the visit, Hazar Imam met with President Atambaev, as well as former President Roza Otunbaeva, to discuss the AKDN’s partnership with the country.
Masters of the Afghan rubab, the tabla and the dayra gathered at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby on 4 November, where they conjured the rich musical legacies of Central Asia. The event, which took place in collaboration with the Aga Khan Music Initiative, was prefaced with an address by the British Columbia Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.
Twelve inspiring and talented artists from across the Middle East and Central Asia performed a beautiful and thought-provoking concert at the Ismaili Centre, Dubai recently. It was an important occasion for both the Ismaili Centre and the Aga Khan Music Initiative, intent on bridging gulfs that have existed for the past hundred years.
Chicago, 4 November 2011 — At the invitation of Illinois State Governor Patrick Quinn, Mawlana Hazar Imam travelled to Chicago today to sign an Agreement of Cooperation between the State of Illinois and the Ismaili Imamat. During the visit, Hazar Imam and Governor Quinn also held talks on a range of issues of mutual interest, including early childhood education and media and communications.
Dushanbe, 1 November 2011 — Mawlana Hazar Imam’s visit to Tajikistan drew to a close today. Following the inauguration of the Dushanbe Serena Hotel, members of the Jamat gathered across the street to bid farewell to Hazar Imam as he departed the Serena.
Dushanbe, 1 November 2011 — Mawlana Hazar Imam and President Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan, inaugurated a new Serena Hotel in the heart of Dushanbe, the Tajik capital. Prince Amyn and Prince Rahim were present for the ceremony, as were dignitaries from the government, development and tourism sectors.
Dushanbe, 31 October 2011 — The President of Tajikistan, His Excellency Emomali Rahmon hosted a dinner in honour of Mawlana Hazar Imam's visit at the Saodat Teahouse (chaikhana). Prince Amyn and Prince Rahim were also present at the dinner, which featured performances of music, dance and song by a number of Tajik artists.
Mawlana Hazar Imam joins leaders of Tajikistan and Afghanistan to lay foundation of fifth cross-border bridge
Showun, Shurobod District, Tajikistan, 31 October 2011 — Mawlana Hazar Imam, together with the President of Tajikistan and Afghanistan’s Minister of Public Works, performed the foundation-stone ceremony for the Shurobod Bridge. The bridge is the fifth to be built in partnership with the AKDN, and will connect the Shurobod District of Khatlon Region in Tajikistan with the Khohon Province of Afghanistan.
Kabul, 30 October 2011 — Between visits to India and Tajikistan, Mawlana Hazar Imam made a stop in Kabul, where he met with His Excellency President Hamid Karzai to discuss the progress of AKDN activities in Afghanistan. The Government of Aghanistan accorded Hazar Imam a full state welcome, including a guard of honour.
Delhi, 30 October 2011 — Mawlana Hazar Imam toured the Humayun’s Tomb - Sunder Nursery - Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti Urban Renewal Project, in the heart of the Indian capital, to review progress on the project.
Dushanbe, 30 October 2011 — Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Tajikistan today for the inauguration of the Dushanbe Serena Hotel. Prince Rahim and Prince Amyn had arrived earlier, and will also participate in the opening ceremony.
Delhi, 29 October 2011 — Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in India today to review progress on the restoration of Humayun's Tomb and the work at Sunder Nursery in the capital region of Delhi. The projects are part of a larger initiative that also aims to preserve and rehabilitate landmark buildings in Nizamuddin Basti, while improving the quality of life for inhabitants of the area.
Los Angeles, 28 October 2011 — Describing him as “an unparalleled leader in development, cultural preservation and philanthropy,” the Urban Land Institute has named Mawlana Hazar Imam the 2011 Laureate of the J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development. The prize recognises an individual whose career demonstrates a commitment to the highest standards of responsible development.
Dushanbe, 22 October 2011 — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited the Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe today, where she held a town hall meeting to help promote the US-sponsored New Silk Road Initiative. Several hundred people attended the gathering, including various members of Tajikistan’s civil society, local and international development organisations, media outlets, representatives of the AKDN and Jamati leaders.
The Institute of Ismaili Studies will hold a live webcast of the 2011 Graduation for the Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities on Saturday, 22 October 2011 at 2:00 PM (London time). Professor David Ford of the University of Cambridge will deliver the Commencement Address.
Jamats and AKDN institutions around the world to participate in global earthquake preparedness drill
On Thursday, 20 October, more than 100 000 Aga Khan Development Network staff and members of the Jamat in locations around the world will DROP to their hands and knees, take COVER and HOLD ON. Together with more than 7.9 million other people around the world, they will be taking part in ShakeOut — a drill that teaches people how to protect themselves during an earthquake.
The Governor General of Canada addresses the Canadian Club of Vancouver at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby
Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston attended a luncheon with the Canadian Club of Vancouver on Wednesday, hosted at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby. They were joined by members of the diplomatic corps, civil society leaders, public servants, and professionals from diverse fields of social, economic and cultural activity, as well as leaders of the Ismaili community.
The Jamats of Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea gathered in Sydney earlier this year for a National Ismaili Sports Tournament. The event resulted from months of planning, and was the culmination of various local sports and fitness programmes promoting healthy lifestyles and enhancing Jamati unity.
As Ismaili families in Dushanbe prepared to observe Eid ul-Fitr in the traditional manner, excitement brewed at the prospect of the Jamat coming together to celebrate the occasion at the new Ismaili Centre for the first time ever. The gathering proved a momentous and moving experience for all.
As part of its year-long commemoration of the 25th Anniversary, the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby hosted a Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award ceremony on 4 June with the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. It was the first time a Silver Award ceremony has been held outside of Government House in Victoria.
Three years after the opening of the Ismaili Centre, Dubai, it has emerged as a multidisciplinary hub of culture, faith, education, and community identity. Exemplifying the core values of Ismaili Muslims, the Centre offers a platform for dialogue, unity and progress within the Jamat and the wider community.
Nairobi, 28 July 2011 — As Mawlana Hazar Imam prepared to depart Nairobi, senior Jamati leaders bid him farewell. Prior to leaving East Africa, Mawlana Hazar Imam stopped over in Arusha, where he visited the site of the Aga Khan University campus and met with the Secretary General of the East African Community.
Prime Minister of Kenya performs ground breaking of AKU School of Media and Communications in the presence of Mawlana Hazar Imam
Nairobi, 27 July — The Foundation Ceremony of the Aga Khan University’s Graduate School of Media and Communications was held today. Mawlana Hazar Imam and the Right Honourable Raila Odinga, Prime Minister of Kenya, presided over the ceremony.
Kenyan Jamat gathers to witness opening of Heart and Cancer Centre by Mawlana Hazar Imam and President Kibaki
Nairobi, 25 July 2011 — Thousands of Ismailis gathered at the Parklands Complex in Nairobi to witness the opening of a new Heart and Cancer Centre. The Aga Khan University Hospital facility was inaugurated by His Excellency President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya in the presence of Mawlana Hazar Imam.
Nairobi, 22 July 2011 — Mawlana Hazar Imam met with His Excellency President Mwai Kibaki at Harambee House in Nairobi today. Continuing his Jamati visit to Kenya, Hazar Imam had returned to the capital after spending a few days in Mombasa where he met with the Jamat and visited the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa.
Nairobi, 16 July 2011 — Mawlana Hazar Imam joined Jamati and institutional leaders at a dinner held in Nairobi yesterday evening. Hazar Imam was presented with a Qajar manuscript of Nasir Khusraw’s Diwan on behalf of those in attendance.
Nairobi, 13 July 2011 — Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Kenya this evening, commencing the final leg of his three-country Jamati tour of East Africa. Mawlana Hazar Imam is in Kenya to meet with the Jamat, and will also participate in events at the Aga Khan University in Nairobi.
Kampala, 13 July 2011 — This morning Mawlana Hazar Imam met with the Uganda Jamat at Kampala Jamatkhana, before travelling to inspect the construction of the Bujagali Hydroelectric power dam. Yesterday, Hazar Imam attended a dinner with the Jamati and institutional leaders of Uganda.
Kampala, 12 July — Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Uganda this morning for a Jamati visit. Eagerly awaiting the Imam, the Uganda Jamat has been busy making preparations for his visit, and celebrating with traditional festivities.
Dar es Salaam, 7 July 2011 — On the eve of his departure from Tanzania, Mawlana Hazar Imam attended a dinner with the leadership of the Tanzanian Jamat. Hazar Imam is expected to meet with the entire Tanzanian Jamat before concluding the first leg of his East African tour.
Dar es Salaam, 4 July 2011 — Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived at Dar es Salaam airport this evening, commencing his Jamati visit to Tanzania. Eagerly awaiting the Imam, the Jamat has been busy making preparations for the visit and celebrating with traditional festivities.
AKPBS’s innovative Building and Construction Improvement Programme has received the Award for Avoided Deforestation at this year’s Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy. Princess Zahra, Head of the Social Welfare department of the Aga Khan Development Network, accepted the award on behalf of AKPBS at a ceremony in London.
As construction continues along Wynford Drive, BC Premier visits exhibition at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby
Twelve months after Mawlana Hazar Imam presided over the Foundation Ceremony of the Ismaili Centre, Toronto, the Aga Khan Museum and their Park, the buildings along Wynford Drive are taking shape. As construction progresses, a cross-country exhibition about the projects stops at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby where the BC Premier is among the visitors.
Dr Aziz Esmail, a Governor of The Institute of Ismaili Studies, delivered the 2011 Milad-un-Nabi lecture at the Ismaili Centre, London. Reflecting on the commemoration of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday (peace be upon him and his family), he elucidates on the nature and evolution of cultural memory and its relationship with modernity.
Thirty Ismaili volunteers extended a hand of friendship and support — and many bottles of water — to some 8 000 runners at the 2011 Brighton Marathon. The event was an opportunity to get involved and give back to the wider community.
Mawlana Hazar Imam receives the University of California San Francisco Medal, University’s highest honour
At a banquet in San Francisco on 26 April, Mawlana Hazar Imam was presented with the 2011 University of California San Francisco Medal. The prestigious recognition builds on existing collaborations between the UCSF and AKDN, and particularly the University’s support for training and research programmes at the Aga Khan University.
Mawlana Hazar Imam partners with the City of Houston in commissioning a landmark sculpture celebrating tolerance
In February 2011, a group of seven 10-foot high installations called Tolerance was unveiled at Harmony Walk in Houston near the site of the planned Ismaili Center, Houston. The statues were created by Spanish artist, Jaume Plensa and funded by City of Houston together with Mawlana Hazar Imam and a few private donors.
In celebration of Navroz, the Aga Khan Development Network hosted a reception at the Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe. Over 300 people attended the celebration, which was held on 20 March 2011 and was the first Navroz event ever held at the Centre.
From 28 August to 5 December 2010, the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia became a hub of Islamic calligraphic exploration. The Museum presented two complementary exhibitions that explored calligraphy in an interactive context.
When the Government of Tanzania requested support for the victims of an explosion on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam, the Ismailis in the area were eager to help. The Ismaili Council for Tanzania partnered with the Aga Khan Hospital to organise a blood drive, and members of the Jamat donated emergency supplies to victims of the disaster.
Yasmin Waljee and Farah Ramzan Golant were recently named to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, while Aladin Rahemtula became the first Ismaili to be conferred the Order of Australia. The awards recognise the outstanding services rendered by these individuals in their respective fields.
Professionals and representatives of leading healthcare organisations in the United Kingdom gathered at Leicester Jamatkhana on 9 February to learn about The Ismaili Nutrition Centre, a unique online resource that offers healthy alternatives to traditional dishes.
Young Ismailis are increasingly making their mark in all fields — academic and non-academic. Through the Youth Awards for Excellence, 2010, the Aga Khan Youth and Sports Board for India recognised the Jamati youth and honoured high achievers in fields such as sports, the arts, sciences, creative expression, and leadership.
The Ismaili youth of Afghanistan have a new place where they can play, learn and socialise. The two-storey Youth, Sports and Social Development Center in Kabul, opened its doors in December 2010.
The Ismaili Community Ensemble in the United Kingdom recently collaborated with musicians from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Pandemonium and Morley Chamber Choir to present a cornucopia of beautiful music evoking the heritage of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions.
Several Ismaili students and speakers participated in the fourth Annual Youth Summit and Diversity Dialogue, titled Getting to the Core of Diversity at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. The annual event promotes pluralism and leadership development in high school students.
As construction progresses, Torontonians get to peek at plans for the Ismaili Centre, the Aga Khan Museum and their Park
With the walls of the new Ismaili Centre and Aga Khan Museum beginning to emerge along Wynford Drive, Toronto architectural firm Moriyama & Teshima discussed the projects at a recent event held at the Ontario Science Centre. Their presentation, which took place against the backdrop of an exhibition of images and architectural renderings, was attended by prominent guests including Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
What defines being old? Is it reaching a particular age? Retiring from the workplace? And what meaningful roles can the elderly play in society today? These and other matters were put forward at a recent gathering of seniors in Lisbon.
Restored to its former glory, the “Grande Dame of Maputo” is re-opened in the presence of Mawlana Hazar Imam
Maputo, Mozambique, 16 December 2010 — In the presence of Mawlana Hazar Imam, Mozambique’s president, His Excellency Armando Guebuza, officially inaugurated the refurbished Polana Serena Hotel, a historic water-front landmark in the capital city of Maputo, and one of Africa’s grandest colonial era hotels.
Maputo, Mozambique, 15 December 2010 — Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Maputo this evening on a two-day visit to Mozambique. During the visit, Hazar Imam will participate in the inauguration of the Polana Serena Hotel in Maputo.
Following the Aga Khan Award for Architecture ceremony held in Doha at the end of November, CNN’s John Defterios spoke with Mawlana Hazar Imam about the pace of social change in the developing world.
Luxor, Egypt, 10 December 2010 —Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Egypt today to attend the Luxor International Forum to Combat Human Trafficking. Upon his arrival, Hazar Imam met with Her Excellency Suzanne Mubarak, the First Lady of Egypt.
Doha, Qatar, 24 November 2010 — Mawlana Hazar Imam, together with His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, and Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, presided over the Award Ceremony of the 11th cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture today. Five projects were selected as winners of the 2010 Award, and Professor Oleg Grabar received the Chairman's Award.
» AKDN: Recipients of the 2010 Aga Khan Award for Architecture
» AKDN: Full video of the 2010 Aga Khan Award for Architecture
» AKDN coverage of the Award Ceremony including the press release, video highlights, speech, and photographs
» Nineteen projects shortlisted for the 11th cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture
» Aga Khan Award for Architecture to be featured in BBC documentary series
» AKDN: Aga Khan Award for Architecture
Doha, Qatar, 22 November 2010 —Mawlana Hazar Imam, accompanied by Prince Hussain, arrived in Doha today, where the Award Ceremony for the 11th cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture will take place later this week. Hazar Imam and Prince Hussain were received by Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kuwari, Qatar’s Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, and Naushad Rashid, President of the Ismaili Council for the United Arab Emirates.
» Nineteen projects shortlisted for the 11th cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture
» Aga Khan Award for Architecture to be featured in BBC documentary series
» AKDN: Aga Khan Award for Architecture
Last week, Prince Hussain attended the Governors’ Global Climate Summit 3 in the United States on behalf of the Aga Khan Development Network, at Mawlana Hazar Imam’s request. Co-hosted by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Governors of Washington, Oregon, Wisconsin and Michigan, the conference counted the AKDN among its major sponsors for the third consecutive year.
The Government of France conferred honours on Mawlana Hazar Imam and Prince Amyn for their contributions to culture, both personally and through the activities of the Aga Khan Development Network. The French Minister for Culture and Communication, Frédéric Mitterrand, paid tribute to Hazar Imam and his brother at a ceremony held in Paris last week.
Mawlana Hazar Imam and Prince Charles visit the Ismaili Centre, London in commemoration of its 25th anniversary
London, 18 November 2010 — Earlier today Mawlana Hazar Imam received His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales at the Ismaili Centre, London. The Prince’s visit commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Centre.
The Aga Khan Award for Architecture will be featured in a three-part documentary series titled Architects on the Frontline, to be broadcast at various times on BBC World television starting on 20 November. The final part of the BBC documentary will feature the 2010 ceremony, which will take place in Doha, Qatar later this month.
The Institute of Ismaili Studies will hold a live webcast for individuals interested in its Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities (GPISH) on Saturday, 20 November.
In May 2010, the Aga Khan Award for Architecture announced the shortlist for its 11th award cycle at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Selected from over 400 nominees, the 19 projects, spanning 16 countries, range from a small private residence in India to the conservation of an Ottoman town in Albania.
Earlier this year, the Aga Khan Heath Board for the United Kingdom launched their first National Recipe Competition. The competition provided a chance for cooking connoisseurs of all ages to share their culinary creations.
Calgary, 18 October 2010 — The city of Calgary, Alberta was overcome by a “purple revolution” on Monday as Calgarians elected Naheed Nenshi their new mayor. The Harvard-educated professor and former McKinsey consultant is the first Muslim to be elected mayor of a major city in Canada.
Toronto, 15 October 2010 — “What the Canadian experience suggests to me is that identity itself can be pluralistic,” said Mawlana Hazar Imam before a packed audience at the Royal Conservatory’s Telus Centre for Performance and Learning. Speaking at the invitation of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, Hazar Imam received a warm welcome from the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul.
» AKDN coverage of the LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium, including speech and photos
» Welcome address by John Ralston Saul and introductory remarks by the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson
» Watch the complete recorded event
» The LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium at the Institute for Canadian Citizenship website
Toronto, 14 October 2010 — Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Toronto today, where he will deliver this year’s lecture at the 10th annual LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium. An initiative of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, the Symposium engages Canadians in a national conversation around the future shape of Canada’s civic culture. The lecture will take place on on Friday, 15 October at 7:30 PM EDT.
Mawlana Hazar Imam visits Ottawa for inaugural Global Centre for Pluralism board meeting; meets with Governor General of Canada
Ottawa, 8 October 2010 — Mawlana Hazar Imam completed a two-day visit to Ottawa for the inaugural meeting of the Board of Directors of the Global Centre for Pluralism. Thursday evening, Hazar Imam also met with His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, at Rideau Hall.
» Press Release: Global Centre for Pluralism holds Inaugural Board Meeting (7 October 2010)
» Global Centre for Pluralism Board of Directors
» Global Centre for Pluralism website at www.pluralism.ca.
Ottawa, 6 October 2010 — Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Ottawa today to chair the inaugural meeting of the Board of Directors of the Global Centre for Pluralism. The Centre, a new international research and education institution dedicated to the study and practice of pluralism worldwide, is an initiative of the Ismaili Imamat and the Aga Khan Development Network in partnership with the Government of Canada.
» Press Release: Global Centre for Pluralism holds Inaugural Board Meeting (7 October 2010)
» Global Centre for Pluralism Board of Directors
» Global Centre for Pluralism website at www.pluralism.ca.
RAYS OF LIGHT: Glimpses into the Ismaili Imamat opened in London on 10 September and has drawn thousands of visitors, many of whose written comments are pinned to large boards just outside the circular structure. The comment cards offer unique perspectives on how the exhibition is being received, both within the Jamat and by the wider public.
Professor Mohamed Arkoun passed away in Paris on 14 September at the age of 82. An outstanding research scholar and a rigorous critic of the theoretical tensions embedded in the field of Islamic Studies, he was a courageous public intellectual and a powerful voice in the frequently contentious debates on Islamic modernism and humanism.
FOCUS Pakistan has launched a significant relief effort in the wake of severe flooding that has caused widespread destruction in several of the country’s provinces. With its Search and Rescue Team, Community Emergency Response Teams and hundreds of volunteers, FOCUS has already delivered food, shelters and supplies to hundreds of affected households, with some 200 tonnes of relief goods en route to help thousands more.
In June, Ismailis from Bangkok, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur joined the Jamat in Penang, Malaysia for a sports day event that coincided with Father’s Day. Numerous activities were organised, but badminton and table tennis were the centrepiece competitions.
Earlier this year, the Afghan Jamat observed a week-long celebration of volunteerism, a tradition that has long been central to Ismaili culture. Volunteer Week was an opportunity to showcase the impact that volunteers have on the Jamat’s wellbeing, and increase the unity and collaboration among them, as well as within the wider Jamat.
On 11 July, the Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe was the venue for an Imamat Day reception hosted by the Aga Khan Development Network in Tajikistan. The event, which also marked the 15th anniversary of the signing of an Agreement of Cooperation between the Government of Tajikistan and the AKDN, included a cultural show as well as a three-day exhibition of AKDN’s projects in the country during the past 15 years.
The 2010 Yawm-e Ali Lecture at the Ismaili Centre, London was delivered on 14 July by Dr Reza Shah-Kazemi, Reasearch Fellow at The Institute of Ismaili Studies in London. In his lecture titled Imam Ali and the Power of Compassion, Dr Shah-Kazemi explored the role played by Rahma — divine compassion — in the teachings of Hazrat Ali.
During a state visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo earlier this year, the Governor General of Canada awarded medals of honour to a number of individuals, including three Ismailis. The Ismaili recipients were all Canadian wardens — volunteers who support the Canadian Embassy and resident Canadians in the event of a local crisis.
Over the past four weeks, millions of people have turned their attention to South Africa, host of the 2010 FIFA World Cup championship. It is the first time that the tournament is being hosted in an African country, and for a group of Ismaili musicians who performed at the Kick Off Concert, the occasion is particularly special.
Ismaili Community Ensemble features in London music festival that pays tribute to Ismaili Centre 25th anniversary
Exhibition Road Music Day, an annual festival of live, international music concerts and workshops in London, renewed itself on 20 June with participation from the Ismaili Community Ensemble. This year’s festival also paid tribute to the Ismaili Centre, London, which is marking its 25th anniversary.
Canadian Jamat rejoices around the Foundation Ceremony in Toronto; reflects on impact of new institutions
After years of anticipation, the Jamat across Canada came together to celebrate the Foundation Ceremony of the Ismaili Centre, the Aga Khan Museum and their Park in Toronto. They eagerly shared their thoughts and feelings about how the new developments will impact their identity as Ismaili Muslims in Canada.
Following the Foundation Ceremony of the Ismaili Centre, the Aga Khan Museum and their Park in Toronto last week, two important new web-based resources have been launched. One is an AKDN site that profiles the Aga Khan Museum and its Collection, and the second is a web page dedicated to the Ismaili Centre, Toronto.
Mawlana Hazar Imam is awarded Honorary Canadian Citizenship as he is joined by Prime Minister for Foundation Ceremony in Toronto
Toronto, 28 May 2010 — Mawlana Hazar Imam and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper were in Toronto today to mark the Foundation of the Ismaili Centre, the Aga Khan Museum and their Park situated in the city’s Don Mills area. The Prime Minister used the occasion to formally announce the Canadian Parliament’s unanimous decision to make Mawlana Hazar Imam an Honorary Canadian Citizen.
Toronto, 27 May 2010 — Following a short visit to Ottawa, Mawlana Hazar Imam landed in Toronto this afternoon, where he will participate in tomorrow’s Foundation Ceremony of the Ismaili Centre, the first-ever Aga Khan Museum for Islamic Art and Culture, and the park where they will be situated in the city’s Don Mills neighbourhood.
Ottawa, 26 May 2010 — Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Ottawa this afternoon, marking the start of a two-day visit to Canada during which he will participate in the Foundation Ceremony of the Ismaili Centre, the first-ever Aga Khan Museum for Islamic Art and Culture, and the park where they will be situated in Toronto’s Don Mills neighbourhood.
17 May 2010 — An update from Focus Humanitarian Assistance on FOCUS’ collaboration with Jamati institutions and national agencies in response to the devastating landslide that occurred in the Attabad village of Hunza Valley in Pakistan on 4 January 2010.
The Ismaili Centre, Dubai was recently recognised by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority with the inaugural Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Patrons of the Arts Award. The award honours individuals and organisations that have made a significant contribution towards the development of Dubai’s cultural sector.
The Institute of Ismaili Studies recently launched A Companion to the Muslim World, the first book in a new series of publications on essential themes of Muslim heritage. Intelligently written, yet easy to read, the book aims to assist the non-specialist reader to better understand the Muslim world.
When the fertile farming district of Bududa was devastated by mud-slides that swept away hundreds of lives, the Ismaili community of Uganda were quick to mobilise assistance. Within a week, donations of food, medical supplies, clothing, and sanitary supplies — together with volunteers — quickly made their way to Bulucheke Camp.
As the world continues to face challenges that lead to man-made or natural disasters, the improvement of humanitarian logistics and ultimately the human condition is critical. At a recent conference in Georgia, FOCUS shared its expertise on disaster response, recovery and mitigation.
A performance at London’s Cadogan Hall by the Ismaili Community Ensemble earlier this year brought an eclectic mix of sounds to the ears — the tabla complimented the trombone, the bansuri flowed with the bass, the kamancha conversed with the clarinet, and the strings argued with the saxophone. Ensemble member Rabiyyah G. Raval shares her reflections.
International Women’s Day is celebrated by individuals, organisations and governments every year. This year a special recognition event was held for women at the Ismaili Centre, Lisbon, while the Ismaili Council for Afghanistan hosted an event in Kabul that drew some 900 participants.
Some 800 people gathered at Uranus Hall in Kabul to commemorate Mowlud-e-Sharif, the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family). The event, which was hosted by the Ismaili Council for Afghanistan, was attended by poets, scholars, Members of Parliament, government officials and representatives of other communities in Afghanistan.
Marking the 50th anniversary of the Daily Nation, Mawlana Hazar Imam announces a new journalism school to be situated in East Africa
Mawlana Hazar Imam announced the establishment of a new Graduate School of Media and Communications today, which will be part of the Aga Khan University (AKU) in East Africa. Hazar Imam made the announcement as part of his address at the inaugural Pan-Africa Media Conference, which marks the 50th Anniversary of the Nation Media Group.
Between 12 – 28 February, Vancouver played host to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. In British Columbia and across Canada, the Jamat embraced the spirit of the Games and hundreds of Ismailis got involved as volunteers, performers and organisers. This photographic essay recaptures some of the memories.
Dr Farid Esack, Professor in the Study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg, delivered the 2010 Milad-un-Nabi Lecture at the Ismaili Centre, London on 4 March 2010. His lecture explored the idea of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) as a thinker who sought to live out the numerous Qur’anic exhortations to "reflect", "explore" and "ponder".
Women from diverse backgrounds came together to celebrate, identify their strengths and hear about inspirational women. The event was organised by the Women’s Activities Portfolio of the Ismaili Council for the United Kingdom, and was the third consecutive time that the Ismaili community marked the occasion in the UK.
As the 2010 Winter Olympic Games got underway in Vancouver, hundreds of Ismaili volunteers officially became ambassadors to the world. Donning green-coloured jackets, these Olympic Ambassadors have been welcoming tourists and athletes, providing information and directions, and managing queues and crowds in Vancouver City Centre.
When the Olympic Cauldron was lit at BC Place Stadium, the fire that set it alight came by way of 25 members of the Ismaili community. Like thousands of their fellow Canadians, they were chosen to carry the flame as it made its way across Canada in the months leading up to the Games.
In the Autumn of 2009, the UAE Architecture Heritage Society hosted the ATHAR public lectures series in conjunction with the Ismaili Centre, Dubai. ATHAR is a programme of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property, which advocates the conservation of cultural heritage.
Hussain Rajwani of Sydney, Australia was recently placed second in a Toastmasters divisional competition. Toastmasters International is a global organisation dedicated to public speaking and oral communication, enhancing leadership skills and confidence.
The lsmaili Council for the USA was one of the sponsors at the 2009 Women’s Conference held in Los Angeles. The annual event, organised by California First Lady Maria Shriver, seeks to inspire, empower and educate women.
A massive landslide in the Hunza Valley damaged and buried three villages in the northern Pakistan territory of Gilgit-Baltistan, killing at least 19 people and rendering over 250 families homeless. Residents were quickly evacuated, but the aftermath of the landslide is also threatening populations outside of the immediately affected area.
In November, the Ismaili Centre, Lisbon was the venue of the 2009 Lisbon Forum, an annual event of the North-South Centre. Focused on the “creation of a culture of human rights through education,” the gathering was organised in partnership with the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the Aga Khan Development Network.
Thursday afternoon, President Mohamed Manji of the Ismaili Council for Canada carried the Olympic torch through the Don Mills neighbourhood of Toronto. Earlier in the day, community members gathered for a pre-torch event hosted by the Ismaili community in partnership with the Flemingdon Food Bank.
Mawlana Hazar Imam received the Prix de l’Entrepreneur philanthropique de l’année 2009 (2009 Philanthropic Entrepreneur of the Year Award) presented to him by Le Nouvel Economiste, at a ceremony held on 17 December at the Cour des Comptes in Paris.
The South Asian Chamber of Commerce of Houston, Texas recently honoured Focus Humanitarian Assistance for their disaster response and relief efforts in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina, Gustav, Rita and Ike that affected the Southern United States. Chief Guest and CNN business anchor Ali Velshi presented the award.
The Institute of Ismaili Studies has launched a redesigned website featuring a fresh new look and additional functionality that will enhance access to new and existing content.
In celebration of Eid ul-Fitr, the Mayor of London organised a live entertainment programme in Trafalgar Square this year. The Ismaili Community Ensemble was invited to take part in the event, which attracted thousands, and marked the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
On 25 October 2009, His Excellency Professor Gilbert Bukenya, Vice President of Uganda visited the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby. Accompanied by His Excellency George Abola, High Commissioner of Uganda in Ottawa, he sought to reach out to the Canadian Ismaili community with an invitation to invest in the future of Uganda.
At a recent ceremony in Toronto, Focus Humanitarian Assistance and the Ismaili Council for Canada were honoured for their work on refugee settlement. The occasion marked the 30th anniversary of the Private Sponsorship Program run by the Canadian Government, which has facilitated the admission to Canada of refugees originating from countries such as Afghanistan and Kosovo, allowing them to build new lives for themselves.
Abeed Mohamed is one of a number of young Ismailis who left home for the first time this autumn, to begin life as a university student. The Ismaili Student Network helped him and other UK students to prepare for this important transition.
Following his visit to Texas, Mawlana Hazar Imam traveled to Sacramento where he and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a landmark Agreement of Cooperation between the Ismaili Imamat and the State of California.
At the invitation of Texas State Governor Rick Perry, Mawlana Hazar Imam traveled to Austin to sign an Agreement of Cooperation between the State of Texas and the Ismaili Imamat. During the visit, Hazar Imam and Governor Perry also held talks at the State Capitol on a range of issues of mutual interest.
Take steps to prevent the spread of H1N1 and the seasonal flu, urge FOCUS and the Aga Khan Health Boards
The 2009 flu pandemic is a global outbreak of a new strain of influenza A virus subtype H1N1, which is associated with severe symptoms and may contribute to an increasingly difficult and worrying flu season. FOCUS and the Aga Khan Health Boards for Canada the UK and the USA, recommend three steps that can help prevent the spread of influenza.
On 21 October 2009, the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, the 26th Governor General of Canada presented a lecture at the Ismaili Centre, London. Her talk focused on how Canada’s experience of evolving into a welcoming, pluralistic, post-modern society in the 21st Century can inform the creation of a new global citizenry based on openness, generosity, and mutual respect and well-being.
Dushanbe, Tajikistan, 12 October 2009 — His Highness the Aga Khan, Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims and His Excellency President Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan, jointly inaugurated the first Ismaili Centre in Central Asia — a region that has been home to Ismaili Muslims for more than a thousand years.
A newly revitalised Khorog City Park was inaugurated on 10 October 2009 by First Deputy Prime Minister Asadullo Gulomov of the Republic of Tajikistan, in the presence of Mawlana Hazar Imam. The Park is a significant new green space that will serve the residents of the capital of the Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous region in Tajikistan.
Patron of the Olympic Truce, the Governor General of Canada speaks with young British Columbians at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby
As part of Canada’s expression of the Olympic Truce, Her Excellency the Governor General of Canada led a Truce Dialogue in the run-up to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games. The Dialogue, which took place at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby, aimed at engaging youth on the topic of peace-building through sport and culture.
In Tajikistan, the celebration of Roz-e Takht Nishini has traditionally included family and neighbourhood gatherings with shared meals, music and dancing. This year, the AKDN Resident Representative Office contributed to the festivities by hosting an education-themed reception.
The idea that learning extends from the cradle to the grave underpins the philosophy of the ICEU Lifelong Learning Programme. The programme’s impact on the lives of participants has been as broad as the range of subjects that they have pursued.
Mawlana Hazar Imam, accompanied by Princess Zahra, is currently on a brief tour of East Africa to review the progress of Aga Khan Development Network initiatives in the region. Photographs of Hazar Imam’s visit to Mombasa and Nairobi can be viewed here.
Health professionals gathered at the Ismaili Centre, London for the launch of a new website that emphasises the value of preserving traditional dishes. The Ismaili Nutrition Centre will help families factor health and nutrition into the preparation of their daily meals.
The Aga Khan Health Board for the United Kingdom and TheIsmaili.org — the official website of the global Ismaili Muslim community — have launched an online Nutrition Centre (www.TheIsmaili.org/nutrition). This groundbreaking initiative provides an international source of nutrition health information, which is accessible to the public for the first time.
19 June 2009 — Today, the Canadian House of Commons gave unanimous consent to a motion granting Honorary Canadian Citizenship to Mawlana Hazar Imam. In a statement, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he looks forward “to welcoming the Aga Khan back to Canada as an Honorary Citizen.”
A refreshed look and feel and several new features provide a richer, easier and more informative user experience. The redesign accompanies the launch of a new web-based Nutrition Centre together with the Aga Khan Health Board (UK).
In a colourful and historic ceremony held on Friday, 12 June, the University of Cambridge conferred upon Mawlana Hazar Imam an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity. Hazar Imam became the first Muslim to receive the distinction in the University’s long and storied history.
That students at the University of Alberta are inspired to make an international impact through their activities is no coincidence. Their school is engaged in an array of international collaborations around the world, a fact remarked upon by Mawlana Hazar Imam in his convocation address.
Seventy-four learners were joined by their families and senior Jamati leaders from across Europe as they graduated with a Certificate in Lifelong Learning awarded by the London School of Economics. The ceremony marked an important milestone for the graduates as well as the Ismaili Council for the European Union.
An historic international agreement was signed between the Portuguese Republic and the Ismaili Imamat on matters relating to religion, cooperation, culture and education. The agreement was signed by Foreign Minister Luis Amado and Mawlana Hazar Imam at the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (em Português)
Reminiscing Heritage, an exhibition of photographs taken by acclaimed Royal Photographer of the United Arab Emirates, Noor Ali Rashid, is being hosted at the Ismaili Centre Dubai. The exhibition was recently inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
With the economic downturn taking its toll across the United States, professionals, businesspersons, and recent graduates focused on upgrading their knowledge and networking skills at the Regional Ismaili Business Conference held in Dallas earlier this year.
In February, an eminent panel convened in London as part of the Ismaili Centre Lecture Series to discuss global warming and its impact on the developing world. The panel turned its attention to the social impact of climate change, particularly in the developing world.
In 1985, a small group of Ismaili women wanted to make a difference in the fight against global poverty. Their first steps gave birth to the World Partnership Walk, the largest and most successful event of its kind in Canada..
The Ismaili Council for Malaysia and Singapore recently donated 100 wheelchairs that will benefit several social welfare groups as well as twin sisters suffering from cerebral palsy. The wheelchairs were presented during a ceremony attended by Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Zainul Abidin Rasheed.
A new book, recently launched at the Ismaili Centre in London, draws attention to the rich and varied ways in which Muslims have embraced modernity. Dr Amyn B Sajoo discusses the importance of memory in tempering different flavours of modernity influenced by forces such as ideology and the marketplace.
At the culmination of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Golden Jubilee, a series of four commemorative stamps were issued by the Postal Corporation of Kenya. The stamps were unveiled by Kenya’s Postmaster General and the Vice-President of Ismaili Council for Kenya.
Some 200 guests gathered in December for the opening of a new Jamatkhana in Glenview, Illinois. Set on 9.3 acres of land, the 26 000 square foot facility includes a prayer hall, administrative offices, classrooms, and spaces for social gatherings.
In commemoration of the precious nights of Ramadan and the advent of Eid ul-Fitr, mystical harmonies from Central Asia and classical melodies of the Occident were performed before a distinguished audience at London’s prestigious Barbican Hall.
For one weekend in September, The Ismaili Centre opened its doors to the public. It featured in Open House London, an architectural exhibition aimed at opening eyes and minds to good design in the British capital.
Orchestra in Dubai expresses the harmony of the international Jamat through a unique musical compilation
Members of a Jamati orchestra in Dubai have produced a two-disc musical compilation in celebration of the Golden Jubilee. Frontierless Brotherhood — A Fusion of Diversity reflects the cultures and heritage of Ismailis from around the world.
The 2008 Euroventures Conference will take place in Paris between 4 – 5 October 2008. The two-day symposium will feature many successful business leaders from Europe and other parts of the world., and promises unique networking opportunities.
After captivating the Jamat and, in a special way, bringing the history of the Ismaili Imams so close to the Jamat during their tour of the United States, the cast and crew of ALI TO KARIM: A Tribute to the Ismaili Imams share their parting reflections and memories of what the experience was like for them."
Kenya hosted the first major launch of an Institute of Ismaili Studies publication outside North America and Europe. The authors and staff of The Institute recounted the journey of the making of the book, and its importance at this juncture in Ismaili history.
Starting with an inaugural flag-raising ceremony at the Ismaili Centre, Imamat Day in the UAE was celebrated with enthusiatic creativity. The Souq al-Izhar exhibition invited members of the Jamat to express themselves artistically on a variety of themes.
As part of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Golden Jubilee celebrations, the Ismaili community in the Democratic Republic of Congo hosted a commemorative dinner in Kinshasa. The dinner was attended by Jamati leaders, key policy makers and government officials, and provided a forum to exhibit the work of the Ismaili Imamat in the country.
The Ismaili Centre in Lisbon recently hosted the launch of three new publications from the Institute of Ismaili Studies. The event featured special keynote addresses by Professor Azim Nanji and Dr. Omar Ali-de-Unzaga.
Ismaili children and youth in Syria expressed their love and devotion to Mawlana Hazar Imam through Golden Vision with Golden Hands, a Navroz art exhibition held in Salamieh, Syria.
The 2008 National Sports Festival at Keele University saw nearly 900 participants from six different countries compete in 23 sporting categories. In addition to competitive sports, there was entertainment and activities for all.
The Ismaili Economic Forum was opened by Prince Amyn on 26 April 2008, amidst a gathering of Ismaili economic and business leaders at the Ismaili Centre Dubai. Focusing on the theme of Strategic Business Alliances, the Forum provides a platform for collaboration on economic opportunities and addressing common challenges.
Fifteen years ago the Ismaili Council for Canada initiated an agreement with the Province of Quebec to sponsor the migration of Afghan refugees. On 3 April, a Gala was held to commemorate this important partnership and to thank the province for welcoming the Afghan Jamat.
The Historic Cities Programme Exhibition arrived in Toronto on 16 April 2008 and was the subject of a lively panel discussion. The exhibition has already been visited by Toronto's municipal leaders, members of the architectural community and many in the wider public community.
In a symbolic expression of their long historic ties and common roots, thousands of Jamati members from the Tajik and Afghan sides of Badakhshan came together for a cross-border concert to celebrate Navroz.
A Navroz reception in Dushanbe, Tajikistan drew more than 600 attendees and featured an exhibition of children’s artwork on the theme of Navroz, as well as a performance by 2006 Grammy nominee, the Academy of Maqâm.
The 2007 Ismaili Centre Lecture Series concluded with addresses by Rageh Omar and Jan Aarte Scholte focusing on cosmopolitanism and identity, exploring ideas of tolerance and social justice in a pluralistic society. This gives way to the 2008 Lecture series which focuses on the theme Sharing the Narrative of Progress.
Following the opening of the Ismaili Centre Dubai, thousands of members of the Jamat enjoyed memorable and informative guided tours of the new Centre.
In March, the Ismaili Community Ensemble, together with musicians from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, dazzled audiences with rousing performances in celebration of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Golden Jubilee at the Ismaili Centre in London.
With only hours remaining before Mawlana Hazar Imam’s expected arrival in the United Arab Emirates, there is an air of excitement and anticipation as the Jamat prepares for an historic visit.
Prince Amyn, Prince Hussain and Princess Khaliya today toured the Ismaili Centre in Lisbon. They are in Portugal for the opening of “The Path of Princes: Masterpieces of the Aga Khan Museum Collection” exhibition at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon.
In celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Mawlana Hazar Imam, and in recognition of the contributions of the Ismaili community in Portugal, Correios de Portugal (Portuguese Mail Services) has issued commemorative stamps featuring photos of the Centro Ismaili, Lisbon.
Members of the Jamat from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda participated in an array of sporting events in Dar es Salaam over the holiday weekend in December 2007.
A panel of notable academics and specialists assembled at The Ismaili Centre, London on Wednesday, 30 January 2008 to discuss the role of faith in post-conflict emerging states.
Prince Hussain Aga Khan and his wife, Princess Khaliya, attended the formal inauguration of the Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme’s (HCP) travelling exhibition at the City Hall, in Sugar Land, Texas. Running concurrently with the HCP exhibition in the USA is another international Golden Jubilee programme taking place in Canada, A Mystical Journey, which premiered in Vancouver and will travel to five Canadian cities before touring other countries. The performance of A Mystical Journey (AMJ) held in Edmonton, Alberta on 17 October 2007 was the next venue for Prince Hussain and Princess Khaliya.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) was born in the city of Mecca over 14 centuries ago. As the agency for Allah’s final revelation to mankind, he was the manifestation of the teachings of the Qur’an and an exemplar of unparalleled generosity, and piety. The Ismaili Councils for the USA and Canada commemorated Milad-un-Nabi (the birth of Prophet Muhammad) in cities across North America by remembering the Prophet of Islam and his contributions, and bringing together Muslims and those of other religious traditions to reflect upon our common heritage and the principles, ethics and values that bind us together.
The Council of Europe, an organisation promoting democracy and human rights in Europe, will be launching a White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue with the support of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) Portugal, and other international organisations.
The Social Hall at The Ismaili Centre in London, was filled with people of all ages eager to hear the spectacular fusion of sounds from an incredible mix of western and eastern instruments on 21 June 2007, as part of the Exhibition Road Music Day festivities.