Introduction

This section is updated regularly with stories about news and events happening in Jamats around the world that are of significance to the global Ismaili community.

 

News & Events

California, AKDN and FOCUS renew and expand collaboration on disaster mitigation and preparedness

The Memorandum of Understanding signed by AKDN, FOCUS and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services builds on the 2009 Agreement of Cooperation between the Ismaili Imamat the State of California. Photo: TheIsmaili / Farhez Rayani

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.

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Prime Minister of Tanzania inaugurates RAYS OF LIGHT

The Prime Minister of Tanzania and the President of the Ismaili Council for Tanzania cut a ribbon to inaugurate RAYS OF LIGHT in Dar es Salaam. Photo: Aly Z. Ramji

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam visits Germany

Mawlana Hazar Imam with Germany’s foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo: AKDN / Zahur Ramji

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.

» AKDN press release: His Highness the Aga Khan visits Berlin

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Global Encounters invites applications from young Ismailis around the world

Meeting people of different cultures and traditions reshaped the way participants view the world around them. Photo: Shaherose Jamal

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.

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Aga Khan Hospital cancer programme is an important step towards premier healthcare system in East Africa, says Princess Zahra

Princess Zahra and Dr Seif Seleman Rashid, Tanzania’s Minister for Health and Social Welfare, launch the new Oncology Programme at the Aga Khan Hospital, Dar es Salaam. Photo: AKDN / Zahur Ramji

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.

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Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa visit AKDN projects in Kenya

Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa tour the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa with with school acting Senior School Principal Naheed Bardai. Photo: Ejazali Karmali

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.

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RAYS OF LIGHT Canadian tour draws to a close

RAYS OF LIGHT visitors take in photographs spanning Mawlana Hazar Imam’s life and his work during the first fifty years of his Imamat. Photo: Courtesy of the RAYS OF LIGHT team

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam visits Afghanistan

Mawlana Hazar Imam is presented with a bouquet of flowers by AKDN Resident Representative Nurjehan Mawani upon his arrival in Kabul, as Ismaili Council for Afghanistan President Shair Baz Hakemy looks on. Photo: AKDN / Muslim Khuram

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.

 

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Celebrating 30-year milestone, Mawlana Hazar Imam lays out an ambitious future for AKU

Mawlana Hazar Imam together with Dr Ishrat Ul Ebad Khan, Governor of Sindh Province and the province’s Chief Minister, Syed Qaim Ali Shah at the 2013 Convocation of the Aga Khan University. Photo: TheIsmaili / Gary Otte

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam receives warm welcome from the Government of Pakistan

Mawlana Hazar Imam with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the Prime Minister’s residence. Photo: TheIsmaili / Al Jalil

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives in Pakistan

Upon his arrival in Islamabad, Mawlana Hazar Imam is received by Tariq Fatemi, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, and Aitmadi Iqbal Sadru-Dean Walji, President of the Ismaili Council for Pakistan. Photo: TheIsmaili / Gary Otte

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.

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Video: Canadian pluralism at a crossroads, says John Stackhouse, delivering the Ismaili Centre Lecture

John Stackhouse, Editor-in-chief of The Globe and Mail, delivers the 2013 Ismaili Centre Lecture in Burnaby, Canada. Photo: Azim Verjee

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.

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Video: Ismaili Centres are symbols of new hope, says Mawlana Hazar Imam upon receiving RAIC Gold Medal

The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat in Ottawa served as the venue for the RAIC Gold Medal presentation ceremony. The 2013 edition of the Institute’s highest distinction was awarded to Mawlana Hazar Imam. Photo: Mo Govindji

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.

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Video: Mawlana Hazar Imam receives honorary degree from Trinity College at the University of Toronto

Members of the procession pose for a group photo ahead of the convocation ceremony at Trinity College. Photo: Moez Visram

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.

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Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad inaugurated in the presence of Mawlana Hazar Imam

A young girl presents Mawlana Hazar Imam with flowers on the occasion of the inauguration of the Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad. Photo: TheIsmaili / Gary Otte

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.

Also see:
» 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

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Humayun’s Tomb restoration a model of public-private partnership

The newly restored dome of Humayun’s Tomb, in Delhi. Photo: Courtesy of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives in India; visits Sundar Nursery

Mawlana Hazar Imam, accompanied by Prince Hussain and officials from the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, walks down the central axis of the Sunder Nursery — once known as Azim Bagh (great garden) — after visiting  the Sunder Burj, a 16th century tomb restored by the AKTC. Photo: AKDN / Gary Otte

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam departs Bangladesh

President Ajanee presents Mawlana Hazar Imam with a 19th century Indian dervish staff with a handle formed in the calligraphic name of Ali, and inscriptions that read “Ya Ali Madad” and “Huwa Ya Ali Madad”. The gift was presented at the Ismaili Jamatkhana and Centre, Dhaka. Photo: TheIsmaili / Rafiq Hakim

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam signs AKDN protocol agreement with Bangladesh

Mawlana Hazar Imam signs a protocol agreement with Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni between AKDN and the Government of Bangladesh, as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina looks on. Photo: TheIsmaili / Ayeleen Ajanee Saleh

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives in Bangladesh

Mawlana Hazar Imam is greeted by the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, Dr Dipu Moni, and the Ambassador at Large from the Prime Minister’s Office, Mohammad Ziauddin, upon his arrival in Dhaka. Photo: TheIsmaili / Rafiq Hakim

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.

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Video: Aga Khan Award for Architecture reflective of Portuguese ‘world awareness’ says Mawlana Hazar Imam

Mawlana Hazar Imam and President Cavaco Silva with the winning recipients of the 12th cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Photo: AKDN / Gary Otte

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam in Lisbon for the 2013 Aga Khan Award for Architecture

Mawlana Hazar Imam welcomes the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, His Eminence Dom Manuel Clemente, accompanied by the Patriarch Emeritus of Lisbon, His Eminence Dom José Policarpo, to the Ismaili Centre, Lisbon. Photo: AKDN / Gary Otte

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.

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Live webcast: Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2013

 Copyright: Aga Khan Award for Architecture

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.

WATCH LIVE STARTING AT 20:30 LISBON TIME (19:30 GMT)

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Encounters with the Aga Khan Museum coming to USA in autumn

This folio, from an illustrated manuscript of Nasir’s Ethics, depicts an artist’s atelier (workshop) like the one that fashioned the manuscript. Photo: Courtesy of the Aga Khan Museum

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.

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UK theatrical production offers audience an innovative look at pluralism

In "The Harmony Project", musicians perform a medley of spiritual music combining the instruments as diverse as the sitar and the electro-acoustic guitar. Photo: Samir Bharwani

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.

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RAYS OF LIGHT exhibition to tour across Canada in summer of 2013

RAYS OF LIGHT ambassadors assist a member of the Edmonton Jamat to register in advance of the exhibition’s Canadian premiere. Photo: Phil Musani

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.

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Video: Prince Amyn speaks in honour of Professor Charles Correa at the Ismaili Centre, London

Professor Charles Correa addresses the audience at a gathering held at the Ismaili Centre, London in his honour. Photo: Al-Nur Sunderji

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.

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Economist turned scholar of Ismaili history speaks about success of IIS publications

Dr Farhad Daftary (right) and Dr Derryl MacLean engage in an on-stage conversation as part of the launch of the publication "Fortresses of the Intellect" at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby. Photo: Sultan Baloo

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.

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Culture is a trampoline for development says Mawlana Hazar Imam, speaking at UNESCO conference in China

Mawlana Hazar Imam participates in a panel discussion on Culture in the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda. Photo: AKDN / Katharina Hesse

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.

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Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2013 shortlist announced

 Copyright: Aga Khan Award for Architecture

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.

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Jamat and AKDN team up in response to flooding in Mozambique

Governor of Gaza Province, Raimundo Diomba, receives a donation of food and cooking utensils for flood victims in Chibuto District, delivered by representatives of the AKDN and the Ismaili community. Photo: Courtesy of AKDN Mozambique

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.

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Asian Civilisations Museum and Far East Jamat showcase Ismaili culture

Members of the Jamat gather on stage for a photograph at the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore after their outreach event. Photo: Karim Noorali

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.

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Eight dynamic women share leadership stories at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby

Panelists share their thoughts at the Techovation Challenge launch hosted by the Aga Khan Education Board for Canada. From left to right: Kimberly Voll, Shaherose Charania, Louise Turner, Frenny Bawa, Alexandra Fedorova, Karimah Es Sabar, and Cybele Negris. Photo: Sultan Baloo

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.

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Video: Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi delivers 2013 Milad-un-Nabi lecture at the Ismaili Centre, London

Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi delivered 2013 Milad-un-Nabi lecture at the Ismaili Centre, London. Photo: Courtesy of Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi

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.

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Governor General of Canada presents architecture medal for the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat

The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat was recognised with the 2012 Governor General’s Medals in Architecture. Photo: RAIC / Tom Arban

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.

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Ismaili Centre, Dubai hosts dialogue on social entrepreneurship

Government, diplomatic, corporate, and civil society leaders came together at the Ismaili Centre, Dubai in November to discuss the role that social entrepreneurship is playing in the Middle East. Photo: Digitally Studios

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.

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Ismaili Centre welcomes visitors during Open House weekend in London

The fountain is the central feature of the Centre’s chahar-bagh roof garden. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for the UK

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.

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Aga Khan Trust for Culture to revitalise Nairobi City Park

Mawlana Hazar Imam, Prime Minister Odinga, Prince Hussain, and other dignitaries discuss the model of the soon to be restored Nairobi City Park. Photo: Samwell Nyakondo

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives in Nairobi

The President of Kenya, His Excellency Mwai Kibaki, greets Mawlana Hazar Imam at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. Photo: Aziz Islamshah

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam attends inauguration of new EAC headquarters

Mawlana Hazar Imam and other leaders are briefed about the new EAC headquarters building. Photo: Aly Z. Ramji

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam in Arusha for opening of EAC headquarters

Mawlana Hazar Imam is welcomed to Arusha by the Deputy Secretaries General of the East African Community. Photo: Zahur Ramji

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.

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“Bridging hearts, opening minds and doing things together” at the Ismaili Centre in Lisbon

Alliance of Civilizations Summer School participants take in a lecture at the Ismaili Centre, Lisbon. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for Portugal

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam signs agreement between the Ismaili Imamat and the Government of Alberta

Mawlana Hazar Imam addresses the gathering at Government House, as Alberta Premier Alison Redford looks on. Photo: Alnoor Nathoo

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam in Edmonton to sign historic agreement

Arriving in Edmonton, Mawlana Hazar Imam is welcomed by Alberta Chief of Protocol Betty Anne Spinks, Minister Ken Hughes, Ismaili Council President Malik Talib, and Vice-President Moez Rajwani. Photo: Alnoor Nathoo

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam recognised for leveraging the social conscience of Islam

Mawlana Hazar Imam in conversation with Peggy Dulany, founder of the Synergos Institute, at "University Night" in London on 22 October 2012. Photo: JMB Photographic Ltd

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.”

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Princess Zahra lauds achievements of Aga Khan School in Osh on its 10th anniversary

Princess Zahra with the Vice Speaker of the Kyrgyz Parliament, Asiya Sasykbaeva, and a student of the Aga Khan School in Osh cutting a 10th Anniversary cake for the school in the presence of Kyrgyz government and Osh civic officials. Photo: AKDN / Michail Romanyuk

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam reopens Timur Shah mausoleum; participates in foundation of maternal care facility in Kabul

Mawlana Hazar Imam and President Karzai unveil a plaque commemorating the restoration of the mausoleum of Timur Shah. Photo: AKDN / Gary Otte

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.

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RAYS OF LIGHT set to shine on the “Pearl of Africa”

RAYS OF LIGHT: Glimpses into the Ismaili Imamat runs in Kampala between 12 – 16 October 2012. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for Uganda. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for Uganda

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives for opening of Bujagali hydropower plant and to mark 50 years of Uganda’s independence

Traditional dancers welcome Mawlana Hazar Imam, who is in Uganda for the opening of the Bujagali Hydropower Project and to mark the 50th anniversary of Ugandan independence. Photo: Gary Otte

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.

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RAYS OF LIGHT radiates at the Ismaili Centre, Dubai

The circular RAYS OF LIGHT structure, set up in the Social Hall of the Ismaili Centre, Dubai. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for the UAE

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.

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Ismaili Seniors in the UK learn new skills and reconnect at annual fair

Participants at the Seniors Fair learn new exercise routines to improve their health and wellbeing. Photo: Imtiaz Masalawalla

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam signs AKDN agreement with East African Community

Mawlana Hazar Imam and Ambassador Richard Sezibera, Secretary General of the East African Community, meeting at the EAC headquarters in Arusha. Photo: Zahur Ramji

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.

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Prince Amyn and Singapore Minister open Aga Khan Museum exhibition

Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Singapore’s Minster for Information, Communications and the Arts, and Prince Amyn arrive at the inauguration ceremony for “Treasures of the Aga Khan Museum”. Photo: AKDN / Alex Moi

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives in Tanzania

Upon his arrival, Mawlana Hazar Imam was received by the Tanzanian Minister of Education and Vocational Training, Honourable Dr Shukuru Kawambwa, AKDN Resident Representative in Tanzania Amin Kurji and Ismaili Council for Tanzania President Aitmadi Jehangir Bhaloo. Photo: Zahur Ramji

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.

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Ismaili tradition of voluntary service and contributions to Ontario recognised by province’s Premier

Presidents Mohamed Manji and Karim Sunderji of the Ismaili Councils for Canada and Ontario receive Premier Dalton McGuinty upon his arrival at Headquarters Jamatkhana in Toronto. Photo: Ismaili Council for Ontario / Zahir Daya

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.

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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. Photo: Mark Holleran

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.

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Guinness world record set at London Marathon by runners supporting the AKDN

Runners Nash Pradhan and Dan McCormack completed the 2012 London Marathon in support of the Aga Khan Development Network. The pair set a Guinness world record for “Fastest marathon dressed as a video games character”. Photo: Courtesy of AKF UK

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.

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Lifelong learning equips Europeans for change in a knowledge society

The graduation ceremony for the third cycle of the Lifelong Learning Certificate Programme was held at the Ismaili Centre, Lisbon this spring. Photo: Phirbhai

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.

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“One plant for me and one for my country” — Ismailis in Kabul mark Navroz with a tree planting

Ismaili Council and Kabul City leaders plant the first tree at an event marking Navroz. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for Afghanistan

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.

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Prince Amyn signs AKF partnership agreement with the Catholic Church in Portugal

His Eminence Dom José Policarpo, Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, and Prince Amyn, Director of the Aga Khan Foundation, sign the renewal of a partnership agreement to improve the quality of life of marginalised groups in Greater Lisbon. Photo: AKDN / Nuno Saraiva

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.

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Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat in Ottawa awarded Governor General’s medal

The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat on Sussex Drive in Ottawa, Canada. Photo: Gary Otte

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.

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Communities of faith in Portugal share a breakfast in celebration of World Interfaith Harmony Week

Ismaili Council for Portugal President Amirali Bhanji and AKDN Resident Representative Nazim Ahmad with Ismaili students and volunteers at the World Interfaith Harmony event. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for Portugal

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.

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Prince Hussain signs agreement for rehabilitation of Nairobi City Park

Prince Hussain, Professor Karega Mutahi, Permanent Secretary, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government, and Dr Jacob Ole Miaron PhD, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of State for Heritage and Culture, sign a memorandum of understanding for the rehabilitation and restoration of the Nairobi City Park. Photo: AKDN / Aziz Islamshah

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.

» See full AKDN press release

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Karen Armstrong speaks at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby during her 12 Days of Compassion tour

Karen Armstrong speaks about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) and the relevance of his life to our present time at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby on 25 March 2012. Photo: Sultan Baloo

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam makes a historic visit to Tajikistan; meets with newly appointed Jamati leaders

Upon his arrival, Mawlana Hazar Imam is greeted by volunteers with flowers in the presence of His Excellency Hamrokhon Zarifi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan, Dr Shafik Sachedina, Director of Diplomatic Affairs at the Aga Khan Development Network and Mr Munir Merali, AKDN Resident Representative in Tajikistan. Photo: AKDN / Tohir Saidov

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam visits Western China

Mawlana Hazar Imam, Governor Nur Bekri, members of the government of Xinjiang and members of the AKDN delegation. Photo: Xinjiang Foreign Affairs Office

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam visits with Far East Jamat in Singapore

Jamati leaders bid farewell to Mawlana Hazar Imam as he prepares to depart Singapore. Photo: Amir Hakim

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives in Singapore

Mawlana Hazar Imam meets with the President of Singapore, Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, at the Istana. Photo: Amir Hakim

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam inaugurates “Treasures of the Aga Khan Museum” exhibition in Malaysia

Mawlana Hazar Imam addresses guests gathered for the opening of “Treasures of the Aga Khan Museum: Architecture in Islamic Arts” at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia. Photo: AKDN / Alex Moi

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam commences his Far East visit in Malaysia

Mawlana Hazar Imam is received by Mr Zakri Jaafar, Malaysia’s Undersecretary for the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, as Dato’ Naimun Ashakli Mohammad, Chief of Protocol and Consular from the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs looks on. Photo: AKDN / Alex Moi

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.

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RAYS OF LIGHT to arrive at the Ismaili Centre, Dubai later this month

Rays of Light. Copyright: Celebrations Global Limited

RAYS OF LIGHTGlimpses 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.

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Princess Zahra speaks to leaders during working visit to India

Princess Zahra is greeted by Jamati leaders at an institutional dinner held in her honour in Mumbai. Photo: Ahmed Charania and Aziz Ajaney

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.

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Princess Zahra visits Mumbai to review expansion of Prince Aly Khan Hospital

Accompanied by the Chairman of AKHS, India and members of the Prince Aly Khan Hospital management team, Princess Zahra tours the Aga Hall Estate — the grounds on which the hospital stands. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for India

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.

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Universities have a role in encouraging pluralist encounters says UBC President at inaugural Ismaili Centre Lecture

Professor Stephen J. Toope, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of British Columbia, delivering the inaugural Ismaili Centre Lecture at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby. Photo: Noor Rahemtulla

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam underscores the value of land planning in sustainable development during an address to the Urban Land Institute in Paris

Mawlana Hazar Imam addressing the Urban Land Institute in Paris. Photo: ULI / Karla Gowlett

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.

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Aga Khan Award for Architecture app is now available

 Copyright: Aga Khan Award for Architecture

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam receives honorary doctorate from the University of Ottawa; lauds Canada for “what it can do for others”

Mawlana Hazar Imam together with AKU President Firoz Rasul, University of Ottawa Chancellor Huguette Labelle and President Allan Rock, after Hazar Imam received an honorary doctorate from the University. Photo: Zahur Ramji

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives in Canada to receive honorary doctorate from the University of Ottawa

Upon his arrival in Ottawa, Mawlana Hazar Imam is greeted on the snowy tarmac by Ismaili Council for Canada President Mohamed Manji, Vice-President Malik Talib, AKFC Chairman Amin Lalji, and Ismaili Council for Ottawa President Zaina Sovani. Photo: Zahur Ramji

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.

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Opportunities abound at Africa conference hosted at the Ismaili Centre, London

The Opportunity Africa conference took place between 12–13 November 2011 at the Ismaili Centre, London, and was organised by the Aga Khan Economic Planning Boards for the United Kingdom, France and Portugal. Copyright: Ismaili Council for the UK.

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam attends presidential inauguration in Kyrgyzstan

Mawlana Hazar Imam meets with President Almazbek Atambaev to discuss AKDN’s partnership with the Kyrgyz Republic. Hazar Imam is accompanied by Dr Shafik Sachedina and AKDN Resident Representative Nurjehan Mawani. Photo: Artur Boldjrov

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.

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Homayun Sakhi, Salar Nader and Abbos Kosimov perform at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby

Homayun Sakhi playing the Afghan rubab  with Salar Nader on tabla and Abbos Kosimov on the dayra. Photo: Sultan Baloo

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.

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Musical conversation across cultures enthrals audience at the Ismaili Centre, Dubai

Remix 2011 artists bring magic to a musical evening at the Ismaili Centre, Dubai. Photo: Prime Vision Studios

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam signs agreement between the Ismaili Imamat and the State of Illinois

Standing with Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, Mawlana Hazar Imam speaks at the signing of an Agreement of Cooperation between the State of Illinois and the Ismaili Imamat on 4 November 2011. Photo: Farhez Rayani

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam departs Tajikistan

As he departs the Dushanbe Serena Hotel, Mawlana Hazar Imam waves at members of the Jamat gathered across the street. Photo: Gary Otte

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.

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Dushanbe Serena Hotel is opened by Mawlana Hazar Imam and the President of Tajikistan

Mawlana Hazar Imam and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon cut the ribbon to officially open the Dushanbe Serena Hotel, as Prince Rahim, AKDN Resident Representative Munir Merali and Prince Amyn watch. Photo: Mikhail Romanyuk

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.

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President of Tajikistan hosts dinner for Mawlana Hazar Imam

Mawlana Hazar Imam, President Rahmon, Prince Amyn and Prince Rahim together with artists who performed during a dinner hosted by the President in honour of Hazar Imam’s visit to Tajikistan. Photo: Gary Otte

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam joins leaders of Tajikistan and Afghanistan to lay foundation of fifth cross-border bridge

At the foundation ceremony of the Shurobod Bridge, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon presented Mawlana Hazar Imam, Afghan Minister of Public Works Abdulkudus Hamidi and German Ambassador to Afghanistan Ruedeiger Koenig with ceremonial robes to mark the occasion. Photo: Gary Otte

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam stops over in Kabul to meet with President Karzai

Mawlana Hazar Imam meets with His Excellency President Hamid Karzai in Kabul and receives a state welcome, including a guard of honour. Photo: Courtesy of the Government 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.

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AKDN: Mawlana Hazar Imam tours Delhi urban renewal project

Mawlana Hazar Imam reviews plans for the Humayun’s Tomb - Sunder Nursery - Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti Urban Renewal Project. Photo: AKDN

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.

» See photographs on the AKDN website

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Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives in Tajikistan to open Dushanbe Serena

Mawlana Hazar Imam is welcomed to Tajikistan by LIF Member Dr Sharofat Mamadambarova and ITREC Chairman Dr Mamadsho Ilolov, as AKDN Resident Representative Munir Merali looks on. Photo: Gary Otte

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam in India to review revitalisation of historic Nizamuddin

Arriving in Delhi, Mawlana Hazar Imam is welcomed by Ruchira Kamboj, Chief of Protocol for the Government of India, as well as Aitmadi Gulam Rahimtoola, President of the Ismaili Council for India and Abad Ahmed, Chairman of the Aga Khan Foundation in India. Photo: Narendra Swain

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam is awarded the J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development

Mawlana Hazar Imam — His Highness the Aga Khan. Photo: AKDN/Gary Otte

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.

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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holds town hall meeting at Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives at the Ismaili Centre, and is received by AKDN Resident Representative Munir Merali and Muzaffar Djorubov, Executive Officer of the Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe

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.

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Live Event: IIS Graduation Ceremony

 Copyright: The Institute of Ismaili Studies

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.

» Watch the ceremony live at the IIS website.

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Jamats and AKDN institutions around the world to participate in global earthquake preparedness drill

Be prepared to protect yourself during an earthquake: 1. DROP and make yourself small; 2. Take COVER under a shelter; and 3. HOLD ON until the shaking stops. Copyright: AKDN

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.

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The Governor General of Canada addresses the Canadian Club of Vancouver at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby

His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada delivers the keynote address before the Canadian Club of Vancouver at a luncheon hosted at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby. Photo: Azim Verjee

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.

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Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea Jamats gather for Sydney games

Spectators from Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea cheer on a race at the National Ismaili Sports Tournament held in Sydney, Australia in April 2011. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for Australia / NZ

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.

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On Eid ul-Fitr, the Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe hosts its first Jamati celebration

Volunteers prepare to welcome the Jamat to the Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe to celebrate Eid ul-Fitr. Photo: Bijan Teja

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.

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Lieutenant Governor of BC presents Duke of Edinburgh awards at Ismaili Centre, Burnaby

His Honour the Honourable Steven L. Point, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, addresses Duke of Edinburgh award recipients at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby. Photo: Azim Verjee

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.

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Three years on, the Ismaili Centre, Dubai can look back with pride

Entrance into the Ismaili Centre, Dubai — a plurality of perspectives. Photo: Gary Otte

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam departs Kenya; visits Arusha at the end of his East Africa visit

Mawlana Hazar Imam waves as he prepares to depart Nairobi at the conclusion of his Jamati visit to Kenya. Photo: Aziz Islamshah

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.

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Prime Minister of Kenya performs ground breaking of AKU School of Media and Communications in the presence of Mawlana Hazar Imam

Mawlana Hazar Imam speaking at the Foundation Ceremony of the Aga Khan University Graduate School of Media and Communications. Photo: Aziz Islamshah

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.

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Kenyan Jamat gathers to witness opening of Heart and Cancer Centre by Mawlana Hazar Imam and President Kibaki

Mawlana Hazar Imam addresses the gathering at the inauguration of the Aga Khan University Hospital Heart and Cancer Centre in Nairobi. Photo: Ejaz Karmali

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam meets with President Kibaki in Nairobi

Mawlana Hazar Imam with His Excellency, President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya at Harambee House in Nairobi. Photo: Aziz Islamshah

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam attends Kenyan Jamati Institutional Dinner

Mawlana Hazar Imam applauds during the institutional dinner, together with Ismaili Council President Aitmadi Zul Abdul and AKDN Resident Representative Aitmadi Aziz Bhaloo. Photo: Aziz Islamshah

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives in Kenya

Mawlana Hazar Imam is greeted upon arrival in Nairobi, Kenya, by Mussa Abdul Dossa and Azmira Shamsudin, as Aitmadi Zul Abdul, President of the Ismaili Council for Kenya looks on.

. Photo: Aziz Islamshah

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam completes Uganda visit

Mawlana Hazar Imam at the institutional leadership dinner in Kampala, Uganda on 12 July 2011. Photo: Zahid Wissanji

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives in Uganda

Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives at Kampala Jamatkhana accompanied by Huzur Mukhi Mohamed Lalani, President of the Ismaili Council for Uganda. Photo: Zahir Rehemtulla

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam attends dinner with Tanzanian Jamati leaders

Mawlana Hazar Imam applauds during the dinner with Tanzanian institutional leaders. Photo: Zahur Ramji

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives in Tanzania

Mawlana Hazar Imam is presented with a bouquet of flowers upon his arrival at Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam. Photo: Zahur Ramji

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.

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Aga Khan Planning and Building Service receives prestigious environmental prize

Princess Zahra and Hafiz Sherali, Chairman of the Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, Pakistan, accept the Ashden Award from His Excellency Greg Barker, UK Government Minister for Climate Change. Photo: AKDN / Nadia Bettega

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.

Also see:
» Complete coverage at AKDN.org
» Speech by Princess Zahra
» Photographs at AKDN.org

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As construction continues along Wynford Drive, BC Premier visits exhibition at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark and Samira Alibhai, President of the Ismaili Council for British Columbia, engage in discussion at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby. Photo: Hakam Bhaloo

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.

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Video: Dr Aziz Esmail delivers 2011 Milad-un-Nabi lecture at the Ismaili Centre, London

Dr Aziz Esmail, a Governor of The Institute of Ismaili Studies, delivers the 2011 Milad-un-Nabi lecture at the Ismaili Centre, London on 15 March 2011. Copyright: Ismaili Council for the United Kingdom

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.

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UK Ismaili volunteers help marathon runners get to the finish line

The Ismaili volunteer team took charge of the Water Station at Mile 20, handing out hydration and plenty of encouragement to runners as they passed a critical junction along the course. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for the UK

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam receives the University of California San Francisco Medal, University’s highest honour

Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellman presents Mawlana Hazar Imam with the 2011 University of California San Francisco Medal, the University’s highest honour. Photo: UCSF/Noah Berger

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam partners with the City of Houston in commissioning a landmark sculpture celebrating tolerance

A view of the Tolerance sculptures along Allen Parkway at night time. Photo: Zahid Alibhai

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.

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Navroz celebrated for the first time at the Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe

In March 2011, Navroz was celebrated for the first time at the Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe. Photo: Courtesy of AKDN Tajikistan

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.

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Exhibitions of Islamic heritage and artistic expression explore calligraphy

Family Day activities at the Museum included hands-on activities like this Calligraphy Corner. Photo: Farida Nurani

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.

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Jamat in Tanzania organises blood drive and donates necessities to victims of disaster

In the wake of the Dar es Salaam explosions on 1 February 2011, the Ismaili Council for Tanzania and the Aga Khan Hospital organised a blood drive, as members of the Jamat donated items and volunteered in the relief effort. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for Tanzania

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.

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National honours for members of the Jamat in Britain and Australia

Medallions of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire and the Medal of the Order of Australia. Photo: Wikipedia

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.

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Nutrition Centre receives accolades from healthcare professionals at Midlands launch event

The Ismaili Nutrition Midlands Launch event took place on 9 February in Leicester, UK. Photo: Sadruddin Verjee

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.

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Awards highlight young Ismaili achievers across India

“Youth Awards for Excellence, 2010”, organised by 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. Photo: Aziz Ajani and Munna Nathwani

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.

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New sport facility in Kabul cultivates the spirit of the youth

The two-storey Youth, Sports and Social Development Center opened its doors in Kabul, Afghanistan on 16 December 2010. Photo: Shiraz Allibhai (montage)

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.

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Communities of the Abrahamic traditions join their musical voices

Pandemonium, the Morley Chamber Choir and the Ismaili Community Ensemble perform together at Cadogan Hall. Photo: Naveed Osman

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.

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Diversity sparks dialogue at annual Texas Youth Summit

Participants and parents listen to the speakers at the fourth Annual Youth Summit and Diversity Dialogue held at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
. Photo: Bombay Photography

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.

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As construction progresses, Torontonians get to peek at plans for the Ismaili Centre, the Aga Khan Museum and their Park

Formation of the floor slab of the Prayer Hall of the Ismaili Centre, Toronto on 12 November 2010. Photo: Courtesy of Imara Wynford Drive

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.

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Seniors in Portugal challenged to redefine the meaning of being “old”

Seniors take part in a theatre performance about mediation and dispute resolution during the Seniors in Movement programme held at the Ismaili Centre, Lisbon. Photo: Pirbhai

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.

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Restored to its former glory, the “Grande Dame of Maputo” is re-opened in the presence of Mawlana Hazar Imam

The front facade of the newly refurbished Polana Serena Hotel in Maputo, Mozambique. Photo: Courtesy of AKDN

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives in Mozambique for the inauguration of the Polana Serena Hotel

Mawlana Hazar Imam in conversation with Prime Minister Aires Bonifacio Ali and AKDN Resident Representative Nazim Ahmed at the newly refurbished Polana Serena Hotel. Photo: Zahur Ramji

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam interviewed by CNN following Award for Architecture ceremony in Doha

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.

Also see:
» Video: CNN’s Marketplace Middle East speaks with Mawlana Hazar Imam
» Blog: CNN MME / Business 360: Healthy Speed of Change
» Mawlana Hazar Imam in Doha for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture

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Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives in Egypt to participate in forum to combat human trafficking

Mawlana Hazar Imam meeting with Her Excellency Suzanne Mubarak, the First Lady of Egypt, at the Old Winter Palace in Luxor. Hazar Imam is attending the Luxor International Forum to Combat Human Trafficking. Photo: Gary Otte

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam in Doha for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture

Mawlana Hazar Imam speaking at the Award Ceremony of the 11th cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture held in Doha, Qatar on 24 November 2010. Photo: Gary Otte

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.

Also see:
» 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

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Mawlana Hazar Imam in Qatar for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture

Mawlana Hazar Imam in conversation with Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kuwari, Qatar’s Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage. Photo: Gary Otte

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.

Also see:
» 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

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Prince Hussain attends AKDN-sponsored Governors’ Global Climate Summit in California

Jamati volunteers and representatives from AKF USA and FOCUS North America gather with Prince Hussain, Governor Schwarzenegger and his wife in front of the AKDN information booth at the Governors’ Global Climate Summit 3, which was hosted at the University of California at Davis.
. Photo: Farhez Rayani

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam and Prince Amyn receive honours from the French government

France conferred honours on Mawlana Hazar Imam and Prince Amyn for their contributions to culture at the Ministry of Culture in Paris. Photo: Farida Bréchemier Guerdjou / MCC

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.

Also see:
» Minister Frédéric Mitterrand’s speech in English (disponible en français);
» Related coverage at the AKDN website.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam and Prince Charles visit the Ismaili Centre, London in commemoration of its 25th anniversary

Mawlana Hazar Imam greets His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales at the Ismaili Centre, London. The Prince’s visit to the Centre commemorates its 25th anniversary. Photo: Nadia Bettega

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.

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Aga Khan Award for Architecture to be featured in BBC documentary series

 Copyright: Aga Khan Award for Architecture

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.

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IIS to host live webcast on GPISH

 Copyright: The Institute of Ismaili Studies

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.

 

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Nineteen projects shortlisted for the 11th cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture

Nineteen projects were shortlisted for the 11th cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. The Awrad ceremony will take place in November, 2010 in Doha. Photo: Courtesy of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture

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.

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Winners announced in UK recipe competition

One of the dishes shortlisted in the recipe competition is prepared for the judges’ tasting. Photo: Joe Westaby

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.

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Ismaili Muslim elected mayor of the third-largest city in Canada

Following a tight three-way race, CTV News declares Nenshi elected as Mayor of the City of Calgary. Photo: Courtesy of Naheed Nenshi

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam addresses prestigious LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium in Toronto

Mawlana Hazar Imam addressed the 10th annual LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium in Toronto on Friday, 15 October 2010. Photo: Moez Visram

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.

Also see:
» 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

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Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives in Toronto to deliver LaFontaine-Baldwin address

Upon his arrival in Toronto this afternoon, Mawlana Hazar Imam was greeted by the Honourable Gerry Phillips, Minister Without Portfolio and Chair of Cabinet in the Government of Ontario, as well as Mohamed Manji, President of the Ismaili Council for Canada. Photo: Zahur Ramji

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.

Also see:
» Watch the live webcast beginning at 7:30 PM EDT (Toronto time)
» The LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium at the Institute for Canadian Citizenship website

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Mawlana Hazar Imam visits Ottawa for inaugural Global Centre for Pluralism board meeting; meets with Governor General of Canada

Mawlana Hazar Imam with His Excellency David Johnston, the Governor General of Canada, at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. Photo: Safiq Devji

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.

Also see:
» 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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives in Ottawa for inaugural Global Centre for Pluralism board meeting

Upon his arrival in Ottawa, Mawlana Hazar Imam is greeted by Federal Minister Jason Kenney and President Mohamed Manji of the Ismaili Council for Canada. Photo: Safiq Devji

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.

Also see:
» 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.

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In London, RAYS OF LIGHT draws visitors from near and far

The RAYS OF LIGHT exhibition in London has been very popular among the youth, many of whom brought their friends from the wider community. Photo: Nina Hirji Kheraj

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.

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Passing of influential professor of Islamic Studies leaves ‘a gap that will be impossible to fill’

Professor Mohammed Arkoun participating in an IIS alumni workshop held in 2005. Photo: Courtesy of The Institute of Ismaili Studies

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.

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FOCUS deploys full-scale relief effort to assist thousands of flood victims in Pakistan

FOCUS Pakistan delivering relief items to displaced people in Hundur village of the Yasin valley in Gilgit-Baltistan. Photo: Courtesy of FOCUS

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.

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Far East Jamat gathers in Penang for a day of sport, learning and fun

Ismailis from centres across the Far East region gathered in Penang, Malaysia for a sports day event in June. Photo: Pervaiz Machiwala

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.

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Jamat in Kabul comes together around week-long celebration of volunteerism

Volunteers line up to welcome Jamati and institutional leaders at Umomi Jamatkhana at the conclusion of Volunteer Week in Afghanistan. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for Afghanistan

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.

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Imamat Day in Tajikistan marks 15 years of engagement in the country’s development

Volunteers hard at work setting up displays for the AKDN Exhibition at the Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe. Photo: Natasha Merali

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.

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Video: Dr Reza Shah-Kazemi delivers the 2010 Yawm-e Ali lecture at the Ismaili Centre, London

Yawm-e Ali 2010 Lecture on Imam Ali and the Power of Compassion by Dr Reza Shah-Kazemi at the Ismaili Centre, London. Copyright: Islamic Publications Ltd

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.

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Governor General of Canada awards medals to three Ismailis during visit to Congo

The three Ismailis who were recognised for their services as Canadian wardens in the DRC pose for a photograph with Governor General Michaëlle Jean. From the left: Altaf Sheriff, the Governor General, Sadrudin Nanji, Shiraj Hemraj. Photo: Maherunisa Nanji

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.

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Performers join hands across the Indian Ocean to celebrate Africa at 2010 World Cup

Following their performance at the World Cup Kick Off concert, Salim and Sulaiman Merchant, Alisha Popat and their fellow musicians perform the song “Africa You Are The Star” at the Carnivore Grounds launch in Nairobi. Photo: Courtesy of Contact Network

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.

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Ismaili Community Ensemble features in London music festival that pays tribute to Ismaili Centre 25th anniversary

“Flow” specially composed for the 25th anniversary of the Ismaili Centre, London, is performed by Jonathan Eato and Thomas Maternik from Royal College of Music together with members of Ismaili Community Ensemble. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for the UK

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.

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Canadian Jamat rejoices around the Foundation Ceremony in Toronto; reflects on impact of new institutions

Youth volunteers take a moment to join in the fun and have their faces painted.
. Photo: Zahir Daya

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.

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Two new web resources provide additional information on Wynford Drive projects in Toronto

AKDN.org and TheIsmaili.org have launched new web resources focused on the Aga Khan Museum and the Ismaili Centre, Toronto that promise to be useful and informative both within and outside the Jamat. Copyright: AKDN, TheIsmaili.org

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam is awarded Honorary Canadian Citizenship as he is joined by Prime Minister for Foundation Ceremony in Toronto

Mawlana Hazar Imam receives a certificate of Honorary Canadian Citizenship from Prime Minister Harper. Photo: Moez Visram

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives in Toronto ahead of Foundation Ceremony

At his arrival in Toronto, Mawlana Hazar Imam is greeted by James Moore, the Federal Minister of Canadian Heritage, and Kathleen Wynne, Ontario’s Minister of Transportation. Photo: Gary Otte

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives in Canada to lay foundation of Ismaili Centre, museum and park

Upon his arrival in Ottawa, Mawlana Hazar Imam was welcomed by Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon, Ismaili Council for Canada President Mohamed Manji, and other leaders of the Jamat and AKDN institutions in Canada. Photo: Zahur Ramji

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.

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Update from Focus Humanitarian Assistance

 Copyright: Focus Humanitarian Assistance

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.

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Dubai Culture recognises Ismaili Centre as a patron of the arts

Entrance into the Ismaili Centre, Dubai — a plurality of perspectives. Photo: Gary Otte

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.

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Narrowing the gap of knowledge between the West and Islam

Zain Verjee of CNN International hosts an on-stage conversation with Dr Amyn B. Sajoo about his book, “A Companion to the Muslim World”.
. Photo: Courtesy of The Institute of Ismaili Studies

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.

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Uganda Jamat delivers aid and volunteers to disaster-affected Bududa

The Uganda Jamat is committed to provide sustained support to the affected people. Volunteers and resources will continue to be mobilised until the people of the affected region are resettled. Photo: Zahir Rhemtullah

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.

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FOCUS strengthens institutional relations at a humanitarian logistics conference in Georgia

FOCUS International Coordinator Gulam Juma delivers his presentation at a panel discussion on “Education, Community Preparedness and Capacity Building.”  From right to left: Bernard Chomilier, World Food Programme; Dale Herzog, United Parcel Service and CARE-USA;  Leigh Fitzpatrick McCook, Georgia Tech Research Institute (panel moderator); Brian Koon, Walmart; Captain Brian Sheppard, US Africa Command. Photo: Courtesy of FOCUS

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.

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The Light Within sparks dialogue between musical traditions

The Light Within 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. Photo: Courtesy of The Ismaili UK

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.

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In Lisbon, Kabul and around the world, Ismailis gather for International Women’s Day

At the Kabul International Women’s Day event organised by the Ismaili Council for Afghanistan, an audience member asks a question, as a young girl looks on. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for Afghanistan

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.

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Afghan Jamat hosts a successful event commemorating Prophet Muhammad’s birthday

Young members of the Jamat recite devotional poetry in the form of a <em>qasida</em> as part of the commemoration of <em>Mowlud-e-Sharif</em> in Kabul. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for Afghanistan

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.

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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 delivering the Founder’s Address at the Pan-Africa Media conference, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Nation Media Group. Photo: AKDN/Gary Otte

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.

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In photographs: Jamat catches the Olympic spirit

 Photo: Alamin Pirani

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.

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Video: Dr Farid Esack delivers the 2010 Milad-un-Nabi lecture at the Ismaili Centre, London

 Photo: Courtesy of Dr Farid Esack

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".

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International Women’s Day brings women from around the world to the Ismaili Centre, London

Women of diverse backgrounds exchange stories and ideas at the International Women’s Day event held at the Ismaili Centre, London. Photo: Sadrudin Verjee

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.

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Ismaili volunteers stand front and centre as Olympics get underway in Vancouver

Ismaili youth were enthusiastic to volunteer as Olympic Ambassadors and welcome the world to Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Games. Photo: Riyaz Lalani

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.

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Olympic Torch Bearers from the Ismaili community carry the flame in Vancouver

In a kiss of torches, Salim Ahmed receives the Olympic flame in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Photo: Aziz Ladha

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.

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Ismaili Centre, Dubai joins with Architectural Heritage Society to host lecture series

ATHAR participants browse a selection of Aga Khan Trust for Culture publications at the Ismaili Centre, Dubai. Photo: Rafiq Ally

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.

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Jamati member from Australia earns second prize in Divisional Toastmasters competition

Hussain Rajwani (right) of Sydney, Australia was awarded second prize in a Toastmasters divisional competition. Photo: Courtesy of Hussain Rajwani

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.

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Ismaili Council for USA sponsors 2009 Women’s Conference in California

California First Lady Maria Shriver converses with Dr Mahmoud Eboo, President of the Ismaili Council for the USA and Dr Shaheen Kassim-Lakha, President of the Ismaili Council for the Western United States, at the Sponsors’ Reception for the Women’s Conference. Photo: Peter Grigsby/Office of Governor Schwarzenegger

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.

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Fatal landslide in Hunza Valley threatens to flood villages

Camps have been set up in Altit and Karimabad for displaced families. Over 1 500 people have been registered. Photo: Courtesy of FOCUS

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.

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Ismaili Centre plays host to the 2009 Lisbon Forum

AKDN Representative Nazim Ahmad, Dinah Azevedo Gomes, Ismaili Council for Portugal President Amirali Bhanji, and UN High representative for the Alliance of Civilizations Dr Jorge Sampaio participate in the proceedings of the 2009 Lisbon Forum hosted at the Ismaili Centre, Lisbon. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for Portugal

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.

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Ismaili community celebrates the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay in Don Mills

On Thursday, 17 December 2009, Ismaili Council for Canada President Mohamed Manji  proudly carried the Olympic Torch along York Mills Road in the Don Mills neighbourhood of Toronto. It represented to him a spirit of hope, peace and pluralism, as Olympic athletes from around the world came together for the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. Photo: Moez Visram

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam receives “Prix de l’Entrepreneur philanthropique de l’année 2009”

Prince Amyn, Princess Zahra and Prince Hussain joined Mawlana Hazar Imam at the Le Nouvel Economiste award ceremony, where Hazar Imam received the Prix de l’Entrepreneur philanthropique de l’année 2009 (2009 Philanthropic Entrepreneur of the Year Award). Photo: AKDN/Gary Otte

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.

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FOCUS recognised for its disaster response and relief efforts in the wake of hurricanes

Ali Velshi and SACC President Mustafa Tameez present the 2009 Outstanding Community Organization Award to FOCUS Board Member Nasir Panjwani.
. Photo: Shiraz Maherali

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.

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The Institute of Ismaili Studies launches a completely redesigned website

 Copyright: The Institute of Ismaili Studies

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.

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Ismaili Community Ensemble celebrates Eid in the Square

Huge crowds packed Trafalgar Square for Eid celebrations in London. Photo: Kois Miah

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.

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Ugandan Vice President speaks at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby

Gathered at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby (L to R): His Excellency George Abola, High Commissioner for Uganda in Ottawa; Samira Alibhai, President of the Ismaili Council for British Columbia; His Excellency Professor Gilbert Bukenya, Vice President of Uganda; Malik Talib, Vice-President of the Ismaili Council for Canada; and John Halani, Honorary Consul for Uganda in BC. Photo: Riyaz Lalani

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.

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Canadian Government honours FOCUS and the Ismaili Council for Canada

Gulam Juma, Coordinator of the FOCUS International Coordinating Committee and Mina Mawani, CEO of the Ismaili Council for Canada accepted a letter from the Government of Canada, recognising and honouring their respective organisations for their work in refugee settlement since 1992. Photo: Courtesy of FOCUS

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.

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Ismaili Student Network introduces young Ismailis to university life

The Ismaili Student Network ‘Get Fresh’ event brought together students from universities throughout the UK. Photo: Jamil Teja

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam signs landmark agreements with California and Texas

Mawlana Hazar Imam and Governor Schwarzenegger engaged in conversation during the luncheon at Stanford Mansion. Photo: Zahur Ramji

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam signs agreement between the Ismaili Imamat and the State of Texas

Governor Perry and Mawlana Hazar Imam exchange friendly remarks before signing the Agreement of Cooperation. Photo: Zahur Ramji

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.

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Take steps to prevent the spread of H1N1 and the seasonal flu, urge FOCUS and the Aga Khan Health Boards

 Copyright: Focus Humanitarian Assistance

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.

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Video: Former Canadian Governor General Adrienne Clarkson speaks at the Ismaili Centre, London

The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, 26th Governor General of Canada. Photo: Courtesy of the Canadian High Commission

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.

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First Ismaili Centre in Central Asia Opens

Mawlana Hazar Imam and President Rahmon share a joyful moment, following the unveiling of the plaque marking the inauguration of the Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe. Photo: Gary Otte

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam opens “a park for all seasons” in the Khorog city centre

Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives at Khorog Park together with the First Deputy Prime Minister of Tajikistan and the Governor of Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast. They are accompanied by the General Manager of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the AKDN Resident Representative for Tajikistan. Photo: Gary Otte

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.

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Patron of the Olympic Truce, the Governor General of Canada speaks with young British Columbians at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby

Presidents Mohamed Manji and Samira Alibhai, of the Ismaili Councils for Canada and British Columbia, present a gift — the Bismillah Raven by Sherazad Jamal — to the Governor General. The gift represents a multiplicity of expressions and the coming together of two cultures. Photo: Aziz Ladha

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.

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Imamat Day celebrations in Tajikistan feature education-themed reception

Some of the Aga Khan Scouts at the Imamat Day Reception gather for a photograph. Photo: Rafiq Dhanji

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.

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Lifelong learning graduates empowered by their achievements

Members of the ICEU Lifelong Learning team gather for a group photograph at the Ismaili Centre, London. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for the EU

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.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam visits East Africa

In advance of the inaugural ceremony, Mawlana Hazar Imam, accompanied by Prince Hussain and Princess Khaliya, tours Forodhani Park with Luis Monreal, General Manager of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. Photo: Zahur Ramji

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.

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Launch of Nutrition Centre applauded by UK health community

 Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for the UK

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.

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Data to Diet: A new tool to promote healthy eating

TheIsmaili.org is pleased to join the Aga Khan Health Board (UK) in launching a web-based Nutrition Centre. Copyright: TheIsmaili.org

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.

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Update: Mawlana Hazar Imam is made an honorary citizen of Canada

The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, with Mawlana Hazar Imam in front of the Prime Minister’s residence at 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa. Photo: Gary Otte

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.”

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TheIsmaili.org launches Nutrition Centre and unveils a new design

TheIsmaili.org is pleased to join the Aga Khan Health Board (UK) in launching a web-based Nutrition Centre. Copyright: TheIsmaili.org

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).

» Watch a video tour of TheIsmaili.org

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Eight hundred year-old Cambridge University awards Mawlana Hazar Imam an honorary degree

University of Cambridge Chancellor, His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, and Vice Chancellor Professor Alison Richard with Mawlana Hazar Imam and other honorary degree recipients. Photo: University of Cambridge

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.

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University’s international ambitions resonate with students

Mawlana Hazar Imam at the University of Alberta Convocation ceremony where he was conferred an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree. Photo: Moez Visram

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.

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Ceremony marks graduation of the first class of the ICEU Lifelong Learning Programme

Keith Mackrell hands a certificate to a
delighted graduate. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for the UK

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.

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International agreement signed between the Portuguese Republic and the Ismaili Imamat

Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives at the Portuguese Ministry of State and Foreign Affairs with Foreign Minister Luis Amado for the signing of the international agreement between the Portuguese Republic and the Ismaili Imamat. They are accompanied by AKDN Resident Representative Nazim Ahmad and President Amirali Bhanji of the Ismaili Council for Portugal. Photo: Ricardo Oliveira and Nuno Saraiva

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)

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Exhibition by UAE Royal Photographer inaugurated at the Ismaili Centre Dubai

His Highness Sheikh Majid and Noor Ali Rashid  pause at a photograph of the late Ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Photo: Farhad R Ally / Akbar Hakim

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.

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Navigating towards a better tomorrow together

AKEPB Chairman, Dr Rafiq Dossani, addressed the conference on the recent economic downturn via video link. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for the USA

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.

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A changing climate: Exploring the social impact of global warming

The panellists engage in discussion. From left to right: Dan Smith, Lord Adair Turner, Camilla Toulmin, Dr Salim Sumar. Photo: Abdul Khakoo

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.

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World Partnership Walk to celebrate its 25th year in Canada

Twenty-fifth World Partnership Walk logo. Copyright: Aga Khan Foundation Canada

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..

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Donation of 100 wheelchairs to benefit the infirm in Singapore

His Excellency Zainul Abidin Rasheed and Presidentbanoo Karam Bana present a wheelchair to a social welfare group representative. Photo: Haneesa Habib

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.

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Engaging discussion on modernity accompanies launch of new book

Dr Amyn Sajoo and Raficq Abdulla on stage during the book launch at the Ismaili Centre, London. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for the UK

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.

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Kenya launches commemorative Golden Jubilee stamps

The four commemorative stamps depict important initiatives of the Aga Khan Development Network in Kenya and the East African region. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for Kenya

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.

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New Chicago-area Jamatkhana described as the “Ruby of Glenview”

The ceiling light feature in the Prayer Hall consists of seven heptagonal (seven-sided) figures, visible in this close-up. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for the USA

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.

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Kronos Quartet and Qasimov Ensemble come together at London’s Barbican Hall

 Photo: Courtesy of AKDN

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.

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The Ismaili Centre opens its doors to Londoners

The Ismaili Centre is located opposite the Museum of natural History and the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington, London. Photo: Gary Otte

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.

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Orchestra in Dubai expresses the harmony of the international Jamat through a unique musical compilation

 Copyright: Ismaili Council for UAE

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.

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Second Euroventures Conference aims to build on past success

Euroventures Conference Logo. Photo: Ismaili Council for the European Union

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.

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Ali to Karim ends USA tour with final performance in Houston

Ali to Karim scene: A Fatimid Pageant in Cairo. Photo: Hyder Ali

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."

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Illustrated publication on Ismaili history launched in Kenya by The Institute of Ismaili Studies

Dr Farhad Daftary addresses the audience at the launch of the book “The Ismailis: An Illustrated History” which he co-authored with Dr Zulfikar Hirji. Photo: Zahir Daya

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.

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First Imamat Day at the Ismaili Centre Dubai is marked with a celebration of expression

A view of the entrance to Souq-al-Izhaar (Market of Expressions). Photo: Prime Vision

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.

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Congolese Jamat hosts a dinner in celebration of the Golden Jubilee

Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States, Sam Brock, in discussion with External Activities Task Force member, Nimet Janmohamed. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for Kinshasa

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.

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Portuguese Jamat celebrates the launch of three new publications

Three new publications from the Institute of Ismaili Studies were launched at the Ismaili Centre in Lisbon. Photo: Courtesy ITREB Portugal

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.

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Ismaili children in Syria present a Golden Vision

Artwork by Syrian Ismaili children aged 8 – 12, presented at <em>Golden Vision with Golden Hands</em>, an exhibition of illustrations. Photo: Karim Meghani

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.

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A buzz in the air at NSF 2008

Footballers playing to win at the National Sports Festival. Photo: Ismaili Council for the UK

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.

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Prince Amyn inaugurates the Ismaili Economic Forum

Upon arriving at the Ismaili Centre Dubai, Prince Amyn is received by Vice-President Wazir Daredia of the Ismaili Council for the UAE and LIF Chairman Azim Lakhani. Photo: Ally Production Fze

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.

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Gala strengthens partnership between Ismaili Community and Quebec

Gala commemorates partnership between the Ismaili Community and the Province of Quebec. Photo: Almin Surani

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.

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Historic Cities Programme continues its Canadian tour in Toronto

Over 350 Bait-ul Ilm secondary students attended the Historic Cities Programme exhibition at Metro Hall in Toronto. Photo: Aziz Dhamani

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.

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Jamat in Badakhshan celebrates Navroz with an historic cross-border concert

Members of the Badakhshan Ensemble performed traditional Pamiri music and dance for the Afghan audience in the spirit of mutual understanding and learning. Photo: Malik Faizullah

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.

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Dushanbe marks Navroz with art exhibition and performances

A family illustrates a traditional Tajik Navroz meal according to the “haft-shin” and “haft-sin” traditions. Photo: Mikhail Romanyuk

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.

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The “cosmopolitan ethic” explored

Jan Aart Scholte addresses the audience at the Ismaili Centre. Photo: Ismaili Council for the UK

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.

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Thousands of visitors tour the Ismaili Centre Dubai

Visitors arriving for a tour of the Ismaili Centre, Dubai. Photo: Ally Studio

Following the opening of the Ismaili Centre Dubai, thousands of members of the Jamat enjoyed memorable and informative guided tours of the new Centre.

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Ensemble joins with Royal Philharmonic to deliver captivating performances

Members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra perform with the Ismaili Community Ensemble. Photo: Ismaili Council for the UK

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.

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UAE Jamat prepares in anticipation of Golden Jubilee visit

Aga Khan Scouts and Guides rehearsing a flute performance.

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.

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Prince Amyn, Prince Hussain and Princess Khaliya visit the Ismaili Centre, Lisbon

Prince Amyn inspects plans at the Centro Ismaili in Lisbon with President Amirali Bhanji of the Ismaili Council for Portugal, Rahim Kara, the Centro Ismaili building manager and other senior management. Photo: Tiago Brarens

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.

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Portugal issues commemorative stamps

 Photo: Courtesy Correios de Portugal.

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.

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Gearing up for the Golden Jubilee Games

Fine form being displayed at a soccer match between Dar es Salaam and Morogoro. Photo: Courtesy AKYSB, Tanzania

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.

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Building the post-conflict civil society: discussion at Ismaili Centre London

Panelists prepare to address questions from the audience at The Ismaili Centre Lecture Series. Photo: Ismaili Council for the United Kingdom.

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.

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Prince Hussain and Princess Khaliya attend two Golden Jubilee programmes in North America

Mohamed Manji, President of the Ismaili Council for Canada, Prince Hussain and Princess Khaliya at the pre-performance reception. Photo: Alnoor Nathoo

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.

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Learning, interacting and reflecting during Milad-un-Nabi

Professor Nyang, and Iqbal Lakhani, President of the Ismaili Council for Florida with guests at the Milad-un-Nabi in Tampa. Photo: Ismaili Council for USA

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.

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Intercultural Dialogue workshops held at the Ismaili Centre, Lisbon

Keynote address by the UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, Jorge Sampaio. Photo: Ismaili Council for Portugal

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.

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Ismaili Centre London participates in Fete de la Musique

School children learn to play the daf, an Iranian percussion instrument. Photo: Ismaili Council for the United Kingdom

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.

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