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France visit diary
TheIsmaili.org
29 November 2008
  • Monday, 8 December 2008

    Mawlana Hazar Imam, Princess Zahra, Prince Hussain and others in the audience applaud the performance of A Mystical Journey in Paris. Photo: Gary Otte
    Mawlana Hazar Imam, Princess Zahra, Prince Hussain and others in the audience applaud the performance of A Mystical Journey in Paris. Gary Otte

    Mawlana Hazar Imam commenced his Golden Jubilee visit to France by taking in A Mystical Journey: Musique Soufie et Autres Expressions de Dévotion en Islam at Théâtre Mogador in Paris. Hazar Imam was joined by Princess Zahra, Prince Hussain, leaders from the Government of France and members of French society, as well as senior Jamati leaders from France and abroad.

    A Mystical Journey is a Golden Jubilee International Programme featuring artists from Algeria, Bosnia, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Syria performing music from various Sufi and other esoteric traditions of Islam. Though different in form, these acts of devotion are common in their peaceful search for the divine and represent the pluralistic traditions and mystical unity among different communities of interpretation within the Muslim world. The 8 December performance was its French premiere; a second show is scheduled for 12 December.

    Mawlana Hazar Imam is commemorating his Golden Jubilee in France at the invitation of the Government. During this period, Mawlana Hazar Imam will grant a final Golden Jubilee Darbar in Paris for the French jurisdiction Jamats. Hazar Imam will also consult with senior government and civic officials on potential areas of collaboration with the Ismaili Imamat and the Aga Khan Development Network.

    Tuesday, 9 December 2008

    The Prime Minister of France, François Fillon, welcomes Mawlana Hazar Imam to the Hôtel Matignon – the Prime Minister's official residence in Paris. Photo: Gary Otte
    The Prime Minister of France, François Fillon, welcomes Mawlana Hazar Imam to the Hôtel Matignon – the Prime Minister's official residence in Paris. Gary Otte

    As part of his official Golden Jubilee visit to France, Mawlana Hazar Imam spent the day meeting with senior government leaders.

    Mawlana Hazar Imam visited the French Ministry of the Interior at Place Beauvau, where he met Michèle Alliot-Marie, Minister of the Interior, Overseas France and Local Authorities. Afterwards, Hazar Imam and Prince Rahim were welcomed by Prime Minister François Fillon at the Hôtel Matignon, the Prime Minister's official residence.

    Mawlana Hazar Imam then travelled to Quai d'Orsay, the site of the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, where he met Bernard Kouchner, France's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs. There, Hazar Imam and the Minister signed a partnership agreement for development between the French Republic and the Aga Khan Development Network. The agreement builds on a number of successful AKDN projects to which the French Government, French institutions and French companies have contributed.

    Following the signing of the agreement, the Foreign Minister hosted a dinner in honour of Mawlana Hazar Imam, which was also attended by Prince Amyn, Prince Hussain and Princess Zahra.

    Thursday, 11 December 2008

    Mawlana Hazar Imam, Prince Amyn, Prince Hussain and senior Jamati leaders applaud the young Ismailis who performed during the dinner hosted by the Jamati institutions in France. Photo: Akbar Hakim
    Mawlana Hazar Imam, Prince Amyn, Prince Hussain and senior Jamati leaders applaud the young Ismailis who performed during the dinner hosted by the Jamati institutions in France. Akbar Hakim

    Today Mawlana Hazar Imam granted the final Darbar of his Golden Jubilee to the Jamat gathered in Paris, France. Hazar Imam was joined by Prince Amyn, Princess Zahra, Prince Rahim, Prince Hussain and Princess Khaliya at Parc des Expositions, where thousands of members of the Jamat from France and around the world had gathered for the historic occasion.

    Following the Darbar, Mawlana Hazar Imam and his family visited the Rays of Light photo exhibition that had been set up at the Darbar venue. The exhibition, which is a Golden Jubilee International Programme, provided a visual narrative of the past 50 years of Hazar Imam's Imamat. It is expected to tour Jamats around the world in the coming months.

    In the evening, Mawlana Hazar Imam and his family attended a dinner hosted in their honour by the Jamati institutions of France. The dinner was held at Paris' most renowned ballroom: the Salon Opéra, situated adjacent to the Garnier Opera House. Young Ismailis from France and the French jurisdiction Jamats presented an entertaining performance before Hazar Imam, his family and the gathering of Jamati leaders.

    The dinner marked the culmination of Mawlana Hazar Imam's Golden Jubilee visit to France.


    Additional photos are available in the gallery.