• The Fanous is will visit Jamats in many cities in the lead up to the 2016 Jubilee Games in Dubai.
The Jubilee Games Fanous
Jubilee Games Team
  • Updated 14 July 2016
  • With less than 50 days until the Jubilee Games, the Global Fanous Roadshow is well underway.

    The fanous — Arabic for ‘lantern’ — is rich in historic symbolism and meaning for both Ismailis and the wider ummah. It is said that when the Fatimid Imam-caliph Mawlana al-Mu'izz entered the newly-built city of al-Qahira (Cairo) for the first time on 23 July 969 (5 Ramadan 358 AH), the citizens lining the streets to greet him illuminated his entrance by holding lanterns made of palm leaves and animal skins, producing a beautiful dance of light. It is thus that the fanous became a symbol of the transfer of the seat of the Fatimids from al-Mahdiya in Tunisia to the new capital in Egypt.

    In Cairo, Dubai and many other cities of the Muslim world, lanterns hold an enduring association with Ramadan. They are used to decorate homes, mosques, markets, and other public spaces as a reminder of the enlightenment received during the month in which the Qur'an was first revealed.

    The Fanous of the 2016 Jubilee Games is a long, slender lantern that sits on a polished silver base. It is decorated with an intricate geometric pattern that delicately filters the light as it shines through. The Jubilee Games logo is incorporated at its top, and when the Fanous is lit, it radiates in shades of blue.

    Each jurisdiction represented at the Games has received its own Fanous, which will visit Jamats in many cities during the course of the Global Fanous Roadshow. Local athletes serving as Fanous-bearers will run with the lanterns in relays, each passing the Fanous on to the next runner as a symbol of their shared journey.

    The Jubilee Games fawanees (plural of ‘fanous’) from all over the world are destined for Dubai, where they will be used at the Opening Ceremony to light a central Fanous, representing the unity of the global Ismaili community.

    Click below to see photographs and watch videos from the Global Fanous Roadshow in different cities and countries.

  • Athletes from Team United Kingdom carry the Jubilee Games Fanous to landmarks across London on their way to the Ismaili Centre. Ismaili Council for the UK / Jamil Teja
    Athletes from Team United Kingdom carry the Jubilee Games Fanous to landmarks across London on their way to the Ismaili Centre.
    Ismaili Council for the UK / Jamil Teja

    Over the past three months, the Team United Kingdom Jubilee Games Fanous has been on an epic journey across the continent, visiting jamats in Northwest London, Manchester, North London, Reading, East London, Leeds, Nottingham, South London, Sheffield, West London and Milton Keynes. The Fanous even made its way to Stockholm and Essen for Imamat Day celebrations!

    Watch as the Fanous visits to famous London landmarks on its way back to the Ismaili Centre, London. This video captures the Fanous’ journey through the British capital, and the inspiration of UK athletes, the Jamat and Londoners in the run-up to the 2016 Jubilee Games in Dubai.

  • A giraffe inspects the Jubilee Games Fanous in Kenya. Ismaili Council for Kenya
    A giraffe inspects the Jubilee Games Fanous in Kenya.
    Ismaili Council for Kenya

    The Jubilee Games Fanous has reached every Jamatkhana in Kenya. It has travelled to Kisii, Kisumu and its districts, Nakuru, Mombasa, and Nairobi. Reflecting the Kenyan Jamat's concern for the protection of wildlife, the Fanous visited Ol Pejeta Conservancy, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife, and various Serena Hotels properties.

    This emotional and powerful video highlights these travels, and the pride of the Kenyan Jamat!

  • Tanzania's Jubilee Games Fanous was carried up to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak. Ismaili Council for Tanzania
    Tanzania's Jubilee Games Fanous was carried up to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak.
    Ismaili Council for Tanzania

    On 14 June 2016, the light of the Jubilee Games shone from the top of Africa’s highest peak. A team of ten Tanzanians carried the Fanous up Mount Kilimanjaro, reaching the snowy Uhuru Peak at 5 895 metres above sea level.

    The team documented their five-day trek to the summit in a video.

  • Athletes celebrate with the Jubilee Games Fanous in Mumbai. Shams Maredia
    Athletes celebrate with the Jubilee Games Fanous in Mumbai.
    Shams Maredia

    In the embrace of the elegant white Dahisar Jamatkhana dressed in green lights, the Aga Khan Youth and Sports Board for India presented the athletes chosen to represent the country at the 2016 Jubilee Games in Dubai.

    Munir Merchant, Vice-President of the Ismaili Council for India, lit the Jubilee Games Fanous. Its light cast upon the athletes as each ascended the stage to sign a personal pledge on the wall.

    “It’s hard to beat someone who never gives up,” scribed one athlete. “Nobody said it was easy,” wrote another. And “I pledge to give my 100% and make India proud.”

  • Members of the Mwanza Jamat gather around the Jubilee Games logo on the grounds of the Mwanza Jamatkhana.
    Naeem Mawji

    The launch of Tanzania’s Fanous Roadshow in May was accompanied by a unique ceremony in which the fawanees of both Kenya and Tanzania came together in a symbolic demonstration of Ismaili brotherhood.

    The Tanzanian Jamat launched their Fanous Roadshow at a Mwanza sports event, where athletes from the neighbouring Kenyan Jamat joined them for a friendly three-day volleyball and throwball tournament. It was an opportunity for all to taste the competition awaiting them in Dubai.

    When they arrived in Mwanza, the Kenyans — who had launched their own Fanous Roadshow only days prior — presented themselves with their national flag and Fanous in hand!