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His Highness the Aga Khan in Tatarstan: Themes from his speech in Kazan; a superb gallery of photos; and 5 high quality videos of the visit

Aga Khan, Kazan
His Highness the Aga Khan. Photo: Press Service of the President of the Republic of Tatastan. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

By HIS HIGHNESS THE AGA KHAN

Prayer, greeting and welcome

Bismi’l-lahi’r-rahmani’r-rahim
As-salamu ‘alaykum, Peace be upon you

Your Excellency Mintimer Shaimiev,
Your Excellency Eleonora Mitrofanova,
Respected Members of the Government,
Distinguished Guests

What an enormous pleasure it is to welcome all of you to this ceremony.

We gather today with a group of extraordinary people, in an extraordinary place, and for an extraordinary purpose.

The 14th Cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture

The Aga Khan Award for Architecture is organised around a series of three-year cycles — each one culminating in the recognition of our Award recipients.

Tonight we celebrate the outcomes of our Fourteenth Cycle [first cycle in 1980, in Lahore, Pakistan – Ed.]. 

This is an extraordinary moment for me as I think back to our decision to launch this programme — more than four decades ago.

What led to the decision to launch the Awards?

You may ask — as many have asked…Just why should the Ismaili Imamat become so deeply involved in the world of professional architecture?

The simple answer lies in my conviction that Architecture — more than any other art form — has a profound impact on the quality of human life. As it has often been said, we shape our built environment — and then our buildings shape us.

This close relationship of architecture to the quality of human experience has a particularly profound resonance in the developing world. I believe that we all have a responsibility to improve the quality of life whenever and wherever that opportunity arises. Our commitment to influencing the quality of architecture — intellectually and materially — grows directly out of our commitment to improving the quality of human life.

Award not simply a prize but a process

Over these four decades, we have recognised a vast array of architectural contributions, including over nine thousand nominated projects.

But the value of this programme goes far beyond recognising specific projects.

The Aga Khan Architectural Award is not simply a prize; it is a process.

This process involves a wide range of conversations — all across the world — that shape the selection process. 

What is true dialogue?

The theme of the Cycle, which culminates today is: “Architecture in Dialogue”.  This theme sees architecture as a robust interchange, one that can embrace a variety of diverse and even divergent perspectives.

A true dialogue requires not only that we articulate one perspective, but also that we listen — attentively — to other perspectives. More than that, it asks us not only to listen to one another, but also to learn from one another.

4 types of dialogues that should be taking place

There are several ways in which architecture can blend different perspectives. Let me briefly describe just four of them.

1. Dialogue Among Participants

First of all, we must foster a healthy dialogue among the actual participants in the architectural process. I do not mean only the skilled architects themselves, but also those who collaborate with them — clients, community leaders, public officials, educators, and the builders, designers, and craftsmen who help realise their plans. Our Master Jury for this cycle paid close attention to this dimension, looking at qualities such as leadership, cooperation, and openness — qualities that help produce creative dialogue.

2. Dialogue between past and future

A second dialogue that advances the best in human architecture is an open dialogue between the past and the future. This means more than simply copying the past — or merely tacking some ancient arch or minaret or calligraphy onto a new building. On the other hand, it also means more than a heedless modernistic approach that ignores our rich heritage. Our realisation, more than 40 years ago, that architectural practice in Muslim societies had recently been forgetting its own history, helped us to shape the nature of this Award.

The dialogue we seek is one that will blend the inspiration of the past with the demands of the future. The demands are many: environmental, social, technological, and economic, not to mention the challenges of political polarisation. In all of these respects, looking back can help us look ahead — and vice versa.

3. Dialogue between nature and human creativity

A third dialogue that commands architectural attention is the dialogue between nature on the one hand and human creativity on the other. Both the natural world and the world of human capacities are divine gifts, but it is tempting sometimes to embrace one without thinking much about the other.

The Holy Qur’an asks Muslims not to be passive recipients of our Natural Habitat but instead to be faithful stewards of the divine creation; we need to expand our commitment in all directions. This means not merely conforming to the power of nature, but actively engaging with its challenges. At the same time we must be careful not to exaggerate the capacities for human mastery — trying to defy nature is counterproductive in many ways. A reflective dialogue between natural realities and human capabilities is also at the essence of architectural excellence.

4. Dialogue between cultures, and message to Muslims

Fourth and finally, I would emphasise the importance of intercultural dialogue in meeting the Architectural opportunities of our time. I have mentioned how this Award grew out of a concern with the deterioration — what some of us called the “hibernation” — of rich Muslim architectural traditions. But honouring one’s own historic identity, should not imply some sort of narrow isolation.

The rich architectural dialogue we seek to foster should include a renewed respect for the rich diversity of Islamic cultures themselves. As a way to exemplify this concern, we recently opened a new Aga Khan Centre in London in which seven Islamic gardens have been created, reflecting seven different Muslim traditions.

In addition, we should also be working to foster a rich dialogue with non-Islamic cultures — including diverse religious traditions. Architecture can lead the way in this effort — as we listen to one another and learn from one another across old divides.

Meaning of Pluralism

Pluralism means more than merely tolerating a diversity of influences and ideas. It also means welcoming the learning opportunities that diversity provides, finding ways to honour that which is unique in our individual traditions as well as those values that connect us to all of humankind.  

We must think of diversity itself as a divine gift, a blessing and not a burden.

Tatarstan: A special place

Kazan

Tatarstan has, for centuries, been a place of exceptional commitment to pluralistic values. The city of Kazan and the larger region have long been renowned for their rich mix of ethnicities, and cultures, including the impressive way in which their architectural heritage has been preserved and respected. 

Bolgar

It is striking to realise that nearby Bolgar, which I visited yesterday, became a Muslim religious centre as early as 922 — almost eleven hundred years ago. Through the centuries the spirit of pluralism in Tatarstan has known times of difficult challenge and times of inspiring renewal. But through everything, a commitment to inclusiveness has persisted. This spirit was encouraged under the pluralist leadership of several of the Muslim Khanates that governed the area in the 14th and 15th centuries, and also some later Russian rulers, such as Peter the Great and Catherine the Great. And it has been dramatically evident here in recent years. 

Kazan and Bolgar: Examples to rest of the world

On my visits in Kazan, and in Bolgar, I have seen how committed people can honour the power both of cultural identity and cultural pluralism. It is striking to see how churches and mosques, for example, have been built and preserved right next to one another as powerful symbols of a profound intercultural Dialogue.

I would hope that we all can help point the rest of the world to the powerful pluralistic model of places like Kazan and Bolgar.

The world is in need of such examples. Human challenges seem to intensify at an accelerating pace these days — climate change, economic and technological inequalities, epidemics, political polarisation, population displacements and the daunting task of helping one another to live together in dignity.

Belief in architecture

I believe deeply in the potential of the architectural world to help inspire and enrich a creative dialogue in all four of the areas I have mentioned: a dialogue between creative architectural partners, a dialogue between past and future, a dialogue between natural reality and human creativity, and a dialogue among diverse cultures.

The First Awards in Lahore: Fulfilled hopes 40 years on

When I first anticipated this visit to Tatarstan — my thoughts went back to other Award presentations through these four decades. The very first presentations were held in Lahore in Pakistan and I remember expressing my hope that night that these Awards would not be seen as the end of a story but rather as a bold beginning — stimulating further discussion, insights, questions, debates, and “perhaps even more, some worries” — as I put it then — about our architectural future. And I must say today how pleased I am that my hopes I expressed in Lahore four decades ago have been fulfilled.

The fact that our theme today is built around the word “Dialogue” testifies to our continuing aspirations. My thanks go to all of you for being a part of this extraordinary celebration — as we reflect, gratefully, on both the inspiring gifts of the past and the rich possibilities of the future.

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Photo Gallery

Aga Khan in Kazan, signing a card for insertion into visitor book
Kazan, September 11, 2019. His Highness the Aga Khan signs a card for visitor’s book; see photo below.

Introduced by MALIK MERCHANT
(Publisher-Editor, Simerg, Barakah and Simergphotos)

We are indebted to the Press Service of the President of the Republic of Tartastan (http://tatarstan.ru/ for the photos that we have published during the past week in our numerous posts covering Malwlana Hazar Imam’s visit to Tatarstan. The press division is headed by Khayrullin Eduard Faridovich. We are publishing this specific gallery as snapshots, so there is a mystery surrounding the actual content of each photo it will be revealed as soon as you click on the photo. You may then click on the photo once more to download the corresponding high resolution photo.

Muslim Harji, a brilliant photographer based in Montreal, who has contributed to Barakah and its sister websites regularly over the past decade, notes, “The color, the exposure, the sharpness, the composition, the mood and impact make Mawlana Hazar Imam’s photos taken by the Press Service of the President of the Republic of Tartastan fantastic!”

Flag of Ismaili Imamat, Kazan Airport
September 11, 2019. The flag of the Ismaili Imamat – Kazan International Airport.
Aga Khan in Kazan, Tatarstan
Kazan, September 11, 2019: His Highness the Aga Khan arrives in Kazan.
Aga Khan in Kazan, Tatarstan
Kazan, September 11, 2019. His Highness the Aga Khan arrives in Kazan.
Aga Khan message, Kazan
Kazan, September 11, 2019: “Unforgettable visit.” See photo of the signing, above.
Aga Khan in Bolgar, Tatarstan
Bolgar, September 12, 2019: His Highness the Aga Khan arrives in Bolgar.
Aga Khan in Bolgar, Tatarstan
Bolgar, September 12, 2019: His Highness the Aga Khan is greeted with deep respect and veneration by a visitor during his visit to Bolgar’s archeological sites.
Aga Khan in Bolgar, Tatarstan
Bolgar, September 12, 2019: His Highness the Aga Khan visits Bolgar’s archeological sites, the Mosque and the Bulgarian Islamic Academy.
Aga Khan in Bolgar, Tatarstan
Bolgar, September 12, 2019: His Highness the Aga Khan visits Bolgar’s archeological sites, the Mosque and the Bulgarian Islamic Academy.
Aga Khan in Bolgar, Tatarstan
Bolgar, September 12, 2019: His Highness the Aga Khan visits Bolgar’s archeological sites, the Mosque and the Bulgarian Islamic Academy.
Bolgar, September 12, 2019: His Highness the Aga Khan visits Bolgar’s archeological sites, the Mosque and the Bulgarian Islamic Academy.
Aga Khan in Bolgar, Tatarstan
Bolgar, September 12, 2019: His Highness the Aga Khan visits Bolgar’s archeological sites, the Mosque and the Bulgarian Islamic Academy.
Aga Khan in Kazan Kremlin, Kul Sharif Mosque
Kazan, September 13, 2019: His Highness the Aga Khan visits the Kul Sharif Mosque located within the 1.8 km perimeter walls of the Kazan Kremlin, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Aga Khan in Kazan Kremlin, Kul Sharif Mosque
Kazan, September 13, 2019: His Highness the Aga Khan visits the Kul Sharif Mosque located within the 1.8 km perimeter walls of the Kazan Kremlin, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Aga Khan in Kazan Kremlin, Annunciation Cathedral
Kazan, September 13, 2019: His Highness the Aga Khan visits the Annunciation Cathedral located within the 1.8 km perimeter walls of the Kazan Kremlin, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Aga Khan in Kazan Kremlin, Annunciation Cathedral
Kazan, September 13, 2019: His Highness the Aga Khan visits the Annunciation Cathedral located within the 1.8 km perimeter walls of the Kazan Kremlin, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Aga Khan in Kazan, Aga Khan Awards
Kazan, September 13, 2019: His Highness the Aga Khan and Mintimer Shaimiev arrrive at Kazan’s Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theater named after M. Jalil to present the 2019 Aga Khan Awards for Architecture.
Aga Khan in Kazan, Aga Khan Awards
Kazan, September 13, 2019: His Highness the Aga Khan is greeted by members of his family as he arrives at Kazan’s Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theater named after M. Jalil to present the 2019 Aga Khan Awards for Architecture.
Aga Khan in Kazan, Aga Khan Awards
Kazan, September 13, 2019: His Highness the Aga Khan is introduced to Talgat Safa Tajuddin, the Grand Mufti and Chairman of the Central spiritual administration of Muslims of Russia, as he arrrives at Kazan’s Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theater to present the 2019 Aga Khan Awards for Architecture.
Aga Khan in Kazan, Aga Khan Awards
Kazan, September 13, 2019: His Highness the Aga Khan and Mintimer Shaimiev inside the Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theater for the presentation ceremony of the 2019 Aga Khan Awards for Architecture.
Aga Khan in Kazan, Aga Khan Awards
Kazan, September 13, 2019: His Highness the Aga Khan listens to the address being delivered by Mintimer Shaimiev at the presentation ceremony of the 2019 Aga Khan Awards for Architecture.
Aga Khan in Kazan, Aga Khan Awards
Kazan, September 13, 2019: His Highness the Aga Khan and Mintimer Shaimiev on stage with winners of the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
Aga Khan in Kazan, Aga Khan Awards
Kazan, September 13, 2019: His Highness the Aga Khan and Mintimer Shaimiev at the presentation ceremony of the 2019 Aga Khan Awards for Architecture.

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High Quality Video Coverage

(For uninterrupted streaming, please use fast intemet access)

SEPTEMBER 11, 2019: KAZAN ARRRIVAL (00:55)

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SEPTEMBER 12, 2019: ARRIVAL AND TOUR OF BOLGAR (10:28)

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SEPTEMBER 12, 2019: TOUR OF MOSQUE IN BOLGAR (3:13)

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SEPTEMBER 13, 2019: TOUR OF KAZAN KREMLIN (2:11)

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SEPTEMBER 13, 2019: CEREMONY OF THE AGA KHAN AWARD FOR ARCHITECTURE IN KAZAN (15:50)

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NEWS VIDEO

Date posted: September 17, 2019.

Before departing this page please take a moment to visit Barakah’s Table of Contents for links to more than 170 pieces dedicated to Mawlana Hazar Imam and his family.

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Please join/like Barakah at http://www.facebook.com/1000fold and also follow us at http://twitter.com/simerg.

This website, Barakah, is a special project by http://www.Simerg.com and is dedicated to the textual and visual celebration of His Highness the Aga Khan and members of his family, as well as the Ismaili Imamat.

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A comprehensive report of His Highness the Aga Khan’s visit to Kazan and Bolgar in Tatarstan, Russia

Compiled and Prepared by MALIK MERCHANT
(Publisher-Editor, Simerg, Barakah and Simergphotos)

DAY FOUR (FINAL DAY): SEPTEMBER 14, 2019

(Days 3, 2 and 1 coverage follow next, in that order)

1. REPORT AND PHOTOS: His Highness the Aga Khan concludes his visit to Kazan

The following summary and photos of His Highness the Aga Khan’s last day in Tatarstan are adopted from the official website of the Ismaili community. For detailed coverage please visit TheIsmaili.

Panel discussion – winner’s seminar of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture held on September 14, 2019 at Universidade Village, Kazan. Photo: The Ismaili/Akbar Hakim.

On Saturday 14 September, Mawlana Hazar Imam participated in an Aga Khan Award for Architecture Winners’ Seminar at the Main International Centre, Universidade Village, Kazan. Hazar Imam was joined by members of his family, and leaders of the Jamat and AKDN. Later during the day, he departed Kazan, marking the culmination of his four-day visit to Tatarstan.

Mawlana Hazar Imam departs the Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2019 Winners’ Seminar, and greets those awaiting. Photo: The Ismaili/Akbar Hakim .

Hazar Imam was greeted at the airport by State Counsellor of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev and Deputy Prime Minister of Tatarstan Shaikhraziev Vasil Gayazovich, who thanked Hazar Imam for visiting the region and wished him a bon voyage. 

Mawlana Hazar Imam gestures ‘bravo’ shortly before departing Kazan at the conclusion of the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Photo: The Ismaili/Akbar Hakim.

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DAY THREE: SEPTEMBER 13, 2019

(Days 2 and 1 coverage follow next, in that order)

1. REPORT: His Highness the Aga Khan visits Kazan Kremlin

(Report compiled from the website of Kazan Kremlin, http://kazan-kremlin.ru and Press Service of the President of the Republic of Tartastan. Video and photos follow report, including a link to see more photos on the website of the Kazan Kremlin).

On Friday September 13, 2019, the Kazan Kremlin was visited by His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV. Together with the State Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev and the director of the museum-reserve Ziley Valeeva, Tatarstan Deputy Prime Minister Vasil Shaykhraziev and others, he walked through the territory and also visited the Kul Sharif Mosque and the Annunciation Cathedral. His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV arrived in Tatarstan to participate in the award ceremony of the winners of the 2019 Aga Khan International Architecture Award.

After visiting the Kazan Kremlin, His Highness the Aga Khan and Mintimer Shaimiev went to the Opera and Ballet Theater, to present prizes to the winners of the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture.

The Kazan Kremlin is a unique complex of archaeological, historical and architectural monuments that arose and functioned from the foundation of the city to the present day. In 2000, the Kazan Kremlin was included in the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List.

2. VIDEO: His Highness the Aga Khan visits Kazan Kremlin with a tour of the Kul Sharif Mosque and the Annunciation Cathedral

His Highness the Aga Khan at Kazan Kremlin

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3. PHOTOS: His Highness the Aga Khan visits Kazan Kremlin with a tour of the Kul Sharif Mosque and the Annunciation Cathedral

The Kazan Kremlin is a unique complex of archaeological, historical and architectural monuments. The Kul Sharif Mosque shown above is one of a number of important monuments within the Kazan Kremlin. Photo: Mikhail Frolov / President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
 Aga Khan tours the Kul Sharif Mosque in the Kazan Kremlin
His Highness the Aga Khan tours the Kul Sharif Mosque in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019. Photo: Mikhail Frolov / President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
 Aga Khan tours the Kul Sharif Mosque in the Kazan Kremlin
His Highness the Aga Khan tours the Kul Sharif Mosque in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019. Photo: Mikhail Frolov / President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
 Aga Khan tours the Kul Sharif Mosque in the Kazan Kremlin
His Highness the Aga Khan tours the Kul Sharif Mosque in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019. Photo: Mikhail Frolov / President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan tours the Kul Sharif Mosque in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019
His Highness the Aga Khan tours the Kul Sharif Mosque in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019. Photo: Mikhail Frolov / President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
 the Aga Khan tours the Kul Sharif Mosque in the Kazan Kremlin
His Highness the Aga Khan tours the Kul Sharif Mosque in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019. Photo: Mikhail Frolov / President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
 Aga Khan tours the Kul Sharif Mosque in the Kazan Kremlin
His Highness the Aga Khan tours the Kul Sharif Mosque in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019. Photo: Mikhail Frolov / President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
Tha Kazan Kremlin is a unique complex of archaeological, historical and architectural monuments. The Annunciation Cathedral shown above is one of a number of important monuments within the Kazan Kremlin. Photo: Mikhail Frolov / President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan tours the  Annunciation Cathedra in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019
His Highness the Aga Khan tours the Annunciation Cathedral in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019. Photo: Mikhail Frolov / President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
Aga Khan tours the  Annunciation Cathedra in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019
His Highness the Aga Khan tours the Annunciation Cathedral in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019. Photo: Mikhail Frolov / President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
Aga Khan tours the  Annunciation Cathedra in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019
His Highness the Aga Khan tours the Annunciation Cathedral in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019. Photo: Mikhail Frolov / President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan tours the  Annunciation Cathedra in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019
His Highness the Aga Khan tours the Annunciation Cathedral in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019. Photo: Mikhail Frolov / President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

MORE PHOTOS

For more photos of His Highness the Aga Khan’s visit to Kazan Kremlin, please click on http://kazan-kremlin.ru/new/ego-vysochestvo-prints-karim-aga-han-v-kazanskom-kremle/.

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4. VIDEO: The Aga Khan Award for Architecture Ceremony in Kazan

Video of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture held in Kazan, Tatarstan on Friday, September 13, 2019 (15:50 minutes)

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5. PHOTOS: The Aga Khan Award for Architecture Ceremony in Kazan

Aga Khan arrrives for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture ceremony in Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia on September 13, 2019
His Highness the Aga Khan, founder of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, and Mintimer Shaimiev, State Advisor of the Republic of Tatarstan, acknowledge well wishers as they arrive at Kazan’s Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theater named after M. Jalil, for the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture ceremony. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
 His Highness the Aga Khan and  Mintimer Shaimiev at the 2019 Aga Khan Awrd Cerremony in Kazan
His Highness the Aga Khan and Mintimer Shaimiev enter Kazan’s Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theater for the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture ceremony. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan in Kazan for 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture
His Highness the Aga Khan greets memebrs of his family as he arrives for the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture ceremony at Kazan’s Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theater. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan and Russia's Grand Mufti Talgat Safa Tajuddin
His Highness the Aga Khan is introduced to Talgat Safa Tajuddin, the Grand Mufti and Chairman of the Central spiritual administration of Muslims of Russia. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
 Guests at the Aga Khan Award for Architecture ceremony in Kazan's Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theater
Guests at the Aga Khan Award for Architecture ceremony in Kazan’s Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theater. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
 His Highness the Aga Khan and Mintimer Shaimiev
From left to right: Princess Zahra Aga Khan, His Highness the Aga Khan, Mintimer Shaimiev, Farid Mukhametshin, Irina Bokova and Eleanor Mitrofanova Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan in Kazan Aga Khan Award 2910
His Highness the Aga Khan enjoys a light moment while addressing guests at the Aga Khan Award for Architecture Ceremony in Kazan on September 13, 2019. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Mintimer Shaimiev at Aga Khan Award for Architecture cerremony
Mintimer Shaimiev presents his remarks at the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture ceremony in Kazan on September 13, 2019. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan in Kazan Aga Khan Award Ceremony
His Highness the Aga Khan uses a earpiece to listen to the translation of remarks delivered by Mintimer Shaimiev. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
audience standing ovation Aga Khan
Guests in the audience give a standing ovation to His Highness the Aga Khan upon Mintimer Shaimiev’s tribute to the 49th Ismaili Imam at the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture ceremony in Kazan. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
AKDN and Ismaili leaders at Aga Khan Award for Architecture  in Kazan.
The 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture ceremony was attended by leaders and members of the Aga Khan Development Network and the Ismaili community from around the world. The photo shows some of the many leaders who attended the ceremony. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
AKDN and Ismaili leaders at Aga Khan Award for Architecture in Kazan.
The 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture ceremony was attended by leaders and members of the Aga Khan Development Network and the Ismaili community from around the world. The photo shows some of the many leaders who attended the ceremony. Amir Kassim-Lakha, the new president of the Aga Khan Council for Canada, appointed to the position by His Highness the Aga Khan on July 11, 2019, is seen seated on the second row at right. He succeeded Malik Talib, who led as the council’s president for two terms. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
His Highness the Aga Khan and Mintimer Shaimiev with winners of the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture
His Highness the Aga Khan and Mintimer Shaimiev with winners of the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Photo collage prepared by Barakah. Photos: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
 winners of the 2019 Aga Khan Award of Architectecture with His Highness the Aga Khan, the founder of the Award, and Mintimer Shaimiev, State Advisor of the Republic of Tatarstan
A group photo of the winners of the 2019 Aga Khan Award of Architectecture with His Highness the Aga Khan, the founder of the Award, and Mintimer Shaimiev, State Advisor of the Republic of Tatarstan. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
His Highness the Aga Khan and Mintimer Shaimiev,
His Highness the Aga Khan applauds as Mintimer Shaimiev, State Counselor of the Republic of Tatarstan, receives special recognition for his lifetime effort and dedication to protect the heritage of Tatarstan. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan in Kazan for 2019 AKAA Ceremony
His Highness the Aga Khan seen acknowledging well wishers as he departs the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture ceremony held at Kazan’s Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theater, named after M. Jalil, on September 13, 2019. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

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6. News Reports

The following report is from the Press Service of the President of the Republic of Tartastan.

Aga Khan Award for Architecture Ceremony performance by  Anna Gulishambarova
Anna Gulishambarova leads the Novaya Muzyka Chamber Orchestra at the Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2019 Ceremony. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Today [September 13, 2019] in Kazan, at the Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theater named after M. Jalil, the ceremony of awarding the International Aga Khan Prize in Architecture 2019 took place.

The ceremony was attended by His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV and the State Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan, Chairman of the Republican Renaissance Fund, Hero of Labor of the Russian Federation Mintimer Shaimiev, Chairman of the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan Farit Mukhametshin, Head of the Federal Agency for CIS Affairs, compatriots living abroad, and on international humanitarian cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo) Eleanor Mitrofanova, former Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokova and other officials.

At the beginning of the celebration, a film about the 2019 Aga Khan Award winners was shown.

The prize was established in 1977, its total prize pool of [US] $ 1 million is divided between the winners. The prize is awarded every three years for projects that set new standards in architecture, planning, preservation of historical heritage and landscape design. In total, 380 projects from 39 countries took part in the competition. In the finals were 20 projects from 16 countries. One of six prizes was awarded to the Tatarstan project “Program for the Development of Public Spaces of the Republic.”

Eleanor Mitrofanova at Aga Khan Awarrd
Eleanor Mitrofanova, Head of the Federal Agency for CIS Affairs, deliverring her remarks at the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture ceremony in Kazan. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

The ceremony opened with a speech by Eleanor Mitrofanova, Head of the Federal Agency for CIS Affairs, compatriots living abroad, and on international humanitarian cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo).

“It is symbolic that the ceremony of presenting the prestigious Aga Khan architectural award takes place in the Republic of Tatarstan, in this wonderful region. In the republic, which is developing by leaps and bounds, and which only recently added two remarkable objects to the World Heritage List – Bolgar and Sviyazhsk, largely thanks to the efforts of the first President of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev and the hardworking multinational people of Tatarstan, who live in harmony, friendship and peace “, she said.

His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV in his speech noted that the importance of this program goes far beyond the scope of individual projects. “The Aga Khan Award for Architecture is not just a prize. This is a process. The process includes a wide range of discussions, conducted throughout the world, which forms the selection system. The theme of the award cycle, the culmination of which we celebrate today, is “Architecture in Dialogue”. This topic, born of discussions within the Steering Committee and the Jury, views architecture as a means for a healthy exchange of views that can encompass many diverse and even opposing points of view. In this dialogue, we must not only express our position, but also carefully listen to others. Moreover, you need not only to listen to each other, but also to learn from each other,” he said.

He further emphasized that the current ceremony is being held in a special place. “Tatarstan has for centuries demonstrated a commitment to the values ​​of pluralism. Kazan and this entire region have long been famous for a rich combination of ethnic groups and cultures, as well as a careful attitude to the preservation and respect of their architectural heritage. While in Kazan and visiting the Bulgarians, I saw how people can with equal respect value cultural identity and cultural diversity. A striking example of how churches and mosques were built and preserved next to each other, personifying the convincing symbols of deep intercultural dialogue. We hope that we will be able to demonstrate to the world this powerful pluralistic model that exists in places such as Kazan and Bulgaria. The world needs such examples. These days, the challenges that humanity is facing climate change, economic and technological inequality, epidemics, political polarization, population migration are accelerating their pace. And under these conditions, we must help each other live with dignity, ” he said.

RT State Advisor, Special Envoy of UNESCO for Intercultural Dialogue Mintimer Shaimiev in his speech expressed deep gratitude on behalf of the President of the Republic of Tatarstan Minnikhanov Rustam Nurgalievich and all Tatarstan people for the high appreciation of the program for the development of public spaces implemented by the republic and the right to host this ceremony in Kazan.

“We rely on the rich historical and cultural heritage of our people, their contribution to the common heritage of all mankind. We pay special attention to the preservation of interethnic and inter-confessional peace and harmony, the revival of spirituality. For us, the Muslim shrines of the ancient Bulgar, the Orthodox places of the island-city of Sviyazhsk, and the Kazan Kremlin are equally valuable. These three historic sites are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. This work, as I have repeatedly expressed, we are conducting publicly “from the heart — for the soul,” he said.

Mintimer Shaimiev also spoke about many of the projects implemented in Tatarstan aimed at solving the most pressing life problems of the population. These are programs on liquidation of dilapidated housing, continuous gasification and informatization of settlements of the republic, construction of roads and others.

“A worthy continuation of our aspirations was the initiative of the President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov in 2015 to implement the Program for the Development of Public Spaces. Now in all major cities and most regions of the republic there are beautiful parks and squares — places where everyone will find something to their liking, where it is convenient and safe.

“It is our great honor to be awarded the Aga Khan Award in the field of architecture along with five other important projects from Bangladesh, Palestine, the United Arab Emirates, Senegal and Bahrain. This adds confidence that we are following the right path, aiming us to develop. At present, a new three-year project on improving the courtyards of apartment buildings is being launched in the republic,” he said.

At the end of his speech, Mintimer Shaimiev thanked Prince Karim Aga Khan IV for this prestigious award, which was awarded to Tatarstan. “We regard it as a high appreciation of all the multifaceted activities carried out in the republic in the interests of the people,” he said.

Then His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV and Mintimer Shaimiev presented the certificates to the prize winners — the creators of the projects: Arcadia, Bangladesh Educational Project, Palestine Museum, Palestine, Wasit Wetland Center, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, Research Department of Alion Diop University, Senegal, Revitalization of Muharraq, Bahrain.

Aga Khan in Kazan
One of the winners of the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture was Tatarstan’s Public Spaces Development Programme. In the photo, the State Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan, Mintimer Shaimiev is seen receiving the prize cerificate from His Highness for the winning project. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

The prize certificate for the Tatarstan project “Program for the Development of Public Spaces” was awarded to the State Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev.

At the end of the celebration, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV expressed special gratitude to Mintimer Shaimiev for his many years of efforts to preserve the heritage of Tatarstan and presented him with a “special certificate” — the book “Heritage and Dialogue” published by the Aga Khan Culture Foundation. The book was printed specifically for the ceremony of awarding the International Aga Khan Prize in Architecture 2019 and is dedicated to the activities of the Republic of Tatarstan in the field of preservation of cultural and historical heritage.

MORE COVERAGE

7. BRIEF NOTES: Venue of the Aga Khan Award Ceremony in Kazan and Stamp Cancellation Ceremony in Bolgar

Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theater named after M. Jalil. Photo: Kazam-opera.ru

On Friday, September 13, Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, will preside over the ceremony to present the 2019 Aga Khan Award in Architecture (AKAA). The award ceremony will be held in the building of the Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theater named after M. Jalil. One of the prizes will awarded to the Tatarstan project: Program for the Development of Public Spaces of the Republic.

His Highness the Aga Khan cancels the First Day Cover Stamp issued to commemorate the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture during his visit to Boldar on Thursday, September 12, 2019. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Image of 2019 AKAA mint stamp.

To commemorate the 2019 Award Ceremony, His Highness the Aga Khan and M.Sh. Shaimiev participated in the First Day Cover stamp cancellation ceremony during their visit to Bolgar on Thursday, September 12. The ceremony signifies the date the stamp is initially placed on sale. An image of the Russian mint stamp (not actual size) is shown at left; 53 rubles converts to about CAN $1.05.

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DAY TWO: SEPTEMBER 12, 2019

(Day 1 coverage follows next)

On Thursday, September 12, Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, arrrived in Bolgar, a small town located on the left bank of the Volga River, 140 kilometers (87 mi) south from Kazan. He was accompanied by the State Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan, M.Sh. Shaimiev.

1. VIDEO: His Highness the Aga Khan visits Bolgar

(high quality video link at end of this post)

His Highness the Aga Khan in Bolgar

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2. PHOTOS: His Highness the Aga Khan visits Bolgar

Aga Khan in Bolgar
The helicopter that flew His Highness the Aga Khan and the State Advisor to Bolgar Republic of Tatarstan M.Sh. Shaimiev into the small town of Bolgar. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan in Bolgar, Tatarstan
His Highness the Aga Khan and the State Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan, M.Sh. Shaimiev, receive the traditional welcome as they arrive in Bolgar. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan in Bolgar
His Highness the Aga Khan accompanied by the State Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan, M.Sh. Shaimiev is greeted by Irina Bokova, former Director-General of UNESCO, upon his arrival in Bolgar. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan in Bolgar
His Highness the Aga Khan accompanied by the State Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan, M.Sh. Shaimiev is greeted upon arrival in Bolgar. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Bolgar is an important place for Muslim pilgrims. As the symbolic place of acceptance of Islam in 922 by the Volga Bolgars, it became the main pilgrimage site for Tatar Muslims and other Eurasian Muslim groups.

Bulgarian Islamic Academy in Bolgar, Tatarstan
A view of the Bulgarian Islamic Academy in Bolgar, Tatarstan. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
His Highness the Aga Khan is received by leaders of the Bulgarian Islamic Academy in Bolgar. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan with a mufti from Lebanon based at the Bulgarian Islamic Academy in Bolgar
His Highness the Aga Khan with a mufti from Lebanon based at the Bulgarian Islamic Academy in Bolgar. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan at Bolgar Islamic Academy
His Highness the Aga Khan, accompanied by the State Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan, M.Sh. Shaimiev, pictured outside the Bulgarian Islamic Academy with its leaders and members of his entourage. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Mawlana Hazar Imam visited the Bulgarian Islamic Academy in Bolgar, where he met with leaders of the Academy. First day covers commemorating the 14th Cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture were released at the Academy. The Award will take place in Kazan on Friday, September 13, 2019.

Aga Khan at Bulgarian Islamic Academy in Bolgar
His Highness the Aga Khan, accompanied by the State Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan, M.Sh. Shaimiev, at the Bulgarian Islamic Academy in Bolgar. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan in Bolgar
His Highness the Aga Khan, accompanied by the State Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan, M.Sh. Shaimiev, making remarks during his visit to the Bulgarian Islamic Academy in Bolgar. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan signs FDC in Bolgar at the Muslim Academy
His Highness the Aga Khan signs the First Day Cover issued to commemorate the Aga Khan Award Ceremony taking place in Kazan on Friday, September 13, 2019. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan Award First Day Covers released in Bolgar, Tatarstan
The framed First Day Cover containing the signatures of His Highness the Aga Khan and the State Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan, M.Sh. Shaimiev, is presented to an audience in Bolgar. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

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3. GALLERY: More photos of His Highness the Aga Khan’s visit to Bolgar

Photos are published under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 from the website of Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan, M. Sh. Shaimiev. Please visit http://shaimiev.tatarstan.ru/eng/pressa/photoreports/. Note: Photo captions will be completed as they become available.

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His Highness the Aga Khan observes the cover of one of the world’s largest copies of the Qur’an in Bolgar, Tatarstan. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
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4. News Reports of Bolgar visit

The following photo and report is taken from the official website of the Ismaili Muslim community, The.Ismaili.

His Highness the Aga Khan and Mintimer Shaimiev, State Counsellor of Tatarstan, reviewing the White Mosque in Bolgar. Photo: The Ismaili/Akbar Hakim.

Earlier today, 12 September, Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Bolgar, located in southwestern Tatarstan, in Russia. During his visit, Hazar Imam spent time at a number of historic site.

During his time in Bolgar, Hazar Imam participated in a postage stamp cancellation ceremony at the Bolgar Islamic Academy. Founded in 2016, the institute of higher education trains graduate students in a variety of fields relating to the study of theology and religion. Hazar Imam was accompanied at the ceremony by Mintimer Shaimiev, State Councellor of Tatarstan; and Daniyar Abdrakhmanov, Rector of the Bolgar Islamic Academy.

Following the ceremony, Mawlana Hazar Imam visited the White Mosque, one of the city’s focal points. The White Mosque contains minarets, a prayer room, and an arcade with 88 columns, while its main dome features exquisite stained glass windows.  

Later in the day, Hazar Imam visited the Bulgarian Civilisation Museum — which exhibits a number of artefacts detailing the development of religion in the area of Tatarstan — and the adjacent Qur’an Museum, the site of one of the largest copies of the Qur’an in the world. Weighing half a ton and measuring over 2 metres tall, its cover is made of fabric with patterned decoration in silver and gold.

The history of Bolgar dates back to the 9th and 10th centuries; the city was once the political, economic, and cultural centre of the Volga Bolgar civilisation. Local residents adopted Islam in the year 922, thus establishing close ties with the Muslim world. The city enjoyed its heyday during the period of the Golden Horde in the 13th century, when it was an important trading centre. The entire historical and archeological complex at Bolgar has been designated as a UNESCO heritage site.

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The following report is from the Press Service of the President of the Republic of Tartastan.

Today [September 12], His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV and the State Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan, Chairman of the Republican Renaissance Fund Mintimer Shaimiev made a trip to the Bulgarian historical and archaeological complex.

They were accompanied by the Head of the Federal Agency for CIS Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo) Eleonora Mitrofanova, former UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Tatarstan Vasil Shaykhraziev, Executive Director of the Republican Renaissance Foundation Tatyana Larionova, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Tatarstan Irada Ayupova, Head of the Spassky Region of the Republic of Tatarstan Kamil Nugaev, Director of the Bulgarian State Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve Farhat Mukhametov and other officials.

His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV arrived in Tatarstan to present the 2019 Aga Khan International Prize in Architecture. The award ceremony will be held tomorrow [September 13] in the building of the Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theater named after M. Jalil. One of the prizes was awarded to the Tatarstan project: Program for the Development of Public Spaces of the Republic.

Upon arrival on Bulgarian land, Mintimer Shaimiev invited His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV to see the complex of the Bulgarian Islamic Academy, in which the third academic year began in September this year. The rector of the Bulgarian Islamic Academy Daniyal Abdrakhmanov acquainted the guests with the current activities of the academy. Mintimer Shaimiev told His Highness about the important mission of the Bulgarian Academy, which is the highest link in the revived Islamic education system in Russia, and is preparing the intellectual elite of the country’s Muslim ummah — masters and doctors of Islamic theology.

His Highness the Aga Khan observes the cover of one of the world’s largest copies of the Qur’an in Bolgar, Tatarstan. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 .

Mintimer Shaimiev and His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV visited the classroom and talked with students. Then, in the multifunctional hall — the amphitheater of the Academy, the cancellation ceremony of the special postage stamp “International Aga Khan Prize in Architecture 2019” was held. In total, 150 thousand copies of the brand will be issued.

In his welcoming speech, Mintimer Shaimiev thanked the distinguished guest for his visit to Tatarstan. “Thank you so much for reaching these lands and showing great respect for our people, our believers, the Russian Federation, and all of us,” he said.

Mintimer Shaimiev noted that such significant events as the presentation of the International Prize are perpetuated through the creation and redemption of special stamps and thanked everyone whose efforts made this possible.

“It is a great honor for me to be here and with all my heart to welcome all those gathered for this ceremony. I want to say that it is very important to preserve the values ​​of the religion you profess. I am happy to take part in this cancellation ceremony of a postage stamp, which contributes to the spread of world peace,” said Prince Karim Aga Khan IV.

Then the guests visited the complex of the White Mosque and took a tour of the Bulgarian historical and archaeological complex. They visited the Museum of Bulgarian Civilization, examined the Memorial Sign in honor of the adoption of Islam by the Volga Bulgars and the largest printed Qur’an in the world.

More reports

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DAY ONE: SEPTEMBER 11, 2019

1. PHOTOS: His Highness the Aga Khan meets with Mintimer Shaimiev and writes a very special message of his visit

Aga Khan Meets Mintimer Shaimiev
His Highness the Aga Khan and the State Advisor of the Republic of Tatarstan M. Sh. Shaimiev seen greeting each other during a photo opportunity for the media. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan Meets Mintimer Shaimiev
His Highness the Aga Khan and the State Advisor of the Republic of Tatarstan M. Sh. Shaimiev seen greeting each other during a photo opportunity for the media. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan writes message in card for visitors book during his visit with Mintimer Shaimiev
His Highness the Aga Khan seen writing a message on a card to commemorate his visit to Kazan, Tatarstan. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan signs visitors book
His Highness the Aga Khan’s special message for the visitor’s book to commemorate his visit to Tatarstan for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture that will take place on September 13, 2019. The message reads: “With my warmest thanks for an unforgettable visit [Signed] Aga Khan. 11th Sept 2019.” Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

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2. VIDEO: His Highness the Aga Khan arrives in Kazan, Tatarstan

NOTE: A link to a high quality video of the arrival is provided near the end of the post. Worth watching in high resolution!

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3. PHOTOS: His Highness the Aga Khan arrives in Kazan, Tatarstan

Aga Khan arrives in Kazan, flags of Ismaili Imamat,Russian and  Tatarstan
The flags of the Ismaili Imamat, Russia and the Russian Republic of Tatarstan fly at airport as His Highness the Aga Khan arrives in Kazan on September 11, 2019. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan arrives in Kazan, Tatr hospitality
The traditional hospitality of Tatarstan awaits the arrival of His Highness the Aga Khan to Kazan on September 11, 2019. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
His Highness the Aga Khan alights from his jet, upon arrival in the capital city of Kazan on Wednesday September 11, 2019. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan arrived in Kazan September 11,
His Highness the Aga Khan is warmly greeted by Mintimer Shaimiev, the first President of Tatarstan Republic from 1991-2005 and currrently its State Counselor upon arrival in the capital city of Kazan on Wednesday September 11, 2019. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan arrives in Kazan on September 11, 2019
His Highness the Aga Khan is warmly greeted by Mintimer Shaimiev, the first President of Tatarstan Republic from 1991-2005 and currrently its State Counselor upon arrival in the capital city of Kazan on Wednesday September 11, 2019. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan arrives in Kazan on September 11, 2019
His Highness the Aga Khan is warmly greeted by Mintimer Shaimiev, the first President of Tatarstan Republic from 1991-2005 and currrently its State Counselor upon arrival in the capital city of Kazan on Wednesday September 11, 2019. He is partaking of the traditional Tartan offerings to visitors upon their arrival. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan arrives in Kazan
His Highness the Aga Khan is warmly greeted by Mintimer Shaimiev, the first President of Tatarstan Republic from 1991-2005 and currrently its State Counselor upon arrival in the capital city of Kazan on Wednesday September 11, 2019. He is partaking of the traditional Tartan offerings to visitors upon their arrival. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan arrives in Kazan
His Highness the Aga Khan is warmly greeted by Mintimer Shaimiev, the first President of Tatarstan Republic from 1991-2005 and currrently its State Counselor upon arrival in the capital city of Kazan on Wednesday September 11, 2019. He is partaking of the traditional Tartan offerings to visitors upon their arrival. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan arrives in Kzan
His Highness the Aga Khan with Mintimer Shaimiev, the first President of Tatarstan Republic from 1991-2005 and currrently its State Counselor, and Luis Monreal, the General Manager of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, upon his arrival in the capital city of Kazan on Wednesday September 11, 2019. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

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4. REPORTS: His Highness the Aga Khan arrives in Kazan

Compiled from the Press Service of the President of the Republic of Tatarstan

His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan was met at the Kazan International Airport by the State Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan, UNESCO Special Envoy for Intercultural Dialogue, Mintimer Shaimiev. Tatarstan Deputy Prime Minister Vasil Shaykhraziev, RT Minister of Culture Irada Ayupova, Deputy Head of the Office of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan – Head of the Secretariat of the State Advisor to the Republic of Tajikistan Oleg Glebov and other officials took part in the brief ceremony. His Highness will participate in the awarding ceremony of the 2019 Aga Khan International Prize in Architecture, which will be held at 3 PM on September 13 in the building of the Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theater named after M. Jalil.

Other External Links

  • Принц Ага-Хан IV приезжает в Татарстан: (Prince Aga Khan arrives in Tatarstan). This report in Sputnik news mentions that Mawlana Hazar Imam will be in Tatarstan from September 11-14 for the presentation of the Aga Khan Award, and that during his stay he will also visit the city of Bolgar, the Kazan Kremlin and the White Mosque.

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5. Official schedule of His Highness the Aga Khan

  1. His Highness the Aga Khan will arrrive in Kazan on Wednesday, September 11, 2019;
  2. On Thursday, September 12, His Highness the Aga Khan will visit the the State Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve city of Bolgar (the State Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve), in a programme tour of the architectural monuments of the Bulgarian settlement;
  3. Bolgar is a town and the administrative center of Spassky District in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia, located on the left bank of the Volga River, 140 kilometers (87 mi) from Kazan. Once a homeland of Bulgars – remote ancestors of today statars – now it is a Moslem sanctity and the place of pilgrimage;
  4. On Friday, September 13, he will be at the Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theater to preside over the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture (local Kazan time 15:00). The theatre is name after M. Dzhalil; and
  5. The programme will also include a sightseeing tour of the Kazan Kremlin.

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6. Links to High Resolution Photos and 5 High Quality Videos

(Note: All photos shown on this post as well as the arrrival video are available in high resolution at the official website of the Tatarstan Government; see links below. They can be freely downloaded without any restrictions under Creative Commons Attribute 4.0. Enjoy the photos and video in this post, as well as the high resolutions ones.

KAZAN VISIT – DOWNLOADABLE HIGH RESOLUTION PHOTOS AT: http://tatarstan.ru/eng/press/photo.htm/photoreport/5627827.htm

KAZAN ARRIVAL VISIT – HIGH QUALITY VIDEO (length 55 seconds) AT:
http://ftp.prav.tatar.ru/president/2019/09/110919/air/2.mp4

BOLGAR VISIT – HIGH QUALITY VIDEO (10 minutes 28 seconds) AT:
http://ftp.prav.tatar.ru/president/2019/09/120919/bulg/1.mp4

BOLGAR MOSQUE VISIT – HIGH QUALITY VIDEO (3 minutes 13 seconds) AT:
http://ftp.prav.tatar.ru/president/2019/09/120919/bulg/2.mp4

KAZAN AGA KHAN AWARD CEREMONY – HIGH QUALITY VIDEO (15 minutes 50 seconds) AT:
http://ftp.prav.tatar.ru/km/2019/09/130919/prinz/prinz.mp4

KAZAN KREMLIN VISIT – HIGH QUALITY VIDEO (2 minutes 11 seconds) AT:
http://ftp.prav.tatar.ru/km/2019/09/130919/kremlin/1.mp4

Note: All content on the Tatarstan.ru website is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International. Feel free to download the photos and video, and distribute them citing CCA 4.0 (important).

Date posted: September 11, 2019, 11:00 AM, Toronto.
Last updated: September 17, 2019, 16:33 PM, Toronto.

Before departing this website please take a moment to visit Barakah’s Table of Contents for links to more than 170 pieces dedicated to Mawlana Hazar Imam and his family.

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Barakah welcomes your feedback. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or send your comment to simerg@aol.com. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

Please join/like Barakah at http://www.facebook.com/1000fold and also follow us at http://twitter.com/simerg.

This website, Barakah, is a special project by http://www.Simerg.com and is dedicated to the textual and visual celebration of His Highness the Aga Khan and members of his family, as well as the Ismaili Imamat.

Founder of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture and Logo of the Award

Mawlana Hazar Imam is expected to arrive in Kazan, Tatarstan on September 11, for 14th Cycle of Aga Khan Award for Architecture

By MALIK MERCHANT
(Publisher-Editor, Simerg, Barakah and Simergphotos)

Further to our earlier story Kazan in Tatarstan, Russia, to host 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture, Barakah is pleased to report from official media sources of the President of Tatarstan that Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, will arrive in the capital, Kazan, on September 11 (see links below), to participate in the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture Ceremony. The actual ceremony will take place on Friday, September 13, and will be webcast live at the.ismaili, the official website of the Ismaili community. This will the 14th cycle of the Aga Khan Award; the first one took place in 1980 at the Shalimar Gardens in Lahore.

Mintimer Shaimiev, the first President of Tatarstan Republic and currrently the State Counselor for the Russian Republic, is expected to welcome Mawlana Hazar Imam on September 11 and 12, and then attend the Award ceremony on Friday, the 13th. Shaimiev, a Muslim, was nationally elected first President of Tatarstan in 2001, and then re-elected twice in 1996 and 2001. In 2005, upon submission of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan conferred authority of the President of the Republic of Tatarstan on Mintimer Shaimiev. He did not seek presidential nomination for the term beginning 2010, and handed powers to Rustam Minnikhanov. Shaimiev was then appointed State Counselor of the Republic of Tatarstan. His council is constantly engaged with President Minnikhanov’s office in the execution of budgets as well as programs for the socio and economical advancement of Tatarstan.

In a special report announcing The 2019 Winners of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, Cathleen McGuigan, the editor-in-chief of the prestigious 125 year old Architectural Record magazine, writes: “In a profession crowded with prizes, the Aga Khan Award for Architecture remains one of the world’s most significant and influential honors. Established in 1977 by His Highness the Aga Khan, the awards, which are given every three years, shine a light on parts of the globe that are often overlooked by Western critics and professionals…rather than being judged merely by photographs and architect-supplied text, as so many design awards are, the short-listed projects are visited by technical experts who submit detailed reports to the jury.”

Barakah looks forward to providing a comprehensive coverage of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s visit to Kazan. Please visit this website regularly.

Date posted: September 10, 2019.

Before departing this website please take a moment to visit Barakah’s Table of Contents for links to more than 170 pieces dedicated to Mawlana Hazar Imam and his family.

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Correction: The original version of this post incorrectly mentioned that the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture was in its 19th cycle. The Award began in 1980, and is given every 3 years. It is now in its 14th cycle and not 19th. We apologize for the error.

*Government of Tatarstan links:

  1. http://gossov.tatarstan.ru/events1/bulletin/; and
  2. http://prav.tatarstan.ru/index.htm/plan/2019-09-11.htm (then select dates – September 11, 12, 13).

Barakah welcomes your feedback. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or send your comment to simerg@aol.com. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

Please join/like Barakah at http://www.facebook.com/1000fold and also follow us at http://twitter.com/simerg.

This website, Barakah, is a special project by http://www.Simerg.com and is dedicated to the textual and visual celebration of His Highness the Aga Khan and members of his family, as well as the Ismaili Imamat.

Kazan in Tatarstan, Russia, to host 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture on September 13, with live broadcast on The.Ismaili

President of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov, viewing Aga Khan Award for Architecure panel display in Kazan.
The President of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov (left), being briefed about the Aga Khan Award for Architecture at the Kazan Expo Exhibition Centre during the Russia-Islamic World Summit held in April 2019. At right is Shams Kassim-Lakha of the University of Central Asia. Photo: President of Tatarstan; Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Report compiled and prepared by MALIK MERCHANT
(Publisher-Editor, Simerg, Barakah and Simergphotos)

On April 25, 2019, the Director of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (AKAA) Farrokh Derakhshani, was in attendance at the Kazan Expo Exhibition Centre for a major International Economic Summit entitled “Russia – Islamic World Kazan Summit 2019″ at which he introduced the President of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov, to the Aga Khan Award for Architecture’s 20 short–listed projects for the 2019 Awards. Among those present at the Expo, was Shams Kassim-Lakha of the University of Central Asia. At the time, it was also confirmed that the 2019 Aga Khan Award ceremony would take place in Kazan. In the video posted below (see first 3 minutes), the Tatarstan President is seen getting an overview of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture through a panel display.

 Aga Khan Award for Architecure panel display in Kazan Tatarstan
Panel display of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture at the Russia-Islamic World Summit held in Kazan in April 2019. Photo: President of Tatarstan; Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Tatarstan with a population of nearly 3.8 million is a federal subject of the Russian Federation. It is located 800 kms east of Moscow and is situated at the confluence of two large rivers – the Volga and the Kama. It is a kind of bridge connecting Russia’s European and Asian parts. As a meeting point of civilizations, a symbolic crossroads of eastern and western, Asian and European religious and cultural traditions, Tatarstan has accumulated extensive experience in maintaining inter-ethnic and inter-faith accord.

The capital of the republic is the city of Kazan with a population of over 1.1 million. The pearl of the thousand-year-old city is the Kazan Kremlin that is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Kazan Kremlin, World Heritage Site
The Kazan Kremlin is the chief historic citadel of Russia, situated in the city of Kazan. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 2000. Photo: President of Tatarstan/Michael Frolov; Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Al-Mardzhani mosque in Kazan
The historic Al-Mardzhani mosque in Kazan is named after Tatar educator and theologian Shigabutdin Mardzhani. Photo: President of Tatarstan; Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Islam and Orthodox Christianity are traditional religions in Tatarstan, while Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism and other faiths are also presented here. Balance of interests of the two faiths and full equality before the law for all religions lay in the basis of inter-faith agreement in the republic.

One of the winning projects of the 2019 AKAA is from the Republic of Tatarstan. The Public Spaces Development Programme has to date improved 328 public spaces all over Tatarstan. The ambitious programme sought to counter the trend toward private ownership by refocusing priorities on quality public spaces for the people of Tatarstan. It has now become a model throughout the Russian Federation.

Public Spaces Development Programme, various locations, Tatarstan, Russian Federation. | AKDN
One of 328 public spaces for public use and enjoyment in various location in Tatarstan. Photo: AKDN .

In her piece, The Winners of the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture, Cathleen McGuigan, the editor-in-chief of the prestigious 125 year old Architectural Record magazine, writes: “In a profession crowded with prizes, the Aga Khan Award for Architecture remains one of the world’s most significant and influential honors. Established in 1977 by His Highness the Aga Khan, the awards, which are given every three years, shine a light on parts of the globe that are often overlooked by Western critics and professionals…rather than being judged merely by photographs and architect-supplied text, as so many design awards are, the short-listed projects are visited by technical experts who submit detailed reports to the jury.”

Barakah looks forward to providing a comprehensive coverage of the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture in the coming week, with reports, photos and speeches from the event. The actual Award Ceremony will take place on Friday, September 13, and will be webcast at the.ismaili/live. Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, will preside over the ceremony and present certificates to the winners.

Date posted: September 8, 2019.
Last updated: September 10, 2019.

Before departing this page please take a moment to visit Barakah’s Table of Contents for links to more than 170 pieces dedicated to Mawlana Hazar Imam and his family.

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CREDIT: This post has been prepared using material in Wikipedia and the official website of Tatarstan, http://tatarstan.ru/, under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

2019 AGA KHAN AWARD PRESS KIT: For a full on-line press kit, which includes briefs on each of the winning projects, high resolution images, broadcast-quality video (for use by television stations and websites) and other information, please see https://www.akdn.org/2019AwardWinners.

Other external links:

  1. https://www.cnn.com/style/article/aga-khan-awards-intl-scli/index.html.
  2. https://www.canadianarchitect.com/six-projects-win-the-2019-aga-khan-award-for-architecture/
  3. https://www.archdaily.com/923923/the-2019-winners-of-the-aga-khan-award-for-architecture
  4. https://archpaper.com/2019/09/2019-aga-khan-award-for-architecture-winners/
  5. https://scoopempire.com/three-arab-sites-win-the-prestigious-aga-khan-award-for-architecture/

Barakah welcomes your feedback. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or send your comment to simerg@aol.com. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

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This website, Barakah, is a special project by http://www.Simerg.com and is dedicated to the textual and visual celebration of His Highness the Aga Khan and members of his family, as well as the Ismaili Imamat.

His Highness the Aga Khan in Kenya

Photos of His Highness the Aga Khan from the collection of veteran Ismaili journalist (Late) Sultan Jessa, Order of Canada

Introduced by MALIK MERCHANT
(Publisher-Editor, Simerg, Barakah and Simergphotos)

Aga Khan, Begum Salimah and Sultan Jessa
His Highness the Aga Khan and Begum Salimah with Sultan Jessa (d. August 22, 2019) at the bungalow of the late Diwan Sir Eboo Pirbhai during their 1972 visit to Kenya. Photo: © Azhar Chaudhry / Sultan Jessa Collection.

The photographs of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, and members of his family appearing in this post were shared with me by Late Sultan Jessa (Order of Canada, OC) during my visit to his home in Montreal a few years ago. Jessa passed away in Montreal on Thursday, August 22, 2019.

Pieces such as this that were previously published in Barakah’s two affiliated websites, Simerg and Simergphotos, are being transitioned to Barakah, which was launched in 2017 as a dedication to Mawlana Hazar Imam. Thus, over time, Barakah will become a comprehensive source of visual and textual material on Mawlana Hazar Imam and his family as well as the Ismaili Imamat. Currently, Barakah has more than 170 informative and interesting posts, with hundreds of photographs.

Sultan Jessa with Governor General Adrienne Clarkson in 2005 upon receiving Order of Canada
Sultan Jessa with Her Excellency Adrianne Clarkson, the former Governor General of Canada, at the event in 2005 marking the presentation to him of Canada’s highest honour, the Order of Canada. Photo: Sultan Jessa Collection.

In publishing Jessa’s collection in Barakah at this date and time, we honour the memory of an outstanding Ismaili who served as a journalist in two continents for more than 50 years, and also richly contributed to the society in Canada, leaving an indelible imprint wherever he served. As he mentioned in an interview with me, his active involvement with communities across Canada was one way to meet the pledge of his beloved 49th Imam who had said in a speech that his Ismaili followers would become contributors to Canadian society.

Originally from Tanzania, Jessa’s love for his adopted new land and his contributions to Canadian society led him to be recognized in 2005 with the country’s highest honour, the Order of Canada (OC).

We mourn the loss of Sultan Jessa, OC, and pray that he may rest in eternal peace.

Photographs of His Highness the Aga Khan taken by Azhar Chaudhry

Azhar Chaudhry was the chief photographer of Kenya’s major daily, Daily Nation. Sultan Jessa was a colleague of Azhar, and provided these photographs to the editor of this blog for publication with the photographer’s permission. We proudly present these pictures, for which we are greatly indebted to both Azhar Chaudhry and Sultan Jessa.

Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, is greeted upon arrival at the Nairobi Embakasi airport by Kenya’s cabinet minister, Dr. Njoroge Mungai (1926-2014), as Diwan Sir Eboo Pirbhai (1905-1990) looks on. Dr. Mungai served in numerous ministerial positions and gained fame as an astute diplomat during his tenure as Kenya’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. Diwan Eboo was one of the longest serving leaders in the Ismaili community during the 20th century. Photo: © Azhar Chaudhry / Sultan Jessa Collection.
His Highness the Aga Khan and Foreign Minister Dr. Njoroge Mungai, share a light moment at a press conference held at the VIP lounge at Nairobi’s Embakasi Airport. Photo: © Azhar Chaudhry / Sultan Jessa Collection.
(From left) Kenyan Vice President Daniel Arap Moi, His Highness the Aga Khan, Kenyan President Jomo Kenyatta and Mwai Kibaki (extreme right, who later became President of Kenya), watch a traditional African dance at the Presidential residence during the 49th Ismaili Imam’s visit to Kenya. Photo: © Azhar Chaudhry / Sultan Jessa Collection.
His Highness the Aga Khan in conversation with Kenyan leaders. Photo: © Azhar Chaudhry / Sultan Jessa Collection.
His Highness the Aga Khan and Begum Salimah Aga Khan watch a cultural performance during their visit to Kenya. Photo: © Azhar Chaudhry / Sultan Jessa Collection.
His Highness the Aga Khan unveils a plaque during a visit to Kenya. Photo: © Azhar Chaudhry / Sultan Jessa Collection.
A young girl shies away from the cameras, as her classmate presents her freshly clad henna hands to the photographers during a school visit by Begum Salimah Aga Khan. Photo: © Azhar Chaudhry / Sultan Jessa Collection.
His Highness the Aga Khan is welcomed by Kenyan Cabinet Minister, Ronald Ngala, during his arrival at a Kenyan city. Photo: © Azhar Chaudhry / Sultan Jessa Collection.
His Highness the Aga Khan is greeted by Mr. Michael Curtis during his visit to Kenya. Curtis served His Highness for over 40 years, first at the Daily Nation and later in France at the Aga Khan Development Network. He passed away in 2004. Photo: © Azhar Chaudhry / Sultan Jessa Collection.
His Highness the Aga Khan in Kenya
Ismaili youth respectfully lineup to receive their beloved 49th Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, as he arrives with Begum Salimah to give an audience to his followers at a Kenyan Jamatkhana. Photo: © Azhar Chaudhry / Sultan Jessa Collection.
His Highness the Aga Khan visits a patient at Nairobi’s Aga Khan Platinum Jubilee Hospital during his visit to Kenya. Photo: © Azhar Chaudhry / Sultan Jessa Collection.
His Highness the Aga Khan visits a patient at Nairobi’s Aga Khan Platinum Jubilee Hospital during his visit to Kenya. Photo: © Azhar Chaudhry / Sultan Jessa Collection.
His Highness the Aga Khan arrives to a warm reception at a Kenyan city. Photo: © Azhar Chaudhry / Sultan Jessa Collection.
His Highness the Aga Khan seen making remarks during a reception held by a Kenyan Mayor, with Begum Salimah looking on. Photo: © Azhar Chaudhry / Sultan Jessa Collection.
An Ismaili leader respectfully presents herself to His Highness the Aga Khan as he arrives at a Jamatkhana during his visit to Kenya. Photo: © Azhar Chaudhry / Sultan Jessa Collection.

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More photos from Sultan Jessa Collection

His Highness the Aga Khan with Tanzania’s President Julius Nyerere during his visit to the country. Photo: © Sultan Jessa Collection.
His Highness the Aga Khan and Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere (1922-1999) share a light moment as Vice President Rashidi Kawawa (1926-2009) looks on during the 49th Ismaili Imam’s visit to Tanzania. Photo: © Sultan Jessa Collection.
His Highness the Aga Khan and aspiring young photographer, Alnoor Abdulla Premji Kanji, now a resident of Toronto, await the printout of a photograph taken with Alnoor’s Polaroid instant camera during the 49th Ismaili Imam’s visit to Mtwara, Tanzania, in 1966. Photo: © Sultan Jessa Collection.
Aga Khan in Mtawra Tanzania, 1966. Tries out polaroid.
His Highness the Aga Khan tries out Alnoor Kanji’s Polaroid camera during his stay in Mtwara, Tanzania, as part of his extensive visit to East Africa in 1966. Photo: © Sultan Jessa Collection.

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Sultan Jessa and Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan
Youthful Sultan Jessa with Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan. Photo: © Sultan Jessa Collection.
Prince Amyn with family of Sultan Jessa in Arusha, Tanzania
Prince Amyn Aga Khan in conversation with Sultan Jessa’s parents during a brief visit to the family’s coffee and mixed farm known as the Letizia Plantation, near Arusha, Tanzania. Photo: © Sultan Jessa Collection.

Date posted: August 24, 2019.

Before departing this page please take a moment to visit Barakah’s Table of Contents for links to more than 170 pieces dedicated to Mawlana Hazar Imam and his family.

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Azhar Chaudhry

Daily Nation chief photographer Azhar Chaudhry looks on as His Highness the Aga Khan signs a copy of a special souvenir publication entitled “Smiling Safari” that he produced on behalf of the newspaper to commemorate the 49th Ismaili Imam’s visit to East Africa in the early 1970’s. Photo: © Sultan Jessa Collection.

Barakah welcomes your feedback. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or send your comment to simerg@aol.com. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

Please join/like Barakah at http://www.facebook.com/1000fold and also follow us at http://twitter.com/simerg.

This website, Barakah, is a special project by http://www.Simerg.com and is dedicated to the textual and visual celebration of His Highness the Aga Khan and members of his family, as well as the Ismaili Imamat.

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