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His Highness the Aga Khan on the importance of Mumbai and India to his family and the Ismaili community

If India continues to uphold the simple rights of the individual, if she goes on tolerating the minority as well as the majority points of view, if she never falters in her determination to do everything possible to relieve poverty and human suffering, she will triumph over her difficulties and set an example to all those other countries which face similar problems — His Highness the Aga Khan, Mawlana Hazar Imam, March 11, 1958.

His Highness the Aga Khan, Mawlana Hazar Imam, commenced his Diamond Jubilee year with a Homage Ceremony held on July 11, 2017 at his residence in France. He then travelled to seven countries which are covered in Barakah’s recent post Highlights from the Aga Khan’s Diamond Jubilee year from July 11, 2017 to January 31, 2018.

Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee decorations on Pune Jamatkhana India IMG-20180214-WA0014

Pune Ismaili Jamatkhana decorated for the Diamond Jubilee of His Highness the Aga Khan.

Commencing next week, the Aga Khan will arrive in India to celebrate his Diamond Jubilee with Ismailis in India. We present the following historical speech he made on March 11, 1958, in Mumbai (then Bombay) on the occasion of his Takhtnashini or ceremonial installation. Similar symbolic coronation ceremonies were also held in Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, Kampala and Karachi after the Aga Khan succeeded his grandfather to the throne of Imamat on July 11, 1957 at the age of 20.

March 11, 1958: The Aga Khan’s takhtnashini speech

Thanks to my grandfather’s guidance and wisdom, Ismaili families are to be found today all over the world, living peaceably beneath the flags of many nations, owing allegiance to a wide variety of governments.

By HIS HIGHNESS THE AGA KHAN

(GERMANY OUT) Aga Khan IV., Prinz Karim *13.12.1936- Imam der Ismaeliten (Ismaeli Sekte), Unternehmer, GB - Portrait, laechelt - 1960 (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

His Highness the Aga Khan, 49th Hereditary Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims (Copyright. 1960 photo by Ullstein bild via Getty Images).

….This is a very special occasion for the Ismailis of India, and I speak for them all when I say how much I have appreciated the friendly co-operation which my community has received in the many details of preparation….To all our distinguished guests present here this afternoon, I extend a very warm and sincere welcome to this ceremony.

Bombay, as you now have been reminded, has very close associations with my family. It was here, and here alone, that my grandfather was acclaimed as the forty-eighth Imam of the Shia Imami Ismailis. That was 73 years ago and at that time he was only eight years old. What tremendous changes have come about since those days! The Ismaili community has grown and prospered almost beyond recognition. Thanks to my grandfather’s guidance and wisdom, Ismaili families are to be found today all over the world, living peaceably beneath the flags of many nations, owing allegiance to a wide variety of governments.

In some ways, therefore, it could be said that Bombay is the birth-place of our modern, world-wide community. I hope that the Ismailis who live here will remember this fact and their duty to set an example which other communities abroad will be proud to follow.

It does not matter whether you are wealthy or poor, whether you are in business or the professions, whether you work with hands or brain, your spiritual obligations are equal. By the way you conduct your daily lives, by the compassion you show to your fellow men and women, and above all by your faith in God, you will ultimately be judged.

I feel certain that great opportunities lie ahead for you in this country. For, while it is true that the Ismailis have developed and grown during the past eighty years, how much more evident is this of India herself. India was one of the five great Asian powers to win independence, and by voluntarily electing to associate herself with the Commonwealth of Nations, she was also the first to embrace wholeheartedly the concepts of individual liberty and parliamentary democracy.

To guarantee, as your government has done, that every man and woman should have the right to speak, write, vote and worship as he or she thinks best, subject only to the common rule of law, is a tremendous undertaking for any nation. For a country with a population of more than 350 million, a country with a civilization as old, and a government structure as new as this one, wrestling with what must often seem an almost intolerable burden of poverty and illiteracy, it is one of the most courageous political experiments the world has ever seen. The manner in which India has set about her task, both politically and economically, has captured the imagination of thinking people everywhere.

To all Ismaili here today, I would say this. There is nothing exclusive about you. While your religious faith will always preserve a special identity, your secular loyalty is solely to India and to its elected government. Our faith teaches us that we have obligations far beyond our own or even our family’s interests. If you remain united, work towards community progress…you will, I am sure, go far.

Of course, the picture is not uniformly bright; it never is. There are shadows born of the past as well as those which loom in the future. These are inevitable. They constitute an abiding challenge to the courage, integrity and foresight of India’s leaders, both present and to come.

In all humility, I suggest that the challenge will most surely be faced and overcome if this nation stands fast by the liberal principles which it honours today. If India continues to uphold the simple rights of the individual, if she goes on tolerating the minority as well as the majority points of view, if she never falters in her determination to do everything possible to relieve poverty and human suffering, I feel sure she will triumph over her difficulties and set an example to all those other countries which face similar problems.

The Ismailis are a relatively small segment of the huge, complex tapestry we know as modern India. But I believe they will play a full and by no means unimportant part in the future development of this country.

To all Ismaili here today, I would say this. There is nothing exclusive about you. While your religious faith will always preserve a special identity, your secular loyalty is solely to India and to its elected government. I urge my community to keep this constantly in their minds. But they should do more still. The Ismailis have always prided themselves on their highly developed social conscience. Our faith teaches us that we have obligations far beyond our own or even our family’s interests. If you remain united, work towards community progress, and respect your leaders, you will, I am sure, go far. As part of the nation of India, you must contribute your share to her advancement.

With humility, tolerance and respect for each other, by honest work and straight dealings, you will earn the true friendship of your fellows. It does not matter whether you are wealthy or poor, whether you are in business or the professions, whether you work with hands or brain, your spiritual obligations are equal. By the way you conduct your daily lives, by the compassion you show to your fellow men and women, and above all by your faith in God, you will ultimately be judged.

Date posted: February 16, 2018.

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Speech source: Paigham-e-Imamat, pp. 18-20, published by the Ismailia Association for Edmonton, 1982-83.

Barakah welcomes your feedback. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or send your feedback to simerg@aol.com.

Note: This blog, Barakah, is a special project of http://www.Simerg.com and has been undertaken to celebrate 60 years or the Diamond Jubilee of  His Highness the Aga Khan.

For links to all the posts on this blog, please click Table of Contents.

 

 

“A Dream Come True” – Reminiscences of the Aga Khan’s 2013 visit to India, as tens of thousands of joyous Ismailis await his forthcoming Diamond Jubilee visit

BY TORAL PRADHAN

The recent announcement by the Ismaili Leaders International Forum confirming Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Diamond Jubilee visit to India sent waves of joy amongst the India Jamat. However, the uncertainty over the dates for several more days meant that time was once again playing a game of hide and seek with us, sending us teasers now and then. Finally, when the dates were declared, the jamat went into a frenzy of joy. Celebrations began all over India, with serving of sweets, playing the band and of course the traditional dandia-raas without which any celebration amongst the Indians goes incomplete. Mawlana Hazar Imam, we have learned, will be arriving in New Delhi on February 20, and will be staying in India for ten days during which he will perform religious work. He will grant the jamats in India with a darbar in Mumbai.

Aga Khan Visit India-IMG-20180211-WA0035-cropped

Volunteers put finishing touches to the Diamond Jubilee decorations at Karimabad Jamatkhana in Surat.

The rounds of preparations to be done for the visit began – mulaqat registrations, voluntary duties to be assigned, and transport facilities for the didars. Indeed, this is a tough task for the organizers and the volunteers with the jamat being so widely spread. Once more like the previous visit in 2013, it was a short time frame for all the physical and logistical preparations, but the spirit of the volunteers in the jamat makes the impossible things possible, due to their love and dedication towards their Imam.

Decorations are being done in many Jamatkhanas, with beautiful lightings, flower arrangements,  and artistic displays as a welcoming gesture from all the jamats for their ever loving  Spiritual Father.

Each day begins with a countdown of days, hours, minutes that are to be passed over, until the final moment arrives when each one of us will have a glimpse of our beloved Hazar Imam. I am short of words to describe that moment, that emotion, that connection. So we just wait, await, yearn and pray with peace and love in our hearts for that Divine Moment that Mawlana Hazar Imam will grant us.

As I personally await  the momentous Diamond Jubilee didars, I reminisce over Mawlana Hazar Imam and his 2013 visit to India that I described on this blog’s sister website Simerg shortly after the visit. I am truly delighted that the editor has decided to include the piece here, below. I think readers will find the section about the volunteers particularly interesting and inspiring.

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 Reminiscences of His Highness the Aga Khan’s 2013 Visit to India: “A Dream Come True” and “An Experience of Being Lifted Away to Another World”

“The car door was left open waiting for him to sit in, but Hazar Imam was instead moving around the compound as if unwilling to leave the premises…..This is a sight that is difficult to erase from the mind, an unforgettable experience, appearing again and again in our vision, lifting us away from this world.”

By Toral Pradhan

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

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

I. Aga Khan’s arrival, public engagements and interviews

September 17, 2013: Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, commenced his 11-day official visit to India. He was received at Airforce station, Palam, New Delhi by the Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh, leaders of the Ismaili community and representatives of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). Two major public functions planned for the visit were the inauguration in New Delhi of the restoration of the tomb of the Muslim Emperor, Humayun, and the official opening of the Aga Khan Academy in Hyderabad.

For the Indian Ismaili Jamats, the arrival of Mawlana Hazar Imam on Indian soil carried even deeper significance and meaning as thousands would be blessed with the didar (lit. a glimpse) of their beloved 49th Imam, the direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.). Their preparations for the mulaqat with the Imam had begun a few weeks earlier when the visit was first announced.

Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives in New Delhi and is received by leaders of the Jamat and the Aga Khan Development Network. Photo: AKDN/Gary Otte.

Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives in New Delhi and is received by leaders of the Jamat and the Aga Khan Development Network. Photo: AKDN/Gary Otte.

Notwithstanding the short time frame for which to prepare the visit, the Indian Ismaili leadership knew that they would be able to count on the community and particularly its outstanding volunteers. The scope and logistics of the visit were complex as thousands of murids would gather in Mumbai from several parts of Western India. The Ismaili volunteers moto, “Work No Words”, as well as the Jamats’ immense love for their Imam has always enabled the community to accomplish the seemingly impossible. Before describing the Jamati aspect of the visit, I will provide an overview of the public engagements undertaken by Mawlana Hazar Imam.

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

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

Soon after his arrival, His Highnesss the Aga Khan, accompanied by his son Prince Hussain Aga Khan, first visited the Sunder Nursery, a part of the Humayun Tomb restoration project that also included the Batashwala Complex, Nizamuddin Basti development and the conservation of several other monuments.

September 18: The inaugural function of the completion of the restoration of 16th century garden tomb of the Mughal Emperor, Humayun, was held in the presence of Mawlana Hazar Imam, the Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Minister for Culture, Chandresh Kumari Katoch, and Chairman of the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, Ratan Tata, reflecting a public-private partnership that was central to the success of the mega project.

 The Humayun Tomb, the resting place of the second Mughal emperor and a precursor to the Taj Mahal,forms a backdrop in this picture taken during the inauguration ceremony on September 18, 2013 which was attended by the Chief Guest, the Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh, His Highness the Aga Khan, the Minister of Culture, Chandresh Kumari Katoch, Chairman Ratan Tata of the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and Prince Hussain Aga Khan. Photo: The website of the Prime Minister of India.


The Humayun Tomb, the resting place of the second Mughal emperor and a precursor to the Taj Mahal, forms a backdrop in this picture taken during the inauguration ceremony on September 18, 2013 which was attended by the Chief Guest, the Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh, His Highness the Aga Khan, the Minister of Culture, Chandresh Kumari Katoch, Chairman Ratan Tata of the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and Prince Hussain Aga Khan. Photo: The website of the Prime Minister of India.

His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan meeting the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, in New Delhi on September 18, 2013. P D Photo by Hansraj

His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan meeting the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, in New Delhi on September 18, 2013. P D Photo by Hansraj.

Later during the day, His Highness met with the Prime Minister once again, and other government dignitaries including India’s Vice President, Mohamad Ansari, and Minister of External Affairs, Salman Khurshid. He stayed at the Taj Hotel, Delhi. A banquet was hosted by Vice President at Hyderabad House.

September 19: Hazar Imam met other Government dignitaries at Delhi including the President of India, Pranab Mukherji at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Urban development Minister Kamalnath and the Minister for Culture, Chandresh Kumara Katoch. He also visited Sonia Gandhi at her residence at 10 Janpath in New Delhi.

His Highness the Aga Khan with Indian leaders during his visit to the country in September 2013. Clockwise (from top left) the Honourable Vice President of India, Mohammad Hamid Ansari; Shrimati Chandresh Kumari Katoch, India's Minister of Culture; His Excellency the Honourable Pranab Mukherjee, President of India; The Honourable Arun Jaitley, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha (upper house) of India; Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance; the Honourable Salman Khurshid, External Affairs Minister of India, Photos: AKDN/Gary Otte

His Highness the Aga Khan with Indian leaders during his visit to the country in September 2013. Clockwise (from top left) the Honourable Vice President of India, Mohammad Hamid Ansari; Shrimati Chandresh Kumari Katoch, India’s Minister of Culture; His Excellency the Honourable Pranab Mukherjee, President of India; The Honourable Arun Jaitley, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha (upper house) of India; Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance; the Honourable Salman Khurshid, External Affairs Minister of India, Image: Simerg – a collage of photos taken by AKDN/Gary Otte.

Prince Hussain departed from India on that day.

September 20: Hazar Imam arrived at Hyderabad and stayed at the Falaknuma Place — Taj Hotel. Together with the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy, and the Minister for Human Resources, Dr. Palam Raju, Mawlana Hazar Imam inaugurated the Aga Khan Academy in Hyderabad, part of a network project of eighteen academies of educational excellence worldwide. Dr. Reddy offered to give additional land to Hazar Imam for any other future projects.

5072_Aga Khan 2013 India Visit

A budding artist at the Aga Khan Academy presents her work to His Highness the Aga Khan, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, and the Minister for Human Resources Development. Photo: AKDN/Gary Otte

In an interview with Ranjan Roya of the Times of India, Mawlana Hazar Imam was asked about what he qualified as ethical service in everyday life, and he replied:

“Ethical service, I would say, is a vehicle that is available to support civil society. Civil society has to be driven first by competence. Secondly, it has to be driven by ethical behaviour because otherwise it would leave itself vulnerable to attacks. I think because of an increased dependence on technology we are moving more and more towards being individualistic rather than becoming integrated with society.”

September 21: Hazar Imam met Andhra Pradesh Governor, ESL Narasimhan and the Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy at Falaknuma Palace. He later visited the historic 400 year old tombs of Quli Qutub Shah in Hyderabad, which is the site of the next renovation project.

In another interview featured in India Today when asked by deputy editor, Sandeep Unnithan, “What keeps Aga Khan on course with reviving Cultural Heritage in developing world?”, Mawlana Hazar Imam replied: “Essentially we are converting dormant assets into productive assets for a local economy or a national economy.”

Princess Zahra Aga Khan, daughter of His Highness, arrived in Mumbai on the same day.

September 23: His Highness met Maharashtra Chief Minister,Prithviraj Chavan and Governor, K. Sankaranarayan. Later accompanied by Princess Zahra, he visited the historic Darkhana Ismaili Jamatkhana at Dongri. A dinner was hosted by the governor at Raj Bhavan. Princess Zahra then departed from Mumbai.

His Highness the Aga Khan was interviewed by NDTV's Shekar Gupta during his visit to Hyderabad for the inauguration of the Aga Khan Academy. See link below for interview.

His Highness the Aga Khan was interviewed by NDTV’s Shekar Gupta during his visit to Hyderabad for the inauguration of the Aga Khan Academy.

Hazar Imam’s meetings with dignitaries and interviews, were telecast on various Indian channels such as DD-Bharti, NDTV’s Walk the Talk with the Aga Khan, Z-News, abp-news as well as Telugu channels. Various articles and pictures were published in the local newspapers highlighting Mawlana Hazar Imam and his contributions in the fields of education, healthcare, culture and rural development as well as the revival of heritage structures all over the world.

II. Aga Khan’s meeting with the Ismailis

5077_Aga Khan 2013 India visit

Mawlana Hazar Imam poses for a photograph with the performers at the conclusion of the institutional dinner. Photo: The Ismaili/Aziz Ajaney.

On September 22, the murids of Vapi-Sanjan council had the first mulaqat with Hazar Imam in two sessions. This was the first of its kind in small groups. Then, from September 24th until September 27th, it was the turn of murids from Goa, Pune, North Mumbai, South Mumbai and the Mukhi-Kamadias of all the Headquarter Jamatkhanas of India to have their mulaqat with Hazar Imam.

An institutional dinner was hosted in Mawlana Hazar Imam’s honour at the Taj where the musician duo Salim-Suleiman Merchant performed for Hazar Imam.

On 28th September, Mawlana Hazar Imam departed from India.

III. Preparations for the Aga Khan’s visit

Historic Hasanabad - venue for Jamati mulaqats. Photo: Toral Pradhan Collection.

Historic Hasanabad – venue for Jamati mulaqats. Photo: Toral Pradhan Collection.

Just one month before the visit, the Ismaili Leaders International Forum (LIF) informed the Jamats in India and around the world about Hazar Imam’s wish to visit the India Jamat.

The preparation for the visit got underway at a very short notice under the auspices of the National Council for India, the Council for Western India as well as other Jamati institutions. It was decided that the historic Hasanabad Jamatkhana in Mazgaon would become the primary venue for the Imam’s mulaqat with the Jamat.

The visit had many new elements, unprecedented in previous mulaqats during the present Imam’s 56 years of Imamat. The entire Jamat was divided into six clusters so as to ensure easy and manageable mulaqats with the Imam. Small groups were arranged for religious services.

A special planning and event management team as well as focus teams were appointed to accommodate the jamat, comprising of approximately 42,000 Ismailis representing some sixty-four jamatkhanas from Western India. Arrangements were made to accommodate six-thousand people per event. There were a total of around 12,000 to 14,000 volunteers with about 2,500 volunteers on duty per day.

A group photo of a few of the thousands of volunteers who contributed to making Mawlana Hazar Imam's visit to India a truly memorable one. Photo: Toral Pradhan Collection.

A group photo of a few of the thousands of volunteers who contributed to making Mawlana Hazar Imam’s visit to India in 2013 a truly memorable one. Photo: Toral Pradhan Collection.

The volunteers were systematically divided into different groups on three stages L1, L2, L3, forming a complete network that worked in co-ordination. There was a command centre which was in charge of the entire network that included volunteers for security, volunteers overseeing the pandal (tent-like) arrangements, volunteers working for the social and health boards, and numerous other committees. The preparation process began with the completion of individual registration forms at the jamati level, under the co-ordination of the respective Mukhis-Kamadias of different jamatkhanas. About 61,200 i-cards were made and distributed within a ten-day period.

The pre-event committee worked on the site at the Hasanabad compound. The entire area was cordoned by traffic control and crowd control volunteers, as the traffic had to be controlled every time Hazar Imam arrived and departed from the premises. The Hasanabad area is busy and highly populated. This took place twice daily as when Hazar Imam came to Hasanabad during the morning and evening sessions.

Author of this piece, Toral Pradhan, left, pictured with Shamshad, Anisha and Shahbanu at Hasanabad where they all served as volunteers during Mawlana Hazar Imam's visit to India. Photo: Toral Pradhan Collection.

Author of this piece, Toral Pradhan, left, pictured with Shamshad, Anisha and Shahbanu at Hasanabad where they all served as volunteers during Mawlana Hazar Imam’s visit to India in 2013. Photo: Toral Pradhan Collection.

For the entire period of visit, the Jamat was well received and attended to by the volunteers and various institutions at work. The in-house arrangements included security check, registration counters, mobile counters, childcare and health centres, wheel-chair holding areas, lost-and-found sections, house-keeping, shoe-counters, washrooms, drinking water, etc. Regular rounds of biscuit packets and drinking water were provided to the jamat sitting in the pandal.

The indoor services also included the facility of providing beds to patients under treatment, for example those who had cancer, were paralyzed from spinal injuries and were bedridden, as well as a few murids who were above 100 years old. Doctors continuously visited and monitored these patients.

The outdoor arrangements included traffic control, crowd control, ambulance services, emergency services, road security, transport and communication services. The boy scouts and girl guides were in charge of distributing food packets while the Cubs and Bulbuls in the Hasanabad grounds gave a warm salute to Mawlana Hazar Imam at every visit. The food packets were prepared and packed at the premises of Clare Road Jamatkhana and distributed from the food counters at Mafatlal Parking plot.

The volunteers stood on both the sides of the roads throughout the day, for 12 hours from 7am until 7pm, regardless of weather conditions. Nothing mattered to the volunteers as they carried out their duties with love and devotion to Mawlanan Hazar Imam . They tirelessly stood for their duty, and in return they were rewarded with the best opportunity to see Hazar Imam, as he passed in the car and waved at them during every visit.

For the Vapi-Sanjan council, 92 buses were hired, and buses were equipped with first-aid kits in case of any emergency. Two ambulances brought patients who were unable to travel under normal circumstances. Special stickers were provided for cars and ambulances carrying patients to ensure easy and convenient entry into the pandal from the designated gates. Hazar Imam visited these murids and gave special blessings to all on the beds and wheelchairs.

Moreover, during our duties at the senior citizen counter, murids who arrived were given bands with their names and telephone numbers tied at their wrists to ensure their safety in case they got separated or lost from their family. The older members were so happy with the assistance that we provided, that they continuously showered us with blessings, and affectionately kissed our foreheads to express their gratitude to us. We were immensely touched by their kind gesture, as it spread so much love amongst people we did not know, and whom we had never met before.

IV. The experience of the Ismaili volunteers

Mawlana Hazar Imam inspects Ismaili Bulbuls and Cubs standing at attention in the compound of Hasanabad in Mazagaon — the burial place of the 46th Ismaili Imam, Hazrat Aga Hasan Ali Shah, Aga Khan I. Photo: Ahmed Charania

Mawlana Hazar Imam inspects Ismaili Bulbuls and Cubs standing at attention in the compound of Hasanabad in Mazagaon, the burial-place of the 46th Ismaili Imam, Hazrat Aga Hasan Ali Shah, Aga Khan I. Photo: The Ismaili/Ahmed Charania

The Ismaili Volunteers had an overwhelming experience throughout the visit. They had the opportunity to have the glimpse of their beloved Imam several times during every visit that Hazar Imam made. One remarkable incident that is etched in everyone’s mind was on September 27th, the last day of Mawlana Hazar Hazar Imam’s visit to Hasanabad.

The volunteers were waiting on the compound for the last glimpse of their Imam. There was a steady drizzle for about thirty minutes and everyone was thoroughly drenched. Then the rain suddenly stopped. As Hazar Imam came out of the pandal he left the red carpet, and went around the entire compound area walking about hand’s distance from the cordoned volunteers, who respectfully stood by to get a departing glimpse of their beloved Imam. The Imam was smiling graciously and waving continuously. He met the Cubs and Bulbuls individually, and even talked to one of them. The volunteers’ joy was boundless. Huge rounds of applauds erupted in the entire area.

Ashish Merchant, Vice-President of the Ismaili Council for India, and other Jamati leaders, bid farewell to Mawlana Hazar Imam as he prepares to depart the country. Photo: The Ismaili/Ahmed Charania

Ashish Merchant, then Vice-President of the Ismaili Council for India, and other Jamati leaders, bid farewell to Mawlana Hazar Imam as he prepares to depart the country. Photo: The Ismaili/Ahmed Charania

The ambience of the place at those particular moments was beautiful and memorable. The huge monument of Imam Hasan Ali Shah was beautifully illuminated, and the presence of Mawlana Hazar Imam in such a joyful mood made the whole scene especially memorable for everyone who was present there. The ayat of Light Upon Light from the Holy Qur’an comes to my mind as I recount this moment!

Hazar Imam looked very happy. The car door was left open waiting for him to sit in, but Hazar Imam was instead moving around the compound as if unwilling to leave the premises. This was a sight to behold and a sight that is difficult to erase from the mind – it is an unforgettable experience, appearing again and again in our vision, lifting us away from this world.

When, later, I tried to speak to the volunteers to get a sense of their own experience, they were dumbfounded, with a gaze and a stare into my eyes that made me realize the limitation of words. As a writer, I cannot convey their feelings in words – their tears of joy said everything to me. Spiritual bliss cannot be expressed; each individual’s feeling is unique.

Celebrations

Celebrations

That was not all. After Hazar Imam and the jamat had departed, the volunteers had a blastful celebration of their own. After exchanging mubarakis and strong hugs, the garba number started on the speakers. The celebration was accompanied with loud cheers. The garba dancing took another meaning – it felt ecstatic as we counted Mawlana Hazar Imam’s blessings and the special last moments that he spent with us before his departure.

In ginan “Sahebji tu more man bhave”, the composer Sayyed Muhammad Shah categorically says that the Imam grants the murid whatever he or she wishes for. This visit has shown the munificence of the Imam by his granting to us much more than we could ever wish for.

It is my fervent hope that Hazar Imam will re-visit India soon to complete the mulaqats with the remaining jamats in India, and that he will in due course also visit other Jamats granting them their wishes as so poignantly implored in the verse “Je je mangu te tunhi deve.”

Date posted: February 12, 2018.

Copyright: Toral Pradhan/Barakah.

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Toral PradhanToral Pradhan is a freelance writer, author, housewife and a part-time private tutor based in Daman, India.

Raised in a non-Ismaili family, she adopted the Ismaili faith after her marriage and for many years had craved for service to the Imam of the Time. Her wish was finally granted during  Mawlana Hazar Imam’s visit to India in 2013 when she served as a volunteer in Mumbai. She described the service as an opportunity of a lifetime and a dream come true. She now also serves in the faculty for senior citizen’s adult education programs where she has conducted motivational sessions for the jamat in India as well as senior’s clubs  in London and Lisbon. She is also a translator of religious books into English and Gujarati.

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Barakah welcomes your feedback. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or send your feedback to simerg@aol.com.

Note: This blog, Barakah, is a special project of http://www.Simerg.com and has been undertaken to celebrate 60 years or the Diamond Jubilee of  His Highness the Aga Khan.

For Links to comprehensive coverage of the visits highlighted above, click Table of Contents.

Highlights from the Aga Khan’s Diamond Jubilee year from July 11, 2017 to January 31, 2018: Spanning 205 days, Hazar Imam has visited 7 countries and flown 80,000 kms

Introduction

Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee Visits Map.jpg

Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Diamond Jubilee Year visits: Lisbon (Portugal, July 19-20, 2017); Kampala (Uganda, October 8-11, 2017 ); Dar es Salaam (Tanzania, October 11-12, 2017); New York (USA, 2 visits, October 18 and November 1, 2017); Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal (Canada, November 14-22, 2017 ), Islamabad, Chitral, Gilgit-Baltistan and Karachi (Pakistan, December 7-19, 2017), Dubai and Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates, January 22-25, 2018). World Map Credit: University of Texas.

Astonishingly, Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, at age 81, has already flown more than 50,000 miles, or 80,000 kilometres [1], equivalent to travelling around the earth two times, during his Diamond Jubilee year that has so far taken him to Portugal, Uganda, Tanzania, USA (twice), Canada, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates! In the latter part of February 2018, he travels to India as confirmed by a recent announcement from the Ismaili Leaders International Forum as well as a report in the community’s official website, The Ismaili.

The following material has been prepared from our comprehensive posts that have covered his visits to the countries mentioned above. The material is presented in  chronological order beginning with the Homage Ceremony on July 11, 2017 in Aiglemont, France that marked the commencement of the Aga Khan’s Diamond Jubilee and concludes with his most recent visit from January 22 to January 25, 2018 to the United Arab Emirates.

1. July 11, 2O17: Aga Khan Homage Ceremony

His Highness the Aga Khan Homage July 11 2017 Aiglemont FranceHis Highness the Aga Khan makes his appearance at the Homage Ceremony on July 11, 2017, to celebrate his Diamond Jubilee. The ceremony was held at his residence and Imamat Headquarters at Aiglemont in France. Photo: The Ismaili.

HOMAGE – A MURID’S YEARNING

BY JALAL JAFFER

The gracious smile
The loving eyes
The unspoken words
A symbolic embrace
Extend a gracious welcome
For each and every murid
From the mountains of Tajikistan
To the plains of Africa, 
From the northern areas of Pakistan 
To the forgotten continent of Australia 
Through the Leaders, past and present.

And in a majestic flair
A kingly benevolence
The Murshid accepts the Homage
From and on behalf of His global Jamats.

His Highness the Aga Khan and family Homage July 11 2017 Aiglemont FranceHis Highness the Aga Khan with members of his family at the Homage Ceremony on July 11, 2017 in Aiglemont, France, to mark the commencement of  his Diamond Jubilee year. Photo: The Ismaili.

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HOMAGE CELEBRATION: MONTREAL

In Montreal, approximately 8,000 Ismailis from all across the province of Quebec, gathered on July 11, 2017 at Stad Uniprix (or the Uniprix Stadium) to celebrate the commencement of the Diamond Jubilee of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan. The Jamat witnessed the video of the Homage Ceremony that took place earlier in France.

Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee Lapel Pin.jpg

In Montreal, Canada, the Diamond Jubilee lapel pin was distributed to Ismailis during the Homage Ceremony celebration held on July 11, 2017 at Stad Uniprix. The circular logo bears the Imamat crest in the centre with 60 crescents surrounding it, representing the Aga Khan’s 60 year reign. A Kufic rendition of the Qur’anic ayah or verse (49:13) from Surah Al-Hujurat (the Dwellings) forms the outer perimeter of the lapel pin. Photo: Copyright © Safiq Devji.

Aga Khan Homage ceremony Montreal Stad UniprixA group of Ismailis at the Homage Ceremony celebration at Stad Uniprox in Montreal pose for a photo in front of an iwan (rectangular space) displaying a  large photo of  the Aga Khan meeting with Ismailis in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo: Barakah/Malik Merchant.

Ismailis in Montreal take selfies in front of the stage during the Homage Ceremony celebration at Montreal’s Stad Uniprix. Photo: Barakah/Malik Merchant.

19201f0-MH-Aga Khan MA beautiful scene at a food tent at the Diamond Jubilee Homage Ceremony celebration held at  Stad Uniprix in Montreal. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.

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2. July 19-20, 2017: Aga Khan in Portugal

The visit to Portugal was the first official public event for His Highness the Aga Khan since the launch of his Diamond Jubilee a week earlier on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. In two separate ceremonies in Lisbon on July 20, the Universidade NOVA de Lisboa in Portugal honoured the Aga Khan with a doctorate honoris causa and the President of Portugal bestowed upon him the Gra-cruz da ordem de Liberdade. 

His Highness the Aga Khan delivers his acceptance remarks upon receiving an Honorary Doctorate from Universidade NOVA de Lisboa as Dr. Francisco Pinto Balsemão, Patron of the Doctorate looks on. | AKDN/Antonio PedrosaHis Highness the Aga Khan delivers his acceptance remarks upon receiving an Honorary Doctorate from Universidade NOVA de Lisboa as Dr. Francisco Pinto Balsemão, Patron of the Doctorate looks on.  Photo: AKDN/Antonio Pedrosa

“I reiterate my profound appreciation for our own partnership, and for honouring me and by extension the Ismaili Imamat and the AKDN, especially as this honour comes during my Diamond Jubilee year, marking 60 years as the 49th Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims worldwide. our commitment to Portugal reflects our deep respect for this country and our deep affection for its people.” — His Highness the Aga Khan, Lisbon, July 20, 2017.

The Aga Khan mentioned he always felt at home in Portugal, and “ever more so since the signing in 2015 of an historic Agreement between the Ismaili Imamat and Portuguese Republic to establish the Seat of the Ismaili Imamat in this country — an important milestone in the 1,400-year history of the Ismaili Imamat. It marks the culmination of our long and deep relationship here and one that will now deepen further.”  He added that “while we work in 30 countries, we hold an enduring affinity for Portugal and its institutions, its history and its people. And the historic Palacete Henrique Mendonca will become the most fitting host for the Seat.”

July 20 2017 Aga Khan and Portugal PresidentPortugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa presents His Highness the Aga Khan with the Gra-cruz da ordem de Liberdade or the Grand Cross of the Order of Liberty in recognition of his service to uplifting lives around the world. Photo: AKDN/Antonio Pedrosa.

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3. September 12, 2017: Milestone – Prince Amyn Aga Khan, becomes 80

Though discreet and always working behind the scenes, Prince Amyn’s contribution to the Imamat institutions have always been influential and impactful. His commitment for human dignity, global peace and humanism is reflected by his creative ingenuity in multiple dimensions of human endeavor. For more than fifty years now, he has dedicated his  entire life in the service of the Institution of Imamat, channeling his creativity, intelligence, time and energy, knowledge and leadership in numerous Imamat endeavours benefiting both jamati and non-jamati constituencies. 

prince-amyn-muhammad-aga-khanPrince Amyn Aga Khan turned 80 on September 12, 2017, two months into the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of his older brother, His Highness the Aga Khan.

Aga Khan III with grandsons Prince Karim and Prince AmynMawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah, His Highness the Aga Khan III, 48th Ismaili Imam, with his grandsons Prince Amyn (right) and Prince Karim. The picture was taken in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1942. Photo: 25 Years in Pictures. Islamic Publications, London, UK, Volume 1.

France conferred honours on Mawlana Hazar Imam and Prince Amyn for their contributions to culture at the Ministry of Culture in Paris.His Highness the Aga Khan (left) and his brother Prince Amyn Aga Khan pictured together at a ceremony held in November 2010 in Paris when the Government of France conferred them with honours for their contributions to culture, both personally and through the activities of the Aga Khan Development Network. Photo: Farida Brechemier Guerdjou//MCC via the Ismaili.

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4. October 8-11, 2017: Aga Khan in Uganda

2017 Aga Khan Medal Uganda zr2_edt_8417_copyOn Monday October 9, 2017 His Highness the Aga Khan was conferred with the Most Excellent Order of the Pearl of Africa by His Excellency President Yoweri Museveni, as part of Uganda’s 55th Independence Day celebration. Held in Bushenyi Municipal Grounds, Uganda’s Independence Day consisted of jovial celebrations, various cultural performances and renditions of the Ugandan and East African national anthems. The President welcomed the Aga Khan as the guest of honour, and acknowledged the Ismaili community’s contribution to the ongoing development of Uganda.

“Your national pathway has been exciting and inspiring to watch and all your friends, including of course myself, look to the future of Uganda in hope, in aspiration, for a better quality of life for all the people of Uganda and of this region of Africa…Our institutions have been here for many decades, [and] it is my hope today that they will participate in improving the quality of life of all the people of Eastern Africa as they build for future generations.” – His Highness the Aga Khan, Uganda, October 9, 2017.

2017 Aga Khan Darbar Uganda Jamatkhanazr1_web_3947The Kampala Ismaili Darkhana Jamatkhana. Photo: The Ismaili

2017 Aga Khan Darbar Uganda Image 2The Aga Khan shares a light moment with his Ismaili followers in Ugandan at the Diamond Jubilee Darbar. Photo: The Ismaili/Zahur Ramji.

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5. October 11-12, 2017: Aga Khan in Tanzania

2017 Aga Khan Tanzania arrival zr2_9659eThe Aga Khan is greeted upon his arrival in Dar es Salaam by Junior Volunteers in the Ismaili Volunteers Corps from Tanzania. Photo: The Ismaili/Zahur Ramji.

2017 Aga Khan Tannzania arrival zr2_9784eThe Aga Khan, walking alongside Tanzania’s Minister of Defence and National Service, Hon. Hussein Mwinyi, received a ceremonial guard of honour during his arrival at Dar es Salaam’s Julius Nyerere Airport. Photo: The Ismaili/Zahur Ramji.

2017 Aga Khan Tanzania arrival zr2_9942eThe Aga Khan greets his followers and admirers during his arrival at the Julius Nyerere Airport in Dar es Salaam. Photo: The Ismaili/Zahur Ramji.

2017 Aga Khan Tanzania State House 2bHis Highness the Aga Khan was in Tanzania at the invitation of His Excellency President of the United Republic of Tanzania Dr. John P. Magufuli. Shortly after leaving the airport,the Aga Khan visited the President at the State House (also known as Ikulu or the White House) and was hosted to a lunch in his honour. In the photo, the President welcomes His Highness to Ikulu. Photo: State House.

2017 Aga Khan Tanzania Darbar zr2_web_0713The Aga Khan at the Diamond Jubilee Darbar in Dar es Salaam. He gave guidance to the Ismailis who were in attendance and conveyed blessings for the global Jamat. A gift of eight Fatimid coins minted in Al Mahdia for the first eight Fatimid Imams was presented to His Highness by the Tanzanian Jamat. Photo: The Ismaili/Zahur Ramji.

2017 Aga Khan Tanzania Darbar zr2_web_0963The Aga Khan is greeted by Aga Khan Scouts and Guides, as he leaves Diamond Jubilee Hall after the Darbar. Photo: The Ismaili/Zahur Ramji.

2017 Aga Khan Visit Tanzania First Day Cover and Stamps zr2_web1279Before departing Dar es Salaam,His Highness the Aga Khan was presented with a gift of First Day Covers and Commemorative Stamps printed by the Tanzania Postal Service Corporation in honour of his Diamond Jubilee. The First Day Covers and Commemorative stamps depict various themes in which AKDN is active in East Africa, as well as the Diamond Jubilee motif.

Tanzania Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee First Day Cover 1A photo of the actual first day cover issued by the Tanzania Posts Corporation to commemorate the Aga Khan’s Diamond Jubilee. Credit: Barakah/Al Karim Hirani.

Tanzania Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee First Day Cover 2A photo of the actual first day cover issued by the Tanzania Posts Corporation to commemorate the Aga Khan’s Diamond Jubilee. Credit: Barakah/Al Karim Hirani.

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6. October 18, 2017: Aga Khan in New York for UNA’S “Champion for Global Change Award”

The United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) and the United Nations Foundation presented His Highness the Aga Khan with the “Champion for Global Change” Award at the annual Global Leadership Dinner held on October 18, 2017 at Gotham Hall in New York. The “Champion for Global Change” recognizes the work of the 49th Ismaili Imam in developing and improving the living conditions of populations from the four corners of the world. Earlier during the day, the Aga Khan met with the UN Secretary General, General António Guterres.

Aga Khan Global Leadership Award 4Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General, presents the Champion for Global Change Award to His Highness the Aga Khan at a special gala dinner held in New York on October 18, 2017. Photo: The Ismaili/Akbar Hakim/Mairaj Manji.

Secretary General meets with Founder and Chairman, Aga Khan Development Network.United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres (right) meets with Prince Karim Aga Khan, Founder and Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network and 49th Hereditary Imam of the Ismailis at the UN on October 18, 2017. Photo credit: UN Photo/Eskender Debebe.

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7. November 1, 2017: Aga Khan in New York for Asia Society’s “Lifetime Achievement Award”

The Asia Society on November 1, 2017 presented nine extraordinary individuals and organizations with the Asia Game Changer Awards for making a transformative and positive difference for the future of Asia and the world. Asia Society partnered with Citi to honor these extraordinary individuals and organizations, continuing a tradition begun with the inauguration of Asia Game Changers four years ago. His Highness was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

2017-11-Aga Khan Asia Society Award akbar_hakim-10926-2His Highness the Aga Khan being presented Asia Society’s 2017 Asia Game Changer Lifetime Achievement Award by Michael Bloomberg and Sharon Rockefeller. Photo: AKDN/Akbar Hakim/Mairaj Manji.

“Any leader of any global community hopes and prays for one thing – peace; peace in every community, in every country of the world, so that men and women can live in safety, build their futures with strength, courage, hope and wisdom. These are the values that the leaders of my community, my institutions and myself, are intimately linked with and will continue to work for, for many, many decades ahead.” – His Highness the Aga Khan, on accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award, Asia Society, New York, November 1, 2017.

2017-11-Aga Khan Asia Society Award-akbar_hakim-11006The Aga Khan addressing the guests after receiving his Lifetime Achievement Award. Photo: The Ismaili/Akbar Hakim/Mairaj Manji.

2017-11-04-PHOTO-00000009_Aga Khan Citation Diamond JubileeAn image of the Diamond Jubilee citation presented by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to His Highness the Aga Khan on November 1, 2017 in New York at the Asia Game Changer Award.

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8. November 14 – 22, 2017: Aga Khan in Canada

His Highness the Aga Khan arrived in Ottawa on November 14th commencing a 9-day visit in which he presided over the inaugural Global Pluralism Award on November 15 and attended a meeting of the board of directors of the Global Centre for Pluralism. He then travelled to Toronto where, over a span of four days, he met with Ismailis under the jurisdiction of the Council for Ontario. He concluded his visit in Montreal where he met with members of the Ismaili community residing in Ottawa, Quebec, and the Maritime provinces.

His Highness the Aga Khan warmly congratulates Leyner Palacios Asprilla of Colombia as he receives the Pluralism Award for bringing peace to his community in the municipality of Bojayá. Asprilla has also given voice to 11,000 members of his community that struggled through the long Colombian conflict. Photo: Copyright © Jean-Marc Carisse.

zpfile000-14His Highness the Aga Khan and Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin with winners and honourable mentions of the inaugural Global Pluralism Award. Photo: Copyright © Jean-Marc Carisse.

NCC Passport booklet Global Centre Cover page and insideThe Global Centre for Pluralism was designated as one of 10 CONFEDERATION PAVILIONS, for 2017, the 150th anniversary of Canada, and is listed in the Bilingual edition of the passport booklet produced by the National Capital Commission. Photo: Barakah/Malik Merchant.

DSCF2626Ismaili children in Montreal express love and devotion to their Imam with beautiful and symbolic works of art  during a cultural event at the Montreal Headquarters Jamatkhana as part of celebrations leading to the Aga Khan’s visit. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.

DSCF2611_Aga Khan 2017 Visit_Muslim HarjiIsmaili children in Montreal express love and devotion to their Imam with beautiful and symbolic works of art  during a cultural event at the Montreal Headquarters Jamatkhana as part of celebrations leading tothe Aga Khan’s visit. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.

DSCF2561-2_Muslim Harji_Montreal Didar RegistrationDiligent team of ​leaders and volunteers in Montreal working together to ensure a stress-free registration for meeting with the Aga Khan. Photo: Muslim Harji.

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9. December 7-19, 2017: Aga Khan in Pakistan

20171207_Aga Khan arrival bouguet in terminal building version 2His Highness the Aga Khan is presented with a bouquet of flowers upon his arrival inside the Nur Khan Airbase terminal in Islamabad. View the boy’ story in the video below.

His Highness the Aga Khan’s visit to Pakistan began in Islamabad, where he met with President Mamnoon Hussain at Aiwan-e-Sadr and was received by a Guard of Honour. He also met with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who presented him with a First Day Cover of commemorative stamps on the occasion of his Diamond Jubilee.

From Islamabad, the Aga Khan travelled to Garamchasma and Booni in Chitral, and  Taus and Aliabad in Gilgit-Baltistan, where he granted hundreds of thousands of Ismailis with Diamond Jubilee Darbars.

The Aga Khan then returned to Islamabad where he met with the Ismaili Jamat at the Karimabad Jamatkhana and then travelled to Karachi where he met with the Jamat at the Darkhana and Clifton Jamatkhanas.

While in Karachi, in his capacity as chancellor of the Aga Khan University, the Aga Khan inaugurated the Aga Khan University Centre for Innovation in Medical Education, a state-of-the-art facility for technology-based learning for health professionals.

He left Karachi on December 19th.

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Tribune ecopy page Aga Khan visitA report in the  Pakistan Tribune, Twin Cities Section, following His Highness the Aga Khan’s meeting with Pakistan’s President Mamnoon Hussain.

img-007-ahPakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi presents a commemorative First Day Cover to His Highness the Aga Khan on the occasion of his Diamond Jubilee. Photo: The Ismaili/Akbar Hakim.

Tweets on His Highness the Aga Khan by Marvi Memon

Marvi Memon, aged 45, is a Pakistani politician who serves as the Minister of State/Chairperson of the Benazir Income Support Programme. She has been a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan since 2013 as a member of Pakistan Muslim League.

Darbar Locations - Garam Chashma inLower Chitral, Booni in Upper Chitral (both North West Frontier Province), Ghizer (Gilgit-Baltistan), and Aliabad (Gilgit-Baltistan)The location of the 4 Darbars in Northern Pakistan. – Garam Chashma, (Lower Chitral), Booni (Upper Chitral), Yasin (Gligit-Baltistan) and Aliabad (Gilgit-Baltistan).

_o5a3037The Aga Khan walks through his community gathered for the Darbar at Garamchashma, Lower Chitral. Photo: The Ismaili/Amirali Rimjee.

192a5854The Aga Khan walks through his community gathered for the Darbar at Booni, Upper Chitral. Photo: The Ismaili/Karim Sadruddin.

The Aga Khan walks through his community gathered for the Darbar at Taus, Yassin.
Photo: The Ismaili/Haseeb Chagani.

The Darbar at Yassin

By IZZAT SHAH

I was bestowed Didar Mubarak and Darbar in the glorious pandal at Yassin, as I belong to Yassin Valley. We the Jamat in Yassin feel extremely fortunate and lucky as Mawlana Hazar Imam gave us his loving blessings and unmmeasurable affection at our door step. Through this Didar, he gave us the splendid chance to serve those Jamaats who had come from the rural areas of Northern Pakistan. We did the very best we could for those who had come from far and wide. Mawlana Hazar Imam was very happy during the Didar and gave us a loving Farman and conveyed his loving blessings with deep affection. He came thrice on the stage and I have no words to explain how I feel at the moment. I pray for the happiness of each and every Ismaili brother and sister living in the world today.

Welcome banner in Aliabad, Hunza. Photo: Barakah/Faqir Ullah Khan.

Ismaili youth in Passu, a town north of Aliabad, Hunza, putting finishing touches to the words “Diamond Jubilee” on the lower slopes of the Cathedral Mountains. Photo: Sadrudin Sakhi. 

_o5a3037 (1)The Aga Khan walks through his community gathered for the Darbar in Aliabad, Hunza. Photo: The Ismaili/Razi ud Din.

The Darbar at Aliabad

By FAQIR ULLAN KHAN

When Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived at the didargah in Aliabad, the Jamat’s emotion and excitement reached its peak. Tears started rolling down our faces without control as his helicopter landed. We were tens of thousands in this huge landscape surrounded by mountains. Our wish was for a glimpse of our beloved Imam. More tears flowed as he showered that glimpse upon us with all his grace and mercy – we felt his Zahiri-u-Noorani Didar after 17 long years! This was happening at a historical time of his Imamat – 60 years! The Diamond Jubilee was an unbelievable occasion for us.

dji_0166An aerial shot of the Jamat gathering for the Darbar at Aliabad, Hunza. Photo: The Ismaili.

img_6485The Aga Khan joins children who presented him with a flower bouquet for a group photograph at the Gilgit airport. Photo: The Ismaili/Kamran Baig.

ah_16498-2_editHis Highness the Aga Khan is received by Muhammad Zubair, Governor of Sindh and Syed Murad Ali Shah, Chief Minister of Sindh, and greeted by Junior Guides and Shaheen Scouts from the Sindh Jamat upon his arrival at Karachi airport. Photo: The Ismaili/Akbar Hakim.

2017-12-14-Karachi Home decorated for Aga Khan visit front coverA house in a Karachi neighbourhood beautifully decorated for the Diamond Jubilee visit of the Aga Khan. Photo: Barakah.

ah_17070-Aga Khan Centre for InovationProfessor Saulat Fatmi shares how a low-cost innovation introduced by the Aga Khan University’s faculty is helping students learn about the inner workings of the heart. Photo: The Ismaili/Akbar Hakim.

Sindh Chief Minister bids farewll to Aga KhanSindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah bids farewell to His Highness the Aga Khan at Karachi’s Old Terminal. Photo: CM House, Sindh.

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10. January 22-25, 2018: Aga Khan in the United Arab Emirates

Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee Dubai Arrival 02aHis Highness the Aga Khan is welcomed by His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister for Tolerance, and Her Excellency Reem Ebrahim Al-Hashimi, Cabinet Member and Minister of State for International Cooperation upon his arrival in Dubai. Photo: AKDN/Rafiq Hakim.

jax_4008-2_edit_Aga Khan in Dubai with Sheikh MaktoumHis Highness the Aga Khan in conversation with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Her Excellency Reem Bint Ebrahim Al Hashimy, together with their respective delegations at the Zabeel Palace in Dubai. AKDN/Jazib Ahmad.

ah_28036-edit_akbar_hakim_Aga Khan UAE Visit Abu DhabiHis Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan bids farewell to His Highness the Aga Khan after their meeting in Abu Dhabi. Photo: AKDN/Akbar Hakim.

ah_28538-edit_akbar_hakim_Aga Khan Dubai DarbarHis Highness the Aga Khan addresses his Ismaili followers during the Diamond Jubilee Darbar held at Dubai World Central. Photo: The Ismaili/Akbar Hakim.

ah_10744-edit_akbar_hakim_Aga Khan Dubai DarbarA lineup of Aga Khan Scouts and Guides bid farewell to the Aga Khan upon his departure. Photo: The Ismaili/Akbar Hakim.

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12. Supplication

As the Ismaili community in India prepares to receive Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, later this month, we make the following supplication from a Ginan composed by the Ismaili missionary Pir Hasan Kabirdin (14th century).

Transliteration

Eji, Aash Karine Ya Ali hun tere dar ubhi,
Kar jodine em mangu Ya Shah;
Dejo didar tusi mahavar datar Shah,
Hama tere charane lagu. [2]

Translation

With hope O Ali I stand at Thy door,
With palms joined I sincerely beg of Thee;
Bless me with Thy Holy Didar, O Great Lord and Benefactor!
At Thy Feet I fall to prostrate.

Date posted: February 3, 2018.

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Barakah welcomes your feedback. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or send your feedback to simerg@aol.com.

Note: This blog, Barakah, is a special project of http://www.Simerg.com and has been undertaken to celebrate 60 years or the Diamond Jubilee of  His Highness the Aga Khan.

For Links to comprehensive coverage of the visits highlighted above, click Table of Contents.

Notes:

[1]. Estimated distance calculated at https://www.distancefromto.net/ using flying distance option between following cities with Paris as the starting and returning destination for each of the visits: Paris-Lisbon-Paris-Kampala-Dar es Salaam-Paris-New York-Paris-New York-Paris-Ottawa-Toronto-Montreal-Paris-Islamabad-Chitral-Gilgit Baltistan-Islamabad-Karachi-Paris-UAE-Paris.

[2] Ismaili doctrine emphasizes the principle of the Unity of Imamat under the superficial diversity exhibited by each Imam of the Time. It is in this sense that the Ismailis believe that Imam is the same irrespective of his own age or the time he lives in. Thus, the name of the first Imam, Hazrat Ali, is commonly invoked for each Imam of the Time. The proverbial valour and exemplary statesmanship of Imam Mawla Murtaza Ali, the encyclopaedic erudition of Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq, the extraordinary intellectual brilliance of Imam al-Hakim bi Amrillah, the administrative ability of Imam Mustansir Billah (during the first half of his Khilafat), the political acumen of Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah, Aga Khan III (he defied geography and created history), the organizing genius of the present Imam, Mawlana Shah Karim al-Husayni, are only some of the more spectacular characteristics exhibited by the Imam of the Time in accordance with the exigencies of the situations facing him.

Late Vazier Abdulalli & Fatema Motani collection: Rare and historical photos of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s visits to Uganda 1957 to 1964

Shortly after assuming the hereditary leadership on July 11, 1957 as the 49th Imam of Ismaili Muslims, His Highness the Aga Khan, Mawlana Hazar Imam, took leave from his studies at Harvard University to attend the Takhtnashini or ceremonial installation celebrations in East Africa, India and Pakistan.

Late Vazier Abdulalli and Varasiani Fatema Pirbhai Lalji Motani served as Kamadia and Kamadiani of Kampala’s Darkhana Jamatkhana from c.1957 to c.1964. Late Count Kassamali and Countess Fatema Virani served as Mukhi and Mukhiani at the same time. During their term of office, Mowlana Hazar Imam visited Uganda several times.

Kamadia Abdulalli had the distinct honour of being designated by Hazar Imam to translate his Farmans into Gujarati on the spot. He delivered the Gujarati version of Farmans immediately after Hazar Imam completed the Farmans in English.

The Motani family came to Canada in October 1972 following the expulsion of Ugandan Asians by Idi Amin’s decree.  Our parents were fortunately able to carry with them some of the family photographs when they were forced out of Uganda.

A selection of pictures on this page are from the family’s precious collection.

The photographs were taken at several locations in Kampala during Hazar Imam’s visits to Uganda including Darkhana Jamatkhana; Aga Khan Secondary School; and Aga Khan Hostel.

Our friend Malik created this website Barakah to celebrate Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Diamond Jubilee, and requested readers to search their archives for historical photographs of Mawlana Hazar Imam. In response to Malik’s request, we are happy to share our collection with readers of Barakah.

HIS HIGHNESS THE AGA KHAN IN UGANDA

Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection 31Mawlana Hazar Imam at Kampala Darkhana Jamatkhana. Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

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Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection 07Mata Salamat, Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan (1906 – 2000), at the Takhtnashini celebration on October 25, 1957 at the grounds of Kampala Darkhana Jamatkhana. Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection 02lCount Fatehalli Dhalla presenting a sword, carried in a tray by Vazier Abdulalli Motani, to Mawlana Hazar Imam at the Takhtnashini in Kampala on October 25,1957. Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection 01Mawlana Hazar Imam addressing the Jamat at the Takhtnashini in Kampala on October 25, 1957. Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

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Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection 06Kamadia Abdulalli and Kamadiani Fatema Motani leaving the stage at the Takhtnashini celebration in Kampala on October 25,1957. Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

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Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection 08Mawlana Hazar Imam with Kamadia Abdulalli and Kamadiani Fatema Motani at Kampala Aga Khan Secondary School. Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

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Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection 32Mawlana Hazar Imam visiting Aga Khan Secondary School, Kampala. Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

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Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection 33Mawlana Hazar Imam visiting a classroom at Aga Khan Secondary School, Kampala. Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

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Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection 11Mawlana Hazar Imam  blessing Nasara who embraced the Ismaili faith. Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

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Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection 18Mawlana Hazar Imam meeting the Kabaka of Buganda. Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

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Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection 26Mawlana Hazar Imam visiting mosque and meeting Muslim leaders in Kampala. Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

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Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection 13Mawlana Hazar Imam arriving at the Darkhana Jamatkhana in Kampala. Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

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Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection 16Kampala Darkhana Mukhi and Mukhiani and Kamadia and Kamadiani with volunteers. Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

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Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection 17Kampala Darkhana Mukhi and Mukhiani and Kamadia and Kamadiani with Volunteer Cabinet. Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

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Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection 24Mawlana Hazar Imam at Mengo Jamatkhana with Mukhi Noorali and Mukhiani Kulsum Karmali on the left. Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

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Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection JK 43LMawlana Hazar Imam at Mengo Jamatkhana’s foundation stone ceremony. Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

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Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection 25Mawlana Hazar Imam addressing the gathering at the foundation ceremony of Mengo Jamatkhana. Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

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Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection 20bMawlana Hazar Imam arriving at Kampala Darkhana Jamatkhana. Note the crest of the Imamat and the Ismaili flag on the grill of the  car. Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

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Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection 21Mawlana Hazar Imam entering the Kampala Darkhana mandap. Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

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Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection 29Mawlana Hazar Imam performing Jamati work  at Kampala Mulaqat. Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

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Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection 28Mawlana Hazar Imam performing Jamati work at Kampala Mulaqat. Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

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Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection 22Kamadia Vazier Abdulalli Motani addressing the Jamat during the Mulaqat in Kampala. Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

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Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection 39aMawlana Hazar Imam in conversation with Mukhi Count Kassamali Virani and Kamadia Vazier Abdulalli Motani during the Mulaqat in Kampala. Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

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Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection 34Mawlana Hazar Imam with Uganda Jamati leadership and members outside the Aga Khan Hostel in Kampala. Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

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Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection 30bMawlana Hazar Imam with members of the Kampala Council. Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

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Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection 35Mawlana Hazar Imam shaking hands with Mukhi Kassamali Virani. Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

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Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection 37Mawlana Hazar Imam at the Kampala Darkhana Jamatkhana Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

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Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection 40Mawlana Hazar Imam greets Kamadia Vazier Abdulalli Motani on arrival at  Entebbe Airport. Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

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Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection 38Mawlana Hazar Imam welcomed by Jamati leadership and Government officials on arrival at  Entebbe Airport. Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

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Aga Khan Uganda Visit Motani Collection 27Mawlana Hazar Imam greeting Ugandan leaders at Entebbe Airport. Photo: Copyright © Motani Family Collection.

Date posted: January 23, 2018.

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Barakah welcomes your feedback. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or send your feedback to simerg@aol.com.

Note: This blog, Barakah, is a special project of http://www.Simerg.com and has been undertaken to celebrate 60 years or the Diamond Jubilee of  His Highness the Aga Khan.

The Aga Khan in UAE: (3) A thorough and comprehensive coverage

The purpose of this post is to provide external links to news of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Diamond Jubilee visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). We we will make every effort to ensure that links are filtered so that the news is not repetitive – often the same news agency report is shared by different media. The page will be updated on a regular basis.

The Aga Khan in the Emirates

January 25, 2018

Mawlana Hazar Imam bids farewell before departing the UAE. Photo: The Ismaili/Simon Milne-Day.

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Mawlana Hazar Imam walks through the Jamat during the Diamond Jubilee Darbar in Dubai. The Ismaili/Akbar Hakim.

2018-01-25-PHOTO-Aga Khan Darbar Stage in UAEmedA view of the beautiful stage for the Darbar held in Dubai for the Emirates Jamat. On the centre, behind the chair, is the circular Diamond Jubilee logo bearing the crest of the Ismaili Imamat. The crest has 60 crescents surrounding it, representing Mawlana Hazar Imam’s 60 year reign. A Kufic rendition of the Qur’anic ayah or verse (49:13) from Surah Al-Hujurat (the Dwellings) with the following meaning, forms the outer perimeter of the logo. “O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Lo! the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware.” — Translation by Pickthall.

ah_28538-edit_akbar_hakim_Aga Khan Dubai DarbarMawlana Hazar Imam addresses the Jamat during the Diamond Jubilee Darbar held at Dubai World Central. Photo: The Ismaili/Akbar Hakim.

January 24/25, 2018

Arabic Media

Al-Ittihad PDF image 2Photos and stories in Al-Ittihad

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For story and photos in Arabic, see Al Khaleej link, below. 

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English Media

His Highness the Aga Khan meets with His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan (left column) and His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Click on The Ismaili link below for report and enlarged photos.

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January 23, 2018

Arabic MediaNews in Al-Ittihad.

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2018-01-24-Aga Khan in Local Arab MediaIn printed media, headline in red, top right, states that the Crown Prince welcomes Patriarch Yuhana Xth and Aga Khan IV.

2018-01-24-Aga Khan in Local Arab Media 2Photo and report in printed media of Aga Khan’s arrival in Dubai on Monday January 22, 2018.

English Media

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Video

Mohammed bin Rashid receives Imam of Nizari Ismailism

 

For more coverage related to this event, please click https://sheikhmohammed.ae/en-us/

Date posted: January 24, 2018.
Last updated: January 27, 2018, 01:03 AM, EST (explanation of Diamond Jubilee logo and photo of Darbar stage).

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Note: This post is simultaneously published on http://www.simerg.com, a literary website dedicated to the arts, culture and traditions of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims and related traditions.

The Aga Khan in UAE: (2) Video and Photos of Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid receiving Imam of Nizari Ismailism

Video and Photos: His Highness the Aga Khan received by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

As reported on Sheikh Maktoum’s website: Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum received today [January 23, 2018] in Zabeel Palace, Aga Khan, Imam of Nizari Ismailism.

Please click on: https://sheikhmohammed.ae/en-us/

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jax_4000-2_edit_Aga Khan in Dubai with Sheikh MaktoumHis Highness the Aga Khan in discussions with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Her Excellency Reem Bint Ebrahim Al Hashimy at Zabeel Palace during his Diamond Jubilee visit to the United Arab Emirates. Photo: AKDN/JAZIB AHMAD.

jax_4008-2_edit_Aga Khan in Dubai with Sheikh Maktoum

His Highness the Aga Khan in conversation with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Her Excellency Reem Bint Ebrahim Al Hashimy, together with their respective delegations at the Zabeel Palace in Dubai.AKDN/JAZIB AHMAD

Date posted: January 23, 2018, 14:45 PM EST

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The Aga Khan in UAE: (1) Arrival in Dubai and preparations for the visit

Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, arrived in Dubai on Monday January 22, 2018 for a 4-day visit during which he will conduct religious work as well as bless the Jamat falling under the jurisdiction of the Aga Khan Council for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with a Diamond Jubilee Darbar. 

Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee Dubai Arrival 02aMawlana Hazar Imam is welcomed by His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister for Tolerance, and Her Excellency Reem Ebrahim Al-Hashimi, Cabinet Member and Minister of State for International Cooperation upon his arrival in Dubai. Photo: AKDN/Rafiq Hakim.

Aga Khan and Maktoum at the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2016His Highness the Aga Khan and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, 3rd and 4th from left respectively, at the Aga Khan Award for Architecture ceremony in the UAE in 2016. Photo: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Facebook page.

Mawlana Hazar Imam is on an official visit at the invitation of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, with whom he is pictured above at the Aga Khan Award for Architecture Ceremony in November 2016.



Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee Dubai Arrival 04Mawlana Hazar Imam greets leaders of the Jamat upon his arrival in Dubai. AKDN / Rafiq Hakim

The visit to the Emirates is taking place just over a month after his momentous visit to Pakistan that took Mawlana Hazar Imam to Northern Pakistan, Islamabad and Karachi where he blessed hundreds of thousands of Ismailis with Darbars and special mulaqats  from December 7 to December 19. A few weeks earlier, in November, Mawlana Hazar Imam visited the Jamats in Eastern Canada during which he performed Jamati work in Toronto and Montreal. And, in October, he made a memorable 5 day visit to Uganda and Tanzania that included Darbars in Kampala and Dar es Salaam.

Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee Dubai Preparations 02Tasbih making. Photo: The Ismaili.

In preparation for the visit, the UAE Jamat has been holding different activities for members of all ages. Last week, the courtyard of the Ismaili Centre in Dubai was  transformed to host a mela (fair) where Ismailis participated in a range of exciting and educational activities including calligraphy, dance and musical performances, as well as tasbih making.

Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee Dubai Preparations 03Tasbih making. Photo: The Ismaili.

Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee Dubai Preparations 01Ismaili children entertaining the Jamat. Photo: The Ismaili.

Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee Dubai Preparations 04  Volunteers, who underwent a special orientation at the Ismaili Centre in Dubai for Mawlana Hazar Imam’s visit, pose for a group picture. Photo: The Ismaili. 

Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee Dubai Preparations 06The Darbar hall at Dubai World Central.

Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee Dubai Preparations 05The Jaman (feast) hall at Dubai World Central. 

Date posted: January 22, 2018.

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We welcome your feedback. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or send your comment to simerg@aol.com.

Note: This blog, Barakah, is a special project of http://www.Simerg.com and has been undertaken to celebrate 60 years of the Imamat or the Diamond Jubilee of His Highness the Aga Khan.

Volunteering and the Aga Khan

Service is good Ummah

By ANDREW KOSOROK

Ummah — community — helps define us as human beings.

Family, neighbourhood, the corporate-speak “tribe” — all are words we use referring to different conceptions of “community”. And I think the Prophet was aware of these differing concepts, too; there are hadiths obviously relating separately to families, neighbourhoods, and collections of like-minded people. However, the two most common groups to which both the Qur’an and Hadith apply are the ever-growing community of “believers” (those who give their hearts to their Creator), and the generalized community encompassing all of humanity.

It is interesting to note that although the Aga Khan is very clear his primary role is Protector (“Guide” and “Support” are interchangeable here, too) of the Faithful, meaning the worldwide community of Nizari Ismaili Muslims, he is committed to improving the lot of humanity as a whole. “As a community, our faith will always preserve our special identity, but there should be nothing exclusive in what you should do.” (Aga Khan, 23 January 1958, Karachi, Pakistan).

A modern school built in an impoverished community is built for Ismaili children, but is designed to help all the children in the neighborhood. “We have always recognized the principle of multi-racial education and today this practice is well established in all our institutions.” (Aga Khan, 13 May 1961, Mombasa, Kenya).

A nursing college built to educate Ismaili nurses extends medical education for everyone in the area. “I hope that the benefits of the Hospital, Nursing School and the Medical College [built by the Aga Khan Hospital and Medical College Foundation] will extend throughout the country.” (15 February 1981, Karachi, Pakistan).

A program to expand the success of Ismaili businesses encourages and nurtures the healthy growth of all business in the region. “You, who are successful members of the business and industrial community, have to see that the fruits of the advancement which the country is making are not gathered by the chosen few alone, but are fairly distributed over the whole nation” (Aga Khan, 28 January 1958, Karachi, Pakistan).

And the list goes on. The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and its many subsidiaries is responsible for many thousands of projects around the world, ranging from things as simple but life-changing as clean water collection and storage for small communities to sprawling, state-of-the-art campuses. Projects are pursued many times under the direct supervision of Ismailis, but also include management and involvement of thousands of like-minded people from many faiths and backgrounds.

My parents used to lament that there was never a problem so big that government wouldn’t throw money at it — and I believe over the years the Aga Khan felt a very similar frustration, the perception money somehow will magically fix anything. “Money is not one-half, nor one-quarter, nor indeed one-eighth of that which is needed.” (Aga Khan, 16 November 1957, Mombasa, Kenya). “I am deeply convinced that money by itself will not solve our problems.” (19 October 1981, Beijing, China).

Volunteers — people who give freely of their time and expertise, serving a cause far beyond the timid limits of self-interest alone — are the ones who allow monetary gifts and support to have positive impact. “Many of our [programmes] depend on volunteers, even though the staff of the foundation are professionals. Indeed volunteers, displaying self-reliance and initiative, have always been the lifeblood of Aga Khan social institutions.” (21 November 1982, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania).

Why is service, or volunteerism, so vital?

I asked this question of a Muslim friend who organized volunteers to work at a Catholic charity.

“I think Christians and Muslims, and people of many faiths, feel very similar on this,” she said. “If we believe in God, it is a privilege to serve Him. And service to God is most easily expressed as service to those around us. As Muslims, volunteering is not something we go out of our way to do because it’s required — we volunteer because it’s part and parcel of who we are.”

Another friend, who ministers over a local Sunni congregation, gave me another perspective. “As Muslims we understand God to be beyond the need of physical form.  We do not imagine God as having hands — this helps us reflect that we, people who believe in God, must perhaps act as His hands. When we commit to our faith, when we offer our prayers sincerely, and when we listen to God through the medium of the Holy Spirit — when we truly desire to do God’s will, I would like to think that in our faith and humility our actions may very well be that which was needed, to answer the prayers of those in need.”

The Aga Khan speaks to this as well — “Also important is the propensity of voluntary efforts, sustained by both the Muslim and Christian ethic, to help the disadvantaged.” (Aga Khan, 21 October 1986, Nairobi, Kenya).

As the Prophet said, “The doors of goodness are many: enjoining good, forbidding evil, removing harm from the road, listening to the deaf, leading the blind, guiding one to the object of his need, hurrying with the strength of one’s legs to one in sorrow who is asking for help, and supporting the feeble with the strength of one’ arms — all of these are charity prescribed for you. Your smile for your brother is charity.” This does not just apply to charity, but describes volunteerism in all its many expressions.

Volunteerism — giving freely of our time and abilities to those in need — brings out the very best of the volunteer. This weird drive we share as human beings shrinks our world, heals our communities and, among all our many differences, can unite us as a global society.

“We have all seen examples of God’s most wonderful creature, the person, whether in a government bureau, a business, or a private development agency, who is inspired to give generously of himself, to go beyond the mechanical requirements of a task. Such men and women, paid or unpaid, express the spirit of the volunteer, literally the will to make a product better, a school the best, a clinic more compassionate and effective. Their spirit, generating new ideas, resisting discouragement, and demanding results, animates the heart of every effective society.” (Aga Khan, 21 October 1986, Nairobi, Kenya, italics added).

Date posted: January 19, 2018.

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Andrew KosorokAndrew Kosorok is an artist, educator, and bridge-builder. A professional stained glass window-maker, stained glass sculptor, and university instructor, he is also an interfaith chaplain and a writer. Andrew examines the Christian/Muslim interface looking for opportunities to use art and the creative process to strengthen friendships, encourage exploration, and build community. He writes: “Art is the language which communicates outside of words — it allows us to embrace our similarities and celebrate those wonderful elements which make each of us unique. At the heart of every faith tradition is the knowledge we are all intentionally made different by a wisely governing Creator; understanding these differences is a fundamental part of building a wonderful future for humanity.” Andrew is the author of two forthcoming books Faith, Alchemy, and Stained Glass: Four Lessons for Grownups and Windows in the Cities of Heaven: An Artist’s Guide to World Peace.

Please read the following pieces by Andrew Kosorok published on this website:

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Barakah welcomes your feedback. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or send your comment to simerg@aol.com.

The 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.

 

A splendid collection of photos of the Aga Khan’s visits to Dubai as Ismailis in UAE prepare for Diamond Jubilee mulaqat

Compiled and prepared by ABDULMALIK MERCHANT
(Editor Barakah.com, Simerg.com and Simergphotos.com)

AlRas_District-Mid1960s-and modern skyline with Burj KhalifaDubai (left) Al Ras District, mid 1960s, and modern skyline with Burj Khalifa. Photos: Wikipedia

“The transformation of the small trading port that was once Dubai into a vibrant metropolis has paralleled its demographic growth and cosmopolitan evolution. The intermingling of cultures that so enlivens this thriving city is one of the strengths on which Dubai has built its renown as a point of global convergence” – His Highness the Aga Khan, Foundation Laying Ceremony of the Ismaili Centre, Dubai, on Saturday, 13 December 2003.

ANNOUNCEMENT OF MAWLANA HAZAR IMAM’S VISIT TO THE UAE

A recent announcement from the Ismaili Leaders International Forum (LIF) has confirmed that Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, will be visiting the Jamat of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the latter part of January 2018. This is in continuation of his recent Diamond Jubilee visits to the Jamats in Uganda, Tanzania, Eastern Canada and Pakistan. 

united_arab_emirates_sm_2016United Arab Emirates (shaded white) is a federal absolute monarchy sovereign state bordering Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south, as well as sharing maritime borders with Qatar to the west and Iran to the north. The country is a federation of seven emirates, and was established on 2 December 1971. The constituent emirates are Abu Dhabi (which serves as the capital), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain. In 2013, the UAE’s population was 9.2 million, of which 1.4 million are Emirati citizens and 7.8 million are expatriates.The UAE Jamat is mainly concentrated in Dubai. Map/Caption: University of Texas/Wikipedia.

We congratulate the UAE Jamat on this exciting announcement, and look forward to providing comprehensive coverage of the visit as we recently did with Mawlana Hazar Imam’s East African, Canadian and Pakistan visits.

It is significant to note that some 35 years ago in 1982, as Mawlana Hazar Imam was celebrating his Silver Jubilee or 25 years of Imamat, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of the Ruling Family of Dubai presented a gift of a land to Mawlana Hazar Imam for the purpose of building an Ismaili Centre. The foundation stone of the building  was laid on December 13, 2003 on the occasion the Hazar Imam’s 67th birthday, and the Centre was officially opened on March 26, 2008 during his Golden Jubilee Year.

Appropriately, we begin the coverage by recapturing historical photos from the foundation and opening ceremonies as well as providing highlights of the building itself and the rich inter-community events that take place within its confines.

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THE ISMAILI CENTRE DUBAI

FOUNDATION CEREMONY: DECEMBER 13, 2003

Aga Khan Dubai Ismaili Centre Foundation CeremonyArchitect Rami El Dahan shows Mawlana Hazar Imam and His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum a model of the proposed Ismaili Centre, Dubai. Photo: The Ismaili/Gary Otte.

Aga Khan Dubai Ismaili Centre Foundation Ceremony PlaqueHis Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum unveils the Foundation Ceremony commemorative plaque. Photo: The Ismaili/Zahur Ramji.

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THE AGA KHAN ON THE ISMAILI CENTRE AND SKYSCRAPER ARCHITECTURE 

Philip Jodidio: Recently you finished a new Ismaelite center in Dubai. It is the opposite of the skyscraper architecture that is currently popular there. Did you want to make a statement with it?

His Highness the Aga Khan: The building boom there has purely economic grounds and does not concern religious buildings. What I build should be oriented on human standards. The debate about the highest building in the world has to do with ambition, vanity, and pride, or whatever you want to call it. These motives play no role in our value system.

(Interview excerpt from Philip Jodidio’s book Under the Eaves of Architecture – The Aga Khan: Builder and Patron).

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OPENING CEREMONY: MARCH 26, 2008

We honour today a great architectural accomplishment…and the remarkable people who have made all of this possible. Those extraordinary people include, of course, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, who has so generously given the land for this Centre. Let me express once again, on behalf of the Ismaili community, our profound appreciation to His Highness and his family – His Highness the Aga Khan, Inauguration of The Ismaili Centre Dubai, Wednesday, March 26, 2008.

2826-Ismaili Centre Dubai Opening Ceremony Aga KhanMawlana Hazar Imam arrives with His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan (left) and His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum for the Opening Ceremony of the Ismaili Centre Dubai. Photo: The Ismaili/Gary Otte.

2824-Ismaili Centre Dubai Opening Ceremony Aga KhanSenior members of the ruling families of the UAE joined Mawlana Hazar Imam, members of the Imam’s family, leaders of the Jamat as well as other dignitaries for the Opening Ceremony of the Ismaili Centre, Dubai. Photo: The Ismaili/Gary Otte. 

2821-Ismaili Centre Dubai Opening Ceremony Aga Khan.jpgMawlana Hazar Imam is joined by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum (left) and His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan for the unveilling of the ceremonial plaque marking the opening of the Ismaili Centre, Dubai. Photo: The Ismaili/
Aziz Islamshah.

912-Ismaili Centre Dubai Aga Khan Visits Early learning CentreMawlana Hazar Imam and various dignitaries visit the Early Learning Centre at the Ismaili Centre, Dubai. Photo: The Ismaili/Gary Otte.

908_Ismaili Centre Dubai Park Aga KhanMawlana Hazar Imam in conversation with Hussain Nasir Lootah, Acting Director General of Dubai Municipality, as they walk through Dubai Park. Photo: The Ismaili/
Gary Otte.

910_Ismaili Centre Dubai Opening Aga Khan Prince Rahim and Princess ZahraMawlana Hazar Imam together with Prince Rahim and Princess Zahra overlooking the entrance hall of the Ismaili Centre Dubai from the balcony above on the opening day on March 26, 2008. Photo: Gary Otte/The Ismaili. 

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PHOTOS OF THE ISMAILI CENTRE AND THE ADJACENT DUBAI PARK

Ismaili Centre Dubai 01.jpgThe Ismaili Centre in Dubai has been described by the media as United Arab Emirate’s best kept architectural secret. The prime plot of land on which it is built was generously given to the Ismaili community by Dubai’s ruling family in 1982 to celebrate His Highness the Aga Khans’s 25 year reign as Imam of Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims. The foundation ceremony of the Ismaili Centre took place several years later on December 13, 2003, on the occasion of His Highness the Aga Khan’s 67th birthday, when he was in his 47th year of Imamat. The Ismaili Centre was inaugurated when the 49th Ismaili Imam, the direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.), visited Dubai in 2008 to celebrate his Golden Jubilee (the completion of his 50 years of Imamat). Photo: The Ismaili.

5a4692_Dubai Ismaili Centre Muslim HarjiA view of the main entrance hall of the Ismaili Centre, Dubai, which draws architectural inspiration from the Fatimid mosques in Cairo. At the centre of the colourfully patterned marble floor is an ornamental fountain crafted from a solid block of Carrara marble. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji, Montreal. 

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THE AGA KHAN ON THE JAMATKHANA

“For many centuries, a prominent feature of the Muslim religious landscape has been the variety of spaces of gathering co-existing harmoniously with the masjid, which in itself has accommodated a range of diverse institutional spaces for educational, social and reflective purposes. Historically serving communities of different interpretations and spiritual affiliations, these spaces have retained their cultural nomenclatures and characteristics, from ribat and zawiyya to khanaqa and jamatkhana.

“The congregational space incorporated within the Ismaili Centre belongs to the historic category of jamatkhana, an institutional category that also serves a number of sister Sunni and Shia communities, in their respective contexts, in many parts of the world. Here, it will be space reserved for traditions and practices specific to the Shia Ismaili Tariqah of Islam.” – His Highness the Aga Khan, Foundation Ceremony, Ismaili Centre, Dubai, December 13, 2003.

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901_6_Ismaili Centre Dubai Congregational HallThe congregational hall of the Ismaili Centre, Dubai features the building’s largest dome. Its octagonal shape is supported by meticulously engineered heavy corbels, which dominate the space. The ambience is set by the enormous brass chandelier from Egypt
Photo: The Ismaili/Gary Otte.

5a46c1_Dubai Ismaili Centre Muslim HarjiAn imposing lamp at the Ismaili Centre, Dubai, a place of enlightenment. Photo: Copyright. © Muslim Harji, Montreal. 

P1010564_Dubai Ismaili Centre Muslim HarjiSitting area for friends to mingle or for individuals to simply relax in the calm setting of  the Ismaili Centre, Dubai. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji, Montreal.

5a46a2_Dubai Ismaili Centre Muslim HarjiOne of the seven domes at the Ismaili Centre, Dubai. The domes were built-in brick and wood by Kashmiri masons equipped with increasingly rare traditional construction skills. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji, Montreal. Copyright.

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THE AGA KHAN ON HIS MOST IMPRESSIVE BUILDING

Philip Jodidio: If you were to name a building that had influenced you the most, which would it be?

His Highness the Aga Khan: In response to the question about which buildings have impressed me, I would say the Ahmad-Ibn-Tulun Mosque in Cairo is one example. It is unbelievably plain, yet no building is more impressive.

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5a46f0_Dubai Ismaili Centre Muslim HarjiCanadian Nevin Harji, left, in a setting of calmness at the Takhtabosh Courtyard of the Ismaili Centre in Dubai. The patterns, fountains and flower beds at the Ismaili Centre, Dubai, draw upon various traditions from across the Islamic world. The building is crowned by a magnificent Ibn Tulun Mosque-like dome. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji, Montreal. 

912-Ismaili Centre Dubai Aga Khan Visits Early learning CentreMawlana Hazar Imam and various dignitaries visit the Early Learning Centre at the Ismaili Centre, Dubai. Photo: The Ismaili/Gary Otte.

P1010575-Edit_Dubai Ismaili Centre Muslim Harji

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DISTINGUISHED VISITORS AND EVENTS AT THE ISMAILI CENTRE DUBAI 

“It is my humble prayer that, when built, the Ismaili Centre in Dubai will be a place for contemplation and search for enlightenment, where people come together to share knowledge and wisdom. It will be a place of peace, of order, of hope and of brotherhood, radiating those thoughts, attitudes and sentiments which unite, and which do not divide, and which uplift the mind and the spirit.” – His Highness the Aga Khan, Foundation Laying Ceremony of the Ismaili Centre, Dubai, on Saturday, 13 December 2003.

1797_Dubai Ismaili Centre First Imamat Day
A view of the entrance to Souq-al-Izhaar (Market of Expressions), as the First Imamat Day at the Ismaili Centre Dubai is marked in July 2008 with a celebration. Photo: Prime Vision via the Ismaili
Ismaili Centre Dubai markham_mayor visit
Mayor Frank Scarpitti of Markham, Ontario visiting the Ismaili Centre Dubai on February 9, 2016 together with members of his city council. Photo: Ismaili Council for UAE via The Ismaili.

dubai_cares-Ismaili Centre Dubai Early Education CentreDubai Cares CEO Tariq Al Gurg meets children at the Aga Khan Early Learning Centre during his tour of the Ismaili Centre. Drawing on the vast experience of the Aga Khan Education Services which operates over 300 schools worldwide, the ELC offers early childhood programmes that will are culturally relevant, dual medium (Arabic and English) and pluralistic in approach. Photo: Ismaili Council for the UAE via The Ismaili.

Dubai Ismaili Centre Visit by the Portuguese.jpgHis Excellency Joaquim Moreira de Lemos, Portugal Ambassador to the UAE, and his wife Paula Moreira de Lemos visit the Dubai Ismaili Centre. Photo: Ismaili Council for UAE via The Ismaili.

dsc_6190_Ismaili Centre Dubai_Tajik performanceTajik musicians perform traditional music from their country at the Ismaili Centre in Dubai on December 22, 2016 at a celebration marking  the diversity of Tajik art and culture through art, music, culture, and authentic foods. The audience included diplomatic, business and professional leaders. Photo: Ismaili Council for UAE via The Ismaili.

Dubai Ismaili Centre Visit by Rwanda and Tajikistan.jpgAmbassador Bahodur M. Sharifi and Consul General Bahodu Safarzoda of Tajikistan, and Acting Consul General of Rwanda Yasmin Dalila at the Ismaili Centre, Dubai. Photo: Ismaili Council for UAE via The Ismaili.

2354-Ismaili Centre Dubai Photo ExhibitionHis Highness Sheikh Majid and Noor Ali Rashid pause at a photograph of the late Ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan during the inauguration on April 22, 2009 at the Ismaili Centre Dubai of an exhibition of photographs taken by acclaimed Royal Photographer of the United Arab Emirates, Noor Ali Rashid. Photo: Ismaili Council of Emirates/Farhad R Ally/Akbar Hakim via The Ismaili.

Ismaili Centre Speaker Suhoor SeriesMore than 200 guests gathered for an event on education that was part of the Dubai Ismaili Centre’s annual Suhoor Speakers Series during the holy month of Ramadan. The event on June 16, 2016 showcased the long-term solutions that leading development agencies such as Dubai Cares and the Aga Khan Foundation are bringing to communities in need in Afghanistan, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Photo: Ismaili Centre Dubai via The Ismaili.

Dubai Ismaili Centre Visit by Turkey.jpgTurkish Ambassador Can Dizdar and Consul General Erdem Ozan at the Ismaili Centre, Dubai. Photo: Ismaili Council for UAE via The Ismaili.

Ismaili Centre Dubai Gospel PerformanceIn collaboration with the Ismaili Centre, Dubai, U.S. Consul General Paul Malik partnered with the Ismaili Center for a musically enchanting evening by the American “Oasis Gospel Choir” on Wednesday, May 24, 2017. Paul Malik remarked that “the performace was to showcase a small part of American culture and spiritual traditions through music and song, because I thought it would mesh well with our and the Ismaili Center’s desires to celebrate diversity, tolerance, and coexistence.” Photo: US Embassy, Arab Emirates.

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PRINCE RAHIM AT THE JUBILEE GAMES IN DUBAI

“I would like to congratulate everyone who is participating in and helping out in these games, as well as those who participated in and helped to organise the events leading up to them for their collective effort to promote fitness and camaraderie through sports.

“In the current times, I can think of no better way than this and of no better place than Dubai to promote the notion of bringing young minds from diverse backgrounds and different environments together in the spirit of friendship and peace.

“I know the efforts that all you young and able athletes made to come here. I salute your resolve and I pray that you may carry that spirit of friendship and peace with you when you return to your homes.” – Prince Rahim Aga Khan, Opening of the Jubilee Games in Dubai, July 23, 2016.

zr1_7389s_Prince Rahim Jubilee GamesPrince Rahim Aga Khan greets athletes from Tajikistan at the Jubilee Games. Photo: The Ismaili/JG/Aly Ramji.

11-b0a8a3500_Prince Rahim Ismaili Jubilee Games Dubai pervaiz_akhtarPrince Rahim Aga Khan and His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan light the central Fanous of the Opening Ceremony to officially mark the beginning of the 2016 Jubilee Games. Seen applauding on the stage are Amiruddin Thanawala, President of the Ismaili Council for UAE (left) and Mahmood Eboo, the Chairman of the Ismaili Leaders International Forum. Photo: The Ismaili.

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THE AGA KHAN AWARD FOR ARCHITECTURE

Aga Khan arrival for Aga Khan Award for ArchitectureMawlana Hazar Imam is received by Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid, Minister of State for Tolerance upon his arrival in Dubai on November 4, 2016 for the presentation ceremony of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Photo: The Ismaili.

akaa2016-Aga Khan at Al Jahili Fort in Al AinAt centre of photo, His Highness Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai with Mawlana Hazar Imam. Photo:  Copyright © Simergphotos.

2016-11-06_akaa2016-ria_0313_rafiq_hakim Aga Khan at Award CeremonyRecipients of the 2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture pictured with His Highness the Aga Khan and His Highness Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Photo: AKDN/Gary Otte.

Date posted: January 15, 2018.

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Recommended reading(s) in preparation for mulaqat with Mawlana Hazar Imam:

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Abdulmalik Merchant portraitAbdulmalik Merchant (aka Malik), has worked in the IT industry since  graduating in computing from London’s North London Polytechnic in 1976. He is the editor and publisher of the literary website Simerg, which he founded in 2009, as well as its two sister websites Simergphotos (2013) and Barakah (2016). In the UK, he was a member of the Literature and Publications Department of the Ismailia Association, and co-edited the Ismaili community’s flagship Ilm magazine with his father, Alwaez Jehangir.

We welcome your feedback. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or send your comment to simerg@aol.com.

Note: This blog, Barakah, is a special project of http://www.Simerg.com and has been undertaken to celebrate 60 years of the Imamat or the Diamond Jubilee of His Highness the Aga Khan.

The Oncology Project in Uganda and Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Didar in Canada

By SHELLYZA MOLEDINA SAJWANI

250px-Uganda_Gulu location_map

Gulu (pop. 152,276 according to 2014 census) is the commercial and administrative centre of Gulu District in Northern Uganda. It is served by an airport and a railway line, and is 340 kms from Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city. Map: Wikipedia.

I found out about the Eastern Canada didar announcement on a Whatsapp group at a connecting airport in late October 2017 on the way to Uganda — ten minutes before boarding a very long flight.

The entire silent overnight flight journey to Uganda itself was obviously an extremely emotionally turbulent and tearful roller coaster, as I was trying to digest the reality that I would be missing a once-in-a-lifetime occasion — the in-person blessing of my spiritual leader, His Highness the Aga Khan, Mawlana Hazar Imam.

But luckily, by the time I reached Uganda, after many hours of silent reflection, I had a surprising state of relative peace with the upcoming reality. I felt certain that the Imam would have been fairly satisfied with my reasons for being away, even if I couldn’t necessarily see him in person this time.

As I am an oncology pharmacist by profession, my project at Lacor Hospital in Gulu, Uganda, luckily progressed much faster than I had earlier anticipated. On the exact same morning of the didar in Montreal, Tuesday November 21, I presented to the team as to the progress of the four phase pediatric oncology project — of which the initial three phases were somehow nearing completion.

The first phase was the creation of a safety system in administering certain chemotherapy. The second phase was the creation of short educational monographs (concise information guides for health care professionals) for each of the chemotherapy being administered, to help to treat and monitor side effects. The third phase was the creation of new chemotherapy protocols with new items incorporated to prevent severe vomiting in kids undergoing chemotherapy.

The presentation on the day of the didar went smoothly, and the roll out and implementation of the four phases of the project was surprisingly smooth with very few minor hitches, thanks to the teamwork, hard work and enthusiasm of my Ugandan colleagues — two very inspiring and brilliant physicians, two equally incredible nurses, and my very determined and hard-working  pharmacist colleague.

To be honest, I’m not sure whether this project will save any pediatric cancer patient lives. But hopefully, because of the continued work of the people I mentioned above, it will very likely improve the quality of life of some kids with cancer.

This is a matter of faith, but I often wonder whether the roll out of the phases would have gone so magically smoothly if the didar had not been taking place while I was away.

It makes me feel like perhaps, despite my initial emotions, perhaps everything was just meant to be.

And I have no regrets. None. Instead I feel extremely blessed for having this incredible amazing gift of an opportunity.

Instead of vainly congratulating myself for only five weeks of work, I am completely in awe of the dedication and kindness of each of the members of the Ugandan physicians, interns, nurses and  pharmacists that I have worked with during my time here.

Year after year, these incredible men and women, with their friendly smiles, hilarious jokes, and unbelievably kind hearts, continue to dedicate everything they have to the hospital.

They are at the forefront of truly selfless patient care. They are the real superheroes of northern Uganda.

And as for myself? I’m their biggest fan.

I thought I’d end with two quotes which have somehow much more meaning now than they did before I left for Uganda.

“You can’t dare greatly without being courageous; you can’t get to courage without constantly walking through vulnerability. Vulnerability is therefore the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change” – Brene Brown

“Spirituality should not become a way of escaping from the world, but rather a way of more actively engaging in it” – His Highness the Aga Khan, Tutzing, Germany, May 20, 2006.

Goodbye for now Uganda.

Goodbye for now — but not forever.

Date posted: January 8, 2017.

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Shellyza Moledina SajwaniShellyza Moledina Sajwani is an oncology pharmacist currently practicing in Ottawa, Canada. She travelled to Gulu, Uganda, to implement a project for St Mary’s Hospital Lacor as part of her PharmD doctoral rotations from October 2017 to December 2017.

Due to the extreme poverty determined by over 20 years of conflict which ended in 2007, most patients are treated for free or at very subsidized rates. Over 70% of the hospital’s operating costs must therefore be covered from abroad. Funds for development are unfortunately often tied to very specific goals like new buildings and activities, and therefore supporting the costs of existing activities is rarely taken into consideration. Thanks to donors, the Foundation has played a key role in helping the hospital survive.

Every little bit helps – the average cost to Lacor Hospital for treating a child in the pediatric ward is 25 Canadian dollars, while the average cost to Lacor Hospital for a nurse’s monthly salary is only 250 Canadian dollars. Please consider making a donation at https://becomepart.org/donate/.

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We welcome your feedback. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or send your comment to simerg@aol.com.

Note: This blog, Barakah, is a special project of http://www.Simerg.com and has been undertaken to celebrate 60 years or the Diamond Jubilee of His Highness the Aga Khan.

 

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