We are pleased to provide a comprehensive coverage of His Highness the Aga Khan’s recent Diamond Jubilee visits to Uganda and Tanzania. The photos and reports are compiled from the official Ismaili community website. We also have links to important articles and videos that appeared on websites across East Africa.
We invite our Ismaili readers to share their personal accounts of the Darbars that they attended at the historic Darkhana Jamatkhana in Kampala and the Diamond Jubilee Hall in Dar es Salaam. Kindly submit your reflections – maximum 500 words – to Simerg@aol.com, Subject: Diamond Jubilee Darbar. Please include your full-name and contact information as well as your brief profile. We also welcome for publication photographs of celebrations and events that you were present at as part of the Diamond Jubilee visits to Uganda and Tanzania.
Uganda: Pearl of Africa Honour and Darbar
UGANDA, SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2017: ARRIVAL AND VISIT TO STATE HOUSE
His Highness the Aga Khan, Mawlana Hazar Imam, arrived in Uganda on the afternoon of October 8, 2017 for his first Diamond Jubilee visit. The Attorney General, Hon. William Byaruhanga welcomed him to Uganda and Ismaili Council for Uganda President Minaz Jamal welcomed him on behalf of the Jamat. The AKDN Resident Representative Amin Mawji, formerly President of the Aga Khan Council for the United Kingdom, and other Ismaili leaders were also present at the airport.
His Highness is presented a bouquet of flowers upon his arrival in Uganda. Photo: The Ismaili/Rafiq Hakim.
In a colourful ceremony at Entebbe airport, the Uganda Police Band played the Nashid al Imamah and the Ugandan National Anthem and the Aga Khan walked past a Guard of Honour. Photo: The Ismaili/Rafiq Karim.
Aga Khan Ismaili Council President Minaz Jamal, AKDN Resident Representative Amin Mawji, His Highness the Aga Khan and Attorney General Hon. William Byarhanga share a light moment at Entebbe airport.
His Highness the Aga Khan was in Uganda at the invitation of His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. After leaving the airport, the Aga Khan called on the President at State House Entebbe. Photo: AKDN/Zahur Ramji.
UGANDA, MONDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2017: AWARD OF THE MOST EXCELLENT ORDER OF THE PEARL OF AFRICA AT 55TH INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS
On 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.
The Most Excellent Order of the Pearl of Africa award is the highest civilian award of the Ugandan Honour System, and has been presented to only five other individuals in the history of the country. The distinction was granted to the Aga Khan in recognition of exceptional contributions made by Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) institutions to the economic and social development of Uganda. AKDN agencies in the region operate in a number of industry sectors including energy, banking, health, tourism, education, and media.
Upon receiving the award, the Aga Khan expressed his gratitude to President Museveni, and noted about the progress of the country: “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.” He went on to outline his wish for the future, “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.”
AUDIO OF HIS HIGHNESS THE AGA KHAN’S REMARKS
UGANDA, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2017: DARBAR WITH UGANDA’S ISMAILIS
The Kampala Ismaili Darkhana Jamatkhana. Photo: The Ismaili
His Highness the Aga Khan, Mawlana Hazar Imam, graced his Ismaili community in Uganda with the first Darbar (lit. a court or audience chamber where kings had formal or informal meetings) of his Diamond Jubilee year, at the historic location of the Kampala Darkhana. The building dates back to July 1936, when the foundation stone was laid in an area of Kampala where a large number of Ismailis from South Asia had begun to settle, seeking economic opportunity in East Africa. Upon Hazar Imam’s ascension to the Imamat in 1957, Ismailis around the world commemorated his installation as the Imam (Takht Nashini) in various countries, including Uganda. In October 1957, a Takht Nashini ceremony was held on the grounds of Darkhana, Kampala; the memory of which has remained in the hearts of all who attended.
Mawlana Hazar Imam is received by Mukhisaheb and Kamadiasaheb upon his arrival for Darbar at Darkhana, Kampala.Photo: The Ismaili/Zahur Ramji
During the Darbar, Uganda’s Aga Khan Council President Minaz Jamal submitted pledges of loyalty to Mawlana Hazar Imam on behalf of the Ismailis present, along with the gift of an enamel portrait of Fath Ali Shah. The portrait is of direct relevance to the family history of Hazar Imam, as it was Fath Ali Shah — at the time of his reign as Qajar king — who bestowed the title of Aga Khan on the 46th Ismaili Imam, Hasan Ali Shah.
Mawlana Hazar Imam gave guidance to the Jamat gathered, and bestowed blessings for the global Jamat. Shortly before leaving, Hazar Imam met with the Ugandan Jamati institutional leadership, and greeted the volunteers who bid him farewell. Upon his departure from Darkhana, Hazar Imam drove past the Aga Khan School, Kampala, where members of the Jamat who had travelled from outside Uganda had assembled. Commemorating the momentous occasion, the Jamat came together to congratulate each other and celebrate the event, which will long live in the memory of all who were present.
Mawlana Hazar Imam shares a light moment with the Ugandan Jamat at the Diamond Jubilee Darbar. Photo: The Ismaili/Zahur Ramji.
UGANDA, WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2017: DEPARTURE FOR TANZANIA
Mawlana Hazar Imam departed from Uganda on October 11, 2017, to continue his Diamond Jubilee visit to Tanzania. Here he is bidding farewell to Jamati leaders in Uganda. Photo: The Ismaili/Rafiq Hakim.
The Aga Khan, shortly before departing, with (from right) Attorney General Hon. William Byaruhanga, President of the Ismaili Council for Uganda Minaz Jamal, AKDN Resident Representative Amin Mawji, and other Ismaili leaders. Photo: The Ismaili/Rafiq Hakim.
The Aga Khan bids his final farewells before departing from Uganda after his Diamond Jubilee visit. Photo: The Ismaili/Rafiq Hakim.
Tanzania: State House Visit, Darbar and Gift of Commemorative Stamps
TANZANIA, WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2017: ARRIVAL AND VISIT TO IKULU, THE STATE HOUSE
His Highness the Aga Khan arrived in Tanzania on the morning of October 11, 2017, to continue his visit to East Africa in commemoration of the Diamond Jubilee year. He is welcomed by Tanzania’s Defence Minister Hon. Hussein Mwinyi at Dar es Salaam’s Julius Nyerere Airport. Photo: The Ismaili/Zahur Ramji.
The 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.
The Aga Khan received a ceremonial guard of honour walking alongside Tanzania’s Minister of Defence and National Service, Hon. Hussein Mwinyi during his arrival at Dar es Salaam’s Julius Nyerere Airport. Photo: The Ismaili/Zahur Ramji.
The arrival ceremony commenced with the Tanzania Police Band playing the Nashid al Imamah and the Tanzanian National Anthem. The Ismaili Imam was welcomed with a Guard of Honour and took a moment to enjoy a selection of performances. These included Tanzanian traditional dancers, and a vibrant group of young Ismailis performing a fusion dance showcasing a blend of African and South Asian cultures with dhol and ngoma (traditional drums). Ismailis, along with Aga Khan Scouts and Guides watched with happiness and excitement in the presence of their beloved Imam, and waved as his convoy departed the airport.
The Aga Khan meets with the Chief Mufti of Tanzania Sheikh Aboubakary Zubery. Photo: The Ismaili/Zahur Ramji.
The Aga Khan is greeted by a Member of Tanzania’s Peace Committee, Ms. Shamim Parker. Photo: The Ismaili/Zahur Ramji.
The Aga Khan views a cultural “Ngoma” dance performed by Ismaili Volunteers at the Julius Nyerere Airport. Photo: The Ismaili/Zahur Ramji.
The Aga Khan greets his followers ad admirers during his arrival at the Julius Nyerere Airport in Dar es Salaam. Photo: The Ismaili/Zahur Ramji.
His 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.
The President of the United Republic of Tanzania Dr. John Magufuli in talks with His Highness the Aga Khan at Ikulu shortly after he arrived in Dar es Salaam on October 11, 2017. Photo: State House.
TANZANIA, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2017: DARBAR WITH TANZANIA’S ISMAILIS
While in Tanzania, Mawlana Hazar Imam granted the second Darbar of his Diamond Jubilee year, which marks 60 years of his Imamat as the spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslim community. He became Imam at the age of 20 on July 11, 1957.
Mawlana Hazar Imam is received by Mukhisaheb and Kamadiasaheb, upon his arrival for the Darbar at the Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee Hall in Dar es Salaam. Photo: The Ismaili/Zahur Ramji.
The Tanzanian Jamat gathered in Dar es Salaam on 12 October for the historic occasion of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Diamond Jubilee Darbar. President Amin Lakhani submitted pledges of loyalty to Mawlana Hazar Imam on behalf of the Jamat of the Tanzanian jurisdiction. A gift of eight Fatimid coins minted in Al Mahdia for the first eight Fatimid Imams was also presented to Hazar Imam by the Jamat. Mawlana Hazar Imam gave guidance to the Jamat who were in attendance and conveyed blessings for the global Jamat.
Mawlana Hazar Imam shares a light moment at the Diamond Jubilee Darbar in Dar es Salaam. Photo: The Ismaili/Zahur Ramji.
Mawlana Hazar Imam at the Diamond Jubilee Darbar in Dar es Salaam. Photo: The Ismaili/Zahur Ramji.
Mawlana Hazar Imam 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 Hazar Imam by the Tanzanian Jamat. Photo: The Ismaili/Zahur Ramji.
Mawlana Hazar Imam speaks to Ismaili leaders, before departing from the Diamond Jubilee Hall. Photo: The Ismaili/Zahur Ramji.
Mawlana Hazar Imam is greeted by Aga Khan Scouts and Guides, as he leaves Diamond Jubilee Hall after the Darbar. Photo: The Ismaili/Zahur Ramji.
The Darbar was held at the Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee Hall in Dar es Salaam. The unique history of the Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee Hall stems from the Diamond Jubilee of Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah. The land was acquired using the Nazrana presented to him in 1946. The hall is used as a sports centre and a social venue for congregational activities. It has also served as the location for numerous Deedars.
On his departure, Mawlana Hazar Imam drove nearby to Upanga Jamatkhana, where members of the Jamat who had travelled from outside Tanzania were assembled. After bidding farewell to Hazar Imam, the Jamat celebrated the momentous occasion together long into the evening.
TANZANIA, OCTOBER 12, 2017: PRESENTATION OF COMMEMORATIVE STAMPS
The Aga Khan departed from Tanzania on 12 October after completing his second Diamond Jubilee visit. The Minister of Defence and National Service, Hon. Hussein Mwinyi, and Regional Commissioner for Dar es Salaam, Hon. Paul Makonda, as well as Ismaili leaders were present for Mawlana Hazar Imam’s departure from Julius Nyerere Airport.
Before departing, Mawlana Hazar Imam 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.
Date posted: October 15, 2017.
The Aga Khan’s Visits to Uganda and Tanzania: External Links
- Video: Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives in Uganda
- Video: Mawlana Hazar Imam Presented With Uganda’s Highest Honour
- The Aga Khan decorated with the “Most Excellent Order of the Pearl of Africa” medal
- Video: Mawlana Hazar Imam visits State House Entebbe
- Why the Aga Khan deserves Uganda’s highest civilian honour
- Video: Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives in Tanzania
- His Highness the Aga Khan journalists to observe professionalism
- STAMPS AND FIRST DAY COVERS: https://stamps.tz.post/collections/2017-collection/aga-khan-highness
- Africa Report on Business – Dated: October 11, 2017
- Aga Khan pledges support for govt development plans
- Grand reception as His Highness the Aga Khan arrives in Dar
- Over 100,000 farmers benefit from Aga Khan Foundation support
- Aga Khan’s lifeline for farmers
- AGA KHAN ON MEDIA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlHXm5tAsbA
- DAILY NEWS HABARILEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1suEUo6hd0
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Thank you for sharing with us beautiful pictures of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Diamond Jubilee visits to Uganda and Tanzania.
Super de belles photos et inoubliables. Beaucoup de MUBAREKIS aux chanceux chanceuses pour avoir vus NOTRE MAWLABAPA BIEN AIME AMEEN. Vous avez faits des SPECIAUX DIDAARS AMEEN. Je vous envie énormément!!!!!
If you’ll allow me, writing as a Ugandan Ismaili living in Uganda. In Uganda it was clearly a two-track visit – to give didar and to attend the Independence Day (I-day) celebrations to receive the Pearl of Africa Class 1 Medal, reserved for Heads of State and so far given to only five. The Pearl medal is only given on I-Day. It is a great honour and Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, accepted the State Guest invitation. He graciously also agreed to give didar, making the Uganda jamat the first to be blessed with this privilege. Unfortunately, no announcement was made about the national honour. In other words, the twains did not meet. I think by easy arrangement with Government the I-day could have been turned into an Ismaili Day with busloads of our people taken there. Even leaders from other communities should have been invited to present petitions to His Highness. Hazar Imam himself mentioned the medal at the didar with evident happiness and the jamat celebrated on Friday. The citation cited him as an investor whereas Hazar Imam’s role in Uganda covers his whole 60 years and in fact goes to the Aga Khan I – 46th Imam – under whose guidance Ismailis began to come to East Africa and Allidina Visram penetrated into Uganda. These are minor quibbles. The jamat is still celebrating the two events.
Thank you for sharing these most wonderful pictures of both Uganda and Tanzania, along with a summary of the visit. Surely this is a keepsake never to be forgotten and we hope we will receive more of such posts as Mawlana Hazar Imam’s tour continues to other countries. Keep it up.
Very comprehensive coverage and pictures of the Diamond Jubilee Visits to Uganda and Tanzania. Always a pleasure to go through the Simerg posts. Please keep up the good work being done.