“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, November 1, 2017, please watch remarks on video, below.

Game Changer: Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, honoured for breathtaking achievements in Asia and around the world

VIDEO: AGA KHAN LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

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PHOTOS AND REPORT: AGA KHAN LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Post Update, November 6, 2017: We have been presented by the Asia Society, New York, with the opportunity to publish photos of the event taken by their photographers. We include them here, and sincerely thank the Society for their kind permission.

171102_agakhanjosettegreeting_0_Asia Society PhotoAsia Society President and CEO Josette Sheeran greets His Highness the Aga Khan prior to the Asia Society Game Changer awards on November 1, 2017. Photo: Jamie Watts/Asia Society.

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.

“In a world of challenges, it is important to honor the dreamers and leaders, those who take action and those who inspire us to build a better world,” said Asia Society President Josette Sheeran, when the awards were first announced in August 2017. “This year’s Game Changers have each made a significant difference through a unique vision, perseverance, and courage,” she added. Citi’s Asia Pacific CEO Francisco Aristeguieta at the time said. “These awards reflect how these Game Changers are using courage and creativity to inspire and make a positive impact in communities.”

171102_sonitarap_gamechangers_0_Asia Society PhotoThe Afghan rapper Sonita Alizadeh performs at the Asia Game Changer awards on November 1, 2017. Photo: Jamie Watts/Asia Society.

This year’s nine honorees included Sonita Alizadeh for using rap music to empower the girls in Afghanistan; Jean Liu  for revolutionizing transportation and changing urban life in China; actor Dev Patel for using celebrity to place a spotlight on India’s poor as well as building bridges between India and the world; environmentalist Leng Ouch for risking his life to expose an environmental calamity and stop deforestation in his native country Cambodia; Grammy winner Wu Tong for showing that musical virtuosity has no bounds; Tadashi Yanai for building a global retail empire that gives back to local communities; and famed eagle huntress, Aisholpan Nurgaiv, for breaking gender barriers at a remarkably young age. His Highness the Aga Khan, spiritual leader to the world’s 15 million Ismaili Muslims, received the Asia Game Changer Lifetime Achievement Award.

171102_bloombergjosetteagakhan_gamechangers_0_Asia Society PhotoFormer New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, Asia Society President and CEO Josette Sheeran, and His Highness the Aga Khan greet each other prior to the Asia Game Changer Awards on November 1, 2017. Photo: Jamie Watts/Asia Society.

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.

Accepting the award “for improving the lives of millions in Asia and around the world,” through the initiatives of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN),  His Highness the Aga Khan, Mawlana Hazar Imam, accompanied by his brother Prince Amyn Aga Khan, said, “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.”

171102_agakhan_portrait_0_Asia Society PhotoThe Aga Khan delivers an acceptance speech after being honored with an Asia Game Changer Lifetime Achievement Award. Photo: Jamie Watts/Asia Society.

2017-11-Aga Khan Asia Society Award-akbar_hakim-21385Prince Amyn, the Aga Khan’s younger brother, at the Asia Society’s 2017 Game Changer Awards. Photo: The Ismaili/Akbar Hakim/Mairaj Manji.

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.

Mawlana Hazar Imam was addressing a distinguished audience upon receiving the award which was presented to him by Sharon Rockefeller, President and CEO of WETA-TV and wife of former Senator John “Jay” Rockefeller, together with Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor of New York City. It represents the fourth major honor bestowed on the Aga Khan in New York City this year, which also marks his Diamond Jubilee as Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Ismaili Muslim community. Earlier this year, he was awarded the Foreign Policy Association Medal, and received the Architectural League of New York’s President’s Medal, and the United Nations Foundation’s Champion for Global Change Award.

171102_crowdshot_agakhan_0_Asia Society Photo
Audience members give the Aga Khan a standing ovation at the Asia Game Changer awards on November 1, 2017. Photo: Elena Olivo/Asia Society.

171103_rockefellerbirdbloombergagakhan_gamechangers_Asia Society PhotoSharon Rockefeller, the Aga Khan, Michael Bloomberg, and Stephen Bird pose at the Asia Game Changers awards on November 1, 2017. Photo: Jamie Watts/Asia Society.

171102_gamechangersgroupshot_gamechangers_0_Asia Society PhotoHis Highness the Aga Khan (centre) and Prince Amyn Aga Khan (4th from right), with CEO Josette Sheeran (right) and 2017 class of Asia Game Changers. Photo: Jamie Watts/Asia Society.

“Through the Aga Khan’s network and his role as a spiritual leader, he has worked for decades to help build a more peaceful and tolerant world,” said Bloomberg. “He has brought important attention to areas and issues that need it most, including protecting vulnerable communities from climate change, and helping young people develop new skills that can help them succeed. He has also been a champion of using public-private partnerships to spread economic opportunity, improve public health, and expand access to education.”

Asia Society’s President Josette Sheeran also paid tribute to the Aga Khan, recognizing the role of the AKDN and its efforts in Afghanistan and Tajikistan. “We  know the power of your work; I know the power of your network; I know what you have built. And we need more networks of people determined to say this is a world of good, this is a world of standing by each other, and this is what we honor here tonight,” she said.

2017-11-Aga Khan Asia Society Award-usa-akbar_hakim-10469_rLieutenant Governor of the State of New York, Kathy Hochul, with His Highness the Aga Khan, Michael Bloomberg, and Sharon Rockefeller. Photo: AKDN/Akbar Hakim/Mairaj Manji.

2017-11-04-PHOTO-00000009_Aga Khan Citation Diamond Jubilee

An image of the citation presented by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to His Highness the Aga Khan for his Diamond Jubilee.

2017-11-Aga Khan Asia Society Award-akbar_hakim-10665.jpgA view of the setting of Asia Society’s 2017 Asia Game Changer Awards held at Cipriani 25 Broadway. Photo: The Ismaili/Akbar Hakim/Mairaj Manji.

The sold out dinner and celebration was held at Cipriani 25 Broadway in lower Manhattan. The evening included a performance by Aga Khan Music Initiative’s All-Stars Ensemble, which brings together beloved artists-performers from Asia and the West.

171102_agakhanorchestra_asiagamechangers_0_Asia Society PhotoThe Aga Khan Music Initiative Ensemble performs at the conclusion of the Asia Game Changer awards on November 1, 2017. Photo: Ellen Wallop/Asia Society.

 AGA KHAN MUSIC ENSEMBLE: LIVE WEBCAST, NOVEMBER 2, 2017

On November 2, the Asia Society hosted artists Homayoun Sakhi and Salar Nader of the Aga Khan Ensemble at a special performance at its New York headquarters. Readers may listen to the webcast that was broadcast live by clicking on http://www.AsiaSociety.org/live.

Date posted: November 2, 2017.
Last updated: November 6, 2017 (Added photos taken by Asia Society).

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Report compiled from the websites of http://www.AKDN.org and http://www.AsiaSociety.org.

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