Joyful photos from His Highness the Aga Khan’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Lisbon through the lens of Muslim Harji

The editor’s dilemma is what to select from hundreds of photos that are made available through the kindness and generosity of a passionate and great photographer. Montreal’s Muslim Harji has contributed significantly to this blog since the commencement of the Diamond Jubilee as well as to its sister blogs, simerg and simergphotos, over the past 8 years. We have selected the following to provide a glimpse and capture the beauty of the magnificent Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Lisbon in July 2018. For more photos by Muslim Harji, please visit his Flickr page  (see link on his profile, below). 

The Aga Khan’s Diamond Jubilee in Lisbon

By MUSLIM HARJI

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The symbol of Global Unity. A free standing Diamond Jubilee motif at Park of Nations, the venue where tens of thousands of Ismailis gathered to celebrate Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Diamond Jubilee for 7 days. Photo: Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.

It’s exactly a month since we celebrated the Diamond Jubilee Darbar of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, on July 11, 2018, in Lisbon. When we arrived in the beautiful city of Lisbon, it was buzzing with joy and happiness. Ismailis from every corner of the Globe were to be seen everywhere — in hotel lobbies, corner stores, buses, metros, trams, restaurants, cafes, tourist sites and of course at the  Park of Nations (Parque das Nações), the primary site of the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations. At the closing time of each night, the Oriente Metro station and all the carriages would be jam packed with Ismailis! I have never seen anything like this before.

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Red Line metro carriage is packed with happy Ismailis as they depart Oriente station for a night’s rest after an eventful day at the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.

The epic Diamond Jubilee celebration in Lisbon, the closing out of the incredible year of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s 60th year of Imamat, was truly a memorable and historic experience for everyone who was there; I will personally cherish it in my heart, mind, and soul for the rest of my life. This event was a testament to the diversity and beauty of our community, and we should all take comfort in the fact that our community is flourishing around the world.

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Volunteers guiding senior Ismailis. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.
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Volunteers: The pride of the Ismaili community around the world. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.
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Proud youth of the Jamat. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.

Close to 45,000 murids from every corner of the planet came together as “ONE JAMAT” and celebrated the event for seven straight days.

The Diamond Jubilee celebrations would not have been possible without the help of the Portuguese volunteers and hundreds of  international volunteers, some of whom had arrived weeks earlier to help plan and organise this event for all of us to enjoy. They were kind, gentle and compassionate.

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A view of Park of Nations (Parque das Nações) where the Diamond Jubilee of His Highness the Aga Khan was celebrated in Lisbon. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.

At the same time, the hospitality and warmth of the Portuguese leadership and jamat were remarkable and their ability to plan an innovative and forward-thinking event on such a large scale was truly impressive. I am delighted to share these photos with readers of Barakah.

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One of the 5 entrances at the venue of the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in Lisbon. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.
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The registration desks where electronic wrist bands for entry to the grounds were issued. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.
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Digitized wrist bands for gaining entry to the grounds. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.
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Transportation within the mela grounds. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.
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A family takes advantage of the transportation to take them to events at the mela grounds. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.
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A view of the Altice Arena which hosted the Diamond Jubilee concerts and the Talent show. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.
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A banner displaying one of two major concerts that were held at the Altice Arena. The evening show on July 10 was a sell out and a special afternoon show was added to accommodate the overflow. The first concert, Kings of Rythm, featuring Algerian Cheb Khaled was held on July 5. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.
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Concert in progress at the Altice Arena. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.
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Ismaili talent performing at the Altice Arena. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.
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Ismaili talent performing at the Altice Arena. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.
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Mehndi (Henna) artists at work. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.
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Be warned, no high fives, please! Seniors with fresh Henna tattoos. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.
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The ever busy memorabilia counter. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.
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Nothing less than joy. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.
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When the food court is full, enjoy biryani on stairs at the Altice arena. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.
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Indifferent to the gorgeous dress and suit, eating in comfort on stairs of the Altice Arena. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.
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Visitors at the International Arts Gallery. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.
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Artists and visitors at the International Arts Gallery. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.
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A pipe band performance. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.
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Happy faces from around the world. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.
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Happy faces from around the world. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.
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Happy faces from around the world. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.
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Happy faces from around the world. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.
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Happy faces from around the world. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.
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Ismailis visit Palacete Henrique De Mendonça, the Seat of the Ismaili Imamat which Hazar Imam proclaimed as the Diwan of the Ismaili Imamat on July 11, 2018. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.

Thank you!

Date posted: August 11, 2018.

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Muslim and Nevin HarjiMuslim Harji has been acclaimed for his wonderful photo essays for this blog as well as its sister websites Simerg.com and Simergphotos.com. He and his wife Nevin have lived in Montreal for over 35 years, where they raised two children and ran a successful business. Upon retiring in 2004, Muslim and Nevin started to explore the world. All told, together and individually, they have visited almost 50 countries around the globe, and plan to continue fostering their love for travelling the world.

For more photos of Lisbon, please click https://www.flickr.com/gp/134574605@N03/u6B8G6.

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

For links to all the posts please click on Table of ContentsAlso join/like Barakah at http://www.facebook.com/1000fold and follow us at http://twitter.com/simerg.

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

16 comments

  1. I think perhaps this is a great presentation of the events captured by Muslim and especially for some one like me for being so far way. I lived through the mastery of his art to enjoy the wonderful time everyone participated in. Kudos to him

    Like

  2. Thank you very much for providing us with invaluable details and pictures to treasure these precious memories, Though I was not physically there, viewing all these make me feel I was there, and felt the intensity of the celebration. Kindly accept my heartfelt gratitude. May Hazar Imam grant you great success and fulfillments in your beautiful sevaa. “Amen.”

    Like

  3. Excellent photos. Could not be there but photos provide proof that there everyone had lots of fun at this memorable and once in a lifetime event. It would not have been possible if it wasn’t for all volunteers (local and visitors). Especial thanks to Muslim for sharing his beautiful collection of photos. Please keep providing this wonderful service.

    Like

  4. Universal values of respect and peaceful coexistence beautifully wrapped in colours, shapes and shades. Muslim Harji’s lens opens up a window to some of the most pistoresque moments of people’s life.

    Like

  5. Great article and pictures. The words and pictures brought this epic historical event to the fore front and it’s as if I too was there enjoying the moment and flavour of the events.

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    • Shashi: The Altice Arena with a sitting capacity of 20,000 is one of the largest indoor arenas in the European Union. The evening show on July 10 was a sell out and an extra afternoon show was added. I would think the total turnout for both the shows was around 35,000.

      Like

      • Awesome photos !. You really have an eye for detail and eye for color. Only the best photographers are able t do this. Thank you for what you bring to us. Although I was not able to attend the ceremony viewing all these wonderful photos made me feel I was there in person. Please keep it up.
        Love you and May Allah always bless you. Amen!

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