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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photographs of His Highness the Aga Khan taken by Azhar Chaudhry

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

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

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More photos from Sultan Jessa Collection

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

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

Date posted: August 24, 2019.

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

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Azhar Chaudhry

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

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

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