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

DAY FOUR (FINAL DAY): SEPTEMBER 14, 2019

(Days 3, 2 and 1 coverage follow next, in that order)

1. REPORT AND PHOTOS: His Highness the Aga Khan concludes his visit to Kazan

The following summary and photos of His Highness the Aga Khan’s last day in Tatarstan are adopted from the official website of the Ismaili community. For detailed coverage please visit TheIsmaili.

Panel discussion – winner’s seminar of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture held on September 14, 2019 at Universidade Village, Kazan. Photo: The Ismaili/Akbar Hakim.

On Saturday 14 September, Mawlana Hazar Imam participated in an Aga Khan Award for Architecture Winners’ Seminar at the Main International Centre, Universidade Village, Kazan. Hazar Imam was joined by members of his family, and leaders of the Jamat and AKDN. Later during the day, he departed Kazan, marking the culmination of his four-day visit to Tatarstan.

Mawlana Hazar Imam departs the Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2019 Winners’ Seminar, and greets those awaiting. Photo: The Ismaili/Akbar Hakim .

Hazar Imam was greeted at the airport by State Counsellor of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev and Deputy Prime Minister of Tatarstan Shaikhraziev Vasil Gayazovich, who thanked Hazar Imam for visiting the region and wished him a bon voyage. 

Mawlana Hazar Imam gestures ‘bravo’ shortly before departing Kazan at the conclusion of the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Photo: The Ismaili/Akbar Hakim.

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DAY THREE: SEPTEMBER 13, 2019

(Days 2 and 1 coverage follow next, in that order)

1. REPORT: His Highness the Aga Khan visits Kazan Kremlin

(Report compiled from the website of Kazan Kremlin, http://kazan-kremlin.ru and Press Service of the President of the Republic of Tartastan. Video and photos follow report, including a link to see more photos on the website of the Kazan Kremlin).

On Friday September 13, 2019, the Kazan Kremlin was visited by His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV. Together with the State Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev and the director of the museum-reserve Ziley Valeeva, Tatarstan Deputy Prime Minister Vasil Shaykhraziev and others, he walked through the territory and also visited the Kul Sharif Mosque and the Annunciation Cathedral. His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV arrived in Tatarstan to participate in the award ceremony of the winners of the 2019 Aga Khan International Architecture Award.

After visiting the Kazan Kremlin, His Highness the Aga Khan and Mintimer Shaimiev went to the Opera and Ballet Theater, to present prizes to the winners of the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture.

The Kazan Kremlin is a unique complex of archaeological, historical and architectural monuments that arose and functioned from the foundation of the city to the present day. In 2000, the Kazan Kremlin was included in the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List.

2. VIDEO: His Highness the Aga Khan visits Kazan Kremlin with a tour of the Kul Sharif Mosque and the Annunciation Cathedral

His Highness the Aga Khan at Kazan Kremlin

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3. PHOTOS: His Highness the Aga Khan visits Kazan Kremlin with a tour of the Kul Sharif Mosque and the Annunciation Cathedral

The Kazan Kremlin is a unique complex of archaeological, historical and architectural monuments. The Kul Sharif Mosque shown above is one of a number of important monuments within the Kazan Kremlin. Photo: Mikhail Frolov / President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
 Aga Khan tours the Kul Sharif Mosque in the Kazan Kremlin
His Highness the Aga Khan tours the Kul Sharif Mosque in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019. Photo: Mikhail Frolov / President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
 Aga Khan tours the Kul Sharif Mosque in the Kazan Kremlin
His Highness the Aga Khan tours the Kul Sharif Mosque in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019. Photo: Mikhail Frolov / President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
 Aga Khan tours the Kul Sharif Mosque in the Kazan Kremlin
His Highness the Aga Khan tours the Kul Sharif Mosque in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019. Photo: Mikhail Frolov / President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan tours the Kul Sharif Mosque in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019
His Highness the Aga Khan tours the Kul Sharif Mosque in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019. Photo: Mikhail Frolov / President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
 the Aga Khan tours the Kul Sharif Mosque in the Kazan Kremlin
His Highness the Aga Khan tours the Kul Sharif Mosque in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019. Photo: Mikhail Frolov / President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
 Aga Khan tours the Kul Sharif Mosque in the Kazan Kremlin
His Highness the Aga Khan tours the Kul Sharif Mosque in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019. Photo: Mikhail Frolov / President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
Tha Kazan Kremlin is a unique complex of archaeological, historical and architectural monuments. The Annunciation Cathedral shown above is one of a number of important monuments within the Kazan Kremlin. Photo: Mikhail Frolov / President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan tours the  Annunciation Cathedra in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019
His Highness the Aga Khan tours the Annunciation Cathedral in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019. Photo: Mikhail Frolov / President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
Aga Khan tours the  Annunciation Cathedra in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019
His Highness the Aga Khan tours the Annunciation Cathedral in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019. Photo: Mikhail Frolov / President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
Aga Khan tours the  Annunciation Cathedra in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019
His Highness the Aga Khan tours the Annunciation Cathedral in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019. Photo: Mikhail Frolov / President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan tours the  Annunciation Cathedra in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019
His Highness the Aga Khan tours the Annunciation Cathedral in the Kazan Kremlin on Friday, September 13, 2019. Photo: Mikhail Frolov / President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

MORE PHOTOS

For more photos of His Highness the Aga Khan’s visit to Kazan Kremlin, please click on http://kazan-kremlin.ru/new/ego-vysochestvo-prints-karim-aga-han-v-kazanskom-kremle/.

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4. VIDEO: The Aga Khan Award for Architecture Ceremony in Kazan

Video of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture held in Kazan, Tatarstan on Friday, September 13, 2019 (15:50 minutes)

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5. PHOTOS: The Aga Khan Award for Architecture Ceremony in Kazan

Aga Khan arrrives for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture ceremony in Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia on September 13, 2019
His Highness the Aga Khan, founder of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, and Mintimer Shaimiev, State Advisor of the Republic of Tatarstan, acknowledge well wishers as they arrive at Kazan’s Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theater named after M. Jalil, for the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture ceremony. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
 His Highness the Aga Khan and  Mintimer Shaimiev at the 2019 Aga Khan Awrd Cerremony in Kazan
His Highness the Aga Khan and Mintimer Shaimiev enter Kazan’s Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theater for the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture ceremony. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan in Kazan for 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture
His Highness the Aga Khan greets memebrs of his family as he arrives for the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture ceremony at Kazan’s Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theater. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan and Russia's Grand Mufti Talgat Safa Tajuddin
His Highness the Aga Khan is introduced to Talgat Safa Tajuddin, the Grand Mufti and Chairman of the Central spiritual administration of Muslims of Russia. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
 Guests at the Aga Khan Award for Architecture ceremony in Kazan's Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theater
Guests at the Aga Khan Award for Architecture ceremony in Kazan’s Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theater. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
 His Highness the Aga Khan and Mintimer Shaimiev
From left to right: Princess Zahra Aga Khan, His Highness the Aga Khan, Mintimer Shaimiev, Farid Mukhametshin, Irina Bokova and Eleanor Mitrofanova Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
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His Highness the Aga Khan enjoys a light moment while addressing guests at the Aga Khan Award for Architecture Ceremony in Kazan on September 13, 2019. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Mintimer Shaimiev at Aga Khan Award for Architecture cerremony
Mintimer Shaimiev presents his remarks at the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture ceremony in Kazan on September 13, 2019. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan in Kazan Aga Khan Award Ceremony
His Highness the Aga Khan uses a earpiece to listen to the translation of remarks delivered by Mintimer Shaimiev. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
audience standing ovation Aga Khan
Guests in the audience give a standing ovation to His Highness the Aga Khan upon Mintimer Shaimiev’s tribute to the 49th Ismaili Imam at the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture ceremony in Kazan. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
AKDN and Ismaili leaders at Aga Khan Award for Architecture  in Kazan.
The 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture ceremony was attended by leaders and members of the Aga Khan Development Network and the Ismaili community from around the world. The photo shows some of the many leaders who attended the ceremony. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
AKDN and Ismaili leaders at Aga Khan Award for Architecture in Kazan.
The 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture ceremony was attended by leaders and members of the Aga Khan Development Network and the Ismaili community from around the world. The photo shows some of the many leaders who attended the ceremony. Amir Kassim-Lakha, the new president of the Aga Khan Council for Canada, appointed to the position by His Highness the Aga Khan on July 11, 2019, is seen seated on the second row at right. He succeeded Malik Talib, who led as the council’s president for two terms. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
His Highness the Aga Khan and Mintimer Shaimiev with winners of the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture
His Highness the Aga Khan and Mintimer Shaimiev with winners of the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Photo collage prepared by Barakah. Photos: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
 winners of the 2019 Aga Khan Award of Architectecture with His Highness the Aga Khan, the founder of the Award, and Mintimer Shaimiev, State Advisor of the Republic of Tatarstan
A group photo of the winners of the 2019 Aga Khan Award of Architectecture with His Highness the Aga Khan, the founder of the Award, and Mintimer Shaimiev, State Advisor of the Republic of Tatarstan. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
His Highness the Aga Khan and Mintimer Shaimiev,
His Highness the Aga Khan applauds as Mintimer Shaimiev, State Counselor of the Republic of Tatarstan, receives special recognition for his lifetime effort and dedication to protect the heritage of Tatarstan. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan in Kazan for 2019 AKAA Ceremony
His Highness the Aga Khan seen acknowledging well wishers as he departs the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture ceremony held at Kazan’s Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theater, named after M. Jalil, on September 13, 2019. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

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6. News Reports

The following report is from the Press Service of the President of the Republic of Tartastan.

Aga Khan Award for Architecture Ceremony performance by  Anna Gulishambarova
Anna Gulishambarova leads the Novaya Muzyka Chamber Orchestra at the Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2019 Ceremony. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Today [September 13, 2019] in Kazan, at the Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theater named after M. Jalil, the ceremony of awarding the International Aga Khan Prize in Architecture 2019 took place.

The ceremony was attended by His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV and the State Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan, Chairman of the Republican Renaissance Fund, Hero of Labor of the Russian Federation Mintimer Shaimiev, Chairman of the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan Farit Mukhametshin, Head of the Federal Agency for CIS Affairs, compatriots living abroad, and on international humanitarian cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo) Eleanor Mitrofanova, former Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokova and other officials.

At the beginning of the celebration, a film about the 2019 Aga Khan Award winners was shown.

The prize was established in 1977, its total prize pool of [US] $ 1 million is divided between the winners. The prize is awarded every three years for projects that set new standards in architecture, planning, preservation of historical heritage and landscape design. In total, 380 projects from 39 countries took part in the competition. In the finals were 20 projects from 16 countries. One of six prizes was awarded to the Tatarstan project “Program for the Development of Public Spaces of the Republic.”

Eleanor Mitrofanova at Aga Khan Awarrd
Eleanor Mitrofanova, Head of the Federal Agency for CIS Affairs, deliverring her remarks at the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture ceremony in Kazan. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

The ceremony opened with a speech by Eleanor Mitrofanova, Head of the Federal Agency for CIS Affairs, compatriots living abroad, and on international humanitarian cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo).

“It is symbolic that the ceremony of presenting the prestigious Aga Khan architectural award takes place in the Republic of Tatarstan, in this wonderful region. In the republic, which is developing by leaps and bounds, and which only recently added two remarkable objects to the World Heritage List – Bolgar and Sviyazhsk, largely thanks to the efforts of the first President of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev and the hardworking multinational people of Tatarstan, who live in harmony, friendship and peace “, she said.

His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV in his speech noted that the importance of this program goes far beyond the scope of individual projects. “The Aga Khan Award for Architecture is not just a prize. This is a process. The process includes a wide range of discussions, conducted throughout the world, which forms the selection system. The theme of the award cycle, the culmination of which we celebrate today, is “Architecture in Dialogue”. This topic, born of discussions within the Steering Committee and the Jury, views architecture as a means for a healthy exchange of views that can encompass many diverse and even opposing points of view. In this dialogue, we must not only express our position, but also carefully listen to others. Moreover, you need not only to listen to each other, but also to learn from each other,” he said.

He further emphasized that the current ceremony is being held in a special place. “Tatarstan has for centuries demonstrated a commitment to the values ​​of pluralism. Kazan and this entire region have long been famous for a rich combination of ethnic groups and cultures, as well as a careful attitude to the preservation and respect of their architectural heritage. While in Kazan and visiting the Bulgarians, I saw how people can with equal respect value cultural identity and cultural diversity. A striking example of how churches and mosques were built and preserved next to each other, personifying the convincing symbols of deep intercultural dialogue. We hope that we will be able to demonstrate to the world this powerful pluralistic model that exists in places such as Kazan and Bulgaria. The world needs such examples. These days, the challenges that humanity is facing climate change, economic and technological inequality, epidemics, political polarization, population migration are accelerating their pace. And under these conditions, we must help each other live with dignity, ” he said.

RT State Advisor, Special Envoy of UNESCO for Intercultural Dialogue Mintimer Shaimiev in his speech expressed deep gratitude on behalf of the President of the Republic of Tatarstan Minnikhanov Rustam Nurgalievich and all Tatarstan people for the high appreciation of the program for the development of public spaces implemented by the republic and the right to host this ceremony in Kazan.

“We rely on the rich historical and cultural heritage of our people, their contribution to the common heritage of all mankind. We pay special attention to the preservation of interethnic and inter-confessional peace and harmony, the revival of spirituality. For us, the Muslim shrines of the ancient Bulgar, the Orthodox places of the island-city of Sviyazhsk, and the Kazan Kremlin are equally valuable. These three historic sites are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. This work, as I have repeatedly expressed, we are conducting publicly “from the heart — for the soul,” he said.

Mintimer Shaimiev also spoke about many of the projects implemented in Tatarstan aimed at solving the most pressing life problems of the population. These are programs on liquidation of dilapidated housing, continuous gasification and informatization of settlements of the republic, construction of roads and others.

“A worthy continuation of our aspirations was the initiative of the President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov in 2015 to implement the Program for the Development of Public Spaces. Now in all major cities and most regions of the republic there are beautiful parks and squares — places where everyone will find something to their liking, where it is convenient and safe.

“It is our great honor to be awarded the Aga Khan Award in the field of architecture along with five other important projects from Bangladesh, Palestine, the United Arab Emirates, Senegal and Bahrain. This adds confidence that we are following the right path, aiming us to develop. At present, a new three-year project on improving the courtyards of apartment buildings is being launched in the republic,” he said.

At the end of his speech, Mintimer Shaimiev thanked Prince Karim Aga Khan IV for this prestigious award, which was awarded to Tatarstan. “We regard it as a high appreciation of all the multifaceted activities carried out in the republic in the interests of the people,” he said.

Then His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV and Mintimer Shaimiev presented the certificates to the prize winners — the creators of the projects: Arcadia, Bangladesh Educational Project, Palestine Museum, Palestine, Wasit Wetland Center, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, Research Department of Alion Diop University, Senegal, Revitalization of Muharraq, Bahrain.

Aga Khan in Kazan
One of the winners of the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture was Tatarstan’s Public Spaces Development Programme. In the photo, the State Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan, Mintimer Shaimiev is seen receiving the prize cerificate from His Highness for the winning project. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

The prize certificate for the Tatarstan project “Program for the Development of Public Spaces” was awarded to the State Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev.

At the end of the celebration, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV expressed special gratitude to Mintimer Shaimiev for his many years of efforts to preserve the heritage of Tatarstan and presented him with a “special certificate” — the book “Heritage and Dialogue” published by the Aga Khan Culture Foundation. The book was printed specifically for the ceremony of awarding the International Aga Khan Prize in Architecture 2019 and is dedicated to the activities of the Republic of Tatarstan in the field of preservation of cultural and historical heritage.

MORE COVERAGE

7. BRIEF NOTES: Venue of the Aga Khan Award Ceremony in Kazan and Stamp Cancellation Ceremony in Bolgar

Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theater named after M. Jalil. Photo: Kazam-opera.ru

On Friday, September 13, Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, will preside over the ceremony to present the 2019 Aga Khan Award in Architecture (AKAA). The award ceremony will be held in the building of the Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theater named after M. Jalil. One of the prizes will awarded to the Tatarstan project: Program for the Development of Public Spaces of the Republic.

His Highness the Aga Khan cancels the First Day Cover Stamp issued to commemorate the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture during his visit to Boldar on Thursday, September 12, 2019. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Image of 2019 AKAA mint stamp.

To commemorate the 2019 Award Ceremony, His Highness the Aga Khan and M.Sh. Shaimiev participated in the First Day Cover stamp cancellation ceremony during their visit to Bolgar on Thursday, September 12. The ceremony signifies the date the stamp is initially placed on sale. An image of the Russian mint stamp (not actual size) is shown at left; 53 rubles converts to about CAN $1.05.

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DAY TWO: SEPTEMBER 12, 2019

(Day 1 coverage follows next)

On Thursday, September 12, Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, arrrived in Bolgar, a small town located on the left bank of the Volga River, 140 kilometers (87 mi) south from Kazan. He was accompanied by the State Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan, M.Sh. Shaimiev.

1. VIDEO: His Highness the Aga Khan visits Bolgar

(high quality video link at end of this post)

His Highness the Aga Khan in Bolgar

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2. PHOTOS: His Highness the Aga Khan visits Bolgar

Aga Khan in Bolgar
The helicopter that flew His Highness the Aga Khan and the State Advisor to Bolgar Republic of Tatarstan M.Sh. Shaimiev into the small town of Bolgar. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan in Bolgar, Tatarstan
His Highness the Aga Khan and the State Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan, M.Sh. Shaimiev, receive the traditional welcome as they arrive in Bolgar. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan in Bolgar
His Highness the Aga Khan accompanied by the State Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan, M.Sh. Shaimiev is greeted by Irina Bokova, former Director-General of UNESCO, upon his arrival in Bolgar. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan in Bolgar
His Highness the Aga Khan accompanied by the State Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan, M.Sh. Shaimiev is greeted upon arrival in Bolgar. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Bolgar is an important place for Muslim pilgrims. As the symbolic place of acceptance of Islam in 922 by the Volga Bolgars, it became the main pilgrimage site for Tatar Muslims and other Eurasian Muslim groups.

Bulgarian Islamic Academy in Bolgar, Tatarstan
A view of the Bulgarian Islamic Academy in Bolgar, Tatarstan. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
His Highness the Aga Khan is received by leaders of the Bulgarian Islamic Academy in Bolgar. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan with a mufti from Lebanon based at the Bulgarian Islamic Academy in Bolgar
His Highness the Aga Khan with a mufti from Lebanon based at the Bulgarian Islamic Academy in Bolgar. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan at Bolgar Islamic Academy
His Highness the Aga Khan, accompanied by the State Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan, M.Sh. Shaimiev, pictured outside the Bulgarian Islamic Academy with its leaders and members of his entourage. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Mawlana Hazar Imam visited the Bulgarian Islamic Academy in Bolgar, where he met with leaders of the Academy. First day covers commemorating the 14th Cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture were released at the Academy. The Award will take place in Kazan on Friday, September 13, 2019.

Aga Khan at Bulgarian Islamic Academy in Bolgar
His Highness the Aga Khan, accompanied by the State Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan, M.Sh. Shaimiev, at the Bulgarian Islamic Academy in Bolgar. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan in Bolgar
His Highness the Aga Khan, accompanied by the State Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan, M.Sh. Shaimiev, making remarks during his visit to the Bulgarian Islamic Academy in Bolgar. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan signs FDC in Bolgar at the Muslim Academy
His Highness the Aga Khan signs the First Day Cover issued to commemorate the Aga Khan Award Ceremony taking place in Kazan on Friday, September 13, 2019. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan Award First Day Covers released in Bolgar, Tatarstan
The framed First Day Cover containing the signatures of His Highness the Aga Khan and the State Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan, M.Sh. Shaimiev, is presented to an audience in Bolgar. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

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3. GALLERY: More photos of His Highness the Aga Khan’s visit to Bolgar

Photos are published under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 from the website of Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan, M. Sh. Shaimiev. Please visit http://shaimiev.tatarstan.ru/eng/pressa/photoreports/. Note: Photo captions will be completed as they become available.

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His Highness the Aga Khan observes the cover of one of the world’s largest copies of the Qur’an in Bolgar, Tatarstan. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
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4. News Reports of Bolgar visit

The following photo and report is taken from the official website of the Ismaili Muslim community, The.Ismaili.

His Highness the Aga Khan and Mintimer Shaimiev, State Counsellor of Tatarstan, reviewing the White Mosque in Bolgar. Photo: The Ismaili/Akbar Hakim.

Earlier today, 12 September, Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Bolgar, located in southwestern Tatarstan, in Russia. During his visit, Hazar Imam spent time at a number of historic site.

During his time in Bolgar, Hazar Imam participated in a postage stamp cancellation ceremony at the Bolgar Islamic Academy. Founded in 2016, the institute of higher education trains graduate students in a variety of fields relating to the study of theology and religion. Hazar Imam was accompanied at the ceremony by Mintimer Shaimiev, State Councellor of Tatarstan; and Daniyar Abdrakhmanov, Rector of the Bolgar Islamic Academy.

Following the ceremony, Mawlana Hazar Imam visited the White Mosque, one of the city’s focal points. The White Mosque contains minarets, a prayer room, and an arcade with 88 columns, while its main dome features exquisite stained glass windows.  

Later in the day, Hazar Imam visited the Bulgarian Civilisation Museum — which exhibits a number of artefacts detailing the development of religion in the area of Tatarstan — and the adjacent Qur’an Museum, the site of one of the largest copies of the Qur’an in the world. Weighing half a ton and measuring over 2 metres tall, its cover is made of fabric with patterned decoration in silver and gold.

The history of Bolgar dates back to the 9th and 10th centuries; the city was once the political, economic, and cultural centre of the Volga Bolgar civilisation. Local residents adopted Islam in the year 922, thus establishing close ties with the Muslim world. The city enjoyed its heyday during the period of the Golden Horde in the 13th century, when it was an important trading centre. The entire historical and archeological complex at Bolgar has been designated as a UNESCO heritage site.

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The following report is from the Press Service of the President of the Republic of Tartastan.

Today [September 12], His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV and the State Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan, Chairman of the Republican Renaissance Fund Mintimer Shaimiev made a trip to the Bulgarian historical and archaeological complex.

They were accompanied by the Head of the Federal Agency for CIS Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo) Eleonora Mitrofanova, former UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Tatarstan Vasil Shaykhraziev, Executive Director of the Republican Renaissance Foundation Tatyana Larionova, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Tatarstan Irada Ayupova, Head of the Spassky Region of the Republic of Tatarstan Kamil Nugaev, Director of the Bulgarian State Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve Farhat Mukhametov and other officials.

His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV arrived in Tatarstan to present the 2019 Aga Khan International Prize in Architecture. The award ceremony will be held tomorrow [September 13] in the building of the Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theater named after M. Jalil. One of the prizes was awarded to the Tatarstan project: Program for the Development of Public Spaces of the Republic.

Upon arrival on Bulgarian land, Mintimer Shaimiev invited His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV to see the complex of the Bulgarian Islamic Academy, in which the third academic year began in September this year. The rector of the Bulgarian Islamic Academy Daniyal Abdrakhmanov acquainted the guests with the current activities of the academy. Mintimer Shaimiev told His Highness about the important mission of the Bulgarian Academy, which is the highest link in the revived Islamic education system in Russia, and is preparing the intellectual elite of the country’s Muslim ummah — masters and doctors of Islamic theology.

His Highness the Aga Khan observes the cover of one of the world’s largest copies of the Qur’an in Bolgar, Tatarstan. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 .

Mintimer Shaimiev and His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV visited the classroom and talked with students. Then, in the multifunctional hall — the amphitheater of the Academy, the cancellation ceremony of the special postage stamp “International Aga Khan Prize in Architecture 2019” was held. In total, 150 thousand copies of the brand will be issued.

In his welcoming speech, Mintimer Shaimiev thanked the distinguished guest for his visit to Tatarstan. “Thank you so much for reaching these lands and showing great respect for our people, our believers, the Russian Federation, and all of us,” he said.

Mintimer Shaimiev noted that such significant events as the presentation of the International Prize are perpetuated through the creation and redemption of special stamps and thanked everyone whose efforts made this possible.

“It is a great honor for me to be here and with all my heart to welcome all those gathered for this ceremony. I want to say that it is very important to preserve the values ​​of the religion you profess. I am happy to take part in this cancellation ceremony of a postage stamp, which contributes to the spread of world peace,” said Prince Karim Aga Khan IV.

Then the guests visited the complex of the White Mosque and took a tour of the Bulgarian historical and archaeological complex. They visited the Museum of Bulgarian Civilization, examined the Memorial Sign in honor of the adoption of Islam by the Volga Bulgars and the largest printed Qur’an in the world.

More reports

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DAY ONE: SEPTEMBER 11, 2019

1. PHOTOS: His Highness the Aga Khan meets with Mintimer Shaimiev and writes a very special message of his visit

Aga Khan Meets Mintimer Shaimiev
His Highness the Aga Khan and the State Advisor of the Republic of Tatarstan M. Sh. Shaimiev seen greeting each other during a photo opportunity for the media. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan Meets Mintimer Shaimiev
His Highness the Aga Khan and the State Advisor of the Republic of Tatarstan M. Sh. Shaimiev seen greeting each other during a photo opportunity for the media. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan writes message in card for visitors book during his visit with Mintimer Shaimiev
His Highness the Aga Khan seen writing a message on a card to commemorate his visit to Kazan, Tatarstan. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan signs visitors book
His Highness the Aga Khan’s special message for the visitor’s book to commemorate his visit to Tatarstan for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture that will take place on September 13, 2019. The message reads: “With my warmest thanks for an unforgettable visit [Signed] Aga Khan. 11th Sept 2019.” Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

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2. VIDEO: His Highness the Aga Khan arrives in Kazan, Tatarstan

NOTE: A link to a high quality video of the arrival is provided near the end of the post. Worth watching in high resolution!

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3. PHOTOS: His Highness the Aga Khan arrives in Kazan, Tatarstan

Aga Khan arrives in Kazan, flags of Ismaili Imamat,Russian and  Tatarstan
The flags of the Ismaili Imamat, Russia and the Russian Republic of Tatarstan fly at airport as His Highness the Aga Khan arrives in Kazan on September 11, 2019. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan arrives in Kazan, Tatr hospitality
The traditional hospitality of Tatarstan awaits the arrival of His Highness the Aga Khan to Kazan on September 11, 2019. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
His Highness the Aga Khan alights from his jet, upon arrival in the capital city of Kazan on Wednesday September 11, 2019. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan arrived in Kazan September 11,
His Highness the Aga Khan is warmly greeted by Mintimer Shaimiev, the first President of Tatarstan Republic from 1991-2005 and currrently its State Counselor upon arrival in the capital city of Kazan on Wednesday September 11, 2019. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan arrives in Kazan on September 11, 2019
His Highness the Aga Khan is warmly greeted by Mintimer Shaimiev, the first President of Tatarstan Republic from 1991-2005 and currrently its State Counselor upon arrival in the capital city of Kazan on Wednesday September 11, 2019. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan arrives in Kazan on September 11, 2019
His Highness the Aga Khan is warmly greeted by Mintimer Shaimiev, the first President of Tatarstan Republic from 1991-2005 and currrently its State Counselor upon arrival in the capital city of Kazan on Wednesday September 11, 2019. He is partaking of the traditional Tartan offerings to visitors upon their arrival. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan arrives in Kazan
His Highness the Aga Khan is warmly greeted by Mintimer Shaimiev, the first President of Tatarstan Republic from 1991-2005 and currrently its State Counselor upon arrival in the capital city of Kazan on Wednesday September 11, 2019. He is partaking of the traditional Tartan offerings to visitors upon their arrival. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan arrives in Kazan
His Highness the Aga Khan is warmly greeted by Mintimer Shaimiev, the first President of Tatarstan Republic from 1991-2005 and currrently its State Counselor upon arrival in the capital city of Kazan on Wednesday September 11, 2019. He is partaking of the traditional Tartan offerings to visitors upon their arrival. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Aga Khan arrives in Kzan
His Highness the Aga Khan with Mintimer Shaimiev, the first President of Tatarstan Republic from 1991-2005 and currrently its State Counselor, and Luis Monreal, the General Manager of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, upon his arrival in the capital city of Kazan on Wednesday September 11, 2019. Photo: President of Tatarstan / Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

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4. REPORTS: His Highness the Aga Khan arrives in Kazan

Compiled from the Press Service of the President of the Republic of Tatarstan

His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan was met at the Kazan International Airport by the State Advisor to the Republic of Tatarstan, UNESCO Special Envoy for Intercultural Dialogue, Mintimer Shaimiev. Tatarstan Deputy Prime Minister Vasil Shaykhraziev, RT Minister of Culture Irada Ayupova, Deputy Head of the Office of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan – Head of the Secretariat of the State Advisor to the Republic of Tajikistan Oleg Glebov and other officials took part in the brief ceremony. His Highness will participate in the awarding ceremony of the 2019 Aga Khan International Prize in Architecture, which will be held at 3 PM on September 13 in the building of the Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theater named after M. Jalil.

Other External Links

  • Принц Ага-Хан IV приезжает в Татарстан: (Prince Aga Khan arrives in Tatarstan). This report in Sputnik news mentions that Mawlana Hazar Imam will be in Tatarstan from September 11-14 for the presentation of the Aga Khan Award, and that during his stay he will also visit the city of Bolgar, the Kazan Kremlin and the White Mosque.

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5. Official schedule of His Highness the Aga Khan

  1. His Highness the Aga Khan will arrrive in Kazan on Wednesday, September 11, 2019;
  2. On Thursday, September 12, His Highness the Aga Khan will visit the the State Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve city of Bolgar (the State Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve), in a programme tour of the architectural monuments of the Bulgarian settlement;
  3. Bolgar is a town and the administrative center of Spassky District in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia, located on the left bank of the Volga River, 140 kilometers (87 mi) from Kazan. Once a homeland of Bulgars – remote ancestors of today statars – now it is a Moslem sanctity and the place of pilgrimage;
  4. On Friday, September 13, he will be at the Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theater to preside over the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture (local Kazan time 15:00). The theatre is name after M. Dzhalil; and
  5. The programme will also include a sightseeing tour of the Kazan Kremlin.

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6. Links to High Resolution Photos and 5 High Quality Videos

(Note: All photos shown on this post as well as the arrrival video are available in high resolution at the official website of the Tatarstan Government; see links below. They can be freely downloaded without any restrictions under Creative Commons Attribute 4.0. Enjoy the photos and video in this post, as well as the high resolutions ones.

KAZAN VISIT – DOWNLOADABLE HIGH RESOLUTION PHOTOS AT: http://tatarstan.ru/eng/press/photo.htm/photoreport/5627827.htm

KAZAN ARRIVAL VISIT – HIGH QUALITY VIDEO (length 55 seconds) AT:
http://ftp.prav.tatar.ru/president/2019/09/110919/air/2.mp4

BOLGAR VISIT – HIGH QUALITY VIDEO (10 minutes 28 seconds) AT:
http://ftp.prav.tatar.ru/president/2019/09/120919/bulg/1.mp4

BOLGAR MOSQUE VISIT – HIGH QUALITY VIDEO (3 minutes 13 seconds) AT:
http://ftp.prav.tatar.ru/president/2019/09/120919/bulg/2.mp4

KAZAN AGA KHAN AWARD CEREMONY – HIGH QUALITY VIDEO (15 minutes 50 seconds) AT:
http://ftp.prav.tatar.ru/km/2019/09/130919/prinz/prinz.mp4

KAZAN KREMLIN VISIT – HIGH QUALITY VIDEO (2 minutes 11 seconds) AT:
http://ftp.prav.tatar.ru/km/2019/09/130919/kremlin/1.mp4

Note: All content on the Tatarstan.ru website is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International. Feel free to download the photos and video, and distribute them citing CCA 4.0 (important).

Date posted: September 11, 2019, 11:00 AM, Toronto.
Last updated: September 17, 2019, 16:33 PM, Toronto.

Before departing this website 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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