Barakah’s request to individuals and families to seek out Mawlana Hazar Imam’s photos from their old ‘forgotten’ photo albums and other archives has met with some success. Over the past 3 years since Barakah was launched in 2017, we have published around 18 posts containing memorable photographs of Mawlana Hazar Imam and members of his family; they were submitted for exclusive publication in Barakah. These photos are khajanas (treasures), and they bring immense joy and happiness — as well as surprises — to members of the Jamat as well as friends of the Ismaili community around the world.
Shirin Sayani Laviolette of Ottawa, Canada, sent us digitized version of 9 photos that have been in her collection for many years, most of them since 1968. She told me that they were handed to her by one of her siblings as well as a non-Ismaili photographer who was at events during Mawlana Hazar Imam’s visits to Soroti and Mbale. Two striking pictures of volunteers were shared with her by her social media group. Shirin is a member of the well-known Sayani family from Uganda. She was among the thousands who fled Uganda following Idi Amin’s Asian expulsion decree of August 1972. Her first home outside Uganda, was Ottawa, Canada. She then spent some time in Niagara Falls, Mississauga, and Hamilton before once again making Ottawa her permanent home in 2016, where she lives with her husband Denis. We are deeply grateful to Shirin for her interest in sharing the photos with readers of Barakah.
We once again request our readers from around the world, Ismailis and non-Ismailis alike, to search their photo albums and archives and bring their treasures of His Highness the Aga Khan’s photos to our attention by writing to Malik Merchant at Simerg@aol.com.
Date posted: November 24, 2020.
If you come across typos or can help us accurately complete the dates of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s visits, please write to Malik Merchant at Simerg@aol.com.
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