NOTE: This pictorial post that traces the life of Prince Rahim Aga Khan over the past 50 years, will also include all the latest news about the Prince that appears in the media after October 12, 2021, the date of his 50th birthday. On October 14, Prince Rahim attended a cultural celebration to mark the 30th anniversary of Tajikistan’s independence at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris. Please scroll to the bottom of this post for more details of the event as well as photos of Prince Rahim at the event.
Many fond memories come to mind as we think of Prince Rahim, eldest son of Mawlana Hazar Imam and Begum Salimah, brother of Princess Zahra (b. September 18, 1970), Prince Hussain (b. April 10, 1974) and Prince Aly Muhammad (b. March 7, 2000). The first memory is of his birth on October 12, 1971, which was joyously celebrated by the Ismaili community around the world. He was named Rahim, meaning Merciful, Compassionate or Kind. The word Rahim is part of the Basmala, the Islamic phrase Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Rahim (in the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful).
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The next recollection many of us have is of Prince Rahim’s presence at the mulaqat in Kenya in 1981, and seeing photos of him and his family departing for a safari trip. Two years later, in July 1983, many of us who were in London, saw Prince Rahim at the Olympia Hall, during the Silver Jubilee of Mawlana Hazar Imam. Then, of course, we all remember his engagement and marriage to Princess Salwa and the beautiful photos of the auspicious occasion.
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Their children Prince Irfan and Prince Sinan were born on April 11, 2015 and January 2, 2017, respectively. We have vivid memories of the family’s gracious presence in Lisbon, during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in July 2018. We also have a loving memory of Prince Rahim at the 80th birthday celebration of Mawlana Hazar Imam.
Prince Rahim is currently based in Geneva, Switzerland, and he is Chair of the Executive Committee of the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance (AKAM) and a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Central Asia (UCA). Prince Rahim also sits on the Board of the Fondation de Chantilly in France. He graduated from Brown University (Rhode Island, USA) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Comparative Literature. Prince Rahim received his secondary education at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. His graduate studies were followed by experience in the construction sector.
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In 2006 Prince Rahim completed an executive development program in management and administration, at the University of Navarra IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain before joining the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). Prince Rahim travels regularly to Asia and Africa to oversee economic development program and other projects of the AKDN. The Jamat in these countries recall Prince Rahim’s visits with great happiness.
On a personal note, I was present at Brown University’s “Green” when Mawlana Hazar Imam delivered the Baccalaureate Address to the University’s class of 1996 on Sunday, May 26 in the Meeting House of the First Baptist Church. Both Prince Rahim and Princess Zahra attended the event, and I saw them at the Green on the following day when Mawlana Hazar Imam was honoured with an Honorary degree by the University. In introducing Mawlana Hazar Imam in the Meeting House, Brown’s president Vartan Gregorian (d. April 26, 2021) thanked him for “entrusting the education of Prince Rahim to Brown University”. He added, “We are grateful for your trust, we salute Prince Rahim, your beloved daughter Princess Zahra and your son Prince Hussain.”
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On behalf of my family and readers of this website, I wish Prince Rahim a very happy birthday, good health, happiness, long life, success in all his endeavours, and barakah.
Barakah is honoured to put together this tribute to Prince Rahim on his 50th birthday. Barakah recently celebrated birthdays of Prince Hussain (b. April 10, 1974), Prince Amyn (b. September 12, 1937) and Princess Zahra (b. September 18, 1970). In the coming months, we hope to cover everyone in Mawlana Hazar Imam’s family and then keep readers informed through post updates on their activities.
1971 – 1981: Prince Rahim Aga Khan as a Child and a Young Boy
1995: Prince Rahim Aga Khan, CLASS OF 1995, in Brown University’s Leadership Positions and Volunteer Leaders List
One more private, personal thank you — for entrusting the education of Prince Rahim to Brown University. We are grateful for your trust, we salute Prince Rahim, your beloved daughter Princess Zahra and your son Prince Hussain — Excerpt from (Late) Vartan Gregorian’s introduction of Mawlana Hazar Imam, Brown University, May 26, 1996
2007: Prince Rahim Aga Khan Speaks to Graduating students of the Institute of Ismaili Studies
EXCERPTS FROM PRINCE RAHIM’S SPEECH MADE ON SEPTEMBER 10, 2007
“Education, international studies and diplomacy, non-profit leadership, media, development, law, and regional studies will all be among the most relevant fields of expertise in the decades ahead. This will be particularly true in the developing world. In deciding to attend the IIS, you therefore also chose to analyse and understand the problems of the developing world, and to address some of the most intractable issues of our time.”
“Absolutist, exclusivist, and rejectionist claims to the truth, especially to religious truth, are increasingly heard from all quarters. Rather than seeing religion as a humble process of growth in faith, some people presume to claim that they have arrived at the end of that journey and can therefore speak with near-divine authority.”
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“Our Ismaili tradition, however, has always accepted the spirit of pluralism among schools of interpretation of the faith, and seen this not as a negative value, but as a true reflection of divine plenitude. Indeed, pluralism is seen as essential to the very survival of humanity. Through your studies you have known the many Qur’anic verses and hadiths of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that acknowledge and extol the value of diversity within human societies. You all know, I am sure, the hadith to the effect that differences of interpretation between Muslim traditions should be seen as a sign of the mercy of Allah.”
“The untrue and unfair, but increasingly widespread equating of the words “Islam” and “Muslim” with “intolerance”, sometimes even with the word “terrorism”, could lead some Muslims to feel despair, indignation, or even shame. To me, however, the current global focus on the Muslim world, and on Islam itself, presents a golden opportunity for us to educate and enlighten, while actively exemplifying the counterpoint I mentioned before. To my eyes, it creates an opportunity, and an even-greater obligation for us to make a positive and visible impact on the world – on culture and art, science and philosophy, politics and ecology, among others.”
2008: Prince Rahim Aga Khan — Golden Jubilee Moments
2011: Prince Rahim Aga Khan attends inauguration of new head office of the Kyrgyz Investment and Credit Bank
Today is truly a special day…. it comes at a special time of the year. The festival of Navroz is a time when we think about renewal and rejuvenation — when we welcome a new spring season in a spirit of hope and optimism. And that spirit is very prevalent as we gather here today to mark the opening of a new head office for KICB — and as we celebrate the spirit of forward-looking progress in the Kyrgyz Republic — Prince Rahim Aga Khan, March 23, 2011
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Her Excellency President Otunbaeva on March 23, 2011 officially inaugurated the new Head Office of the Kyrgyz Investment and Credit Bank (KICB) in Bishek, Kyrgyzstan, in the presence of Prince Rahim Aga Khan. KICB was set up in 2001 to issue short, medium and long-term loans to stimulate the development of small and medium-sized businesses throughout the Kyrgyz Republic, and serves tens of thousands of clients through several branches in five oblasts in the Kyrgyz Republic. The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) was one of the organisations that helped establish the bank.
EXCERPT FROM PRINCE RAHIM’S SPEECH MADE ON MARCH 23, 2011
“Today, in both its internal operations and its external actions, KICB represents the spirit of pluralism, and the conviction that diversity is a source of strength and vitality. We salute today KICB’s resolve to serve the entire spectrum of the country’s population by offering a variety of financial products and solutions. The aim is to ensure economic empowerment ranging from the small and medium enterprises to large scale corporate organizations. The Bank’s policies recognize that the strength of any society — as a whole — will ultimately depend on the progress of each of that society’s parts. The Bank’s approach also reflects another principle of our Network, the need for multiple development inputs. What this means is that forward steps in one area — such as education or health — will work best when they are combined — and coordinated — with other initiatives — for example in transportation, or energy supply, or agricultural production. Business investments must go hand in hand with social investments. The Aga Khan Development Network is deeply committed to these principles.”
2011: Prince Rahim Aga Khan at Opening of the Dushanbe Serena Hotel
His Excellency Emomali Rahmon, President of the Republic of Tajikistan, and Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, inaugurated the Dushanbe Serena Hotel on November 1, 2011.. The ceremony, which was held in the hotel’s Millat banquet room, was attended by Prince Amyn Aga Khan, Executive Director of AKFED, Prince Rahim Aga Khan, eldest son of His Highness the Aga Khan and dignitaries from the government, development and tourism sectors.
2012: Prince Rahim AGA KHAN AND PRINCESS ZAHRA join Mawlana Hazar Imam at the 25th anniversary celebration of Synergos
As part of the Synergos Institute’s University for a Night series, Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, was awarded the David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award at a ceremony on October 22, 2012, in London, England. He was joined by Prince Rahim and Princess Zahra at the event, and Robert Dunn, President of the Synergos Institute, conducted an interview with Mawlana Hazar Imam. Synergos works to establish a world that is just and fair and free of poverty. It collaborates with philanthropists and foundations, community leaders and corporations, governments and global entities, and with them jointly tackles issues such as education, food security, health, nutrition, chronic isolation, social entrepreneurship and community economic development. David Rockefeller, in a letter addressed to Mawlana Hazar Imam which was read to the audience, described the reasons for awarding this honour: “Through the Aga Khan Development Network, you have leveraged the social conscience of Islam in ways that benefit people of all faiths, promoting tolerance, pluralism and broad-based development.”
2013: Prince Rahim Aga Khan Gets Engaged to ms. kendra spears
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, on April 26, 2013, announced the engagement of his eldest son, Prince Rahim Aga Khan, to Ms Kendra Spears of Seattle, Washington, the United States. Ms Spears holds a BA in sociology from the University of Washington in her native Seattle. She has a strong interest in arts and architecture. Ms Spears has had a highly successful career as a model, working with many of the most prestigious fashion houses.
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The following poem, Mubarak…Khushamadeed, was penned by Navyn Naran and published in Simerg as well as Simergphotos when the news of Prince Rahim’s engagement was communicated by Mawlana Hazar Imam to the world-wide Ismaili community.
By NAVYN NARAN
there is an expectant joy in the air
as we welcome the news our Mawla has shared
and He is happy for a love of two
a new beginning for all, here paired.
this joy paralleled e’en by the spring
the breeze gently caressing the face of each
we share in their love and welcome the new
an understanding and acknowledgement in this niche.
our Prince has met a partner in life
and Benevolent the Grace enveloping this match
how happy we feel for that special bond and trust
and pray this development manifest strong in latch.
the sacred Truth as once was shared,
and Knowledge beckoned Adam and Hawa in this life
so meeting in mind, heart and soul in twain
is Blessed by the Creator as man takes wife
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there is joy in our community for the Noorani family
sherbet and cake to enjoy for all
and cherry blossom beckon another fresh day
as brother and sister welcome this Call.
for the arduous tasks You take under Your wing
shall flourish and strengthen as this Bond to be
and mighty as Zulfiqar, the sword,
in Trust and Respect always between.
Khushamadeed Ms. Spears, Mubarak O Prince,
Mubarak! our hearts smile, Mubarak! and since
a Unity weaving as Iman does hope
we welcome you Kendra to this lineage’s rope.
our Mawla, Mubarak! devotedly we serve
Your happiness is ours also, let us not bend nor swerve
a nikkah is called, a love unending for two
Khushamadeed Kendra, a most respectful welcome to you.
2013: Prince Rahim Aga Khan Gets Married to Miss Kendra Salwa Spears
Prince Rahim Aga Khan and Ms Kendra Salwa Spears were married in Geneva, Switzerland, on August 31, 2013. The event was held on the shores of Lake Geneva, on the grounds of the Château de Bellerive — the residence of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s uncle, the late Prince Sadruddin (d. May 12, 2003) and his wife Princess Aliya. The proceedings commenced with the recitation of a traditional qasida in the Farsi language, in praise of Hazrat Ali. This was followed by the nikah recited by His Eminence Sayyed Muhammad Musawi, a prominent Shia faith leader.
2014: Prince Rahim Aga Khan opens new Diamond Trust Bank headquarters in kenya, visits AGA KHAN ACADEMY
Prince Rahim attended the opening of the new corporate head office of Diamond Trust Bank (DTB), one of the oldest financial entities of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development. The premises were inaugurated by the governor of Kenya’s central bank, Professor Njuguna S. Ndung’u on Thursday, January 16, 2014. On the following day, in Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa, Prince Rahim inaugurated the newly restored Jubilee Arcade. The building, which first housed the Jubilee Insurance company over 60 years ago, now includes a vibrant, modern arcade shopping and office complex situated in the heart of the city’s busy Moi Avenue. While in Mombasa, Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa also visited the Aga Khan Academy — the first in a global network of 18 schools that will, eventually span 14 countries on three continents.
2014: Prince Rahim aga khan At Brown University for Mawlana Hazar Imam’s 88th Stephen A. Ogden Jr ’60 Memorial Lecture
2015: Prince Rahim Aga Khan and Princess Salwa HAVE FIRST CHILD, A SON NAMED Prince Irfan
Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa announced the arrival of their first child, a son named Prince Irfan, born in Geneva, Switzerland on April 11, 2015. Mawlana Hazar Imam’s special message to the global Jamat on this occasion expressed the great happiness of the Aga Khan and Spears families. Jamats around the world received the news of Prince Irfan’s birth with immense joy and traditional celebrations. (Read article Portrait of Prince Rahim’s Family with Meanings of Irfan and Sinan).
2015: Prince Rahim AGA KHAN at inauguration OF Côte d’Ivoire’s first operational combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant
Azito Energie SA (“Azito”) on June 30, 2015, celebrated the commercial start-up of Phase 3 of its 430 MW combined-cycle gas turbine (“CCGT”) power plant in Abidjan with an onsite inauguration ceremony held in the presence of His Excellency Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Prince Rahim Aga Khan, and Globeleq executives led by Mikael Karlsson, CEO of Globeleq. The inauguration made Azito one of the most modern, efficient power plants in West Africa, providing 25 percent of Côte d’Ivoire’s electricity capacity.
2016: Prince Rahim Aga Khan attends Opening of World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan
“I am delighted to be back in Kyrgyzstan to enjoy its stunning landscapes, traditions of hospitality and to meet old and new friends. It was a pleasure to witness the spectacular opening of the Second World Nomad Games and in particular to experience the enthusiasm of the Kyrgyz peoples for their nomadic traditions” — Prince Rahim Aga Khan
Representing Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, Prince Rahim Aga Khan attended the official opening of the Second World Nomad Games, 2016, in Kyrgyzstan at the invitation of H.E. President Almazbek Atambayev. With more than 1,000 performers and an exhilarating sound and light show, the opening ceremony, presented themes common to nomadic traditions in diverse geographical and cultural contexts, while highlighting those specific to Kyrgyzstan. Some 2,000 athletes from 40 countries participated in over 20 sports competitions. These include wrestling, horse racing, archery, horseback wrestling, kok-boru, Central Asia’s most renowned horseback competition and toguz korgool (a nomadic intellectual game).
2016: PRINCESS RAHIM AGA KHAN AND PRINCESS ZAHRA INAUGURATE HEALTH CENTRE IN GILGIT
Princess Zahra Aga Khan and Prince Rahim Aga Khan on May 24, 2016 inaugurated the Aga Khan Medical Centre, Gilgit (AKMC,G). The Centre is now a 50-bed Comprehensive Health Care Center and acts as a “hub” and provides high quality diagnostics and secondary health care as well as some tertiary health care. “Spokes” that radiate out from the Centre will connect the Gilgit hub through a digital health network to clinics in Singal, Chatorkhand, Aliabad, Soust, Booni and Garamchasma. This hub and spoke model will provide quality affordable health care. AKMC,G is also connected to the state-of-the art medical resources in other parts of Pakistan and in other countries, including the Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi.
Princess Zahra and Prince Rahim also visited the Rahimabad Model High School which is one of 106 Aga Khan Schools in Gilgit-Baltistan that serve more than 23,000 children in the region. Princess Zahra and Prince Rahim also paid a visit to the Aga Khan University’s Professional Development Centre, North (PDCN). PDCN works with over 146 private and public schools serving over 76,000 students in the region to improve the quality of instruction, management and administration. Over 15,000 teachers, head teachers, education managers and district supervisory staff have benefitted, of which more than half are women.
As their working visit to Pakistan drew to a close, Princess Zahra and Prince Rahim expressed optimism and a sense of opportunity about the tasks that lay ahead of AKDN in improving quality of life for the people of the country.
“For me and Princess Zahra, the main takeaway is that we’ve heard the word ‘optimism’ several times today, and I think that’s what I’m feeling now,” said Prince Rahim, speaking at a dinner hosted by the Ismaili Council for Pakistan on Wednesday evening. Noting that while there are challenges ahead, he said that these “are not insurmountable — we have to look at them as opportunities and a chance to help people who are in need.”
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Prince Rahim concluded his dinner remarks by expressing appreciation for the work that went into organising their visit: “President, Vice-President, the volunteers, the entire Jamaat — it’s been a huge amount of work, I know that… so thank you. I feel optimistic, I know my sister feels optimistic, sad to leave and very very grateful for the amount of work and effort that went into this trip.”
2016: Prince Rahim Aga Khan at Ismaili Games in Dubai
I would like to congratulate everyone who is participating in and helping out in these games, as well as those who participated in and helped to organise the events leading up to them for their collective effort to promote fitness and camaraderie through sports. In the current times, I can think of no better way than this and of no better place than Dubai to promote the notion of bringing young minds from diverse backgrounds and different environments together in the spirit of friendship and peace. I know the efforts that all you young and able athletes made to come here. I salute your resolve and I pray that you may carry that spirit of friendship and peace with you when you return to your homes. — Excerpt from speech made by Prince Rahim Aga Khan at the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Jubilee Games in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on July 23, 2016.
2017: Prince Rahim Aga Khan and Princess Salwa Have Second Son, prince Sinan
Born in London, United Kingdom on January 22, 2017, Prince Sinan is the second child of Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa, and a little brother to Prince Irfan, who was born on April 11 2015. “Prince Sinan’s birth has brought immense joy to our family,” wrote Mawlana Hazar Imam in a message to the global Jamat. “We are most touched by your kind thoughts and prayers over the period leading to Sinan’s birth.” Ismailis around the world gathered at Jamatkhanas to celebrate Prince Sinan’s birth. (Read article Portrait of Prince Rahim’s Family with Meanings of Sinan and Irfan)
2017: Inauguration of the Diamond Jubilee of Mawlana Hazar Imam
2017: Prince Rahim Aga Khan at 40th anniversary of the Institute of Ismaili Studies
“We have seen in these last decades the globalisation of the Jamat and its patterns of migration, which have made it even more important to be able to provide the Jamat with authentic and well prepared materials which enable an understanding of its history and of its heritage and of matters of the faith and its practice” — Prince Rahim Aga Khan, November 24, 2017, IIS 40th anniversary, London
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On November 25 1977, Mawlana Hazar Imam officially inaugurated The Institute of Ismaili Studies (IIS). To mark the 40th anniversary, the Board of Governors hosted a celebration for staff, visiting faculty and students on Friday November 24 2017, with Prince Rahim Aga Khan in attendance. The event celebrated the role of the people who have contributed to developing an academic centre for Ismaili studies, that has had a significant impact on the field of Shi‘i and Ismaili studies in the last 40 years.
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2018: Her Majesty the Queen hosts a dinner to mark His Highness the Aga Khan’s Diamond Jubilee
On March 8, 2018, Her Majesty the Queen hosted a dinner at Windsor Castle to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, at which The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke of York, The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence were present. Mawlana Hazar Imam was accompanied by members of his family, his brother Prince Amyn Aga Khan, his daughter Princess Zahra Aga Khan, his eldest son Prince Rahim Aga Khan, Prince Rahim’s wife Princess Salwa, and Mawlana Hazar Imam’s younger sons, Prince Hussain and Prince Aly Muhammad. The event acknowledged historic linkages between the Ismaili Imamat and the British Monarchy and longstanding connections between the Ismaili Community, the institutions of the Aga Khan Development Network and the United Kingdom. Mawlana Hazar Imam was bestowed the title “His Highness” by Her Majesty the Queen in 1957 the year of his accession as hereditary leader of the Shi’a Ismaili Muslims, and was appointed Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2004.
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2018: Prince Rahim Aga Khan — lisbon Diamond Jubilee Moments
2018: Prince Rahim AGA KHAN at Ceremony for award to Mawlana Hazar Imam of the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour
French President Emmanuel Macron on September 20, 2018 awarded Mawlana Hazar Imam, the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour (Grand-croix de la Légion d’honneur), in recognition of his contribution to humanity and achievements in improving the quality of life of the most vulnerable populations around the world. The country’s highest national medal of honour was bestowed upon Mawlana Hazar Imam at a ceremony at le Quai d’Orsay by France’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian in commemoration of the Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Diamond Jubilee, commemorating his 60 years of Imamat.
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2018: Prince Rahim Aga khan and Princess Salwa visit Pakistan
Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa Aga Khan travelled to Pakistan for a six-day working visit in late October 2018, which included stops in several districts of Gilgit-Baltistan as well as in Chitral district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, along with the capital city of Islamabad and the southern city of Karachi. During their visit, Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa examined approaches to poverty alleviation and development, and visited a number of AKDN institutions and projects aimed at improving quality of life. Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa also surveyed disaster-mitigation work in areas vulnerable to natural hazards.
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2019: pRINCE rahim Aga Khan at signing agreement between two renowned institutions and Aga Khan University
The University of Washington on March 4, 2019 signed a memorandum of understanding with the Aga Khan University to codify partnership activities already underway and to leverage complementary strengths to further expand research, service and education in low- and middle-income countries. The agreement was signed by UW President Ana Mari Cauce and Aga Khan University President Firoz Rasul. Representing the Aga Khan Development Network were Prince Rahim Aga Khan and Princess Salwa Aga Khan, nee Kendra Spears, UW Class of ‘12, and AKU Provost Carl Amrhein. Princess Salwa played a key role in encouraging the nascent partnership.
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The vision we share [with Aga Khan University] is to see how we can improve outcomes for cancer globally. We must work together to enable this vision, as the global impact of cancer continues to increase. That is the extraordinary value of our collaboration with Aga Khan University. Together we can make an enormous difference in the burgeoning global cancer problem — Dr. Gary Gilliland, president and director of Fred Hutch
The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, on March 5, 2019, formally announced a goal to collaborate on global health programs with Aga Khan University. The Memorandum of Understanding that was signed outlined the intentions of the two institutions to develop a five-year relationship to advance cancer research and training and help build an improved medical infrastructure for the Aga Khan University, which operates medical schools and hospitals throughout the developing world.
Dr. Gary Gilliland, president and director of Fred Hutch, in welcoming Prince Rahim and Princesss Salwa said, “The vision we share is to see how we can improve outcomes for cancer globally. We must work together to enable this vision, as the global impact of cancer continues to increase. That is the extraordinary value of our collaboration with Aga Khan University. Together we can make an enormous difference in the burgeoning global cancer problem.”
“Hope,” said Gilliland, “is something that motivates us every day at the Hutch. We must assure that patients have hope, and that they have access.” He praised Aga Khan University for its “deep, extensive experience” in ensuring access to care in the countries where it provides health services.
Prior to the signing ceremony, Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa took a tour of the Hutch laboratory of Dr. Stanley Riddell, scientific director of the Hutch’s Immunotherapy Integrated Research Center. No stranger to the Pacific Northwest, Princess Salwa is a Seattle native and a graduate of the University of Washington.
The couple also visited the lab of Dr. Hootie Warren, head of the Hutch’s Global Oncology Program. There, Dr. Manoj Menon described several research initiatives underway in Uganda, including a clinical study for breast cancer. “From our footprint in Kampala, and hopefully along with Aga Khan University, we will generate advances that can change lives and cure cancers for millions of people,” Warren said.
Dr. Warren’s research in Uganda also aims to develop new methods for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancers such as HIV-associated non-Hodgkin lymphoma and the childhood cancer Burkitt lymphoma.
2019: Prince Rahim aga khan inaugurates Dreams and Dystopias exhibition at the Ismaili Centre, London
On October 10 2019, Prince Rahim visited the Ismaili Centre London to inaugurate the exhibition: Dreams and Dystopias, East Africa at the Crossroads, featuring photographic work by Guillaume Bonn. The visual exhibit navigated the East African coastline through the lens of international artist Guillaume Bonn to reveal a region perennially poised at a crossroads between two worlds. The photographs captured old Africa in its unrelentingly vibrant native culture, in the midst of modern skyscrapers, new highways, and purported technical improvements, and offered an insight into its diverse geography and colonial legacy.
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2020: Prince Rahim aga khan visits East Africa to evaluate AKDN’s response to environmental sustainability and climate change
2020: Prince Rahim Aga Khan on AKDN as a Founding Partner for The Earthshot Prize
“It is our collective responsibility to be good stewards of the planet. At this critical moment, we must all nurture and invest in solutions that can repair our planet before it is too late.” – Prince Rahim Aga Khan
The Aga Khan Development Network partnered with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, to launch the Earthshot Prize, which aims to incentivise environmental change while helping repair the planet over the next 10 years. The five Earthshots unveiled on October 9, 2020 were: protect and restore nature; clean our air; revive our oceans; build a waste-free world; and fix our climate.
Prince Rahim, chair of AKDN’s Environment and Climate Committee, said: “The Aga Khan Development Network is proud to be a Founding Partner of the Earthshot Prize. It is our collective responsibility to be good stewards of the planet. At this critical moment, we must all nurture and invest in solutions that can repair our planet before it is too late.
“The AKDN has been working for over a century in Asia and Africa to improve quality of life — through education and healthcare, livelihoods and infrastructure, and long-term institutions of civil society. The decades of progress now hang in the balance: environmental degradation and climate change will wipe out these gains entirely unless we act now with urgency and conviction.
“To do its part, AKDN has a net-zero carbon target for its own operations and will mobilise its agencies to mitigate the effects of climate change and help vulnerable communities to adapt. We are excited to partner with the Earthshot Prize which, over the next decade, will identify fifty solutions with the potential to keep our planet habitable. Working together, we can and must help ensure a future for life on Earth.”
Prince Rahim Aga Khan on Green House Emissions
After His Highness the Aga Khan and Prince Rahim Aga Khan provided guidance to all AKDN agencies to reduce their carbon footprint, we redoubled our efforts in trying to reduce it. It is surprising how much carbon is produced by the healthcare delivery systems and how much can be reduced. — Gijs Walraven, AKDN Director for Health, in interview with AKDN
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In Gilgit, a mountain town situated in a valley of the Karakorum Range in Northern Pakistan, the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) is working with the First Microfinance Bank Pakistan (FMFB-P) to build a green building to house the bank’s new Regional Headquarters. The building will benefit from a range of passive design measures, which take advantage of local climate conditions to reduce the amount of energy required to maintain a comfortable environment indoors.
Reflecting on AKDN’s aspiration to become a leader in GHG management and reduction in the development sector, Prince Rahim Aga Khan stressed that “Environment and climate is a core strategic priority for AKDN. While each of the AKDN agencies and institutions have their own mandates, they all have a crucial role to play in helping to protect the environment and mitigate climate change. It is critical that every AKDN agency and institution measure and report its GHG emissions, as this is the necessary first step in lowering those emissions.”
2020: PRINCE RAHIM AGA KHAN RESPONDS TO Award GIVEN TO Aga Khan Agency for Habitat’s work in Pakistan
The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) won the World Habitat Awards 2020 Gold Award on December 3, 2020, for its “Integrating Indigenous Knowledge and Technology for Safer Habitat” project.
In the winning project, AKAH pioneered the use of Hazard Vulnerability and Risk Assessments (HVRAs), which integrate science, technology and local knowledge for disaster risk management and sustainable habitat planning and development.
Reflecting the importance of this work, Prince Rahim Aga Khan, Chair of AKDN’s Environment and Climate Committee, said: “For decades the AKDN has been working with vulnerable communities to improve quality of life and reduce disaster risk. Today in the face of the climate crisis, understanding and mitigating these risks is even more urgent. Only by helping these communities adapt and thrive in harmony with their often-precarious habitat can we hope to mitigate the effects of climate change.”
2021: Prince Rahim Aga Khan at Virtual Events
MAY 22, 2021: GLOBAL CONVOCATION OF AGA KHAN UNIVERSITY
JUNE 19, 2021: FIRST CONVOCATION OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL ASIA
october 12, 2021: HAPPY 50TH BIRTHDAY TO PRINCE RAHIM AGA KHAN
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October 14, 2021: Prince Rahim Aga Khan attends Tajikistan Cultural Event at UNESCO in Paris
As part of his official three-day visit to France, the President of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon, and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron attended the official opening ceremony of an exhibition called Tajikistan – the Land of Golden Rivers, at the Guimet Museum in Paris on October 13, 2021. The museum is well known for having one of the largest collections abroad of Asian art. The exhibition includes a display of 300 objects from the antiquity of the Tajik people to the present day.
On Thursday October 14, the President attended an event dedicated to the Cultural Day of Tajikistan at the UNESCO Headquarters to mark Tajikistan’s 30th anniversary of independence. Prince Rahim Aga Khan was present at the cultural celebration along with UNESCO’s Director-General Ms Audrey Azoulay.
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Prince Rahim conveyed Mawlana Hazar Imam His Highness the Aga Khan’s warmest greetings and congratulations, and affirmed the Aga Khan Development Network’s commitment to Tajikistan’s peace and prosperity. AKDN’s investments in Tajikistan span the economic, humanitarian, social, and cultural sectors, helping to improve the quality of life of all Tajik peoples.
Date posted: October 11, 2021.
Last updated: October 16, 2021 (Prince Rahim Aga Khan at Tajik cultural celebration in Paris).
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- Vartan Gregorian: His Highness the Aga Khan embodies the ecumenical spirit that links the 3 great monotheistic religions – Barakah
- Inauguration of the new head office of the Kyrgyz Investment and Credit Bank | Aga Khan Development Network (akdn.org)
- Transcript of a conversation between His Highness the Aga Khan and Synergos Founder Peggy Dulany at the Synergos University for a Night Event | Aga Khan Development Network (akdn.org)
- Managing greenhouse gas emissions | Aga Khan Development Network (akdn.org)
- Aga Khan Agency for Habitat wins World Habitat Awards Gold Award | Aga Khan Development Network (akdn.org)
- AKDN interview with Gijs Walraven, AKDN Director for Health | Aga Khan Development Network
- President Rahmon and Aga Khan inaugurate Dushanbe Serena hotel | Aga Khan Development Network (akdn.org)
- Azito Energie inaugurates Côte d’Ivoire’s first operational combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant | Aga Khan Development Network (akdn.org)
- 2016_08_akdn_pakistan_newsletter-_summer_edition.pdf (d1zah1nkiby91r.cloudfront.net)
- The Institute of Ismaili Studies celebrates 40 years | the.Ismaili
- Barakah looks back at important 2018 stories of Mawlana Hazar Imam and members of his family that we did not publish during the year – Barakah
- Vision and Foresight of Ismaili Imamat, as Aga Khan Agency for Habitat Wins 2020 World Habitat Gold Award; and Photos of Prince Rahim Aga Khan’s Visit to Agency Programs in Pakistan
- Report and Photos: Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, Addresses First Global Convocation of Aga Khan University to a Worldwide Audience – Barakah
- Fred Hutch and Aga Khan University set stage for collaboration on global health