By MALIK MERCHANT
The editor of Barakah was delighted to be present for the event marking the signing of an accord between the Ismaili Imamat and the Province of British Columbia in Vancouver on September 29, 2022. Here is his brief report with photographs. However, a more complete report appears on the official website of the Ismaili community, and we invite you to click HERE to read the extended Ismaili report as well as view the photographs that were taken by the website’s official photographers. The editor is particularly grateful to the Aga Khan Council’s events and partnerships teams as well as the communications team for extending their kindnesses and support to him before, during and after the event at the Pan Pacific Hotel.
Prince Rahim Aga Khan, on behalf of his father Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan on Thursday September 29, 2022 signed an accord with British Columbia’s Premier John Joseph Horgan at the Pan Pacific Hotel located at the iconic Canada Place on Vancouver’s waterfront. The Accord of Cooperation is a significant milestone that reflects the 50-year history of the Ismaili Community in Canada, and Mawlana Hazar Imam’s lifetime of work to improve quality of life. The Agreement will serve to advance partnership and collaboration on one of the most pressing issues of our time: climate change.
Accompanying Prince Rahim was his sister Princess Zahra who received a huge round of applause as Zahra Premji, who led the event as its Master of Ceremonies, paid the Princess a loving tribute. Premji noted:
“It’s no coincidence I share the same name as our honoured guest. Thirty-three years ago, my parents were inspired by a devoted, hard-working, and brilliant princess. So inspired, they thought no name compared to that of Princess Zahra’s and the strength that brings with it. And, so, I stand here before you humbled and honoured to be your host but to be in the presence of a woman who has inspired decades of Zahras” (applause.)
Preceeding Premji’s introduction was the recitation of Canada’s National Anthem “O Canada” by the talented youth of the Ismaili choir. Premiere Hogan’s speech followed next after which the audience was shown a brief film on the contributions of the Ismaili Imamat and the settlement of Ismaili community in Canada, which this year is celebrating 50 years of its major settlement in Canada.
Before rising to deliver his speech, Prince Rahim signed the accord with Premier Horgan, that was immediately followed by the signing of the joint initiative on climate change by Princess Zahra and Honourable Katrine Conroy, the Minister of Forests for British Columbia.
The agreement reinforces the Imamat’s permanent commitment to this province, and, alongside similar partnerships already in place with Alberta and Ontario, to this great country. “First among the challenges and risks that face humanity today is the climate emergency in all its dimensions. The recent devastating floods in Pakistan, for example, illustrate the urgency of the situation. — Prince Rahim Aga Khan, September 29, 2022, Vancouver
“British Columbia has become a leader in the fight against planetary breakdown. Its institutions, companies, and organisations, public and private, are creating new knowledge and identifying innovative solutions in the areas of environmental stewardship, climate adaptation, sustainability, and many others.” — Prince Rahim Aga Khan, September 29, 2022, Vancouver
While the doors were scheduled to open at around 8:00 AM, invited guest had started arriving well before then. It was a meet and greet with old acquaintances and a day of forging friendships with members from outside the Ismaili community. Premier Horgan and Prince Rahim entered the hall along with Princess Zahra and Minister Conroy and Ismaili leaders from Canada and overseas. Upon the conclusion of the signing agreement, invited guests gathered outside the hall for an assortment of delicious refreshments including greens, dhokra slices, kebabs, samosas, salmon sandwich, as well as plenty of fruits and desserts and, of course, hot beverages.
Date posted: September 29, 2022.
Please visit the Ismaili Website for a more complete report as well as photographs surrounding events that took place on September 29, 2022 during the visit of Prince Rahim and Princess Zahra to Vancouver.
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We as part of global Ismaili community feel proud of how our Imamat collaborates with different modern states with pluralistic values like Canada. Best wishes to Canada and Ismaili Imamat.
Excellent work Malik
I am so glad your coverage of Hazar Imam’s work globally and his families wonderful support is being communicated to the Jamath in word and beautiful pictorials.
Your hard work is being recognized by our Institutions. Keep up the tradition of your family’s outstanding service to our Beloved Hazar Imam and Jamath.
As Canadians we are certainly a very privileged Jamath.
Ya Ali Madad
So nice of you sir Malik, and hats off to you for travelling to Vancouver and making this pictorial information available to everyone around the world. May Maulana Hazar imam bless you, your family and entire Ummah and mankind on earth. Ameen