Reports on this page compiled and prepared by MALIK MERCHANT
Publisher/Editor Simergphotos, Simerg and Barakah
[This page was launched on July 13, 2021 to highlight the latest news on Mawlana Hazar Imam and members of his family that is published in the official websites of the Ismaili Imamat and the world media. Where copyright restrictions apply, we provide links to the news published at source (some websites may require a paid subscription to read the articles). This page is now dedicated to the period July 13, 2021 — December 31, 2022 with anchor links for direct access to specific news items. We have decided to set up a fresh new page for coverage of 2023 news. If you come across broken links, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org — Ed.]
ANCHOR LINKS TO NEWS COVERED FROM JULY 13, 2021 — DECEMBER 31, 2022 (CHROnoLOGICAL SEQUENCE)
- July 13, 2021: Mawlana Hazar Imam and Prince Rahim Meet French PM
- October 14, 2021: Prince Rahim attends Tajikistan Cultural Event
- October 24, 2021: Prince Amyn and Portuguese President inaugurate Westmont Hospitality Hall
- December 25, 2021: Prince Rahim meets with Portuguese President
- February 24, 2022: Mawlana Hazar Imam meets with Portuguese President
- February 09, 2022: Prince Rahim Meets United Nations Secretary General
- February 26, 2022: Princess Zahra praises AKU Graduates for Pandemic Resilience
- March 14-16, 2022: Prince Rahim in Dubai
- March 17-19, 2022: Prince Rahim in Mozambique (Extended coverage)
- March 26, 2022: Prince Hussain Attends Blood Donor Clinic at Ismaili Centre Lisbon
- March 30, 2022: Princess Zahra and Prince Hussain Welcome President of Greece at Ismaili Centre Lisbon
- March 31, 2022: Statement by Prince Rahim at Afghanistan Conference
- April 11, 2022: Princess Zahra in Dar es Salaam for New Cancer Treatment Centre
- April 21, 2022: Princess Zahra and Prince Hussain Attend Iftar Dinner at Ismaili Centre Lisbon
- May 12, 2022: Prince Rahim Welcomes Vatican’s Monsignor Peña Parra to Ismaili Centre Lisbon
- June 18, 2022: Princess Zahra Conveys Special Message from Mawlana Hazar Imam at UCA’s 2022 Graduation Ceremonies
- June 28, 2022: Prince Rahim Leads Imamat Delegation to UN Ocean Conference
- July 8, 2022: Members of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Family Attend Open Air-Concert at Lisbon’s São Jorge Castle
- July 11, 2022: Mawlana Hazar Imam Celebrates Imamat Day with His Family
- August 8, 2022: Prince Amyn Bestowed with Honorary Citizenship of Houston
- August 11, 2022: Prince Amyn, Houston Mayor on the Ismaili Center Houston
- September 4, 2022: Ismaili Imamat Donates $10 Million to Pakistan Flood Relief Efforts
- September 6, 2022: Prince Hussain Calls Images in “The Living Sea” the Most Joyous Moments in His Life
- September 19, 2022: Prince Rahim Attends Funeral Service of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
- September 25, 2022: His Highness the Aga Khan Honoured with a Key to the City of Toronto
- September 27, 2022: Prince Amyn Attends Groundbreaking ceremony for Generations Toronto
- September 28, 2022: Alberta Premier Presents Princess Zahra Proclamation of 50 Years of Major Ismaili Settlement in the Province and Canada
- September 29, 2022: Signing of Agreement Between the Ismaili Imamat and the Province of British Columbia
- October 2022: France Honours Princess Yasmin with Knighthood
- October 29-31: The Aga Khan Music Awards and the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
- November 8, 2022: Prince Rahim at the Vatican
- November 11, 2022: Prince Amyn and Prince Rahim at the Paris Peace Forum
- December 3, 2022: Prince Hussain’s Living Sea Exhibition in Bahrain
- December 5, 2022: Prince Aly Muhammad attends 2022 Earthshot Prize Ceremony
- December 8, 2022: Prince Rahim Meets Tajikistan’s Foreign Minister
- December 8-9, 2022: Prince Rahim Speaks at the Kusi Ideas Festival
- December 18, 2022: Prince Aly Muhammad at Ismaili Centre Lisbon’s Open House
December 18, 2022: Prince Aly Muhammad Aga Khan at Ismaili Centre Lisbon’s Open House as it Celebrates 26th Anniversary of its Founding
It is my deep hope that this will be a Centre of goodwill, and of learning, of experience to be shared open-handedly, a place uplifting in the beauty of its design, a place for Portuguese Ismailis, of course, to meet and practise their faith, and we hope, a lasting token of our commitment to a long and fruitful relationship with Portugal — His Highness the Aga Khan, December 18, 1996, Foundation Ceremony, Ismaili Centre Lisbon
Flashback: December 18, 1996, Ismaili Centre Foundation Ceremony
The foundation stone of the Ismaili Centre Lisbon was laid on December 18, 1996, by the then President of Portugal, Jorge Sampaio, in a ceremony that was presided over by Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan.
Please click on collage for enlargement
Open House: December 17-18, 2022, 26th Anniversary of Foundation of Ismaili Centre
On the weekend of December 17, 2022, to mark the 26th anniversary of its founding, the Ismaili Centre invited the public to an Open House to learn more about the aspirations and architectural influences considered during the design phase of the building and its gardens. Prince Aly Muhammad, Mawlana Hazar Imam’s youngest child, the Mayor of Lisbon, Dr Carlos Moedas; and President of the Parish of São Domingos de Benfica, José da Câmara were present at the Open House and were offered a tour of the Centre.
The delegation explored the Ismaili Centre’s main spaces, including the prayer hall. Throughout the tour, they engaged with the urban sketchers, a local group of artists performing live sketches in different areas of the Centre; interacted with the artists whose work was on display in the Exhibition Hall; and watched the Sarkosh family performing traditional Afghan music. Other performances during the weekend included the Ismaili Choir of Portugal, who performed well-known songs from the Portuguese and Indian cultures, and Irina, who presented the visitors with traditional dances from the Pamir region of Central Asia.
External links: For complete coverage of the Open House held in December 2022 as well as flashback to the Foundation Ceremony held in 1996, please click on the following links:
- The Ismaili: (December 2022) Ismaili Centre Lisbon celebrates 26 years as a community hub in Portugal
- The Ismaili: (December 18, 1996) Foundation Ceremony Press Release, Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Speech and Photo Gallery
December 8-9, 2022: Prince Rahim Aga Khan Speaks at the Kusi Ideas Festival
On December 8-9, 2022, Nairobi, Kenya, was host to the 4th annual edition of the Kusi Ideas Festival which brought together bold voices to discuss the climate crisis and its impact on Africa. The opening session included remarks by Prince Rahim Aga Khan on behalf of the Aga Khan Development Network.
The Festival is named after Kusi, the southerly trade wind that blows over the Indian Ocean between April and mid-September. The wind enabled trade up north along the East African coast and between Asia and Africa for millennia. It was launched by Nation Media Group (NMG) in 2019 in Kigali, Rwanda, as part of its 60th anniversary celebrations, and to begin building a “pan-African ideas transaction market” to capitalise on the opportunities and innovations available to Africa to help her win in the 21st Century. The next two editions of the Festival in 2020 and 2021 were held in Kisumu, Kenya, and Accra, Ghana, respectively.
NMG was established by Mawlana Hazar Imam in 1959 during the struggle for independence in East African countries. Today, it is the largest independent media house in East and Central Africa with operations in print, broadcast, and digital media. Its mission is to be the “Media of Africa for Africa,” aiming to help position the continent as a leading player on the global stage.
Prince Rahim centred his address on the theme of the climate crisis and its significance for Africa and the world at large. “Temperatures in Africa are rising, and are set to rise faster than the global average during the 21st century,” he said. “While Africa has contributed negligibly to the changing climate, being responsible for only two to three percent of global emissions, it stands out disproportionately as the most vulnerable continent in the world to climate change.”
Prince Rahim also highlighted the transformational work that AKDN agencies are undertaking to meet their target of net zero carbon emissions by 2030. This includes the development of tools to measure greenhouse gas emissions; Gold Eco-rating Certification of the Network’s Serena hotels; changing of agricultural practices for tens of thousands of farmers; working with rural communities to strengthen climate resilience; and introducing a new concept in schools known as “Play, Pluralism and Planet” to ensure the next generation of leaders are climate-aware, climate-empathetic, and climate-resilient.
External links: For more news and details about the 2022 Kusi Festival as well as its earlier editions, please click on the following links:
- Kusi Ideas Festival: The Story Behind the Festival
- The Ismaili: Leading voices call for winds of change
- AKDN: Prince Rahim Aga Khan speaks at the Kusi Ideas Festival 2022
- Business Daily: Aga Khan companies commit to net-zero emissions by 2030
December 8, 2022: Prince Rahim Aga Khan Meets Tajikistan’s Foreign Minister
Prince Rahim Aga Khan on December 8, 2022 met with His Excellency Mr. Siodjidin Muhriddin Aslov, the Foreign Minister of Tajikistan, in Paris. Mr Aslov is in France for meetings with the French government. Prince Rahim and Minister Aslov discussed the current situation in Central Asia and the work of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in Tajikistan. The AKDN has been active in Tajikistan since the country’s independence in 1991, following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In cooperation with its development partners, the AKDN has enabled social, economic, and cultural development initiatives over the last 30 years to improve the quality of life of the people of Tajikistan.
December 5, 2022: Prince Aly Muhammad Aga Khan attends 2022 Earthshot Prize Ceremony
In a news release dated December 5, 2022, the AKDN website reports that on Friday, December 2, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales revealed the winners of the 2022 Earthshot Prize at a ceremony in Boston, USA. Prince Aly Muhammad Aga Khan attended the event on behalf of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), a Founding Partner of the Global Alliance that supports the Prize. The Earthshot Prize was established by Prince William in 2020 in order to change the global discourse about climate and the environment, from one of pessimism and gloom to one of optimism and hope. Five winners from India, Kenya, Australia, the United Kingdom and Oman shared the £1-million prize at the second annual Earthshot Prize awards ceremony. The winners were selected from 15 finalists across five categories representing an accomplished group of entrepreneurs and innovators spearheading ground-breaking solutions to the biggest environmental challenges our planet faces.
December 3, 2022: pRINCE hUSSAIN Aga Khan’s Living Sea Exhibition in Bahrain
Their [Prince Hussain Aga Khan’s and Simone Piccoli’s] passion for marine life took them on a fascinating journey to explore the hidden marvels of the deep sea in Egypt, where gigantic groups swim of dolphins with a long rostrum and where, nearby, the strange and peaceful dugong can be seen grazing. In the following years, Hussain and Simone set their sights on Vava’u, one of Tonga’s two main islands in whose deep waters, every summer, whales go to give birth — Bahrain News Agency, November 2, 2022
Prince Hussain Aga Khan’s exhibition The Living Sea made its debut at the Bahrain National Museum on November 3, 2022, and will be on display until March 9, 2023. Through large format prints of Prince Hussain’s photographs and a video by his friend Simone Piccoli, the exhibition unravels the extraordinary diversity and splendour of the underwater worlds of three countries: Tonga, Mexico and Egypt.
The exhibition is a collaboration between the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities; the Arab Regional Center for World Heritage; and Focused on Nature (FON), an organisation created by Prince Hussain to promote awareness of environmental causes through photography, and to support charities focused on restoring ocean ecosystems, marine biodiversity, rainforests, and endangered animal species.
Prince Hussain and Princess Fareen offered members of the Bahrain Jamat a guided tour of the exhibition. Young members of the Jamat also had the opportunity to hear from Prince Hussain about his work and experiences capturing photos of sea life in different parts of the world. Speaking about his work, Prince Hussain said: “I do this, so people get a close look at how extraordinary these animals are and how our actions are endangering them.” During his presentation, he emphasized the importance of saving marine life and described how finning has impacted the shark population.
Prince Hussain Aga Khan, a photographer and author whose work has been exhibited worldwide, and Simone Piccoli, award-winning director of underwater documentaries, met in 2014 on a dolphin expedition that Simone was guiding in Sataya, Red Sea. Their passion for marine life took them on a fascinating journey to explore the hidden marvels of the deep sea.
Barakah and its sister website Simerg have featured Prince Hussain’s books Animal Voyage and Diving into Wildlife, signed copies of which are still available for purchase by clicking HERE.
His latest 312-page book “The Living Sea” is available as a hardback and can be purchased by visiting his website FON. The full digital version of the book can be unlocked on the website Lafabrica.
As is noted on FON’s mission page, 70% of revenue received from sales of photographs, books, and clothing goes directly to on-the-ground organizations working in conservation and protection. The other 30% of sales revenue is used to fund FON’s operations. The funding allows FON to avoid taking administrative fees from any of its gifts and grants.
External links: For more details and photographs of The Living Sea exhibition in Bahrain, please click on the following links:
- Bahrain News Agency: “The Living Sea” Exhibition by Prince Hussain Aga Khan and Simone Piccoli makes its second stop at the Bahrain National Museum
- The Ismaili: Shining a light on marine conservation in Bahrain
- Current Events, Bahrain National Museum, The Living Sea (November 3, 2022 – March 9, 2023)
November 11, 2022: Prince Amyn Aga Khan and Prince Rahim at the Paris Peace Forum
The person behind the Paris Peace Forum is the French President Emmanuel Macron. Among its main partners are the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), Amazon, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Tik Tok. Prince Amyn Mohamed, younger brother of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, is a member on the Executive Committee that decides on the Forum’s overall organization and activities.
The Paris Peace Forum describes itself in its FAQ as “A global platform for governance projects.” Its slogan is “Better governance brings peace” and it seeks to do this through an annual forum that is held in Paris. However, the Forum maintains that it is not only concerned about “large deliverables” and in this respect it takes a bottom-up approach to accelerate concrete initiatives that take place around the world that advance governance solutions. Through its Scale-up Program (SCUP) that was launched in 2018, it provides year-long customized (non-financial) support towards the development of 10 of the projects showcased at the Paris Peace Forum.
Barakah had carried reports of Mawlana Hazar Imam at the 2019 edition of the Forum as well as his statement for the virtual event held in 2020.
For the past year, members of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s family have represented him at numerous events. This year’s Forum returned to its normal setting and Prince Amyn Mohamed was present along with Prince Rahim, who attended it for the first time.
For further details and photographs of the event, please click The.Ismaili and AKDN.
November 8, 2022: Prince Rahim Aga Khan at the Vatican
The official website of the Ismaili Muslim community, the Ismaili, and the website of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) have both reported that Prince Rahim Aga Khan, eldest son of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, made a courtesy visit to the Vatican and met with His Excellency Reverend Dom Edgar Peña Parra, the Substitute of the Secretariat of State, as well as briefly met with met His Holiness Pope Francis and conveyed respectful good wishes. Prince Rahim was accompanied by a small delegation of officials to dialogue on potential areas of future cooperation, such as improving the quality of life of disadvantaged communities and combatting climate change. The institutions of the Ismaili Imamat and those of the Catholic Church closely cooperate in Portugal to deliver early childhood development and care for the elderly, amongst other areas.
On May 12, 2022, we had reported that Prince Rahim had welcomed His Excellency Reverend Dom Edgar Peña Parra to the Ismaili Centre in Lisbon.
For a brief report and photo of Prince Rahim’s visit to the Vatican in Vatican City’s L’Osservatore Romano newspaper, please click Archbishop Peña Parra welcomes Prince Rahim Aga Khan at the Vatican.
October 29-31: The Aga Khan Music Awards and the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Barakah has covered the presentation ceremonies of the Aga Khan Music Awards and the Aga Khan Award for Architecture as well as related events that took place from October 29-31 in Muscat, Oman, in the following posts. Please click on the links:
- October 29, 2022: His Highness Sayyid Bilarab bin Haitham Al Said and Prince Amyn Aga Khan Preside Over Ceremony in Muscat, Oman, to Present Aga Khan Music Awards to 15 Laureates from Diverse Countries
- October 30, 2022: Prince Amyn Aga Khan Signs Special Stamps Launched by the Sultanate of Oman to Commemorate the 2022 Aga Khan Award for Architecture and the Aga Khan Music Awards
- October 31, 2022: 3-Day “Feast of Culture” Concludes in Muscat, Oman, with Presentation of The Aga Khan Award for Architecture
October 2022: France Honours Princess Yasmin Aga Khan with Knighthood
Please visit Barakah’s special feature articles on Princess Yasmin Aga Khan by clicking Princess Yasmin’s 73rd Birthday and Princess With a Mission
September 29, 2022: Signing of Agreement Between the Ismaili Imamat and the Province of British Columbia
Barakah has covered this event in a separate post. Please click on Exclusive Report and Photos: Prince Rahim Aga Khan and Princess Zahra Represent Mawlana Hazar Imam at Historic Signing of Accord Between the Ismaili Imamat and British Columbia
September 28, 2022: Alberta Premier Jason Keney presents Princess Zahra Aga Khan with Proclamation of 50 Years of Major Ismaili Settlement in the Province and Canada
The following report has been adapted from The Ismaili, the official website of the Ismaili community. Please also click Edmonton Journal for a report by Madeleine Smith on the opening of the Diwan pavilion at the Aga Khan Gardens in Edmonton.
The celebrations of 50 years of the Ismaili community’s significant presence in Canada continued in the city of Edmonton on September 28, 2022, with a luncheon at Government House attended by Princess Zahra and Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Salma Lakhani, followed by the formal opening of the Diwan Pavilion at the Aga Khan Garden.
Premier of Alberta Jason Kenney welcomed guests to the event at Government House and paid tribute to Mawlana Hazar Imam’s contributions to Canada in general and the province of Alberta in particular.
He also presented Princess Zahra with a Government Proclamation acknowledging 50 years of the Jamat’s significant presence in Alberta and Canada, and stated in his remarks that Canada has “benefitted incalculably from the contributions of the Ismaili community over these past five decades.”
Princess Zahra thanked the Province of Alberta for their partnership and support of the Ismaili community and Imamat institutions over the course of many years.
As far back as the 1980s, Alberta Aid supported education, health, and rural development initiatives of the Aga Khan Foundation, and in 2012, Alberta became the first province in Canada to sign an Agreement of Cooperation with the Ismaili Imamat. “It is a privilege to be here with you today, and to express, on behalf of His Highness and the Ismaili community around the world, our gratitude for our permanent friendship,” said Princess Zahra. “Thank you Alberta, and thank you Canada, for creating such fertile ground for improving quality of life, not just for the Ismaili community, but for all peoples, regardless of their history, origin, or story,” she added.
A notable guest of honour at the luncheon was Lieutenant Governor Salma Lakhani, a member of the Jamat from Edmonton, and a tireless champion of civic engagement. Ms Lakhani is the first-ever Muslim to hold the position of Lieutenant Governor in Canada.
She spoke of the experience of moving to Canada as a child and living within its enabling environment. “Most of us have felt surrounded by the open arms and generosity of spirit, and resources of countless individuals in Canada who have supported us in our aspirations and reached out to us during our challenging times.” she said, before adding, “Just as today we feel a duty, as not so new Canadians, to reach out to others.”
Later in the day, the Diwan Pavilion at the Aga Khan Garden was inaugurated at the University of Alberta’s Botanic Gardens in Edmonton. Presiding over the ceremony were Lieutenant Governor Salma Lakhani, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, University of Alberta President Bill Flanagan, and Princess Zahra, on behalf of Mawlana Hazar Imam.
The Diwan was part of the original vision for the Garden to ensure it could be utilised all year round, not least during Alberta’s cold winters. It provides a space to allow for conversations, events, collaboration, and celebration, as well as reflection on the beauty and mystery of nature. In his remarks to guests, Luis Monreal, General Manager of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, spoke of Hazar Imam’s aspiration to showcase, by way of the Garden, the environmental ethic in Islam through its emphasis on human stewardship and our responsibility to protect the natural world.
“It is a gift of His Highness the Aga Khan to Alberta,” said Premier Kenney “and we can see in it his remarkable care, his aesthetic sense, his spiritual sense.”
Premier Kenney also shed light on some of the principles that the Garden can teach. “People,” he said, “can bring their families and have a moment of spiritual restoration, of contemplation of beauty, of quiet, of communing with nature, of seeing the best of the spiritual idea of humankind in harmony with nature.”
The Aga Khan Garden was inaugurated in the presence of Mawlana Hazar Imam in 2018. It symbolises the hope, peace, and unity that comes when people interact with each other amidst the beauty and inspiration of nature. The Garden was a gift from Hazar Imam to the University of Alberta in honour of its long-standing partnership with the Aga Khan University and broader Aga Khan Development Network.
September 27, 2022: Prince Amyn Aga Khan Attends Groundbreaking ceremony for Generations Toronto
Prince Amyn attended the groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday September 27, 2022, for Generations Toronto, a multi-generational housing development close to the Ismaili Centre in Toronto. Distinguished guests included Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Toronto’s Mayor John Tory and local and national leaders of the Jamat.
Based on a successful pilot project launched in Calgary during Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Golden Jubilee in 2007, Generations Toronto is a unique community campus that will offer services to bring together and support its residents and neighbours. Its fundamental premise is to enhance the value and dignity of human life.
In addition to 390 units of rental housing and a 122-bed long-term care facility, the complex will include an early childhood development centre, medical clinic offering primary and mental health care services, and spaces for cultural, social, and educational programming. It will also feature a community kitchen to offer daily low-cost meals for residents and seniors living in the surrounding area.
President of the Ismaili Council for Canada, Ameerally Kassim-Lakha, explained in his speech at the groundbreaking ceremony that affordable housing and care for seniors are “two of the most pressing issues” in Canada.
“Generations Toronto is our contribution to support Canadians,” he said. “The concept is rooted in core principles of Islam: to take good care of those in need and ensure that no one is left behind.”
Please click The Ismaili for full report and more photographs
Setember 25, 2022: His Highness the Aga Khan Honoured with a Key to the City of Toronto
His Highness the Aga Khan has made remarkable contributions within our city and within the culture and heritage of Toronto’s Ismaili community. Particularly, the Ismaili Centre at Aga Khan Park has become a landmark in our city for the Ismaili community but for residents and visitors as well. I am proud to present His Highness the Aga Khan with Toronto’s highest honour and unveil a section of Wynford Drive renamed in recognition of his many contributions to Toronto – Toronto Mayor John Tory
The following three excerpts are from the websites of the CBC, the City of Toronto and The Globe and Mail. Please click on the hyperlinks to view the full reports with photographs.
CBC: The City of Toronto gave the head of the world’s Ismaili Muslim community a key to the city Sunday, in light of years of “remarkable contributions” made to celebrate Ismaili culture and heritage. In a ceremony at the Ismaili Centre attended by politicians from all levels of government, Toronto Mayor John Tory presented the family of Prince Karim Aga Khan IV the award, which is only given to individuals who “embody the spirit and potential of Toronto and who have contributed significantly to civic life. “It is the least we can do for His Highness,” Tory said at the ceremony…. READ MORE ON CBC
September 25, 2022, News Release City of Toronto: Today, Toronto’s Mayor honoured humanitarian His Highness the Aga Khan with a Key to the City. Accepting the Key on his behalf was Prince Amyn Aga Khan, His Highness’ brother. The City of Toronto has also renamed the portion of Wynford Drive, between Don Mills Road and the east side of the Don Valley Parkway overpass, to Aga Khan Boulevard. … READ MORE ON TORONTO
The Globe and Mail: …. on Sunday, prominent members of the community had been invited to a bright, spacious atrium at the Ismaili Centre, to hear Mayor John Tory announce that he had bestowed a Key to the City to the Aga Khan and renamed the street outside after the Ismaili imam….. READ MORE ON GLOBE AND MAIL
The following news release was issued by the Aga Khan Ismaili Council for Canada:
Ismaili Council for Canada: His Worship Mayor John Tory today [September 25, 2022] bestowed the Key to the City to His Highness the Aga Khan for his long contributions to the City of Toronto and his lifelong efforts towards the upliftment of humanity. The ceremony also celebrated the ceremonial naming of Wynford Drive to Aga Khan Boulevard on signs adjacent to the Aga Khan Museum, the Aga Khan Park and the Ismaili Centre.
In keeping with the mandate of his role as Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, the Aga Khan has worked to improve the quality of life of all people regardless of their birthplace, background or religious belief. The Aga Khan has brought together residents and visitors from around the world to the Aga Khan Museum, the Aga Khan Park and the Ismaili Centre to learn and celebrate since their opening in 2014.
“We have looked to Canada as a model of pluralism for the world,” said Prince Amyn Aga Khan, who delivered remarks and received the honours on behalf of his brother, His Highness the Aga Khan. “The community’s presence here would not have been possible were it not for Toronto and Canada’s profound commitment to embracing and celebrating diversity.”
Other external links and tweets:
Click The Ismaili to read full report and view photographs of the ceremony.
September 19, 2022: Prince Rahim Aga Khan Attends Funeral Service of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
At the invitation from Buckingham Palace, Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, requested his oldest son Prince Rahim to represent him at the committal service of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, which took place at 4 PM on Monday, September 19, 2022, at the St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Her Majesty passed away on September 8th at the age of 96. The official PDF document specifying the order of the Committal service can be read HERE. The Committal Service followed the State Funeral that had taken place in London earlier during the day that was attended by Heads of State from around the world.
The Committal Ceremony in Windsor Castle was attended by members of the royal family, individuals from other royal families, close friends, past and present members of the Queen’s household, Governors General, and Realm Prime Ministers. The act of Committal was the lowering of the coffin. The actual burial of Her Majesty took place later in the evening at the King George VI Memorial Chapel. It was a very private ceremony and was attended by Her Majesty’s closest family members. The Chapel is also the burial place for King George VI (d.1952, buried in chapel 1969), Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother (d. 2002), Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon (d. 2002) (ashes), HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh (d. 2021) and of course Queen Elizabeth II (d. 2022).
1. The Ismaili: Prince Rahim represents Mawlana Hazar Imam at Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral
September 6, 2022: Prince Hussain Aga Khan Calls Images in “The Living Sea” the Most Joyous Moments in His Life; Raises Concern Over Threats to Sea Wildlife
The official website of the Ismaili Community The.Ismaili reports that Prince Hussain’s exhibition The Living Sea has finally arrived in the UK after previous appearances in New York, Nairobi, Lisbon, and Venice. The exhibition consists of sea wildlife photographs taken by Prince Hussain over many years, and is open to the public until September 24, 2022. Prince Hussain was accompanied at the inauguration of the Living Sea by his wife, Princess Fareen. They were married on September 29, 2019 in Geneva.
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“The images around you this evening represent some of nature’s treasures and the most joyous moments of my life,” Prince Hussain said in his opening remarks. “Instants one couldn’t put into words if one tried.”
When the exhibition was presented in Lisbon in 2019, Designboom described the installation as “transporting visitors into the depths of the ocean, in an effort to highlight the fragility of our natural world when it is facing destruction by means of plastic pollution and the extinction of marine species.”
In his London remarks, the Prince Hussain addressed the impact of changes in the environment that affect the sea, its coral reefs and wildlife. He said:
“Perhaps the only common thread among these species is the threats they face. Climate change, including acidification, coral bleaching, sea level rise, habitat destruction, overfishing, plastic pollution and more. A third of all whale and dolphin species are threatened with extinction. There has been a 71 percent decline of sharks over the past 50 years. Six out of seven sea turtle species are threatened, including the greens I often photograph and critically endangered hawksbills I adore. Manta rays are being slaughtered in their thousands for their gills. Half of all coral reefs have been lost since the 1950s and up to 90 percent of the Great Barrier Reef has been affected by bleaching events.
“Somehow we’ve turned abundance, health and diversity to penury, disease and rarity. Our activities have brought on an unbrave new world. And while individual photographs here don’t necessarily demonstrate some of the hardships our oceans and their denizens face, it is their wonder I hope to share with you, and their protection I hope to encourage.”
Please visit the Ismaili for full report and more photos.
1 Barakah: Prince Hussain’s Journey of Sea Exploration
2. Barakah: Seven Seas – a Film by Prince Hussain
September 4, 2022: Ismaili Imamat Donates $10 Million to Pakistan Flood Relief Efforts
The Ismaili Imamat on Sunday, September 4, 2022 announced that it will be donating US$10 million to support relief efforts following the severe flooding in Pakistan. $5m will be donated directly to the Government of Pakistan while a further $5m will be provided to the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) agencies in the country, which are engaged in the relief efforts. The donation comes following a discussion on Sunday between the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Shahbaz Sharif, and Prince Rahim Aga Khan, Chair of AKDN’s Environment and Climate Committee and eldest son of His Highness the Aga Khan, the 49th Hereditary Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims.
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Contrasts of the land before and after the recent floods in Pakistan
The false-color images shown above and below were acquired by the Operational Land Imagers aboard the Landsat 8 and Landsat 9 satellites on August 4 and 28, respectively. The images combine shortwave infrared, near infrared, and red light (bands 6-5-4) to better distinguish flood waters (deep blue) beyond their natural channels.
Prince Rahim said “I am deeply concerned about the impact of the current floods in Pakistan, which have been intensified by the effects of climate change. These floods, and the many other weather events we are experiencing around the world, require us all –governments, businesses, communities, and individuals — to redouble our efforts to combat the climate crisis which threatens to engulf us. The institutions of the Ismaili Imamat have been mobilised to support the government in its relief and rehabilitation efforts.”
During the discussion, the Prime Minister expressed appreciation on behalf of the people and Government of Pakistan for the unwavering support of the Ismaili Imamat and the AKDN institutions. He also expressed his deepest respects for the work that the AKDN institutions have been delivering in Pakistan since its independence.
Taking to Twitter, PM Shahbaz wrote that he is “deeply indebted to His Highness the Aga Khan for the contribution of $10 million for the flood victims in Pakistan”.
1 AKDN Press Release: Ismaili Imamat donates $10 million to Pakistan Flood Relief Efforts
2. GEO TV: Ismaili Imamat to contribute $10m for flood victims in Pakistan
3. Simerg: Pakistan’s Deluge – NASA Story Compares Satellite Images from August 4 and 28
4. Simerg: Aga Khan University Sets Up Pakistan Flood Response Fund as UN Secretary General Declares “Pakistan is Awash in Suffering, People Facing a Monsoon on Steroids”; Please Donate in Pakistan’s Hour of Need
August 11, 2022: Prince Amyn Aga Khan and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner Reflect on the Ismaili Center Houston
“The Ismaili Center is an ambitious project not just for the Ismaili Muslim community, but for all Houstonians…[It] is intended to be a resource for all Houstonians as a place to come together with local, national, and international partners — many of whom are here today — to enhance the vibrant nature and rich cultural tapestry of this city,” said Prince Amyn Aga Khan, younger brother of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, at the Ismaili Center’s development luncheon held in downtown Houston on Thursday, August 11, 2022.
In his welcome address, Al-Karim Alidina, the President of His Highness the Aga Khan Shia Imami Ismaili Council for the USA, expressed the Ismaili community’s gratitude to Mawlana Hazar Imam for establishing the first high-profile Center in the United States.
Houston’s Mayor, the Honorable Sylvester Turner, said on his Facebook page: “I joined Prince Amyn Aga Khan today [August 11, 2022] for The Ismaili Center Houston development luncheon. The Center will be a place where Houstonians of all backgrounds come together to strengthen and forge new bonds as they work together.”
In his address at the luncheon, the Mayor said, “The Ismaili Center Houston will be a magnificent building, both physically — with its landmark architecture, picturesque gardens, and ingenious design — and societally speaking, through its impact on Houston, across Texas, and throughout the United States.”
The Mayor also commended the strong Ismaili community in Houston during an exclusive interview with The Ismaili TV. He said:
“I do want to underscore the importance of the Ismaili community to the city of Houston. On every single occasion when we needed people to step up and be volunteers, the Ismaili community has been one of the first groups to raise their hand and say ‘Mayor, you can count on us.’ So for that, we are extremely proud and grateful.”
The Houston Ismaili Center, which is now in its construction phase, will join other Ismaili Centers in London, Vancouver, Lisbon, Dubai, Dushanbe, and Toronto in seeking to create environments that encourage mutual understanding and facilitate the sharing of perspectives across peoples of diverse faiths, traditions, and origins.
Located across Buffalo Bayou, The Ismaili Center Houston will also seek to promote greater understanding about Islam, Muslims, and their history and civilizations, as well as of the Ismaili community, by highlighting shared values and experiences. It will also host public programs that foster dialogue, explore new ideas, celebrate knowledge, and encourage civic activity.
Like other Ismailis Centres around the world, the Jamatkhana component of the Center will be place of religious and social gathering as well as spiritual contemplation for the Ismaili Jamat (community).
Houston was recently declared the most diverse city in the United States. As the fourth most populous city in the country (2022 population of Metro Houston 6,603,000), it also boasts a fast-growing artistic and cultural scene. The Center will enable the Jamat to play a greater part in this growth.
“I have always believed that art and culture are effective ways to connect communities, and one of the Center’s objectives will be to offer the highest caliber of cultural programming and promote cultural dialogue, which are all key elements of enhancing one’s quality of life,” said Prince Amyn. “The dialogue between cultures has forever existed as a result of man’s urge and need to travel, to discover, to meet people, to share experiences, to buy and to sell. Cultural dialogue unites by showing, by underlining what we share despite our apparent differences,” he added.
- Fox 26 Houston News: Houston Mayor, Prince Amyn discuss Ismaili Center Development
- The Ismaili: Prince Amyn and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner Share Aspirations for The Ismaili Center Houston
- AKDN: Speech by His Highness the Aga Khan at the Inauguration in 2002 of the Ismaili Jamatkhana in Sugarland, Texas
- Houston Chronicle: New Ismaili Center Renderings Released as Leader Honored by Houston Officials (subscription required)
August 8, 2022: Prince Amyn Aga Khan Bestowed with Honorary Citizenship of Houston and Appointed as City’s Goodwill Ambassador
The Ismaili, the official website of the Ismaili community reports that Prince Amyn Aga Khan, younger brother of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, was presented with the Honorary Citizenship of Houston when he met with the city’s Mayor, the Honorable Sylvester Turner, at City Hall shortly after his arrival in the city.
Prince Amyn is visiting Houston to review progress on the construction of the Ismaili Center, Houston, across from Buffalo Bayou Park in the heart of Houston. Commissioned by Mawlana Hazar Imam, the design for the Ismaili Center was presented to the public on November 15, 2021 at a gathering of government and civic officials, community representatives and leaders from civil society organizations.
Mayor Turner issued the following message on his Facebook page:
“Today, I welcomed Prince Amyn Aga Khan to Houston and bestowed an Honorary Citizenship to the City of Houston in recognition of his “unselfish public service for the benefit and welfare of humanity,” and selected him as a Goodwill Ambassador of Houston. Prince Amyn exemplifies the values of pluralism and inclusivity that also make the City of Houston one of the most diverse metropolitans in the world. I look forward to continuing our partnership with the Ismaili Imamat and the Ismaili community here to build bridges of friendships.”
As a token of his high esteem, Mayor Turner also appointed Prince Amyn as a Goodwill Ambassador of the City of Houston.
On Thursday, August 11, Prince Amyn will be joined by Turner Mayor a luncheon with civil society leaders and elected officials, where they will share reflections on the Ismaili Center, Houston. The event will be live streamed at the following times (Click here for more details).
July 11, 2022: Mawlana Hazar Imam Celebrates Imamat Day with His Family
The.Ismaili, the official website of the Ismaili Muslim community, has published exclusive photographs of Mawlana Hazar Imam and his family taken on 11 July 2022, to mark the 65th Imamat Day of our beloved Imam-of-the-Time. We are pleased to reproduce the two photos in this post as part of our on-going news coverage of Mawlana Hazar Imam and members of his family.
Note: A selection of beautiful photographs and description of the ‘Alam (Standard) that was presented to Mawlana Hazar Imam for his 65th Imamat Day are covered in a separate post (please click HERE or on image at left.)
July 8, 2022: Members of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Family Attend Open Air-Concert at Lisbon’s São Jorge Castle
In its issue dated July 22, 2022, The.Ismaili, the official website of the Ismaili Muslim community, repors that on July 8, Prince Amyn, Prince Hussain, and Prince Aly Muhammad attended a special open-air concert by the Aga Khan Master Musicians at Lisbons’s spectacular São Jorge Castle. The concert came about via a partnership between the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat to Portugal; the Aga Khan Music Programme; and EGEAC, the agency responsible for cultural equipment and programming in Lisbon. The aim was to offer an evening of musical delights to citizens and visitors in Lisbon. The Aga Khan Master Musicians look forward to resuming their regular performance schedule, and playing in unique venues and settings like the one in Lisbon. this one after a long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Distinguished guests to the live event, included President of the Portuguese Republic Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Mayor of Lisbon Carlos Moedas, and Minister of Justice Catarina Sarmento e Castro.
Formed in 2016, the Aga Khan Master Musicians contribute to the work of the Aga Khan Music Programme (AKMP) and its mission to reinvigorate cultural pluralism and tolerance. They create music inspired by their own deep roots in the cultures of the Middle East, Mediterranean, South and Central Asia, and China. They were joined at the event by special Portuguese guests Ricardo Parreira, Marco Oliveira, and Vicente Magalhães – respected artists in the genres of classical, jazz, and fado, respectively. The Master Musicians and guest artists combined to present an original body of work – this was the first time their unique combination of instruments appeared on the same stage.
Complete coverage with more photos at The.Ismaili.
June 28, 2022: Prince Rahim Aga Khan Leads Imamat Delegation to UN Ocean Conference
The following report is compiled from the Ismaili and the news section of the United Nations websites.
The official website of the Ismaili Muslim community, the Ismaili reported on June 28, 2022 that an Ismaili Imamat delegation led by Prince Rahim attended the Ocean Conference in Lisbon at the invitation of the United Nations (UN).
The weeklong UN Ocean Conference that concluded on July 1, 2022 was co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal and came at a critical time as the world is seeking to address many of the deep-rooted problems of our societies laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic and which will require major structural transformations and common shared solutions that are anchored in the SDGs. To mobilize action, the Conference sought to propel much needed science-based innovative solutions aimed at starting a new chapter of global ocean action.
Representing the Ismaili Imamat, Prince Rahim was accompanied by Prince Hussain and Prince Aly Muhammad, and senior AKDN leaders. An exhibition of Prince Hussain’s marine photography, Fragile Beauty, was on display at the Portugal Pavilion as an official side event of the conference. An exhibition was also on display at the Ismaili Centre, Lisbon, open to the Jamat and public. The exhibition was dedicated to Sylvia Earle, the accomplished 86-year-old marine biologist, oceanographer, and explorer, who has made great strides to protect the ocean and its wildlife.
Having spent many years swimming alongside dolphins, turtles, sharks, whales and more, Prince Hussain has noticed with sorrow the increasingly rapid degradation of our oceans. He has said: “Over the five decades of my own life, I have been heartbroken to see how our oceans have become so clogged up by plastic and other forms of pollution and waste… Coastal areas I visited as a child are unrecognisable today – the wildlife is suffocating and the coastal economies are stagnating. It is clear to me that we have to act now before it is too late.” (Read more at THE ISMAILI WEBSITE and also read the conference’s declaration to save our ocean HERE).
June 18, 2022: Princess Zahra Aga Khan Conveys Special Message from Mawlana Hazar Imam at the University of Central Asia’s 2022 Graduation Ceremonies
On June 18 2022, amid the majestic mountains of the Pamirs and Tien Shan, the graduation ceremonies at the two University of Central Asia (UCA) campuses at Naryn and Khorog brought together parents, faculty and many distinguished guests who came to congratulate the students for their academic achievements and promises of successes yet to come.
On behalf of the Chancellor, Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, Princess Zahra Aga Khan, who is also a trustee of UCA, conveyed a special message of congratulations. The following excerpts from Princess Zahra’s speech have been adapted from UCA’s excellent special convocation issue of UCA News.
“May I take this opportunity to highlight some extraordinary achievements of UCA that are likely to have a significant impact on the socio-economic development of Central Asia. The several collaborative agreements UCA has signed with the various ministries are making a valuable contribution towards helping to promote and achieve national development agendas through public-private partnerships.
“Climate change is a global problem, but solutions and adaptation measures have to be locally defined and implemented. The reason that UCA teaches Earth and Environmental Sciences is that climate change will affect Central Asia as it will the rest of the planet. This sad reality will have several outcomes for the students of UCA. First Of all, it will affect your daily lives and your families. It will force changes to the way you grow and distribute food; to your approach towards resources; and to the way you will build house in the future. It will also create a raft of new jobs and careers that will be essential in the decades to come. Not only will this area, like others, require technicians and engineers who are capable of adapting daily life to a new and different reality, but it will also force changes to architecture, transport, forestry management, water conservation, livestock management, trade, and effectively all areas of daily life. Most importantly, you, the students of today, will be the scientists of tomorrow.
“It is the Chancellor’s hope that the graduates of the School of Arts and Sciences will not only find employment opportunities in the region, but also that the graduates will themselves create employment opportunities and successful businesses to invigorate the economy of the entire region. Building an active and successful economic environment will improve the lives of all communities and add to social stability and wellbeing for all.
“As you continue your professional journey, our hopes and aspirations go with you. Ultimately, UCA’s success will be measured by the success of its graduates. No effort has been spared to provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to enable you to thrive in a rapidly changing world, and it is our dearest hope that you will underpin your professional growth with the values of pluralism, pluralism, responsible citizenship, and ethical leadership.”
- UCA News July 2022: Please download the excellent Special Convocation Issue of UCA News (PDF)
- AKDN: Read Princess Zahra’s full speech and watch video of her speech
May 12, 2022: Prince Rahim Aga Khan Welcomes Monsignor Peña Parra of the Vatican to the Ismaili Centre Lisbon
The official website of the Ismaili Muslim community, the Ismaili reports that on May 12, 2022, signor Peña Parra, the Substitute for the Secretariat of State at the Vatican, was welcomed to the Ismaili Centre Lisbon by Prince Rahim, accompanied by Nazim Ahmad, Diplomatic Representative of the Ismaili Imamat to Portugal, and Rahim Firozali, President of the Ismaili Council for Portugal.
The meeting offered an opportunity to discuss matters of mutual interest, including the international context in regions of the world where the Ismaili Imamat and the Holy See have a strong presence, the activities of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) around the world, and the relationship between the Ismaili Imamat and Portugal. In particular, they discussed pathways of cooperation for the improvement of the quality of life of populations in Lusophone countries and in other regions of the world.
Monsignor Peña Parra is visiting Portugal to inaugurate venues for the celebrations of World Youth Day, due to take place in Lisbon in August 2023, and to lead the ceremonies to commemorate the apparitions at the Shrine of Fátima (Mary). During his visit, he will also meet with the President of the Portuguese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, and Prime Minister António Costa.
April 21, 2022: Princess Zahra Aga Khan and Prince Hussain Attend Iftar Dinner at Ismaili Centre Lisbon
On April 21, 2022, the Ismaili Centre in Lisbon hosted an Iftar dinner at which least 12 different religious traditions were represented, including attendees from the Muslim community in Lisbon, the Hindu community, the Buddhist Union, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the Religious Freedom Commission. Diplomats from the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, and the European Union were also present. The president of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, was also present along with Princess Zahra Aga Khan and Prince Hussain. Iftar is the meal served to bring people together at the end of a day of fasting during the month of Ramadan. Guests in attendance were invited to break the Ramadhan fast soon after sunset with dates, dried fruits, nuts, and water, as is tradition. A rendition of ‘Bismillah’ was performed by the Portugal Ismaili Choir to mark the time of Iftar.
Video: The Portuguese President’s Inspiring Remarks at the Ismaili Centre Lisbon on the Occasion of the Breaking of the Ramadhan Fast
Ramadan is a time of contemplation and piety through good deeds such as charitable giving and voluntary service. It is an important time to reflect on our duty to the needy in society. In light of this, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa remarked: “This holy month is viewed by various communities of Muslims around the world as a comprehensive tool for change in various spheres of our lives including the social, spiritual, intellectual, humanitarian, the inner, and the outer. Portugal and the people of Portugal share with the Ismaili community the fundamental objective of doing whatever we can to improve the dignity of human life.”
Guests enjoyed an eclectic Iftar dinner — itself a celebration of culture and pluralism — featuring a mix of dishes from South Asia, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. “Gatherings such as this one, of unity and understanding, are needed now more than ever,” remarked Nazim Ahmad, Diplomatic Representative of the Ismaili Imamat to Portugal.
Reports and photos have been compiled from The Ismaili and the website of the Portugal Presidency
April 11, 2022: Princess Zahra Aga Khan in Dar es Salaam for New Cancer Treatment Centre
The Citizen Tanzania reports that the Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, has officially launched the construction of its state-of-the-art Cancer Treatment Centre. The Tanzanian Health minister Ummy Mwalimu and Princess Zahra Aga Khan laid the foundation stone for the Cancer Centre. Please click Aga Khan constructing Sh13.8bn Cancer Centre in Dar es Salaam for full report and photos of the event. Also, see following tweets.
TWEETS RELATED TO THE EVENT
Coverage at AKDN
Complete coverage of the foundation laying ceremony, including a press release, photos and speeches made by the Tanzanian Health Minister and Princess Zahra can be read by clicking on AKDN: Foundation stone laid for Tanzanian cancer care centre, 1.7m to benefit.
March 31, 2022: Statement by Prince Rahim Aga Khan at Afghanistan Conference
On March 31, 2022 at a virtual conference convened by UN Secretary General António Guterres to address Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis, Prince Rahim Aga Khan, speaking on behalf of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, affirmed the “unfailing commitment of the Ismaili Imamat and the AKDN to the people of Afghanistan.”
He said: “Since August , despite huge challenges, in cooperation with UN agencies, the Aga Khan Development Network has maintained its life-saving work across Afghanistan: keeping its hospitals and clinics open; assisting communities with food, shelter and livelihoods; and continuing to help thousands of children of both genders to access learning. Our experience over the past three decades, along with generous support from many international partners, has taught us to believe deeply in the capacity of Afghans, in their pluralism, and in the strength of their vibrant, diverse communities. They have shown time and again that they are resilient and resourceful, but today, they need help.”
Please read the press release, and Prince Rahim’s complete statement at AKDN, as well as watch his statement below. The press release of the UNSG’s statement at the conference can be read HERE.
The Afghanistan People Need Help….and Urgent and Practical Attention
March 30, 2022: Princess Zahra Aga Khan and Prince Hussain Welcome President of Greece as She Meets Refugees at Ismaili Centre Lisbon
Ms. Katerina Sakellaropoulou, the first woman to be elected President of Greece, visited the Ismaili Centre Lisbon on March 30, 2022 and met with refugee families who have arrived in Portugal from Greece in recent months. Princess Zahra Aga Khan and her brother Prince Hussain received the President on her arrival.
Over the past three years, according to the International Rescue Committee, Greece has taken in over 50,000 refugees from the Middle East and South and Central Asia, hoping to escape conflict and poverty, and find a safe, secure new home. Hundreds of refugees have arrived in Portugal from Greece. One of the refugees the President met was 13-year-old Arezu Kabuli from Afghanistan who has been awarded a scholarship to study at the International School of Boston, starting autumn 2022.
In recent years, the government of Portugal has prioritised the reception and integration of refugees, and works with local authorities and civil society in a continuous effort to support this commitment. Speaking of the newly arrived families in Portugal, Nazim Ahmad, Diplomatic Representative of the Ismaili Imamat to Portugal, expressed his greetings to them, affirming that, “we shall continue to do all that we can to assist in their integration and in starting a new life at our side, as members of our community that they now are.”
Please read complete report with more photos at The Ismaili: Ms Katerina Sakellaropoulou, visits the Ismaili Centre Lisbon
March 26, 2022: Prince Hussain Aga Khan Attends Blood Donor Clinic at Ismaili Centre Lisbon
Ismaili CIVIC Portugal hosted a blood donation campaign on March 26, 2022 at the Ismaili Centre in Lisbon. The Portuguese Minister for Health and Prince Hussain attended the pop-up clinic, organised to boost blood reserves in the country. Dr Marta Temido, Portugal’s Minister for Health was welcomed to the Ismaili Centre by Prince Hussain, and spoke of her admiration for Ismaili CIVIC volunteers. “Today, we are marking an initiative of the Ismaili Community in Portugal and the IPST in order to appeal for donation and to mark tomorrow’s Blood Donor day,” she said.
Volunteer Karim Rahimo has donated blood on separate 3 occasions in the last year. “I am a regular donor because I feel it is my civic duty, and it doesn’t cost me anything,” he said. “It feels very good to donate as part of a global initiative via Ismaili CIVIC – I usually donate in other contexts but it feels even better to do so with my community.”
Please read complete report with more photos at The Ismaili: Blood Donor Clinic
March 17-19, 2022: Prince Rahim Aga Khan in Mozambique
Day 3: March 19, 2022
At a special event held in Maputo on Saturday March 19, 2022, the Aga Khan Academy Maputo was inaugurated by Filipe Nyusi, President of Mozambique, and Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, President of Portugal, in the presence of Prince Rahim Aga Khan. Hosted at the school’s newly opened Commons building, the inauguration was attended by students and staff of the school; government and state officials; representatives of faith communities, businesses, and civil society; and leaders of the Jamat and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).
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WATCH VIDEO OF THE INAUGURATION OF THE AGA KHAN ACADEMY
The Portuguese newspaper Obsevador in its report noted that the Presidents of both Mozambique and Portugal applauded the partnership that the two countries maintain with the Ismaili Muslim community. According to the paper, the Portuguese President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, praised “the vision of His Highness Aga Khan”, and his message of humanism and fraternity. The President said that “there are millions of children and young people around the world who cannot attend an academy like this. [And that] they have to be the best to respond to this opportunity that others don’t have. And then, the best to build Mozambique, a Mozambique open to all religions, to those who have no religion, to all opinions, to all dreams, to all projects for the future. That is your duty”, he told the students of the Academy.
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President Filipe Nyusi commended the presence of an Aga Khan Academy in Maputo, along with other ongoing AKDN initiatives in the country. “We have been following the positive impact of various socio-economic projects undertaken by the Aga Khan Development Network, which greatly contribute to the progress of Mozambique, in line with our country’s own development programme,” he said.
According to Obsevador, President Nyusi suggested that AKDN should invest in a hospital, in order to fill the gaps in health in the country. “Even if it’s only a third of this school”, said the head of state in his remarks.
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In his remarks, Prince Rahim spoke of the vision of the Academy and the Aga Khan Curricular Strands which make the school unique.
“As a centre of excellence,” he said, “this Academy will equip its students with the tools needed to be competitive and to thrive, as they go on to their universities and then enter the arena of adult life. And it will teach them to push themselves to be the best they can possibly be.”
The Aga Khan Academies aim to develop future leaders with the skills and knowledge to support positive development in their societies. To achieve this, they recruit exceptional young people from all backgrounds regardless of socio-economic means, and provide them with the highest international standard of education.
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“The wide geographic spread of the Academies is by design,” said Prince Rahim, “to allow students and staff to seamlessly travel to Academies in other countries, see different cultures, and build an appreciation and a love for them.”
Prince Rahim joined President Nyusi and President Rebelo de Sousa as they unveiled the inaugural plaque before taking a tour of the Academy campus.
MORE PHOTO COVERAGE
Special Photo Album of the Inauguration of the Aga Khan Academy from the Presidency of Portugal
- See more photos and also listen to the coverage by clicking The Presidency of Portugal.
- For coverage of the inauguration of the Aga Khan Academy on the official website of the Ismaili community please click The Ismaili – Shaping the leaders of tomorrow
Day 2: March 18, 2022
This section covers via text and/or photos brief summaries of Prince Rahim’s visit to (1) the Maputo Jamatkhana and (2) the Aga Khan Academy ahead of its inauguration on Saturday, March 19, 2022.
(1) Situated in the heart of Mozambique’s capital, along the Indian Ocean coast, Maputo Jamatkhana stands as a monument to the long history of the Ismaili community in southern Africa. Prince Rahim Aga Khan toured the building and grounds on March 18, 2022, the second day of his 3-day visit to Mozambique.
Prince Rahim was welcomed by Amin Rawjee, President of the Ismaili Council for Mozambique, as the Imamat flag stood raised atop the Jamatkhana. Prince Rahim met with leaders of the Ismaili community and toured the historic Jamatkhana’s spaces, gardens, and religious education classrooms.
The Jamatkhana built in 1941 underwent significant extensions in the mid 1960’s. The extension was inaugurated in 1968 by the then Governor General, Dr Baltazar Rebelo de Sousa, father of the current President of Portugal, Professor Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa whose visit to Mozambique coincides with that of Prince Rahim.
(2) Prince Rahim later visited the Aga Khan Academy Maputo ahead of its official inauguration on Saturday, March 19. He spent time with teachers and staff of the school and toured the Academy campus and facilities, including the state-of-the-art science building, sports hall, and newly completed commons building.
Day 1: March 17, 2022
This section covers via text and/or photos brief summaries of Prince Rahim’s meetings with (1) the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, (2) the President of Mozambique, and (3) President of the Assembly of the Republic of Mozambique as well as (4) being the chief guest at the state banquet honouring the visit by the President of Portugal.
(1) Prince Rahim Aga Khan, eldest son of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, arrived in Maputo on March 17, 2022 for a three-day visit to Mozambique. He had earlier visited Dubai from March 14-16, 2022 (see Dubai story below). Prince Rahim’s visit began at the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Welfare for a meeting with Minister Nyeleti Brooke Mondlane (see photo, above), who congratulated Prince Rahim on the inauguration of the Aga Khan Academy Maputo. She fondly recalled her childhood, when she and her siblings attended Aga Khan schools in neighbouring Tanzania.
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Watch News Report of Prince Rahim’s Meeting with President Nyusi aired on Televisão de Moçambique (TVM)
(2) Prince Rahim also visited the Presidential Palace in Maputo, where he met with President Filipe Nyusi (see photo and video, above). Prince Rahim conveyed Mawlana Hazar Imam’s greetings and warm wishes to President Nyusi, and acknowledged the long-standing relationship between the Ismaili Imamat and Mozambique.
Milestone Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) projects in Mozambique over the past two decades include the rehabilitation of the historic Polana Serena Hotel, one of Africa’s grandest hotels; a Coastal Rural Support Programme that supports entrepreneurship and skills development in the country’s poorest northern districts; and the Moztex garment factory, which employs and trains over 700 staff, more than 90 per cent of whom are women. AKDN’s projects in Mozambique have directly reached over half a million beneficiaries since 2001.
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(3) Prince Rahim then travelled to the Parliament building to meet with Esperança Laurinda Bias, President of the Assembly of the Republic (see photos, above). The President thanked Prince Rahim for his visit to Mozambique and praised the work of AKDN in the country, especially in the Cabo Delgado province.
(4) Prince Rahim was the Guest of Honour at a state banquet hosted by President Filipe Nyusi at the Presidential Palace Ponta Vermelha in honour of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the President of Portugal, who is also visiting Mozambique (see photo, above). In their remarks at the banquet, both President Nyusi and President de Sousa paid tribute to Mawlana Hazar Imam and the efforts of the Aga Khan Development Network to improve quality of life in Mozambique and around the world.
March 14-16, 2022: Prince Rahim Aga Khan in Dubai
From March 14-16, 2022, Prince Rahim visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the invitation of His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Member of the Cabinet and the Minister of Tolerance for the United Arab Emirates. During his visit , Prince Rahim toured the newly opened Museum of the Future and met with His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan at Expo 2020, Dubai. Prince Rahim’s meeting with Sheikh Nahayan enabled discussion of the importance of advancing appreciation of pluralism.. His Excellency, hosted a lunch in his honour, following which Prince Rahim toured several pavilions at Expo 2020 Dubai, including Vision and Alif Pavilions. The AKDN, working with Ministries of the United Arab Emirates and local and international civil society organisations, has coordinated numerous engagements at Expo 2020 Dubai, particularly in the areas of climate change and biodiversity, tolerance and inclusivity, culture, education, knowledge and learning.
Prince Rahim conveyed Mawlana Hazar Imam His Highness the Aga Khan’s warmest greetings, and congratulated the UAE on the success of Expo 2020. Prince Rahim also met with Her Excellency Reem al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai; and Her Excellency Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth at the UAE Pavilion Majlis. During their meeting they spoke about the successful collaboration between Expo 2020 and Aga Khan Development Network agencies and discussed potential opportunities for partnership beyond Expo 2020, primarily in the fields of education and culture.
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During the visit, Prince Rahim also had discussions with His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, about areas where the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and the UAE can work together to improve the quality of life of the world’s most vulnerable populations. Prince Rahim conveyed to His Highness the greetings and appreciation of Mawlana Hazar Imam for their personal friendship and the strong support extended to the AKDN and the Ismaili Muslim community, which has a long-established settlement in the UAE.
These sentiments were warmly reciprocated by His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who expressed his gratitude for the work of the AKDN and the Ismaili Muslim community. He acknowledged contributions to Dubai’s cultural life and intellectual pursuits enabled by the Ismaili Centre in Dubai. He also conveyed his regard for the AKDN’s initiatives in numerous fields of international development, including the heritage of Muslim societies, regeneration projects in historic settings in the Islamic world, education, community development and the environment.
Prince Rahim commended the UAE’s humanitarian efforts and the Government’s successes in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. He also congratulated Dubai’s leadership for its dedication and commitment to welcoming an exchange of ideas and knowledge from around the world.
The AKDN, working with Ministries of the United Arab Emirates and local and international civil society organisations, has coordinated numerous engagements at Expo 2020 Dubai, particularly in the areas of climate change and biodiversity, tolerance and inclusivity, culture, education, knowledge and learning.
Prince Rahim also toured the recently opened Museum of the Future, where he met with Abdulaziz AlJaziri, Deputy CEO and Chief Operations Officer of the Dubai Future Foundation and Majed Al Mansoori, Deputy Executive Director of the Museum. He praised the Museum’s work to bring together innovators, scientists and prominent figures from leading fields to share their vision of crafting a sustainable, inclusive future.
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Prior to his departure, Prince Rahim met with volunteers from the Ismaili Muslim community at the Ismaili Centre Dubai.
The delegation accompanying Prince Rahim during the visit to Dubai comprised of Sultan Ali Allana, Director of Economic Development; Jane Piacentini-Moore, Senior Official, International Financial Affairs; Nazim Ahmad, Senior Official and Diplomatic Representative; and Aziz Merchant, President of the Ismaili Community in the UAE.
For further coverage of Prince Rahim Aga Khan’s visit to Dubai, please click on the following links:
- AKDN: Prince Rahim Visits Expo 2020 Dubai
- The Ismaili: Prince Rahim Visits Mozambique
- Government of Dubai Media Office: Maktoum bin Mohammed meets with Rahim Aga Khan and discusses new ways to support underprivileged communities around the world
FEBRUARY 26, 2022: PRINCESS ZAHRA AGA KHAN PRAISES AGA KHAN UNIVERSITY GRADUATES FOR RESILIENCE DURING THE PANDEMIC
More than 660 students in Pakistan, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda graduated from the Aga Khan University (AKU) in a live-streamed Global Convocation Ceremony that was watched by viewers around the world. The ceremony in Nairobi was attended in-person by Princess Zahra Aga Khan and saw the University commit to becoming carbon neutral in its operations by 2030. Climate scientist, author and activist Dr Peter Kalmus addressed the convocation as its chief guest. The Global Convocation Ceremony also featured the inauguration of President Sulaiman Shahabuddin, who became the third president in AKU’s 39-year history.
Speaking on behalf of the University’s Chancellor, His Highness the Aga Khan, Princess Zahra Aga Khan praised the graduates for the resilience and agility they demonstrated throughout the pandemic and highlighted AKU’s contributions to the countries it serves.
“Globally, AKU has educated 18,000 individuals,” Princess Zahra said. “It cares for more than 2 million patients every year from internationally accredited hospitals and was recently ranked among the top 100 universities in the world in public health. It also serves as a trusted advisor to government and is a powerful advocate for pluralism and women’s empowerment. During the pandemic, the value of the University’s capacity for cutting-edge inquiry has never been clearer.”
Addressing the members of the Class of 2021 in all four countries, Princess Zahra said: “No AKU class has worked harder for this moment than you have. The last two years challenged you with lockdowns, quarantines and isolation. In the years to come, you will always be able to look back and draw strength from your achievements during this momentous period.” (Click text of speech)
Please visit Barakah’s sister website Simerg for text and videos of speeches made by Princess Zahra, Peter Kalmus and and Sulaiman Shahabuddin.
FEBRUARY 09, 2022: PRINCE RAHIM AGA KHAN MEETS WITH UN SECRETARY GENERAL Mr António Guterres
Note: The meeting between the United Nations Secretary General and Prince Rahim had been officially announced in the Secretary General’s daily schedule for February 9, 2022. The following statement was issued on the website of the UNSG following the meeting:
“Earlier today [February 9, 2022], the Secretary-General received Prince Rahim Aga Khan. The Secretary-General expressed his appreciation for the work of the Aga Khan Development Network which he said was a symbol of tolerance and solidarity. The two discussed a number of situations around the world as well as how to increase the cooperation between the UN and Aga Khan Development Network.” (Read UNSG statement at source).
FEBRUARY 4, 2022: MAWLANA HAZAR IMAM MEETS WITH PRESIDENT OF PORTUGAL
December 25, 2021: Prince RAHIM MEETS WITH PRESIDENT OF PORTUGAL
The Ismaili, the official website of the Ismaili community recently reported that Prince Rahim Aga Khan, older son of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, met with His Excellency Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, President of Portugal, on December 25, 2021 at the Presidential Palace. At the meeting, Prince Rahim conveyed to the President and the people of Portugal Season’s Greetings and best wishes for the new year.
The President and Prince Rahim acknowledged the strong relationship between the Ismaili Imamat and Portugal, and spoke about the presence and activities of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in Portugal, Portuguese-speaking countries, and globally.
They also took the opportunity to discuss other matters of mutual interest, such as those related to international affairs and regions where the Ismaili Imamat and AKDN have a strong presence, including Central and South Asia, East Africa, and the Middle East.
At the conclusion of the meeting, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa thanked Prince Rahim for the courtesy visit, and requested that he convey to Mawlana Hazar Imam his warmest greetings and best wishes.
October 24, 2021: Prince Amyn and Portuguese President inaugurate NOVA University’s Westmont Hospitality Hall
On October 24, 2021, Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa joined Prince Amyn Aga Khan, younger brother of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, for the inauguration of the Westmont Hospitality Hall at NOVA University in Lisbon, Portugal. The newly opened space will serve as a home for the Westmont Institute of Tourism and Hospitality at NOVA University’s School of Business and Economics (SBE), which is celebrating the third anniversary of the opening of its campus in Carcavelos. The school’s students and faculty are known as an open and collaborative community, focused on the positive impact of their work and research in the world.
The Westmont Institute is the latest development in the partnership between NOVA SBE and Westmont Hospitality Group, a joint initiative aiming to develop and promote education in hospitality, tourism, and service management. Westmont Hospitality Group, founded by Canada’s Mangalji family, is a global brand that owns and manages more than 400 hotels all over the world. Its mission includes a desire to use hospitality, travel, and tourism as a way of promoting a more sustainable world.
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In his remarks at the event, Prince Amyn congratulated NOVA SBE and shared his hopes for the future of the project. “The Westmont Institute of Tourism and Hospitality will have the mission to inspire and prepare leaders in the tourism and hospitality industries,” he said, “providing not only excellence in service, but sound business knowledge to promote and support sustainable tourism ventures both in Portugal and, I hope, in Africa and developing countries.”
The entire hospitality industry has suffered multiple adverse effects due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the new Institute inaugurated today hopes to harness the potential of tourism to drive innovative responses to complex challenges such as this.
“I think that tourism, by opening up to travellers’ new lifestyles, new cultures, new traditions, acts as a strong educational experience and breeds understanding, and appreciation of shared values — of how much we share, and not how great are our differences, and that ultimately it promotes a pluralistic approach,” continued Prince Amyn, who has decades of experience in the tourism and hospitality industry globally.
A full report as well as a video of the event appears on the Ismaili, the official website of the Ismaili community.
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.
July 13, 2021: Mawlana Hazar Imam and Prince Rahim Meet French Prime Minister Jean Castex – Tweet and photos
Translation (via Twitter): Happy to welcome His Highness the Aga Khan to Matignon for an exchange on major international issues, the situation of Islam in France but also to bring our common projects to fruition.
Note(s): Jean Castex has been the Prime Minister of France since July 2020. He welcomed Mawlana Hazar Imam and Prince Rahim at his official residence, the Hôtel de Matignon, which is located in the 7th district of Paris.
The following photographs are reproduced from The.Ismaili, the official website of the Ismaili community.
Date page created: July 13, 2021.
Last updated: January 9, 2023 (anchor links added – this page is now dedicated to 2021-2022 news coverage only — a separate page will be created for following years).
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REVIEW BARAKAH’S TABLE OF CONTENTS AND VISIT ITS SISTER WEBSITES
Before departing this website please take a moment to visit Barakah’s Home Page or Table of Contents for links to more than 300 pieces dedicated to Mawlana Hazar Imam, members of his family and the Ismaili Imamat. Also, visit our two sister websites, Simerg and Simergphotos. Barakah’s editor Malik may be reached at email@example.com. Please follow him @Facebook and @Twitter.
Thank you for keeping us informed of the Noorani Family activities, especially the pictures. Please continue this good work. Our prayers and best wishes.
We are grateful to you for sharing the latest work of the Imamat through this post.
An excellent blog, where you keep us updated with the latest news. I like it.
This is indeed a phenomenal effort to present to the readers information and pictures of the significant events and programs by our most beloved Hazar Imam and the Noorani Family under one comprehensive posting.
This surely deserves highest gratification and commendation from all the readers across the globe. Our prayers that you have the continued opportunities to do so in the future.
With our best wishes and prayers.
Kamrudin A. Rashid
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
August 13 2022.
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Thank you for this news of the musical event of Islamic multi cultural dimension and attended by our beloved Noorani Family. I am sure many would like myself love to view this wonderful event if available on any of the media. This would show to us and the wider world the richness of Islamic culture in music.
It is nice to see members of the Aga Khan Family participating in events related to the Ismaili Imamat. They follow a busy schedule, which can be exciting but nonetheless quite tiring I would think. The Aga Khan’s emphasis on pluralism and co-existence between different communities and faith, education for all are admirable, and need to be emulated by all.
[Note to K.S. Juma: Provide your website address only when it is developed and functioning. The URL you have provided has been removed. Thank you, Editor. ]
Your presentation has been meticulous- I appreciate and enjoyed the article immensely .Thank you
While I am not a follower of the Aga Khan, I do have respect for his work in improving the lives of ordinary people regardless of religion. The reason for my comment is an incident that my late grandfather experienced in Dodoma, Tanzania/Tanganyika in 1940-50 when he (grandfather) worked as a good clerk at the Dodoma Railway station. At that time, the late Aga Khan (I believe the grandfather of the current Aga Khan) was visiting Dodoma and he wanted to know his weight. With local Ismaili or Khoja community elders, he came to the station and asked my grandfather to weight him which he did. As thanks, he gave my grandfather Shillings 20, a lot of money at that as a tip. He was very grateful for his generosity. I also believe our success may be attributed to his blessing as we are doing very well.
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Rajinder Kumar Sharma,
Rajinder, Thank you for sharing your grandfather’s encounter with the late Aga Khan, Sir Sultan Mohammad Shah, Agakhan III.
Wishing your family and you Peace and Prosperity.
Excellent job. Very well done.
Bless you Malik for your wonderful work of keeping us all informed about the wonderful work of our beloved Mawlana Hazar Imam and the Noorani family. May Mawla always bless you for this beautiful service, and may you be healthy and successful in life. Ameen.
Thanks always for keeping us informed of our beloved Imam and his family. Much appreciated.
The continuous update of “The Incessant works “ carried out by our Beloved Hazar Imam and the rest of the Noorani Family for not the Ismaili Community only, but also the rest of the community residing in those regions,is a sheer joy to read and thus keep us abreast.
Thank you so much Mr.Malik – for your articles in Barakah megazine .I not only enjoy reading them but I learn a lot too. Thank you again.!
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Thanks for posting about the continuous work Our Beloved Hazar Imam and Noorani family are doing for the Gobal Jamat and humanity at large. These articles remind is that we are truly blessed.
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We Ismailis are blessed to be under our beloved Hazar Imam’s guidance and protection.
During the pandemic Mowlabapa has blessed us with Mubarak Talikas, guided us advised us and prayed for our peace, health and happiness and Mushkil Assan. Ameen Ameen. Shukhar Walhamdullilah
Shukhaar Mawla we are truly blessed.
Thank you for giving us news on Mawlana Hazar Iman and his family. Its a pleasure to visit the website to see the presentation in a very special way. Keep it up.
Wonderful!!! Thanks AGAIN, Malik Bha! We are so well-informed because of your words or words from others and yours and other people’s photography…A Lot Of Work and an exceptionally accessible website!
We are blessed to have a wonderful spiritual leader. Ameen.
I’m Jamal Zindani from Karachi, Pakistan; today I have seen your post on Facebook.
It’s very informative and keeping update about our Imam’s activities for the development of our institutional capacity and upliftment of Global Ismaili Jamat.
We love Mawlana Hazir Imam’s initiatives and work for humanity. Blessings.