2023: News on Mawlana Hazar Imam and Members of His Family – Prince Rahim Aga Khan Attends Event to Honour Dr. Farhad Daftary’s Contribution to the Institute of Ismaili Studies

Reports on this page compiled and prepared by MALIK MERCHANT

[We continue our news coverage of Mawlana Hazar Imam and members of his family with a fresh page for 2023. We invite our readers to click HERE for coverage of stories between July 13, 2021 and December 31, 2022. Anchor links have been provided so that readers can zero in on specific items they wish to read. Anchor links will be inserted on this 2023 page as it continues to grow with more news stories — Ed.]

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January 20, 2023: Prince Rahim Aga Khan atTENDS RECEPTION in hONOUR OF Dr. Farhad Daftary for his Contribution to the IIS and Ismaili ScholarshIp

I know I speak on behalf of His Highness and for all of us here, and the generations who will benefit from his scholarship, that we are very grateful that Dr Daftary chose this to be his lifetime’s work and that he has made such a major contribution to the field of Ismaili studies — Prince Rahim Aga Khan, January 18, 2023

Dr Farhad Daftary greets Prince Rahim in London on 18 January 2023. Photograph: Rehana Virani/IPL, Barakah, News
Dr Farhad Daftary greets Prince Rahim Aga Khan in London on January 18, 2023. Photograph: Rehana Virani/IPL.

The following report has been adapted from The.Ismaili, the official website of the Ismaili community, and the website of the Institute of Ismaili Studies (IIS). Both the official reports are dated January 20, 2023. The report includes a photograph from the editor’s archives from 2008.

on January 18, 2023, Prince Rahim Aga Khan attended a reception at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel to honour the contributions of Dr Farhad Daftary to the IIS, and more broadly to the fields of Ismaili and Islamic studies, as he steps down from his management roles at The Institute. The event was attended by staff, students, governors and leaders of the Ismaili community. Dr Daftary is succeeded as the Director of IIS by Professor Zayn Kassam, a highly accomplished scholar of Islamic and Ismaili philosophy and Islamic mysticism.

Prince Rahim announced that Mawlana Hazar Imam has decided to acknowledge Dr Daftary’s contributions to The Institute by attaching his name to forthcoming PhD Scholarships awarded by IIS — they will be known as The Farhad Daftary PhD Scholarships. Dr Daftary’s central role not only as a leader, but as the IIS’s most respected and productive scholar and author was also recognised by Prince Rahim. 

Prince Rahim delivers remarks at a special event in London to honour the contributions of Dr Farhad Daftary to The Institute of Ismaili Studies. PHOTO: RIAZ KASSAM / IPL
Prince Rahim Aga Khan delivers remarks at a special event in London on January 18, 2023, to honour the contributions of Dr Farhad Daftary to The Institute of Ismaili Studies. Photograph: Riaz Kassam/IPL.

“I know I speak on behalf of His Highness and for all of us here, and the generations who will benefit from his scholarship, that we are very grateful that Dr Daftary chose this to be his lifetime’s work and that he has made such a major contribution to the field of Ismaili studies,” he said.

“His seminal works on Ismaili History are universally recognised as the authoritative sources on this subject matter. His books, journal articles and encyclopaedia entries are referred to and cited by people around the world,” added Prince Rahim. 

“This body of work will have a long-lasting legacy, and it has profoundly changed the landscape of Ismaili Studies.”

Prince Rahim Aga Khan with Dr Farhad Daftary and Professor Zayn Kassam in London on January 18, 2023. Photograph: Riaz Kassam/IPL.
Prince Rahim Aga Khan with Dr Farhad Daftary and new IIS director Professor Zayn Kassam in London on January 18, 2023. The panel in the background depicts some of the scholarly works of Dr. Daftary. He authored or edited 23 books and has overseen the publication of 150 books during his time at the IIS. Photograph: Riaz Kassam/IPL.

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Whatever contribution I have made to the field would not have been possible without the support and guidance of Hazar Imam and I owe him a debt of gratitude for this long journey — Dr. Farhad Daftary, January 18, 2023

Aga Khan with Azim Nanji and Farhad Daftary
Professor Azim Nanji and Dr Farhad Daftary of the IIS present Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, with a copy of The Ismailis: An Illustrated History on July 4, 2008 during his Golden Jubilee visit to the United Kingdom. Photograph: Gary Otte

Speaking at the event, Dr. Daftary himself said: “I joined The Institute in September of 1988 and since then I have witnessed significant growth and development in many ways from publications, manuscripts, translations, a sizable faculty, educational programmes, and unique educational materials that are appreciated by Ismailis throughout the world. IIS is a serious academic institution and a point of reference in Ismaili and broader Shi’i and Qur’anic studies. Whatever contribution I have made to the field would not have been possible without the support and guidance of Hazar Imam and I owe him a debt of gratitude for this long journey,” he added. Dr. Daftary thanked the board for making the transition in his recent career as smooth as possible and wished his successor, Professor Zayn Kassam the best of success in her new role.

External links: For complete coverage of the event at the IIS on January 18, 2022, honouring Dr. Daftary, please click on the following links. Note the contents of the two reports vary in detail, although the headings are identical:

Correction: An earlier version of this post had indicated that the event was held at the IIS. It was actually held at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. The editor regrets the oversight on his part.

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January 9, 2023: Prince Rahim Aga Khan and Princess Zahra lead Ismaili Imamat and AKDN delegation to “climate resilient pakistan” conference IN gENEVA

The International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan, co-hosted by the United Nations and the Government of Pakistan.
The International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan, co-hosted by the Government of Pakistan and the United Nations, was held in Geneva, Switzerland. The Conference brought together Governments, leaders from the public and private sectors and civil society to support the people and the Government of Pakistan after the devastating floods of 2022. Photograph: UN Photo/Violaine Martin.

In a marathon day long conference held in Geneva on Monday, January 9, 2023, dozens of countries and international institutions pledged more than $9 billion for Pakistan in response to last summer’s record breaking monsoon rainfall that caused catastrophic flooding, affecting more than 33 million people. Upwards of 1,700 people died, over 2 million were rendered homeless, crops were wiped out, and vital infrastructure was destroyed and damaged.

Pakistan Floods
A child rests on a wooden charpoy that her family was able to save when the flood waters gushed in. She spent several days inactive with a high grade fever. She and her her 4 siblings were all unwell as a result of drinking, cooking and cleaning themselves with with contaminated water. Photograph: AKDN/Insiya Syed

The international conference entitled “Climate Resilient Pakistan” was co-chaired by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. In the conference, Pakistan presented the Resilient Recovery, Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction Framework (4RF), which laid out a multisectoral strategy for rehabilitation and reconstruction in a climate-resilient and inclusive manner. Pakistan also sought to secure international support and forge long-term partnerships for building Pakistan’s climate resilience and adaptation.

At the invitation of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, and the UN Secretary General, a delegation led by Prince Rahim Aga Khan and his sister Princess Zahra Aga Khan, representing the Ismaili Imamat and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), attended the conference that was held in Geneva at the Palais des Nations. Consistent with the Imamat and AKDN’s enduring commitment to Pakistan, and specifically climate resilience and adaptation, Prince Rahim and Princess Zahra expressed strong support for the 4RF.

Last September the Imamat contributed $10 million towards the response to the unprecedented flooding, and from the onset AKDN has been working to alleviate the impact on vulnerable communities across the country. As the crisis unfolded, thousands of people in affected areas were evacuated to safety, housed with host families or in temporary shelters, and provided with food and medical attention. The Aga Khan University healthcare camps have treated over 400,000 people in flood areas.

Pakistan Floods
An Aga Khan University medical camp, near a village where 200 homes were flooded. The nearest government hospital was approximately 4 kilometres away. Photograph: AKDN/Insiya Syed.

Reacting to the devastating floods, Prince Rahim said last September: “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.”

AKDN’s overall response plan seeks to not only provide immediate humanitarian relief, but like the 4RF, help communities recover and build back with long-term resilience to future disasters. To this end, Prince Rahim and Princess Zahra reiterated the commitment to deepen AKDN’s numerous activities on the ground, in alignment with the 4RF and in continued collaboration with the government, communities and international partners.

In wrapping up the conference, Pakistani Deputy Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said the final tally came in above a target for the international community to meet half of the estimated $16.3 billion needed to respond to the flooding. The rest is expected to come from the Pakistani government itself.

External links: For additional coverage including conference videos of the above event, please click on the following links:

Date posted: January 10, 2023.
Last updated: January 20, 2023 (new item added at top.)

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