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 where “anchor links” have been provided so that readers can zero in on specific items they wish to read. Anchor links are also being inserted on this 2023 page for direct access to news stories — Ed.]
ANCHOR LINKS TO NEWS COVERAGE FROM JANUARY 1, 2023 (CHRONOLOGICAL SEQUENCE)
- January 9, 2023: Prince Rahim Aga Khan and Princess Zahra lead Ismaili Imamat and AKDN delegation to “Climate Resilient Pakistan” conference in Geneva
- January 20, 2023: Prince Rahim Aga Khan attends reception in honour of Dr. Farhad Daftary
- February 13, 2023: Prince Rahim addresses World Government Summit in Dubai
- February 16-21, 2023: Prince Hussain’s Living Sea artwork at Palm Beach Show
- February 24, 2023: Prince Rahim Aga Khan and son Prince Sinan at Lisbon’s Royal Treasure Museum as Ismaili Imamat provides patronage support for acquisition of an exceptional artefact
- March 13, 2023: Prince Rahim Aga Khan at Commonwealth Day Service
- March 18. 2023: Princess Zahra Aga Khan attends AKU 40th anniversary
March 18, 2023: Princess Zahra Aga Khan attends Aga Khan University’s first ever Founder’s Day ON ITS 40TH ANNIVERSARY
On Saturday March 18, 2023, the Aga Khan University (AKU) celebrated in Karachi, Pakistan, the graduation of the Class of 2022, its first-ever Founder’s Day and the University’s 40th anniversary. Simultaneous ceremonies were held in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and broadcast online to an international audience of AKU’s friends and supporters. A total of 777 students graduated from AKU’s global campuses with diplomas and degrees in 19 fields, bringing the total number of diplomas and degrees awarded by the University to more than 19,000, including more than 4,500 in East Africa.
Princess Zahra Aga Khan attended the event in Karachi, and shared a message from Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, Founder and Chancellor of the University, in which he traced the AKU’s 40-year journey from 1983 to the present, calling the University a source of hope and expressing pride in its achievements and confidence in its future.
Mawlana Hazar Imam said:
“Together, all of us are the custodians of the founding vision. Our history gives us every reason to believe that so long as we remain true to that vision, AKU’s light – the light depicted in the University’s seal – will grow ever brighter, helping to illuminate the path to a better future for the people it serves.”
Overseas, the accomplishments of the AKU were noted by Dr. Cen Huang, Vice-Provost and Associate Vice President (International) of the University of Alberta, in the university’s official faculty and staff publication, The Quad. He wrote:
“Since its beginnings in 1983 as the first private university in Pakistan, AKU has quickly grown to become an international and intercontinental university, offering diverse academic programs spanning five countries and numerous teaching sites.
“As a non-profit institution, AKU’s mission is to empower the people of the developing world with the knowledge and skills to realize their highest goals, and it is achieving this vision. AKU was recently ranked among the world’s top 500 universities, among the top 250 universities in medical research, and in the top 30 universities in public health. Accomplishing this much in such a short time in comparatively resource-poor countries in South Asia and East Africa testifies to the commitment of AKU’s leadership, faculty, and staff, and their belief in the institutional mission.” The University of Alberta, which has hundreds of partnerships with institutions and organizations worldwide, has a long-standing engagement with the Aga AKU dating back to 2006.
External links: For additional coverage of Princess Zahra’s visit to Karachi please click on the following links:
- The Ismaili: Mawlana Hazar Imam sends message on AKU Founder’s Day
- VIDEOS: The Ismaili updates AKU40 Episode three and AKU40 Episode four
- Business Recorder: Aga Khan University celebrates Founder’s Day, 40th anniversary
- Dawn: AKU celebrates 40th anniversary on global convocation day
- International The News: AKU marks 40th anniversary with graduation of Class of 2022
- University of Alberta THEQUAD: Reflecting on the U of A’s partnership with the Aga Khan University on their 40th anniversary
MARCH 13, 2023: His Majesty King Charles III Speaks on the occasion of Commonwealth Day, as Prince Rahim Aga Khan Leads the Procession of Loyal Societies
Whether on climate change and biodiversity loss, youth opportunity and education, global health, or economic co-operation, the Commonwealth can play an indispensable role in the most pressing issues of our time. Ours is an association not just of shared values, but of common purpose and joint action — His Majesty King Charles, March 13, 2023
The.Ismaili, the official website of the Ismaili community, reports that Prince Rahim Aga Khan on March 13, 2023, attended the Commonwealth Day Service of Celebration, in the presence of His Majesty The King, Head of the Commonwealth, at Westminster Abbey in London, England. The annual event is organized by the Royal Commonwealth Society of which the late Queen Elizabeth is the patron. Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, is the Vice President of the Governing Body along with The Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland QC, the Commonwealth Secretary-General.
The event was televised by the BBC, and can be viewed on the YouTube link provided above (Prince Rahim is seen shaking hands with the King at around the 1:08:26 hour mark as the King is departing the Abbey at the conclusion of the ceremony. Please also see photograph, below. )
Prince Rahim, representing Mawlana Hazar Imam, led the procession of Loyal Societies in his capacity as Vice President-designate of the Royal Commonwealth Society. Please download the complete PDF file of the proceedings of the day’s events by clicking The Commonwealth Day Service of Celebration. The procession of honoured guests and participants including Prince Rahim appears on page 5 of the PDF document.
Following the event, Prince Rahim met with His Majesty The King, as well as senior members of the royal family and delegates including representatives from other faith communities.
Commonwealth Day is celebrated each year with a multi-faith service at Westminster Abbey. This year, His Majesty delivered his Commonwealth Day message during the service, in his new role as head of the Commonwealth. Please read the official text of the King’s speech below.
The Commonwealth Day Service celebrates the Commonwealth of Nations and provides an opportunity to focus attention on this voluntary association of 56 countries and their commitment to promoting democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and equality for their 2.5 billion citizens. The annual event celebrates the unity, diversity, and linkages of the modern Commonwealth and seeks to foster greater understanding of the Commonwealth’s achievements and role, particularly amongst its young people.
The BBC observed that there was an atmosphere of great happiness around the Abbey during this year’s celebration, and the place was full of life, noise and laughter.
The senior leadership of the UK Ismaili community were also in attendance.
The following is the text of the speech of His Majesty the King as issued on the morning of March 13, 2023, by the Governor General of Canada. Please read the message at source HERE.
March 13, 2023
Commonwealth Day was an occasion of particular pride for my beloved Mother, The late Queen – a treasured opportunity to celebrate our Commonwealth family, to whose service she dedicated her long and remarkable life.
In succeeding Her Majesty as Head of the Commonwealth, I draw great strength from her example, together with all that I have learnt from the extraordinary people I have met, throughout the Commonwealth, over so many years.
The Commonwealth has been a constant in my own life, and yet its diversity continues to amaze and inspire me. Its near-boundless potential as a force for good in the world demands our highest ambition; its sheer scale challenges us to unite and be bold.
This week marks the tenth anniversary of the Charter of the Commonwealth, which gives expression to our defining values — peace and justice; tolerance, respect and solidarity; care for our environment, and for the most vulnerable among us.
These are not simply ideals. In each lies an imperative to act, and to make a practical difference in the lives of the 2.6 billion people who call the Commonwealth home.
Whether on climate change and biodiversity loss, youth opportunity and education, global health, or economic co-operation, the Commonwealth can play an indispensable role in the most pressing issues of our time. Ours is an association not just of shared values, but of common purpose and joint action.
In this we are blessed with the ingenuity and imagination of a third of the world’s population, including one and a half billion people under the age of thirty. Our shared humanity contains such precious diversity of thought, culture, tradition and experience. By listening to each other, we will find so many of the solutions that we seek.
This extraordinary potential, which we hold in common, is more than equal to the challenges we face. It offers us unparalleled strength not merely to face the future, but to build it. Here, the Commonwealth has an incredible opportunity, and responsibility, to create a genuinely durable future — one that offers the kind of prosperity that is in harmony with Nature and that will also secure our unique and only planet for generations to come.
The myriad connections between our nations have sustained and enriched us for more than seven decades. Our commitment to peace, progress and opportunity will sustain us for many more.
Let ours be a Commonwealth that not only stands together, but strives together, in restless and practical pursuit of the global common good.
FEBRUARY 24, 2023: Prince Rahim Aga Khan and son Prince Sinan at Lisbon’s Royal Treasure Museum as Ismaili Imamat provides patronage support for acquisition of an exceptional artefact
On Friday, February 24, 2023, at the invitation of Pedro Adão e Silva, Portugal’s Minister of Culture, the President of the Portuguese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, visited Museu do Tesouro Real (the Royal Treasury Museum), in Lisbon, accompanied by Prince Rahim Aga Khan. The occasion was to mark the patronage support of the Ismaili Imamat in the acquisition of an exceptional 16th-century silver salver — a traditional serving tray — for the permanent collection of the museum.
Prince Rahim’s younger son Prince Sinan, who celebrated his 6th birthday on January 2, joined his father for the occasion. Present at the event were the Secretary of State for Culture, Isabel Cordeiro; the Museum Director, José Alberto Ribeiro; the Diplomatic Representative of the Ismaili Imamat to Portugal, Nazim Ahmad; and the President of the Aga Khan Ismaili Council for Portugal, Rahim Firozali. The group viewed the silver salver and other noteworthy pieces, highlighting the importance of their joint endeavour to safeguard Portugal’s historic cultural landscape.
External links: For additional coverage of Prince Rahim and Prince Sinan’s visit to the Royal Treasury Museum, please click on the following link(s):
- The Ismaili: Prince Rahim and the President of Portugal visit the Royal Treasure Museum
- The President of Portugal: Visita ao Museu do Tesouro Real com o Príncipe Rahim Aga Khan
FEBRUARY 16-21, 2023: PRINCE HUSSAIN’S the living sea AT PALM BEACH SHOW
I took this photograph [dolphin photo, 3rd photo below] in Sataya, Egypt. I was running out of breath. I went below the surface a bit and this dolphin was rising up to my feet. My camera wasn’t working. Finally, he was at my chest and the camera still didn’t shoot. He went just above me and I looked up, arched my back, and I clicked. It worked. I had zero air left in my lungs — Prince Hussain Aga Khan, Arab News
Prince Hussain Aga Khan, second son of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, is presenting his series The Living Sea, comprised of works from numerous photographic deep sea expeditions, spanning a multitude of marine species, at the 2023 Palm Beach Show from February 16-21, at the Palm Beach Convention Centre.
On Thursday, February 16, the Prince was scheduled to give a talk at his booth under the topic “Souls of the Sea.”
According to a programming note issued by the organizers of the Palm Beach Show, Prince Hussain’s works are exhibited with Galerie Gmurzynska. For this year’s show, the Galerie seeks to bring together international masters such as count Pablo Picasso, Constantin Brancusi, Francis Picabia and others who pioneered the abstraction of the human figure. It is alongside these masters and in the exclusive charitable benefit of Focused on Nature (FON) that Prince Hussain Aga Khan’s fine art undersea photography is being presented.
Prince Hussain’s exhibition in Palm Beach has been reported in The Arab News dated February 17, in which the Prince expresses his passion for wildlife since he was 8 years old. The Prince mentions that he has been self-taught using the camera. He notes, “I’ve always loved wildlife photography; I’d buy books on it and watch David Attenborough and Jacques Cousteau documentaries when I was younger. I’m living the dream I had as a kid.”
The Arab News report also provides a very interesting account of the Prince’s encounter with a spinner dolphin in Sataya, Egypt, in December 2014. The iconic dolphin photo, shown above, is on the front cover of his beautiful book “Diving Into Wildlife,” signed copies of which can be purchased through this (Barakah) website. In the caption to the dolphin photo, Prince Hussain writes that this was the friendliest dolphin he saw in Sataya. He adds, “No other dolphin came even half as close to me. Much to my immense frustration, this is the only image I captured of the dolphin even though it performed a full spiral around me.”
FEBRUARY 13, 2023: Prince Rahim addresses World Government Summit in Dubai; watch video excerpt
The Qur’an teaches us that as God’s noblest creation, humankind is entrusted with the stewardship of all that is on Earth, and that each generation must leave for its successors a wholesome and healthy social and physical environment. Stewardship of the environment, care for the natural world, sharing of resources, recognition of beauty as a divine blessing, and an environmental ethic are the principles that helped guide the planning of early Muslim cities — Prince Rahim Aga Khan, World Government Summit, Dubai, February 13, 2023.
During a unique plenary keynote session at the World Government Summit being held in Dubai from February 13-15, 2023, Prince Rahim Aga Khan, Chairman of Environment and Climate Committee at the Aga Khan Development Network, spoke on the opening day on the urgent action we must take as a global community to advance progress and tackle climate change. Omar Sultan Al Olama Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications and Managing Director of the World Government Summit Organisation warmly welcomed Prince Rahim’s participation at the Summit. Prince Rahim’s speech can be seen in the following YouTube video from approximately the 7:12:10 hour mark to 7:22. Also, Barakah has presented the full speech thematically.
Introduction to Prince Rahim followed by his speech commences shortly after the 7:12:00 hour mark.
We also have a brief excerpt from Prince Rahim’s speech posted in Twitter below, following which we have external links providing textual coverage of the summit and Prince Rahim’s speech.
External links: For additional coverage of Prince Rahim’s speech at the World Government Summit, please click on the following link(s):
- Emirates News Agency: Prince Rahim calls for sustainable approach to city design at the World Government Summit 2023
- The Ismaili: Prince Rahim addresses World Government Summit in Dubai
- World Government Summit: Agenda for February 13, 2023 (Prince Rahim noted at 15:45 — 15:55 hour)
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
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.
“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.”
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
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:
- The Ismaili: IIS honours Dr Farhad Daftary on his retirement as co-director
- IIS: IIS Honours Dr Farhad Daftary on his Retirement as Co-Director
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.
January 9, 2023: Prince Rahim Aga Khan and Princess Zahra lead Ismaili Imamat and AKDN delegation to “climate resilient pakistan” conference IN gENEVA
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.
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.
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:
- Voice of America: Pakistan Hails Global Pledges of $9.7 Billion for Flood Rebuilding
- UNDP: Co-Chairs Summary International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan
- AKDN Attends the International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan
Date posted: January 10, 2023.
Last updated: March 24, 2023 (new item added at top.)
Barakah welcomes your feedback. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.
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.