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DUBAI NEWS from major newspapers

 
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:45 am    Post subject: DUBAI NEWS from major newspapers Reply with quote

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2008/March/theuae_March728.xml&section=theuae&col

Aga Khan to open Ismaili Centre on March 26

By a staff reporter

23 March 2008

DUBAI - The Ismaili Centre in Dubai will be opened on March 26 by The Aga Khan. As the fourth Ismaili Centre in the world and the first in the Middle East, the opening of this centre is historic for the community.

Situated on Oud Metha Road, the centre introduces a timeless statement of Islamic architecture to the contemporary landscape of the Middle East. With the state-of-the-art facilities for lectures, presentations, seminars and conferences, the Ismaili Centre Dubai will host initiatives to enrich dialogue in areas of social, economic and cultural endeavour as well as recitals and exhibitions to educate people on Islamic heritage.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.xpress4me.com/news/uae/dubai/20006513.html

Published: March 25, 2008
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
First Ismaili Centre in Middle East

XPRESS

http://www.xpress4me.com/news/uae/dubai/20006513.html

The first Ismaili Centre in the Middle East will be formally opened on Wednesday in Dubai by the spiritual head of the Ismaili community, the Aga Khan. The centre has been built on 13,000 square metres of land in the Oud Metha area and the foundation stone was laid in 2003.

The land for the centre was presented by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to the Aga Khan in 1982, on the occasion of the silver jubilee of the latter’s accession to the leadership of the Ismaili community, a release stated on Monday.

Designed by Rami El Dahan and Soheir Farid of El Dahan and Farid Engineering Consultants from Cairo, the building, inspired by Fatimid architecture of old Egypt and Syria, emanates the spirit of Islam, the release said. Adjacent to the Centre, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) has developed a 3,000 square metre park, as a gift from Aga Khan to Dubai. The park was designed by renowned landscape architect Maher Stino, who also designed the 74- acres Azhar Park in Cairo Egypt, another AKTC project.

The Dubai centre is the fourth Ismaili Centre in the world, comparable in scope and noted architectural standing to existing major centres in London, Vancouver, and Lisbon, Portugal. Plans for Ismaili Centres in Dushanbe, Tajikistan and Toronto, Canada are in advanced stages of development.

The Aga Khan is travelling to a number of countries around the world to launch and inaugurate major development projects and to meet with members of the Ismaili community as part of his Golden Jubilee celebrations. He is currently in the United Arab Emirates on a four-day visit to the country.

Aga Khan became the spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslims in 1957 after the death of his grandfather, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan. He is founder and Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), a group of private, non-denominational development agencies working to empower communities and individuals to improve living conditions and opportunities, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East.

© Copyright 2007 Al Nisr Media FZ LLC. All rights reserved
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.xpress4me.com/news/uae/abudhabi/20006515.html

Published: March 25, 2008
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hamdan receives Agha Khan

WAM

http://www.xpress4me.com/news/uae/abudhabi/20006515.html

Abu Dhabi: Shaikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister received here today Prince Agha Khan, leader of the Ismaili Sect.

Shaikh Hamdan and Prince Khan reviewed a number educational, social and developmental projects being implemented by the Agha Khan Network in Arab and Islamic countries.

Present at the meeting were Shaikh Tahnoun Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Emiri Flight Authority, Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Shaikh Mohammed Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan.

© Copyright 2007 Al Nisr Media FZ LLC. All rights reserved
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mohammed bin Zayed receives Prince Aga Khan
posted on 25/03/2008

General/ HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces received in Abu Dhabi yesterday HH Prince Aga Khan, Leader of the Ismaili community who is currently visiting the country along with his daughter Princess Zahra and his son Prince Rahim.

Present during the meeting was Foreign Minister HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Sheikh Mohammed welcomed Prince Aga Khan and discussed with him progress of the development, charity and services scheme undertaken by the Aga Khan Foundation. They stressed the important role played by the Non Government Organisations (NGOs) and international organisations in humanitarian and their contribution to improving living standards of poor people, regardless of their nationality, background or creed.

Also discussed was UAE as place that hosts people from different religions and cultures, thanks to the wise policy of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Prince Aga Khan praised UAE as a model for harmony and peaceful co-existence among different communities.

Prince Aga Khan became the spiritual leader of Ismaili Muslim community in 1957 following the death of his father Sir Sultan Mohammed Shah Aga Khan. He is the Chairman of Aga Khan Foundation. Princess Zahra heads the social welfare section at the Aga Khan Foundation, while Prince Rahim Aga Khan acts as the Executive Director of the Foundation. - Emirates

News Agency, WAM XB
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

23 March 2008 DUBAI Hamdan meets with Aga Khan - 03/25/2008 12:34 AM | WAM - Abu Dhabi: Shaikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, on Monday received Prince Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the Islamic Ismaili sect. Shaikh Hamdan and Aga Khan reviewed a number of educational, social and developmental projects implemented by the Aga Khan Foundation in Arab and Islamic countries. Among those present was Shaikh Tahnoun Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Emiri Flight Authority. [http://www.gulfnews.com/nation/Government/10200089.html]
Photo:



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Aga Khan opening Ismaili Centre

Aga Khan opens Ismaili centre in Dubai

22-million-dollar Centre is fourth in the world for the 15-million-strong Ismaili community.

DUBAI - The Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the world's Shiite Ismaili Muslims, on Wednesday inaugurated an Ismaili cultural centre in the Gulf emirate of Dubai, the first of its kind in the Middle East.

The Ismaili Centre, which houses a library and will host conferences and an early childhood education programme, will serve as "a place for peaceful contemplation," he said at the inauguration ceremony.

"It is not a place to hide from the world, but rather a place which inspires us to engage our worldly work as a direct extension of our faith," the Aga Khan said.

The centre is the fourth for the 15-million-strong Ismaili community. Others are in London, Lisbon and Vancouver.

Around one million members of the Shiite sect live in the Middle East.

The 71-year-old Aga Khan, who is based in France and has been the "imam" of the Ismaili community for half a century, said the choice of Dubai as venue was driven by the "diversity" that characterises the city state, which is home to some 1.4 million people, mostly foreigners.

Dubai, one of the seven members of the United Arab Emirates, has become "a truly global crossroads" and "the very embodiment of the global village," he said.

The inauguration was attended by Sheikh Ahmad bin Saeed al-Maktoum, a member of Dubai's ruling family and chairman of the city state's carrier Emirates, and by UAE Higher Education and Scientific Research Minister Sheikh Nahayan bin Mubarak al-Nahayan.

Officials at the centre said it took four years to build and cost 22 million dollars.

"The variety of expressions within Islam is not a curse but a mercy," said the Aga Khan, referring to various Sunni and Shiite sects.

Up to 8,000 Ismailis, mostly expatriates, live in the UAE. Members of the sect are scattered across the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and central Asia. Ismailis can also be found in Africa with smaller numbers residing in Europe and the United States.

****
http://www.gulfnews.com/nation/General/10200494.html
Aga Khan opens Ismaili Centre in Dubai
By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter
Published: March 26, 2008, 15:57

Dubai: Prince Karim Aga Khan, Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shiite Ismaili Muslims, on Wednesday said the new Ismaili Centre in Dubai is a place for peaceful contemplation.

"It is not a place to hide from the world, but rather a place which inspires us to engage our worldly work as a direct extension of our faith," the Aga Khan told a big gathering at the opening of the Ismaili Centre in Dubai.

The gathering mainly comprised of Ismaili community members who traveled to Dubai from around the world to participate in the event.

The centre has been built on land donated by High Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Aga Khan, who is the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shiite Ismaili Muslims, thanked Shaikh Mohammad for his generosity and said: "We welcome our new Ismaili Centre in a setting which has itself become a great hub of cosmopolitan activity and truly global crossroads. We hear a great deal these days the words ‘convergence’ and ‘connectivity’. In my judgment, Dubai is a place where those words truly come to life."

He said Dubai has become a very embodiment of the global village, placing itself at the forefront of an enormous surge towards global convergence.

"Shaikh Mohammad has provided a powerful example of how the ethics of our Islamic faith can be taken into the world, through his affirmation of a pillar of Islamic values, the spirit of generosity towards others," he said.

About the new Ismaili Centre, Aga Khan said the new centre is itself a profoundly spiritual place. "It's a defining symbolism inspired by the Fatimid tradition — going back to over 1,000 years – and widely shared with sister traditions throughout the Islamic world, from Baghdad to Bokhara," explained the Aga Khan.

He said the centre in Dubai is planned with a view to becoming a landmark in the cosmopolitan cultural picture of the city. The opening of the centre also coincided with the golden jubilee celebrations of Aga Khan being Imam of the Ismaili Muslim community for the last 50 years.

The Aga Khan Cultural Trust has also developed a park next to the Ismaili Centre as a gift from Aga Khan to Dubai residents. The 3,000sq/m park has been conceived as a neighbourhood garden based upon the concept of Islamic gardens.

The new centre in Dubai is the fourth Ismaili Centre in the world with other three in London, Vancouver and Lisbon. The centre offers a range of cultural and educational activities.

The centre in Dubai has been built over an area of about 13,000sq/m and also houses an early learning centre which has intake capacity of 225 children.

The centre will provide facilities to promote cultural, educational and social programmes from the broadest, non-denominational perspective within the ethical framework of Islam.

****
http://www.tradearabia.com/news/CONS_140778.html

Ismaili Centre opens in Dubai
Dubai:


Aga Khan has officially opened the Ismaili Centre Dubai on a land gifted by the ruling family of the emirate.

The land for the centre, situated in Oud Metha on 13,000 square metres, was presented by the UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Dubai ruler Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to Aga Khan in 1982, on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of the Aga Khan's accession to the leadership of the Ismaili Muslims, the group said in a statement.

Set amidst the diversity of Dubai's architectural landscape, the Ismaili Centre is a unique expression of architecture, carefully integrating traditional features and materials.

Designed by Rami El Dahan and Soheir Farid of El Dahan & Farid Engineering Consultants from Cairo, the building was inspired by Fatimid architecture of old Egypt and Syria.

Adjacent to the centre, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) has developed a 3,000 square metre park, which was designed by renowned landscape architect Maher Stino, who also designed the 74- acres Azhar Park in Cairo Egypt, another AKTC project.

The centre is the fourth Ismaili Centre in the world, comparable in scope and noted architectural standing to existing major centres in London, United Kingdom; Vancouver, Canada; and Lisbon, Portugal.

The centres offer a range of cultural and educational activities, non- denominational in nature in the cities in which they are located. Plans for Ismaili Centres in Dushanbe, Tajikistan and Toronto, Canada are in advanced stages of development, the group said. – TradeArabia News Service

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hS5_IDr851ubx34yoJZutg2DAzhw

photo:

Aga Khan opens Ismaili centre in Dubai

5 hours ago

DUBAI (AFP) — The Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the world's Shiite Ismaili Muslims, on Wednesday inaugurated an Ismaili cultural centre in the Gulf emirate of Dubai, the first of its kind in the Middle East.

The Ismaili Centre, which houses a library and will host conferences and an early childhood education programme, will serve as "a place for peaceful contemplation," he said at the inauguration ceremony.

"It is not a place to hide from the world, but rather a place which inspires us to engage our worldly work as a direct extension of our faith," the Aga Khan said.

The centre is the fourth for the 15-million-strong Ismaili community. Others are in London, Lisbon and Vancouver.

Around one million members of the Shiite sect live in the Middle East.

The 71-year-old Aga Khan, who is based in France and has been the "imam" of the Ismaili community for half a century, said the choice of Dubai as venue was driven by the "diversity" that characterises the city state, which is home to some 1.4 million people, mostly foreigners.

Dubai, one of the seven members of the United Arab Emirates, has become "a truly global crossroads" and "the very embodiment of the global village," he said.

The inauguration was attended by Sheikh Ahmad bin Saeed al-Maktoum, a member of Dubai's ruling family and chairman of the city state's carrier Emirates, and by UAE Higher Education and Scientific Research Minister Sheikh Nahayan bin Mubarak al-Nahayan.

Officials at the centre said it took four years to build and cost 22 million dollars.

"The variety of expressions within Islam is not a curse but a mercy," said the Aga Khan, referring to various Sunni and Shiite sects.

Up to 8,000 Ismailis, mostly expatriates, live in the UAE. Members of the sect are scattered across the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and central Asia. Ismailis can also be found in Africa with smaller numbers residing in Europe and the United States.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.bi-me.com/main.php?id=18556&t=1&c=33&cg=4

Aga Khan opens Ismaili Centre, first for Middle East

Author: BI-ME staff
Source: BI-ME and agencies
Published: 26 March 2008

UAE. The Aga Khan, leader of the world's Ismaili Muslims, this week opened a cultural centre in Dubai for followers of the branch of Shia Islam.

The Ismaili Centre Dubai is the first base for Ismailis in the majority-Sunni Muslim Middle East. The Aga Khan is the 49th hereditary imam, or spiritual leader, of the Ismailis, the second-largest group of Shiites.

"This is a means of establishing a permanent cultural root in one area,'' the Aga Khan said today in an interview after opening the centre.

He founded the Geneva-based Aga Khan Development Network, which has established several agencies in Syria and Egypt that focus on microfinance, education and culture to improve local living conditions. Dubai's Ruler HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al- Maktoum, donated the land for the centre in 1982, a gesture that is a "symbol of the wonderful diversity that characterises Dubai,'' the Aga Khan said.

Dubai has become a regional business and tourism destination, attracting expatriates who use it as a base for accessing the rest of the Gulf region.

The role of the Dubai Ismaili Centre, the fourth in the world after London, Lisbon and Vancouver, is to bring together the secular and the spiritual to emphasise the role of "Islam as a thinking, spiritual faith,'' according to a statement from the Aga Khan's secretariat. The United Arab Emirates location includes a prayer hall, as well as a secular pre-school, and will hold conferences and public exhibitions on Islam's heritage.

"There is a long tradition, certainly in the Emirates, of tolerance and accommodating the practices and beliefs of the immigrant communities,'' Anthony Harris, former UK Ambassador to the UAE, said in a Bloomberg interview.

The Ismaili Centre's Egyptian architects, El Dahan & Farid Engineering Consultants, were inspired by the Fatimid Empire in Cairo, which dominates accounts of Ismaili history for about 400 hundred years after the founding of Islam in the seventh century.

"That's where Ismaili history lies,'' Azim Nanji, Professor of Islamic Studies at Stanford University in California and Director of the London-based Institute of Ismaili Studies, said today during a tour of the Centre. "That period in Egypt was such a fertile time for creativity, and this center is a way to bring that ethos back again.''

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2008/March/theuae_March813.xml&section=theuae&col

Aga Khan to open Ismaili centre today
By a staff reporter

26 March 2008


DUBAI - Prince Karim Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of Ismaili Muslims, will preside over the official opening of the Ismaili Centre Dubai today.

The ceremony will be attended by a senior dignitary of the UAE.

The Ismaili Centre is located on Oud Metha on 13,000 sq. metres of land.
The land was gifted by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, to Aga Khan in 1982, on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of the Aga Khan’s accession to the leadership of the Ismaili Muslims.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.sheikhmohammed.co.ae/vgn-ext-templating/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=e06fc4b62dbb4110VgnVCM100000b0140a0aRCRD&appInstanceName=defaultt

Photo:

http://www.sheikhmohammed.co.ae/StaticFiles/Content%20for%20Arabic%20site/Static%20Files/News/Sheikh%20News/Photos/2008/March/26-03/March-26-08-Project-B1-a.jpg

http://www.sheikhmohammed.co.ae/StaticFiles/Content%20for%20Arabic%20site/Static%20Files/News/Sheikh%20News/Photos/2008/March/26-03/March-26-08-Project-B1-a.jpg

http://www.wam.org.ae/servlet/Satellite?blobcol=urlhighres&blobheader=image%2Fpng&blobheadername1=Content-Type&blobheadervalue1=image%2Fpng&blobkey=id&blobtable=WamPhoto&blobwhere=1200073918147&ssbinary=true&cs.session=false
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.angolapress-angop.ao/noticia-f.asp?ID=605366

EMIRATS: Ouverture à Dubaï d`un centre culturel pour les chiites ismaéliens du PO

DUBAI, 26/03 - L`Aga Khan, chef spirituel des Ismaéliens, a ouvert mercredi à Dubaï un centre culturel ismaélien, le premier au Moyen-Orient où vivent un million d`adeptes de cette branche de l`islam chiite.

Le centre, qui abrite une bibliothèque et un jardin d`enfants et où seront animées des conférences, "est un lieu de contemplation pacifique, mais (...) pas pour se couper du monde", a déclaré l`Agha Khan, présenté comme "l`imam des musulmans chiites ismaéliens", au nombre de quelque 15 millions dans le monde.

Selon lui, le choix de Dubaï pour le centre, le quatrième du genre dans le monde après ceux de Londres, de Lisbonne et de Vancouver (Canada), a été motivé par "la diversité" de la population de l`émirat, marqué par un brassage culturel entre ses 1,4 million d`habitants, en majorité des étrangers.

Etabli en France, l`Aga Khan, 71 ans, à la tête des communautés ismaéliennes dans le monde depuis 1957, a estimé que "la variété des expressions en islam ne constitue pas une malédiction, mais une chance", en référence aux différents courants sunnites et chiites qui traversent le monde musulman.

"Un esprit de courtoisie (envers les autres religions) peut devenir une formidable contribution de l`islam à l`avenir de la région et du monde", a-t-il ajouté.

Un membre de la famille régnante à Dubaï, cheikh Ahmed Ben Saïd Al-Maktoum, président de la compagnie aérienne Emirates, et le ministre émirati de l`Enseignement supérieur, cheikh Nahyane Ben Moubarak Al-Nahyane, ont assisté à la cérémonie d`inauguration de ce Centre culturel, construit en quatre ans pour un coût estimé par ses promoteurs à 22 millions de dollars.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.gulfnews.com/nation/Heritage_and_Culture/10200531.html

Photo: http://www.gulfnews.com/images/08/03/26/27_ae_ismaili_centre01_4.jpg

New Ismaili centre offers a place for 'contemplation'

By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter
Published: March 27, 2008, 00:18

Dubai: Prince Karim Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the Shiite Ismaili Muslims, yesterday said that the new Ismaili Centre in Dubai is a place for peaceful contemplation.

"It is not a place to hide from the world, but rather a place which inspires us to engage our worldly work as a direct extension of our faith," the Aga Khan told a big gathering at the opening of the Ismaili Centre in Dubai. The gathering mainly comprised of Ismaili community members who travelled to Dubai from around the world to participate in the event.

Also present were Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and CEO of Emirates Group; and Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

The centre has been built on a piece of land donated by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The Aga Khan, who is the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shiite Ismaili Muslims, thanked Shaikh Mohammad for his generosity and said: "We welcome our new Ismaili Centre in a setting which has itself become a great hub of cosmopolitan activity and truly global crossroads. We hear a great deal these days about the words 'convergence' and 'connectivity'. In my judgment, Dubai is a place where those words truly come to life."

Global village

He noted that Dubai has become the very embodiment of the global village, placing itself at the forefront of an enormous surge towards global convergence.

"Shaikh Mohammad has provided a powerful example of how the ethics of our Islamic faith can be taken into the world, through his affirmation of a pillar of Islamic values and the spirit of generosity towards others," he added.

About the new Ismaili Centre, the Aga Khan said the new centre is itself a profoundly spiritual place. "Its defining symbolism is inspired by the Fatimid tradition-stretching back over 1,000 years and widely shared with sister traditions throughout the Islamic world-from Baghdad to Bokhara," explained the Aga Khan.

He said the centre in Dubai is planned with a view to becoming a landmark in the cosmopolitan cultural picture of the city.

The opening of the centre also coincided with the golden jubilee celebrations of the Aga Khan being Imam of the Ismaili Muslim community for the last 50 years. The Aga Khan Cultural Trust has developed a park next to the Ismaili Centre as a gift from the Aga Khan to Dubai residents.

Facilities

Learning centre

The new centre in Dubai is the fourth Ismaili Centre in the world with the other three in London, Vancouver and Lisbon. The centre offers a range of cultural and educational activities.

The centre in Dubai has been built over an area of about 13,000 sq m and also houses an early learning centre which has a capacity for 225 children. The centre will provide facilities to promote cultural, educational and social programmes from the broadest, non-denominational perspective within the ethical framework of Islam.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FLASH NEWS: 2008, March 28 and 29 Princess Zahra and H.H. The Aga Khan's horses are running in Dubai at Nadel Sheba, Dubai Sheema Classic saturday 29 march. DARJINA is a filly owned by P Zahra who has good record in French Races. Her jockey would be wearing Brown & Green colours whilst MOURILYAN will have red & green colours of The Aga Khan. It is unknown if the visit will be extended to watch the the race on Saturday with The Shaikh's family.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=4&Article_id=90263
Lebanon

Photo: http://www.dailystar.com.lb//admin/storage/articles/2008326215990.10-THIRD.JPG

Photo is different but article same as AFP

Posted on 27 march on Dailystar [Lebanon] web site
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dubai unveils culture projects
http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hI26Fz_rIjxrx_9tVqjLUDJcJeSQ
1 hour ago

DUBAI (AFP) — The Gulf emirate of Dubai announced on Wednesday plans to build a series of cultural projects such as libraries, theatres and museums, including one dedicated to the Muslim Prophet Mohammed.

The Khor Dubai project, named after the shallow lagoon which divides the city-state in two, aims to add a cultural dimension to the popular tourist hub, which is part of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates.

The scheme will see construction of libraries, theatres, art galleries, cultural institutes, an opera house and more than 10 thematic museums at sites throughout the city.

The project was launched by UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed al-Maktoum, who is also ruler of Dubai, and will include the world's first Mohammed museum dedicated to spreading the legacy and message of Islam.

Plans for facility were announced in Dubai earlier this month amid widespread Muslim anger over the reprinting in Denmark of cartoons deemed offensive to Islam's founder.

Organisers said the joint public-private sector project will "celebrate Dubai's cultural diversity and showcase the emirate's rich past, dynamic present and promising future."

The UAE is a predominantly Muslim country, but Dubai is home to people from scores of nationalities and draws millions of visitors every year.

Dubai already boasts a multitude of extravagant ventures, including man-made islands, the world's tallest tower, and Dubailand -- a cluster of multi-billion-dollar projects touted as the Orlando of the Middle East.

The announcement comes on the day the Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the world's Shiite Ismaili Muslims, inaugurated an Ismaili cultural centre in Dubai, the first of its kind in the Middle East.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601104&sid=aYp5_ELkfTng&refer=mideast

Aga Khan Opens Ismaili Center, Middle East's First (Update2)

By Ayesha Daya and Zainab Fattah

March 26 (Bloomberg) -- The Aga Khan, leader of the world's Ismaili Muslims, opened a cultural center in Dubai for followers of the branch of Shia Islam.

The Ismaili Centre Dubai is the first base for Ismailis in the majority-Sunni Muslim Middle East. The Aga Khan, 71, is the 49th hereditary imam, or spiritual leader, of the Ismailis, the second-largest group of Shiites.

``This is a means of establishing a permanent cultural root in one area,'' the Aga Khan said today in an interview after opening the center.

He founded the Geneva-based Aga Khan Development Network, which has established several agencies in Syria and Egypt that focus on microfinance, education and culture to improve local living conditions. Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al- Maktoum, donated the land for the center in 1982, a gesture that is a ``symbol of the wonderful diversity that characterizes Dubai,'' the Aga Khan said.

Dubai has become a regional business and tourism destination, attracting expatriates who use it as a base for accessing the rest of the Gulf region.

The role of the Dubai Ismaili center, the fourth in the world after London, Lisbon and Vancouver, is to bring together the secular and the spiritual to emphasize the role of ``Islam as a thinking, spiritual faith,'' according to a statement from the Aga Khan's secretariat. The United Arab Emirates location includes a prayer hall, as well as a secular preschool, and will hold conferences and public exhibitions on Islam's heritage.

Tradition of Tolerance

``There is a long tradition, certainly in the Emirates, of tolerance and accommodating the practices and beliefs of the immigrant communities,'' Anthony Harris, former U.K. ambassador to the U.A.E., said in a telephone interview from Dubai.

Earlier this month, Qatar opened its first church since pre- Islamic times. Qatar joined Kuwait, the U.A.E. and Bahrain in allowing churches to be built to serve the 70,000 Christians living in the Arabian Peninsula.

The center's Egyptian architects, El Dahan & Farid Engineering Consultants, were inspired by the Fatimid Empire in Cairo, which dominates accounts of Ismaili history for about 400 hundred years after the founding of Islam in the seventh century.

``That's where Ismaili history lies,'' Azim Nanji, professor of Islamic Studies at Stanford University in California and director of the London-based Institute of Ismaili Studies, said today during a tour of the center. ``That period in Egypt was such a fertile time for creativity, and this center is a way to bring that ethos back again.''

About 85 percent of the world's Muslims are Sunni, while some 15 percent are from Shia and other minority branches.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ayesha Daya in Dubai at adaya1@bloomberg.net; Zainab Fattah in Dubai at zfattah@bloomberg.net.

Last Updated: March 26, 2008 10:39 EDT
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are other interesting, hopeful and progressive news coming out of the Middle East coinciding with MHI's visit to Dubai below.

http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=25022

2008-03-25
Saudi king wants inter-faith talks to include Judaism
King Abdullah asks Christians, Jews to meet Muslim counterparts for dialogue among civilizations.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
RIYADH - Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah on Monday proposed inter-faith talks between Muslims, Christians and Jews in a first for the ultra-conservative kingdom, the official SPA news agency reported.

"I ask representatives of all the monotheistic religions to meet with their brothers in faith," the king told delegates to a seminar on "Dialogue Among Civilisations between Japan and the Islamic World."


SPA reported that top Saudi clerics had given the green light for the idea, and that Muslim leaders from other countries would now be consulted.


"If God wills it, we will then meet with our brothers from other religions, including those of the Torah and the Gospel... to come up with ways to safeguard humanity," the king said.


The news agency said he also intended to address the United Nations on the subject.


"We have lost sincerity, morals, fidelity and attachment to our religions and to humanity," the king said, deploring "the disintegration of the family and the rise of atheism in the world -- a frightening phenomenon that all religions must confront and vanquish."


The monarch did not say where he hoped the proposed dialogue would take place.


He said he had discussed the project, which he has been mulling over for two years, with Pope Benedict XVI during his landmark visit to the Vatican last November.


Saudi Arabia and the Vatican do not have diplomatic relations.

****
US to attend inter-faith dialogue




By Our Correspondent

WASHINGTON, March 26: The United States on Wednesday welcomed Saudi King Abdullah’s initiative for dialogue among Muslims, Christians and Jews and will send its envoy to participate in the proposed talks.

“The dialogue is always encouraging,” said Sada Cumber, special US envoy to the Organisation of Islamic conference. “We will attend the meeting.”

The Saudi king made an impassioned plea for dialogue among the followers of the three faiths in Riyadh on Monday and offered to call a meeting of their representatives in the kingdom.

The call – the first of its kind by an Arab leader – has generated much interest in such a dialogue and representatives of all three faiths have welcomed the idea.

The specifics of the proposed meeting are still being worked out.

Mr Cumber, who is an American Muslim of Pakistani origin and the first US envoy to the OIC, said the United States wishes to stay engaged with the Muslim community around the world.

The United States, he said, has proposed three areas of cooperation — science and technology, women’s rights and education — and noted that such cooperation would help promote a better understanding between the Islamic and Western worlds.

He said that five to seven million Muslims living in the US enjoy high quality of life, freedom of expression and a respect of their religion and they can play a significant role in bridging differences between the two worlds.

Mr Cumber said that while as a Muslim he condemns the cartoons that make fun of religious beliefs, he also understands that freedom of expression was an integral part of the Western culture.

“In the United States, what we do not like we can reject and I reject those cartoons” he said. “But if you are asking me to give away that freedom; I am not prepared to do that.”

http://www.dawn.com/2008/03/27/top10.htm
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, His Highness the Aga Khan and His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum at the opening of the Ismaili Centre Dubai. Photo at



Aga Khan opens the Middle East's first Ismaili Centre

His Highness the Aga Khan, Spiritual Leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslims has recently officially opened an Ismaili Centre in Dubai - the fast growing metropolis of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

* United Arab Emirates: Sunday, March 30 - 2008 at 13:09
* PRESS RELEASE


The Ismaili Centre Dubai is the fourth such institution in the world and the first in the Middle East. The opening ceremony was attended by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan - senior members of the ruling families.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Aga Khan hailed Dubai as a truly cosmopolitan city and global crossroads that thrives on diversity.

'The Dubai ethic is one that honours a generous exchange of knowledge and ideas, that welcomes the opportunity to learn from others, that celebrates not only our historic identities but also our open horizons,' he said.

'The ethic of exploration and interconnectedness is one that is deeply shared by the Ismaili Community,' said the Aga Khan. 'It is an ethic, in fact, that is firmly rooted in our faith - a value system which grows from spiritual roots,' he added.

His Highness the Aga Khan recalled that it was the Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, who donated the land for the construction of the Centre on the occasion of the Aga Khan's Silver Jubilee in 1982, and that it was His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum who attended the ground breaking ceremony for the building five years ago. He thanked the ruling family for their continued support and their presence at the opening event.

'I am particularly pleased that you, Your Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum have again honoured us with your presence today,' he said.

The Aga Khan was accompanied at the ceremony by his elder son, Prince Rahim Aga Khan and his daughter, Princess Zahra Aga Khan.

The Ismaili Centre is a domed structure inspired by the Fatimid architecture of old Egypt and Syria that is infused by the spirit of Islam. The Centre was erected with the use of traditional materials and craftsmanship. Its seven domes were built in brick and wood by Kashmiri masons equipped with increasingly rare traditional construction skills.

The 13,000 square metres of land located in Dubai's Oud Metha district was designed by Rami El Dahan and Soheir Farid of El Dahan & Farid Engineering Consultants from Cairo, Egypt. Adjacent to the Centre is also a 3,000 square metre park created by the renowned landscape architect, Maher Stino, who also designed the 74- acres Azhar Park in Cairo -- a project of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.

The Ismaili Centre Dubai will house an Early Learning Centre which will offer an educational programme to young children on a secular and non-denominational basis at the highest international standards of excellence.

The Centre is the fourth in the world, comparable in scope and noted architectural standing to the Ismaili centres in London, United Kingdom; Vancouver, Canada; and Lisbon, Portugal. The Centres offer a range of cultural and educational activities, non- denominational in nature, in the cities in which they are located.

Ismaili Centres, in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, and Toronto, Canada, are in advanced stages of development.[url][/url]
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The architect of universal good

http://archive.gulfnews.com/articles/08/04/17/10206325.html


04/18/2008 12:28 AM | By Ashfaq Ahmed, Staff Writer


The global Muslim "Umma" needs to develop a form of democracy that fits its social, ethnic, religious and economic structure, said Prince Karim Aga Khan, Imam of the Ismaili Muslim community.


"We have to look at the nature of democracy because I don't believe that one shape fits all. I believe the Umma, like many other parts of the world, needs to develop its own form of democracy to overcome the issues Muslims are facing," he said.


The Aga Khan noted that the Muslim Umma today is highly pluralistic and that it is going to function as a body of brotherly states.

"Acceptance of pluralism and investing in pluralism is to be one of the principles we have to look at to resolve issues facing the Muslims," he said.

In an exclusive interview with Weekend Review during his visit to Dubai, where he inaugurated the Ismaili Centre, the Aga Khan said the problems of extremism and terrorism have nothing to do with Islam.

"I personally don't ascribe these to Islam. I ascribe these to a portfolio of political issues — be it issues in the Middle East, Afghanistan or Kashmir," he said.

The soft-spoken Aga Khan, who has a charismatic personality, has nearly 15 million followers around the world. Today, Ismailis live in some 25 countries — mainly in west and central Asia, Africa, the Middle East and in North America and Western Europe. The United Arab Emirates hosts some 5,000 Ismailis.

During the interview, the Aga Khan talked about the spirit behind Ismaili Centres, his development work in the fields of education, healthcare, architecture, culture, microfinancing and his vision to alleviate poverty.

He thanked His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for making the site available for construction of the Ismaili Centre in Dubai.

Excerpts:

What are the issues facing the Muslim Umma?

First, the globalisation of the knowledge of the cultures of the Umma is critical. We have to make known the cultural inheritance of the Muslims to the non-Muslim as well as the Muslim parts of the world because we will never succeed in building the respect and recognition that the Umma deserves unless we present the Umma as a remarkable carrier of civilisation.

The misconceptions about Islam and Muslims in the West exist because we are, even today, absent from the global civilisation. We should encourage the Western education system to bring in knowledge of the civilisation of Islam into the secondary education system.

I am thrilled with the initiative that Dubai and other states in the Gulf are taking by creating museums. Retracing our historical legacies and bringing them back in the modern world is extremely important.

How do you see the problem of terrorism in the world? Do you think it is widening the gap between the West and the Muslim world or even the Muslims and the non-Muslims?

I personally don't ascribe these [extremism or terrorism] to Islam. I ascribe these to a portfolio of political issues. I consider these political issues the essence of the problem in the Middle East. It started in 1917 and, since then, the problem has been becoming worse.

The problem of Kashmir is again a political problem which started after withdrawal of the British from the subcontinent. Similarly, the problem in Iraq today is also political and has nothing to do with Islam.

But now we have an overlay. Since these political problems are located in the parts of the Muslim Umma, the totality of the Umma is being held responsible for this situation.

The media also tends to concentrate on the problem areas even as they ignore the Umma's successes. Painting a negative picture of the entire situation is wrong because it does not involve the face of Islam. It involves essentials of politics within the Islamic world.

Secondly, it [the problem of extremism and terrorism] does not cover the Islamic world alone. Countries in Eastern Europe, Ireland and Spain face similar issues. I think that we should not say that the Umma is unstable and the rest of the world is perfect.

What should be done to resolve this issue?

More efforts are needed to resolve political crises. I think there are governments and organisations that recognise that the longer these problems continue, the more difficult they will be to solve. Similarly, the Irish problem and the Spanish problem have also been there for decades.

There have been theories about what brought unrest in the world. Do you think the world is heading towards a "clash of capturing natural resources"?

I think you are right. People are looking for a better quality of life and they are in a hurry. There is, in many countries, a sense of time lost. And when there is a sense of time lost, there is also a sense of urgency.

In the developing world, the sense of urgency is getting stronger. I think it is leading a number of forces to look at resources they can mobilise to harness those resources to the development process.

I think we are seeing a concentration of wealth in a number of countries. There is a search for new resources to exploit for national or strategic purposes. The situation can be changed by making a move towards using nuclear power, as it has the potential to change the global economic scenario.

Congratulations on the golden jubilee of your Imamat. Are you launching any special projects to mark this special year?

I am hoping to develop two new projects by the end of this year. The first is the sociological analysis of the communities around the world and an attempt to redefine the nature of acute poverty. We think that certain segments of the population in many countries are ultra poor.

As we see economies evolve, we are worried these segments will continue to become more and more poor. We are trying to understand the causes of this phenomenon in order to reduce, if not eliminate, poverty.

We believe poverty is not only economic but social as well. Families have no access to the platform from which they can grow, no access to healthcare, education, micro-credit or even a normal support system. It is a problem and should be addressed.

As far as our second programme is concerned, we are going to concentrate on increased longevity. People are living longer and the aged are increasingly finding themselves isolated from their families and from society. We would like to develop a programme to create a capacity to care for these people.

Since extended families are becoming less common in the industrialised world, it is now important to look at this issue. Through this programme, we will try to help the aged live an honourable life.

Also, during this jubilee year, we will lay the foundation of a number of educational and health institutions.

The Aga Khan Development Network has numerous projects focusing on communities. How do you select the areas and why?

We select areas to launch projects on a case-by-case basis. The projects stem from the analysis of the absence of certain facilities. If we find there is no credit system in isolated areas, we go for microcredit programmes. If we find a government wants to privatise an industry which has gone wrong, we try to step in. So it is with our educational, healthcare and cultural development projects around the world.


What is your vision of development?

There is a realisation that development should be in human terms. And to be measured in human terms, you have to look at quality of life, which is directly linked to education, housing and healthcare.

Today, many of the world's economic and financial institutions have moved away from lending only for economy activities. They are lending for educational and health initiatives. This is changing the nature of the development support system.

The private sector in the fields of education, healthcare and microcredit can also be very important. It is in the interest of the developing countries to have a composite of facilities [which can be achieved] by involving both the private and public sectors.

What do you think you have achieved through your massive network of community development projects?

Success depends on the maturity of the projects. We have considerable maturity in our healthcare and educational projects and they have been serving the purpose. But we have less maturity in our cultural initiatives.

We are beginning to see the trend in cultural initiatives and I would love to say I have the confidence in the cultural initiatives but they are still young.

One of the important cultural projects — aimed at improving the quality of life —was the development of Al Azhar Park in Cairo. I am confident that we can replicate the cultural project in other parts of the world.

By launching such cultural projects, our focus is to improve quality of life and create opportunities for the ultra poor.

Why did you set up an Ismaili Centre in Dubai and what is your vision behind setting up such centres in other countries?

I think the creation of the Ismaili Centres is important because they represent the Ismaili community in the important countries in the world.

I hope that the centre will bring a sense of institutional purpose. We call them ambassadorial buildings because they are representatives of the Ismaili community and all its aspirations.

We first started building the centres in the West. Like the Ismaili Centres in London, Vancouver and Lisbon, the Ismaili Centre in Dubai will reflect a mood of humility, forward outlook, friendship and dialogue. More such centres are on the cards in Toronto and Dushanbe.

The buildings have a two-fold purpose. First, they serve as institutions for the Ismaili community and, secondly, they reach out to groups of people, creating spaces for quality exhibitions, culture and musical representation.

These centres allow us to build bridges for interaction among various communities, areas and cultures.

You have been involved in so many things. What do you do in your leisure?

(Laughs) Usually it is work, work and more work. Occasionally, if I am able to get out, I go to the sea, to the snow or I look at the thoroughbreds that we have, because it is essentially the hobby that fits into the time that I have.

Any message for the community?

The spirit of Islam is to share knowledge and I always tell the community not to think in material terms. Think in terms of knowledge and think what you can offer our institutions in various parts of the world.

Raise our performance in healthcare, education, financial services and in civil society.

Many minorities from the Middle East countries are living in the West. Just think how wonderful it would be if young women and men return to their respective countries to strengthen institutions and do voluntary work for their countries.

Addressing social challenges

The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) is a group of private, non-denominational development agencies whose mandates range from the fields of healthcare and education to architecture, rural development and the promotion of private-sector enterprise.

Its agencies and institutions, working together, seek to empower communities and individuals, often in disadvantaged circumstances, to improve living conditions and opportunities, and promote creative solutions to problems that impede social development, primarily in Asia and East Africa.

They collaborate in working towards a common goal — building institutions and programmes that can continuously respond to the challenges of social, economic and cultural change.

Active in more than 20 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and North America, the network's underlying impulse is the ethic of compassion for the vulnerable in society. Its agencies and institutions work for the common good of all citizens, regardless of origin, gender or religion.

The network's agencies are active in the Gulf and Middle East regions in the areas of urban development, conservation, restoration, education, healthcare, microfinance, higher education, culture and rural development.

The AKDN is an independent self-governing system of agencies, institutions, and programmes under the leadership of the Ismaili Imamat. Their main sources of support are the Ismaili community with its tradition of philanthropy, voluntary service and self-reliance.

Prince Karim Aga Khan

Prince Karim Aga Khan became Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims on July 11, 1957, succeeding his grandfather Sir Sultan Mohammad Shah Aga Khan.

He is the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims.

Son of Prince Aly Khan and Princess Tajuddawalah Aly Khan, the Aga Khan was born on December 13, 1936, in Geneva. He spent his early childhood in Nairobi, Kenya, and then attended Le Rosey School in Switzerland for nine years.

He graduated from Harvard University in 1959 with a BA Honours Degree in Islamic History. He emphasised the view of Islam as a thinking, spiritual faith: one that teaches compassion and tolerance, and upholds the dignity of man.

In the course of history, the Ismailis have, under the guidance of their Imams, made major contributions to the growth of Islamic civilisation.

The Aga Khan has one daughter and three sons. They are Princess Zahrah, Prince Rahim, Prince Hussain and Prince Aly Mohammad.

The Ismaili community is at present celebrating the golden jubilee of the Aga Khan's Imamat, which began on July 11, 2007, and will continue until July 11 this year.

The Aga Khan has plans to pay official visits to some 35 countries during this year and use this occasion to recognise the friendship and support of leaders of the state and government and other partners in the work of the Ismaili Imamat, and to set the direction for the future, including laying the foundations of major initiatives and programmes.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.xpress4me.com/news/uae/dubai/20007930.html

Published: June 05, 2008, 09:56

Ismaili centre: Fostering social connectivity

By Subramani Dharmarajan, Senior Reporter

It's Dubai's newest playground. Tucked away inside the Ismaili Centre in
Karama, a courtyard with a garden has become a popular haunt among children and families.

"It's a playing area for children and gives us an opportunity to meet," said
Susan Sharif, Member, Health and Welfare, Aga Khan Ismaili Council for the UAE. Bachelors and families congregate here in large numbers on weekends.

Aziz Merchant, a member of communications and publications with the Council, said: "The courtyard could lend itself to poetry readings, art exhibitions and inter-school dramatics."

Life has changed significantly for an estimated 5,000 members of the Ismaili community with the opening of the dedicated centre on April 27, the first in the Middle East and the fourth such institution in the world.

Spread over 13,000 square metres, the brick and wooden seven-domed
structure, which is inspired by the Fatimid architecture of old Egypt and
Syria, attracts around 800 to 900 people on weekends. An early learning
centre will open next year and will admit 225 children.

The 'Jamaat Khana' is not only for prayer, but also a place where families
can get together. Munira Jaffer, a housewife, said, "It doesn't feel that we
are coming here to pray. It feels like coming home to family and friends."

Aleem Dhanani, a Canadian of Indian origin, who has organised activities at the Ismaili Centre in London, sees the Dubai centre as "a place for
reflection and tranquillity". "The Economic Forum held recently was a
springboard to correlate the community's entrepreneurs," he said.

Fast facts

Aga Khan, the spiritual head of the Ismaili Community, conceived the centre
to promote mutual understanding

Like other Ismaili Centres in London, Vancouver and Lisbon, the Dubai
Ismaili Centre is open to all communities
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:42 pm    Post subject: Re: DUBAI NEWS from major newspapers Reply with quote

Golden Jubilee visit to the United Arab Emirates in the countrys capital, Abu Dhabi. Mawlana Hazar Imam was received by Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamdan Al Nahyan and leaders of the UAE Jamat. Shortly after his arrival, Princess Zahra and Prince Rahim also arrived in Abu Dhabi for this visit, and were welcomed by senior government officials and leaders of the Jamat.

His Highness The Aga Khan IV visit to United Arab Emirates (Part 1/6)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAgsBhop-_8

His Highness The Aga Khan IV visit to United Arab Emirates (Part 2/6)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-


Please click here, you may watch all the Golden Jublee Video of OUR BELOVED IMAM-E ZMAN.....
http://www.youtube.com/user/nizariismaili#play/uploads
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