The Ismailis: His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan and his Life’s Work – A radio program hosted by German Radio, Bayern 2 Radio Wissen
The approximately 15 million Ismailis are a Shiite community and this faith community is recognized by the importance it gives to using the intellect in practicing the teachings of the Quran. As a result, the Ismailis view knowledge as a divine gift. Even the women have a distinct position here.
— Veronika Hofer, Journalist & Documentary Director of “Karim Aga Khan and his life`s work”
Following His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan’s Golden Jubilee, journalist and filmmaker Veronika Hofer followed His Highness across the world for 2 years covering a multitude of AKDN projects such as the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in Doha, Qatar (2010-11-24), the opening of the Heart and Cancer Centre of the Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya (2011-07-25) and various other projects including the one in Kabul, Afghanistan and Al-Azhar Park in Cairo, Egypt. The documentary, “Karim Aga Khan and his life`s work” had it’s broadcast premiere on the occasion of His Highness’ 75th birthday on ARTE – the Franco-German TV station and its affiliated worldwide network in 2011. While the video documentary is no longer available on ARTE, a radio program of the documentary continues to be available.
Bayerischer Rundfunk – Bayern 2 Radio Wissen: Die Ismailiten – Erlösung durch Wissen
Bavarian Radio – Bayern 2 Radio Wissen: The Ismailis – Salvation through knowledge
Listen to Radio Baveria presentation at Bayern 2 | Radio Wissen | Ismailiten
Story, translation from German, and courtesy: Paderborner ‘SJ’ Blog
The audio starts with the famous saying of Hazrat Ali
“There is no greater wealth than wisdom, no greater poverty than ignorance; no greater heritage than culture and no greater support than consultation.”
Hazrat Ali was the 1st Imam of the Shias 650 years after the death of Jesus Christ.
His Highness the Aga Khan arrives in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
February 19, 2016 – AKDN: Arriving in Sharm el-Sheikh on the eve of the conference, the Aga Khan was welcomed by the Governor of South Sinai, Major-General Khaled Fouda and Secretary General of the Egyptian Agency of Partnership for Development, Ambassador Dr Hazem Fahmy.
Africa’s moment is here and Africans will seize it, says Mawlana Hazar Imam
21 February 2016
Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, 21 February 2016 — “Africa’s moment has come,” declared Mawlana Hazar Imam, and it has arrived with “an inspiring new spirit of African confidence.”
» AKDN press release and speech
» Africa 2016 Forum website
“What I see emerging today is a refreshingly, balanced confidence in Africa — a spirit that takes encouragement from past progress, while also seeking new answers to new challenges,” said Hazar Imam, “understanding that the best way to move into the future is to walk hand-in-hand with partners who share one’s goals.”
He noted that forging such partnerships requires a commitment to pluralism as well as the strengthening of civil society, so that it can work together with the public and private sectors to advance sustainable social progress.
Mawlana Hazar Imam was speaking at the Africa 2016 Forum taking place this weekend under the patronage of the President of Egypt, His Excellency Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, alongside the African Union. The gathering brought together African heads of state and more than 800 high-level government and business leaders from across the continent to advance opportunities in regional investment and trade.
Challenges for the continent remain, notably “the enormous problem of unemployment among the young in countries with the highest percentage of youth in the world,” observed Hazar Imam, but economic measures paint a positive picture — “growing GDP and foreign direct investment… the rise of a vital middle class and the expansion of consumer spending, now breaking through the one trillion dollar mark.”
Africa’s confidence today stands in contrast to the historic problem of social fragmentation, in which difference between ethnicity, tribe, nationality, or religion causes “a breakdown of cooperation, an undercurrent of fear, and even a paralysing polarisation in our public life,” observed Hazar Imam. But human diversity can also be seen as a blessing and an opportunity.
“I believe this changing attitude toward diversity is now happening in Africa, in part because of a new sense of African confidence,” said Mawlana Hazar Imam. This is evident from the increased cooperation “across tribal and religious lines, across political divisions and national boundaries.”
Hazar Imam also cited the success of the Aga Khan Development Network, “now active in 13 African countries, in fields ranging from health and education, to travel and hospitality, from food and clothing companies to banking and finance, media and culture.” The vital role played by AKDN agencies in numerous public-private partnerships — including Bujagali Dam in Uganda, the National Park of Mali and AKDN’s educational initiative in East Africa — demonstrates the unique value that civil society can offer.
“Civil society includes a host of professional, labour, ethnic and religious groups, and a broad array of non-governmental organisations,” explained Mawlana Hazar Imam.
“I focus on civil society because I think its potential is often under-appreciated,” continued Hazar Imam. “But, in fact, it is often the quality of the third sector — civil society — that is the ‘difference-maker’. It not only complements the work of the private and public sectors, it can often help complete that work.”
“I believe that social progress will require quality inputs from all three sectors — public, private and civil society.”
Sadly, misunderstanding, underfunding and outright repression often hamper the efforts of civil society. But the values that underpin it are also fundamental to African history.
“For centuries, African life has been characterised by a vast array of indigenous informal groups, sustained by citizen donations and voluntary service,” observed Mawlana Hazar Imam. “Many Africans have grown up amid such groupings, learning to emphasise their mutual interests, to pool their resources, and to share in shaping their local communities.”
Indeed, the influence of civil society has made itself felt at key moments in recent African history. Hazar Imam cited examples, such as in shaping the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi that ended 12 years of civil war, resolving the 2007 violence in Kenya, in the drafting of Tunisia’s new constitution, and in responding to the recent Ebola crisis.
“It is part of the African way,” said Mawlana Hazar Imam.
Nairobi, 16 March 2016 — Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Kenya yesterday evening for a visit during which he will inaugurate the Nation Media Group’s new state-of-the-art printing press.
» WEBCAST: Mawlana Hazar Imam to inaugurate Nation Media printing press
» A half century of the Daily Nation
Upon his arrival, he was greeted by the Honourable Ndung’u Gethenji MP, Chairman of the Defence and Foreign Relations Committee on behalf of the Government of Kenya.
Aga Khan Development Network Resident Representative Aziz Bhaloo and Ismaili Council for Kenya President Nawaaz Gulam and Vice-President Shamira Dostmohamed welcomed Mawlana Hazar Imam on behalf of AKDN institutions and the Jamat.
His Highness the Aga Khan meets with President of Madagascar Hery Rajaonarimampianina in Paris, 13 October 2016.
Antananarivo, Madagascar - On 13 October 2016, the President of the Republic of Madagascar, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, met with His Highness the Aga Khan to discuss development in Madagascar, where the Aga Khan Development Network operates a number of programmes.
The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) has been implementing a rural development programme in all seven districts of north-western Madagascar’s Sofia Region since 2005. To date, the programme has provided more than 46,000 smallholder farmers with technical support and training on improved rice farming. Farmers have been able, on average, to triple their yields. In turn, greater yields have led to more food-sufficient households and surpluses that have been sold in neighbouring towns.
In support of these efforts, the Premiere Agence de Microfinance (PAMF) was established in 2006. PAMF works closely with AKF to provide financial services in Sofia, operating in both the rural areas and small cities. It has expanded to 13 branches, including outside Sofia.
PAMF also works in the urban areas of the Analamanga region, and cities such as Majunga in Boeny, where it is focused on small traders and artisans as well as the rural sectors of these urbanized districts.
In addition to loans to groups for rice and vegetable production, small equipment purchases and group savings accounts. PAMF also offers loans for warehousing and inventory credit in its own granaries, in borrowers’ own granaries or in village granaries.
Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:54 am Post subject: Aga Khan Visit to Kyrgyz Republic 17 October 2016
H.H. The Aga Khan has landed in Bishkek, accompanied by prince Aly Muhammad Aga Khan, his son, for the inauguration of the first of three residential campuses of the UCA (University of Central Asia) in Naryn, Kyrgyzstan on 19th October at 11am local time (GMT +6) . The opening will be live webcast.
Last edited by Admin on Mon Oct 17, 2016 4:41 pm, edited 2 times in total
Bishkek, October 16 / Kabar /. Princess Zahra Aga Khan arrives in Bishkek later today for a two-day visit to the Kyrgyz Republic. This is her first visit to the Kyrgyz Republic. Princess Zahra is the eldest child and only daughter of His Highness the Aga Khan, the founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). Anna Vorobeva, Communications Officer of the Aga Khan Development Network Representation reports.
In Bishkek, Princess Zahra Aga Khan will meet leadership of the country to discuss current and future partnerships of the AKDN with the Kyrgyz Republic in education and health sectors. She will also visit public health and educational facilities for a better understanding of the country’s experience in social sector development sector.
On 18 October, Princess Zahra Aga Khan will participate in an official 10th Anniversary of the Aga Khan School, Osh. Established by the Aga Khan Education Services in 2002, the Aga Khan School has become an important part of the Osh City fabric creatively responding to the educational needs of children and preparing them to become competitive in the modern world.
In Osh, Princess Zahra will also visit an early childhood development center rehabilitated by the Aga Khan Foundation and its partners. She will also meet with the Governor of Osh Oblast and Mayor of Osh City.
Princess Zahra Aga Khan heads the AKDN’s Social Welfare Department with specific responsibility for health, education and built environment issues in the developing world. These include Aga Khan Education Services, an AKDN agency, which operates more than250 schools and advanced educational programmes in South and Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East since the 1950s.
Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives in Kyrgyz Republic ahead of UCA Naryn Campus inauguration
17 October 2016
Bishkek, 17 October 2016 — Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Kyrgyzstan this evening, ahead of the inauguration of the University of Central Asia’s Naryn campus. He was accompanied by Prince Aly Muhammad.
Her Excellency Elvira Sarieva, Minister of Science and Education received Mawlana Hazar Imam on behalf of the Kyrgyz government. Aga Khan Development Network Resident Representative for Kyrgyzstan Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, who is also the Executive Chairman of the UCA Board Executive Committee, and Dr Mahmoud Eboo, Chairman of the Ismaili Leaders’ International Forum, welcomed Hazar Imam on behalf of the institutions and the Jamat.
In a gesture of traditional hospitality, Hazar Imam was presented with an offering of non (bread) by two students from the Aga Khan School in Osh.
As Chancellor of the University of Central Asia, Mawlana Hazar Imam will preside over the inauguration of the first of its three residential campuses in Naryn on Wednesday, 19 October. The ceremony is due to take place at 11:00 AM Kyrgyzstan Time (GMT+6) and will be webcast at TheIsmaili.org/live.
Founded in 2000 by an international treaty between Mawlana Hazar Imam and the Presidents of Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Kazakhstan, the UCA is a secular and private university dedicated to the socio-economic development of Central Asia, and particularly its mountain societies.
The Naryn campus welcomed its first class of 71 undergraduate students in September. They come from Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. UCA residential campuses in Khorog, Tajikistan and Tekeli, Kazakhstan are anticipated to open in 2017 and 2019 respectively.
ISLAMABAD, Dec 7 (APP): Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, Minister for
Finance met His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan on the sidelines of the 75th Anniversary celebrations of the French agency for Development in Paris Wednesday.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Finance here Wednesday said
that the Minister expressed good wishes to Prince Karim Aga Khan and said that the government and people of Pakistan acknowledged the contributions of His Highness in the social development sector with particular reference to Pakistan.
Prince Karim Aga Khan conveyed his best wishes to the Finance
Minister for the well being and prosperity of the people of Pakistan.
The Aga Khan: Sweet and endearing stories of his childhood days in Kenya
FROM THE DIARY OF LATE KADERALI B. PATEL
(RELIGIOUS TUTOR OF PRINCE KARIM AGA KHAN AND PRINCE AMYN AGA KHAN)
His Highness the Aga Khan III (1877-1957), who became the 48th Imam of Ismaili Muslims in 1885 at the age of 7, was in the 51st year of his reign when his first grandson, Prince Karim, was born on December 13, 1936 in Geneva. Destined to become the 49th Imam some 20 years later in 1957, Prince Karim spent his early childhood in Kenya with his younger brother Prince Amyn during the Second World War.
The three heartwarming stories, below, were recorded in Gujarati in a diary kept by Kaderali B. Patel, who was responsible for imparting religious training to Prince Karim and Prince Amyn while they were in Kenya. The stories are adapted from Farida S. Kassam’s English translation that appeared in a special edition of “Africa Ismaili,” published in July 1982 to mark the Silver Jubilee of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan.
The Aga Khan on his “toto” days in Kenya
“When I speak of places that have played a major role in my life, no place comes to mind more quickly than Kenya. My ties here go back to my “toto” days – how can I ever forget our childhood house on Caledonian Road, now named the Denis Pritt road and the mega rhubarb I grew up the rain-water drain, or driving down the garden steps in the late Sir Eboo’s car? And how could I forget my brother’s despair when his pet bantam chickens were eaten one night by a visiting leopard? Little did I suspect that the next night my rabbits would suffer the same fate.” — Aga Khan, State banquet, Nairobi, August 13, 2007.
STORY #1: WORK BUILDS THE BODY: CHOPPING WOOD, GROWING CROPS AND CARING FOR THEM
“Just as we need food and water, so do the plants. Near our vegetable garden there are many large trees. The wind blows many leaves onto our crops. Young plants would get buried under the weight of these leaves, so every morning both of us collect all the leaves and burn them.” — Prince Karim
One morning, sitting on the ground, Prince Karim was chopping some wood with his axe. Rather astonished to find him thus occupied, I told him: “Prince Karim, you will hurt your hands with the axe because it is very sharp. If you asked the gardeners, they would chop the wood for you.”
Smiling, Prince Karim answered: “You are right, my axe is very sharp; but I am chopping the wood very carefully. I exercise my arms doing this job. Those people who do not exercise, do not work and are lazy, soon become weak.”
“In the evening, my brother and I will hoe the ground and plant some grain. Then we shall fetch water from the tap and water our crop. Small plants will soon grow from the seeds. Look, all these carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, cabbages, etc., have been planted by us. There are some maize plants too. Soon we shall grow some flowers. We very much like to work in this way.”
Prince Amyn was standing nearby and I asked him which was his crop. He took my hand and led me to his section. “Here, these are carrots, beetroot, and a grain crop as well,” he said happily.
“Work hard. No doubt we must work hard. If we did not look after our cultivation and if we did not water the plants, how would the plants grow?”
Prince Karim added: “Just as we need food and water, so do the plants. Near our vegetable garden there are many large trees. The wind blows many leaves onto our crops. Young plants would get buried under the weight of these leaves, so every morning both of us collect all the leaves and burn them.”
The Princes looked after their plantation with keen interest. I have seen them doing different jobs regularly. “Work builds the body,” was Prince Karim’s motto, which I will never forgot.
STORY #2: EXCELLING IN SECULAR AND RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
“The programme of religious instruction lasted an hour daily. The Princes enjoyed and listened attentively to the short stories of the Holy Prophets and Ismaili Pirs. They would never show any reluctance in saying their Namaz.” — Diary
Prince Karim and Prince Amyn always did their lessons. Their governess, Miss Lyon, paid great attention to their education. She taught them English, maths, writing and art with great care.
The Princes loved to colour pictures of animals and birds. They collected large and small pictures and carefully stuck them into an album.
When Prince Aly Khan and Princess Tajudaulah visited them in Nairobi, both the Princes would show them their albums.
Every morning the Princes came to their study-room to learn Namaz. The moment they entered the study room they greeted me with ‘As-salam-alaikum’ [Peace be unto you] and, standing up, with arms folded, l returned their greeting with ‘Wa-alaikum-salaam [And unto you, peace]. The programme of religious instruction lasted an hour daily. The Princes enjoyed and listened attentively to the short stories of the Holy Prophets and Ismaili Pirs.
Prince Karim and Prince Amyn would never show any reluctance in saying their Namaz. Whatever lesson was taught to them, they made a great effort to remember it and next day repeated it, trying to excel each other. They did not like to make mistakes. They were only satisfied when they were sure they had learnt the subject thoroughly and could answer questions without hesitation. They never became irritated.
As soon as the hour for lessons was over, Prince Karim and Prince Amyn would take me to their garden and tell me all about their cultivation.
“We have planted many different flowers along the paths. When all the flowers bloom, the paths will change their colour and we shall be very pleased,” they said.
As we were talking, we were joined by Miss Lyon. The Princes told her about their various plants and showed them to her.
As it was hot, Miss Lyon told the Princes to go and put on their hats. They ran into the bungalow, put on their hats and rode off on their bicycles to play tennis.
STORY #3: RECITATION OF IDD NAMAZ AT AGE 7, AND REPEATED IDD MUBARAK HAND SHAKES
“There were many children who attended the Idd Namaz. Most of these children came to wish us Idd Mubarak and shake hands with us. Among these children were some who shook hands with us and then, greatly excited, came back for a second handshake.” — Prince Amyn
Prince Karim Aga Khan reciting Idd Namaz on the occasion of Idd ul FitrPrince Karim Aga Khan leading the Idd ul Ftir prayers in Nairobi in 1944. Photo: 25 Years in Pictures. Islamic Publications, London, UK, Volume 1.
Prince Karim first recited the Idd Namaz in public in his childhood, at the age of seven, at Nairobi Chief Jamatkhana. It had been announced in the Jamatkhana the previous day that Prince Karim would lead the Idd Namaz at 10 a.m. All Ismailis were delighted when they heard the announcement.
Next day was Idd-ul Fitr. Early in the morning all Ismailis arrived dressed up in their best clothes. The officers all wore golden red gowns. This was a very unique occasion and everyone’s heart was filled with inner happiness.
At 10 a.m, Prince Karim arrived at the Main Jamatkhana on Government Road with his brother Prince Amyn. The Jamat’s chief officers welcomed the Princes.
Prince Karim took his place in front of the Jamat and recited the Namaz. Then Prince Karim and Prince Amyn stood in line with the officers and for hours shook hands with Ismaili brethren and wished them ‘Idd Mubarak’.
They gladdened the hearts of thousands of people who will never forget the ‘Idd Mubarak’ uttered by Prince Karim.
A portrait of Prince Karim Aga Khan in a volunteer uniform when he was nine years old. Photo: Diamond Jubilee Souvenir, 1946, published by the Ismailia Association of Africa. The magazine was acquired from Sadruddin Khimani Family Collection, Vancouver, Canada.
In the evening, when I went to see the Princes at their bungalow, I found them talking to Miss Lyon on the verandah. I went nearer and greeted them with a salaam. Prince Karim asked me to come closer. I respectfully bowed before him and said: “You must be tired, standing for hours and shaking hands with so many people.”
Prince Karim replied, smiling: “We are not at all tired. In fact we are very pleased that on this holy occasion we were able to meet and shake hands with all Ismailis, young and old alike. Indeed, we are very happy.”
I asked Prince Amyn if he was tired. He replied: “Not at all. There were many children who attended the Idd Namaz. Most of these children came to wish us Idd Mubarak and shake hands with us. Among these children were some who shook hands with us and then, greatly excited, came back for a second handshake. Even though we knew this, we shook hands with them again. We were pleased to make them happy.”
I said: ‘You are right when you say some children came twice to shake hands with you. As this was their first occasion to shake hands with you, they were tremendously happy.’
I asked Prince Amyn if he would offer the Idd Namaz the following year. He replied: “I cannot promise you that. It depends on what my parents have to say. It is every child’s duty to obey his parents.”
Prince Karim added to this: “That’s true. We must obey our parents. God is not pleased with those children who do not listen to their parents.”
It seemed that flowers poured out of the Princes’ mouths when they said these words.
Prince Karim and Prince Amyn were extremely happy on that auspicious day.
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