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Diamond-jubilee in the News
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-mumbai/aga-khan-to-address-community-in-kalina/article22873660.ece

MUMBAI
Aga Khan to address community in Kalina

Special Correspondent
Mumbai, February 28, 2018 00:00 IS

Spiritual leader will meet CM, Governor

Early childhood development (ECD) is among the four key goals set by Aga Khan IV, the current Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, as he marks the diamond jubilee of his leadership. The 81-year-old spiritual leader will arrive in Mumbai on Wednesday, where he is scheduled to meet Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao. Later, he will address his followers in Kalina.

Other key goals set by the Aga Khan are poverty alleviation, institution development and education. Tinni Sawhney, CEO, Aga Khan Foundation, said, “These specific goals, set up for the diamond jubilee year, will get a lot of focus. The interventions will be scaled up and will take centrestage.” In his golden jubilee year, the Aga Khan had set education and care for senior citizens as key goals.

This year, ECD assumes importance as many countries have woken up to the importance of interventions during the early years. There are comprehensive ECD policies designed by countries like Uganda and South Africa, among others, where the health, education and social development departments work in tandem on this.

The Aga Khan Development Network’s ECD model specifies three mutually reinforcing levels of intervention: classroom, family and community, system support. These respond to key gaps in the quality of ECD that prevent children from accessing preschool education. At present, the network operates 64 ECD centres and supports 218 anganwadis in Maharashtra, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.

The Aga Khan, who is the 49th hereditary Imam of the community, inaugurated Sundar Nursery, a 16th-century heritage garden adjacent to Humayun’s Tomb, in New Delhi last week. The 96-acre patch was restored over a period of nine years by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC). Later, he visited Ahmedabad. His trip to India will conclude with the Mumbai visit.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://mumbaimirror.indiatimes.com/mumbai/other/aga-khan-set-to-meet-fadnavis-guv-in-city-today/articleshow/63117973.cms

Aga Khan set to meet Fadnavis, guv in city today
By Linah Baliga, Mumbai Mirror | Updated: Mar 1, 2018, 02.52 AM IST



Spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslim community landed on Wednesday; will address followers at Mumbai University ground in Kalina on Thursday to celebrate his diamond jubilee as Imam.

The Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslim community, arrived in Mumbai, the final stop of his India tour, on Wednesday.

Here to commemorate his sixtieth anniversary as Imam, he is in the country at the invitation of the central government. The 81-yearold spiritual leader arrived in the city from Hyderabad at 2 pm on Wednesday, and is staying at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Colaba.

The Aga Khan enjoys the same protocol status as India’s vice president, and was escorted by a French delegation, and a posse of security guards and police, keeping the media at bay.

He will meet Maharashtra governor C Vidyasagar Rao, and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will call on him at the Taj Mahal hotel on Thursday. Following this, the Aga Khan will address his Shia Ismaili community followers at the Mumbai University ground in Kalina, after which he is expected to leave the city. Around 40,000 followers are expected to be present at the address.

Thursday marks an important day for followers of the community as they will also mark the 60th anniversary, or diamond jubilee, of his leadership as their Imam.

“When you’re born an Ismaili, you swear your allegiance to the Imam, and he guides us in spiritual and worldly matters. Sixty years of such guidance calls for gratitude from the murids (followers). It is like a thanksgiving for his 60 years of guidance,” said Reshma Lakhani, communications co-ordinator, Aga Khan Council for India.

Lakhani, who is also the Goods and Service Tax (GST) commissioner, told Mirror that the Aga Khan greatly advocates the concept of pluralism and will continue to do so when he addresses the huge gathering of his followers on Thursday in Kalina. “When he guides us, he tells us to accept genuine differences in people,” she said.

Lakhani said that the spiritual leader quotes Adrienne Clarkson, governor general of Canada, in his speeches, emphasising, “You should learn to live with people whom you may not necessarily like.” He also advocates practicing cosmopolitan ethics to find a balance between freedom and responsibilities, she said.

“For example, we have the freedom to play music in the confines of our homes, but if it disturbs our ailing neighbour, we should be responsible enough to not play it. When you make a fabric, it has individual threads with different colours, textures and different identities. But when each thread is woven together, it doesn’t lose its identity, but comes together as one beautiful fabric. Likewise, we should live harmoniously with people with different thoughts, ideologies and faiths,” Lakhani said.

In his speech at the Stephen Ogden lecture at Brown University, the spiritual leader had said, “We see more people everywhere these days, standing or sitting or walking alone absorbed in their hand-held screens. But, I wonder whether in some larger sense, they are really more ‘in touch’? Greater ‘connectivity’ does not necessarily mean ‘greater connection’. Information travels more quickly, in greater quantities these days. But the incalculable multiplication of information can also mean more error, more exaggeration, more misinformation, more disinformation, more propaganda. The world may be right there on our laptops, but the truth about the world may be further away.”

For his women followers, too, the spiritual leader is a great inspiration and a guiding force, Lakhani said. “It isn’t compulsory for us to wear hijab or burkha. But in countries like Iran, women from our community are expected to follow the law of the land as it is mandatory. In Africa, Ismaili women wear skirts. Here in Mumbai, we even wear trousers,” she said, adding that the advice usually given to Shia Ismaili families with limited resources is that if they have a son and a daughter, they should educate the daughter first.

There are over 15-18 million Shia Ismaili followers across the globe. The Ismailis have, for the last 1,400 years, looked up to a hereditary Imam for spiritual guidance.

The current Imam succeeded his grandfather as the 49th Imam of the Ismailis.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/aga-khan-to-address-40k-followers-at-mumbai-universitys-kalina-campus/articleshow/63117196.cms

Aga Khan to address 40,000 followers at Mumbai University’s Kalina campus
Mohammed Wajihuddin | tnn | Updated: Feb 28, 2018, 23:54 IST

MUMBAI: Fair, tall and fit in a smart suit, the 81-year-old Prince Karim the Aga Khan IV, 49th Imam or spiritual head of the Shia Ismaili Muslims and founder-chairman of Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), looks down benignly from multiple hoardings in Mumbai. The Aga Khan, who is on a 10-day visit to India as part of the diamond jubilee celebrations of his leadership, will on Thursday meet the governor, chief minister, management committee of Mumbai University (MU) and later address around 40,000 followers at MU’s Kalina campus.
Apart from addressing the community, the suave, soft-spoken Paris-based Imam may also recall the bond the Shia Ismaili Imamat has maintained with Mumbai for centuries.

While Shia Ismaili Imams trace their origins to Hazrat Ali, the Prophet’s son-in-law and first Imam of Shiism, it was Hasan Ali Shah, the 46th Imam of the Ismailis who became the Aga Khan I in 1817 after he married the then Shah of Iran Fatehali Shah Kachar’s daughter and the Shah bestowed the title Aga Khan (commanding chief) on him. The Aga Khan I emigrated to India in the early 1840s and settled in Mumbai (then Bombay) in 1848 and for nearly a century, the Imamat remained here till Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah the Aga Khan III the current Aga Khan’s grandfather moved to Europe, where he died on July 11, 1957. The Shia Ismaili Imamate is hereditary.

Prince Karim was 20 and a student at Harvard when he learnt that his grandfather, on his death, had designated him as Imam.

“His work is often mistaken for philanthropy. As Imam, he believes he is mandated with the responsibility to improve human condition, to improve quality of life. This is very different from charity,” said Semin Abdulla of AKDN Foundation. Unlike many spiritual leaders, the Aga Khan is clean-shaven and dons contemporary attire. “It is his action which speaks eloquently,” said Munna Javeri, a senior community member.


Headquartered near Paris, the Aga Khan’s office, through AKDN initiatives, has reached out to countless people. India and Mumbai remain close to the heart of the Aga Khan. Out of 200 schools AKDN has helped establish worldwide, eight schools, a residential hostel, 17 early childhood development (ECD Centres) and two Aga Khan pre-schools are in India (2 schools in Mumbai). Mumbai’s Prince Aly Khan Hospital (named after the current Aga Khan’s father) has served the city for decades.


The community’s Development Credit Bank (DCB), initiated as a small credit society, is a huge financial institution. “His Highness has always stressed on empowerment through partnership with government agencies, international organisations, educational institutions,” explained Ashish Ramzan Ali Merchant, President, Aga Khan Shia Ismaili Council for India, the community’s apex governance body in the country.


The Aga Khan III was based in Mumbai when he, during the devastating famine of 1890s, announced the construction of the Aga Khan Palace at Yerawada in Pune to provide jobs to the needy. A bubonic plague hit Mumbai following the famine of the 1890s. Crusading against superstitions, the Aga Khan III got himself inoculated.


Mumbai-based Ismailis have produced many eminent citizens like oncologist Dr Sultan Pradhan, business tycoon Azim Premji, banker Nasser Munjee, solicitor Suhail Nathani, bureaucrat Reshma Lakhani and politician Amin Patel and musical duo Salim and Suleiman Merchant. The Aga Khan may take pride in the fact that his followers are doing so well.



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will work closely with Maha Govt in agriculture: Aga Khan

https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/will-work-closely-with-maha-govt-in-agriculture-aga-khan/1263858

Aga Khan may set up cancer centre, help Maharashtra agri sector

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/aga-khan-may-set-up-cancer-centre-help-maharashtra-agri-sector-118030101099_1.html

Will work with Maharashtra closely': Aga Khan

https://news.webindia123.com/news/articles/India/20180301/3288587.html

Aga Khan may set up cancer centre, help Maharashtra agri sector

https://www.siasat.com/news/aga-khan-may-set-cancer-centre-help-maharashtra-agri-sector-1324404/

Will work closely with Maha Govt in agriculture: Aga Khan

https://www.indiatoday.in/pti-feed/story/will-work-closely-with-maha-govt-in-agriculture-aga-khan-1180358-2018-03-01
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AGA KHAN TO SET UP CHILDREN'S CANCER HOSPITAL IN CITY: FADNAVIS

The Aga Khan, spiritual leader of Ismaili Muslims, met governor C Vidyasagar Rao at Raj Bhavan and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who had called on him at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, on Friday. The spiritual leader, who is the founder of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), emphasised on developing expertise in oncology and cardiology.

CM Fadnavis tweeted on Friday, "Glad to meet His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan ji, spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslims, this morning in Mumbai. I am happy to know that Aga Khan Development Network and The Aga Khan health services is considering to set up a Cancer Hospital for children in Mumbai."

The Aga Khan also met with the management committee of the Mumbai University to discuss the importance of research, the criticality of exam systems in bettering students' educational experience, and helping sharpen the brain power of a child with early childhood development.

More...
https://mumbaimirror.indiatimes.com/others/aga-khan-to-set-up-childrens-cancer-hospital-in-city-fadnavis/articleshow/63141750.cms

*******
Rise and serve the nation, Aga Khan tells community

MUMBAI: The Aga Khan IV, Imam or spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslims and founder-chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), has called upon his community members to serve the nation and understand the importance of early childhood education. The Aga Khan was in the city on Thursday as part of a 10-day visit to India to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of his Imamat. The leader also told his followers that India is a country of opportunities and it is the duty of every citizen to live with optimism, avail the opportunities and lead an ethical life here.

The Aga Khan who flew in to the city on Wednesday evening addressed his community members at Mumbai University's Kalina campus. The 81-year-old Aga Khan met top officials of the university and discussed the possibilities of research programmes between Mumbai University and the Aga Khan universities in East Africa and Central Asia. Student and faculty exchange programmes, possibility of the development of curriculum for diploma, degree and research programmes, restoration and redevelopment of national monuments and heritage were also discussed.

More...
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/rise-and-serve-the-nation-aga-khan-tells-community/articleshow/63141642.cms

*******

‘World needs Aga Khan to convey the message of Islam’: Governor

For the all-round development of tribals

The Agakhan organization should cooperate

- Governor's. Vidyasagar Rao

http://rajbhavan-maharashtra.gov.in/rajbhavan/Pages/frm_press_releases.aspx?id=17637

****
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mawlana Hazar Imam departs India

Following the Diamond Jubilee Darbar in Mumbai, Mawlana Hazar Imam departed India, concluding his 10-day Diamond Jubilee visit to the country. Leaders of the Jamat gathered at Mumbai airport to bid him farewell.

The visit began on 20 February in Delhi, where Hazar Imam met with India's Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, as well as President Shri Ram Nath Kovind, and Vice-President Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu. While in Delhi, Hazar Imam also presided over the inauguration of Sunder Nursey, a 90-acre city park in the heart of the nation's capital.

During his stay in India, Hazar Imam met with government officials in Gujarat, Telangana and Maharashtra, alongside meeting with all of the Indian Jamat between Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

Upon Hazar Imam's departure, Prof. Ram Shinde, Minister for Water Conservation and Protocol, Government of Maharashtra bade him farewell on behalf of the government, whilst leaders of the Jamat were also present to wish him a bon voyage.

Mawlana Hazar Imam's visit was at the official invitation of the Government of India, and coincided with the commemoration of his Diamond Jubilee. The 10-day visit provided an opportunity to build upon the longstanding partnership between India and the Ismaili Imamat.

https://the.ismaili/diamond-jubilee/mawlana-hazar-imam-departs-india
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Her Majesty the Queen hosts Mawlana Hazar Imam at Windsor Castle

Mawlana Hazar Imam was accompanied by Prince Amyn, Princess Zahra, Prince Rahim, Princess Salwa, Prince Hussain and Prince Aly Muhammad.

The event acknowledged historic linkages between the Ismaili Imamat and the British Monarchy; and longstanding connections between the Ismaili Community, the institutions of the Aga Khan Development Network, and the United Kingdom.

The AKDN has built longstanding partnerships with institutions in the UK, including the Department for International Development, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the British Council. These partnerships are complemented by support for charitable and educational initiatives of the Ismaili Community in the UK.

Imamat institutions based in the UK include the Aga Khan Foundation (UK), established in 1973; The Institute of Ismaili Studies, established in 1977; and the Aga Khan University-Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, founded in 2002. These institutions will have a permanent home in London at a new purpose-built building to be inaugurated later this year in the ‘Knowledge Quarter’ of King's Cross in central London. These facilities will welcome students, researchers and partners to a space that includes landscaped grounds and Islamic-inspired gardens.

Mawlana Hazar Imam was bestowed the title ‘His Highness’ by Her Majesty the Queen in 1957 upon his accession as the 49th Imam of the Ismaili Muslim Community.

Photos at:
https://the.ismaili/diamond-jubilee/her-majesty-queen-hosts-mawlana-hazar-imam-windsor-castle
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.express.co.uk/news/royal/929186/Queen-news-pictures-aga-khan-prince-charles-camilla-parker-bowles-duchess-photos

The Queen meets the Aga Khan at Windsor: Monarch looks elegant as she welcomes guests

QUEEN Elizabeth II and other members of the Royal family met the Aga Khan and Princess Zahra Aga Khan tonight in Windsor Castle to mark the diamond jubilee of the Aga Khan's leadership as Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslim Community.


By Matthew Kirkham
PUBLISHED: 22:27, Thu, Mar 8, 2018 | UPDATED: 22:43, Thu, Mar 8, 2018

The Queen meets the Aga Khan at Windsor Castle

Thu, March 8, 2018

Queen Elizabeth II met the Aga Khan during a reception before a private dinner to mark the diamond jubilee of the Aga Khan's leadership as Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslim Community.



The Aga Khan was joined by Princess Salwa Aga Khan and Princess Zahra Aga Khan, the eldest child of Aga Khan IV.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall also joined in the celebrations at Windsor Castle.

Aga Khan is a title used also as a name by the Imam of the Nizari Ismailis. The current user of the name is the 49th Imam, Prince Shah Karim Al Husseini Aga Khan IV.

He is the founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network, one of the largest private development networks in the world. The organisation has said it works toward improvement of the environment, health, education,, culture, rural development, disaster reduction, and the revitalisation of historic cities.

Forbes described the Aga Khan as one of the world's ten richest royals.

The Diamond Jubilee Year of the Aga Khan's 60th year of Imamat is from 11 July 2017 to 11 July 2018.













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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-5479637/The-Queen-celebrates-Aga-Khans-diamond-jubilee.html

[same pics as above]

Party at the palace! The Queen dazzles in a fuchsia ball gown as she holds a glittering reception to celebrate the Aga Khan's diamond jubilee (and she even carries a GOLD Launer handbag)

The Queen welcomed guests to a reception at Windsor Castle on Thursday
The event was held in celebration of the Aga Khan's diamond jubilee
Following the drinks reception the monarch will host the royal at a private dinner


By Martha Cliff for MailOnline

Published: 17:07 EST, 8 March 2018 | Updated: 17:33 EST, 8 March 2018

We are used to seeing Her Royal Majesty in a uniform of conservative suits, but tonight she delighted royal fans as she slipped into a dazzling ballgown.

The Queen welcomed dignitaries to Windsor Castle for a glittering reception on Wednesday evening, and did so in a hot pink dress.

The 91-year-old monarch looked elegant in a floor-length gown silk gown complete with gold motifs as she welcomed guests to the White Drawing Room.

The Queen (pictured with the Duchess of Cornwall and Princess Zahra Khan) dazzled in a fuchsia pink ballgown as she welcomed guests to a glittering reception at Buckingham Palace on Thursday
+5

The Queen (pictured with the Duchess of Cornwall and Princess Zahra Khan) dazzled in a fuchsia pink ballgown as she welcomed guests to a glittering reception at Buckingham Palace on Thursday

The event was held in celebration of the diamond jubilee of the the Aga Khan's leadership as Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslim Community.

As well as her eye-catching dress the Queen also opted for another unusual fashion choice this evening.

The royal abandoned her traditional black leather Launer handbag, which she carries on almost every occasion, in favour of a metallic gold take on the designer piece.

She coordinated the quirky accessory with a pair of matching gold court shoes which could be seen peeking from the hem of her dress.
The event was held in celebration of the diamond jubilee of the the Aga Khan's (pictured) leadership as Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslim Community
+5

The event was held in celebration of the diamond jubilee of the the Aga Khan's (pictured) leadership as Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslim Community

Princess Salwa Aga (pictured), the Aga Khan's daughter-in-law also demanded attention in a stunning dove grey satin gown
+5

Princess Salwa Aga (pictured), the Aga Khan's daughter-in-law also demanded attention in a stunning dove grey satin gown

Guests at this evening's reception included the Duchess of Cornwall, although the Prince of Wales was not in attendance.

Camilla looked her elegant best in a floor-length black velvet dress as she spent time chatting with the Queen and her guests.

Her daughter Princess Anne could also be seen in attendance, dressed in a glamorous green ensemble.

Princess Salwa Aga, the Aga Khan's daughter-in-law also demanded attention in a stunning dove grey satin gown with bejeweled embellishment.
In a surprising fashion choice the Queen opted for a gold version of her beloved Launer bag
+5

In a surprising fashion choice the Queen opted for a gold version of her beloved Launer bag

Camilla looked her elegant best in a floor-length black velvet dress as she spent time chatting with the Queen and her guests
+5

Camilla looked her elegant best in a floor-length black velvet dress as she spent time chatting with the Queen and her guests

The Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the Ismaili branch of Shiite Islam, opened a yearlong jubilee to mark his 60th anniversary in July last year.

Among Muslim leaders, the Aga Khan holds a unique position. The community he leads as 'imam' is not large - around 20 million adherents, compared to the estimates of several hundred million followers of Shiism's main branch, known as the 'Twelvers.' Sunnis make up the majority of the approximately 1.5 billion Muslims around the world.

Throughout the Diamond Jubilee year, the Aga Khan will travel to countries where the network operates to launch new programs to alleviate poverty and increase access to financing for housing, education and childhood development, the network said.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Times
court circular
March 9 2018, 12:01am, The Times

Buckingham Palace

8th March, 2018

The Queen gave a Dinner Party for The Aga Khan at Windsor Castle this evening to mark His Highness’s Diamond Jubilee at which The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke of York, The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, and Members of The Aga Khan’s Family were present.

The Duke of Edinburgh this morning received Mr Martin Palmer (Secretary General, Alliance of Religions and Conservation).

The Prince of Wales, on behalf of The Queen, held an Investiture at Buckingham Palace this morning.

Clarence House

8th March, 2018
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.thenational.ae/world/europe/the-queen-hosts-dinner-to-mark-aga-khan-s-diamond-jubilee-1.711664

The Queen hosts dinner to mark Aga Khan’s diamond jubilee

The reception at Windsor Castle celebrated the Aga Khan's 60 years as spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslim community


Noor Nanji

March 9, 2018

Queen Elizabeth hosted the Aga Khan at Windsor Castle on Thursday night at a dinner to mark the diamond jubilee of his spiritual leadership of the Shia Ismaili Muslim community.

The British monarch was joined by other senior royals including Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall as she welcomed the dignitaries.

The Aga Khan was also accompanied by members of his family, including his brother Prince Amyn, his daughter Princess Zahra, his sons Prince Rahim, Prince Hussain and Prince Aly Muhammad, and his daughter-in-law Princess Salwa.

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke of York, The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, and Members of The Aga Khan's Family were also present.

pic.twitter.com/5bwTJcMlut

— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) March 9, 2018

There are longstanding links between the two families. In 1957, which was the year of his accession as hereditary leader of the Ismaili community, the Aga Khan was given the title “His Highness” by the Queen. The spiritual leader was also appointed Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2004.

Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini Aga Khan began a year-long jubilee to commemorate the 60th anniversary of his leadership in July last year.

In January, he travelled to the UAE where he met with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The pair discussed ways to boost co-operation on humanitarian issues and development projects needed in disadvantaged areas of the world.

He also met Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and the Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, Minister for Tolerance, during his UAE trip.
_______________

The Aga Khan is founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), a private development organisation which works primarily in the poorest parts of Asia and Africa.

The network aims to improve the lives of millions of people around the world, as well as to bring a wider understanding of Islam, and to foster brotherhood within the Ummah.

During the diamond jubilee tour, the Aga Khan will visit countries where the network operates to launch or advance social, cultural and economic development projects, including the development of hospitals, schools and universities that serve people of all backgrounds and faiths.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.nation.co.ke/news/Queen-Elizabeth-hosts-dinner-to-mark-Aga-Khans-Diamond-Jubilee/1056-4335456-bwjelc/index.html

Queen Elizabeth hosts dinner to mark Aga Khan's Diamond Jubilee

Friday March 9 2018

By NATION REPORTER

Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth hosted a dinner on Thursday to mark His Highness the Aga Khan's Diamond Jubilee.

Present at the dinner were The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke of York, The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence.

The event acknowledged historic linkages between the Ismaili Imamat and the British Monarchy and longstanding connections between the Ismaili Community, the institutions of the Aga Khan Development Network and the United Kingdom.

The Aga Khan, was bestowed the title “His Highness” by Her Majesty the Queen in 1957 the year of his accession as hereditary leader of the Shi’a Ismaili Muslims, and was appointed Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2004.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mayor @KeishaBottoms meets with leaders of the Ismaili community and extends a warm welcome to Mawlana Hazar Imam on his upcoming visit to Atlanta, Georgia. #USAVisit

https://twitter.com/TheIsmailiUSA/status/973218462561529856?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fismailimail.wordpress.com%2F2018%2F03%2F12%2Fmayor-of-atlanta-welcomes-his-highness-the-aga-khan%2F

*******
Message of co-existence dominates Aga Khan music festival

The message of pluralism took centre-stage as Kenya celebrated the Aga Khan’s Diamond Jubilee at Khoja Mosque, Nairobi.

During the music-themed event, Dr Azim Lakhani, the Diplomatic Representative of Aga Khan Development Network Kenya said with the advent of global connectivity, the world was undeniably shrinking.

This, he said, provided a fitting platform for convergence towards a common culture with the interconnectivity providing opportunities for people and their diverse cultures and expressions through food, art, dressing, architecture, dance and music.

DIALOGUE

“In the past few decades, His Highness the Aga Khan has been promoting the notion of pluralism, where different groups connect, learn about one another, accept and respect their differences and ultimately live in harmony,” Dr Lakhani said.

“It does not seek to eliminate differences or erase distinctions but rather to embrace them.”

He observed that pluralism did not necessarily mean that everyone would always be in agreement, "which should provide a basis for dialogue, peace and progress".

To bolster the pluralism agenda, the event was capped with concerts featuring Central Asia folk performances by the Badakhshan Ensemble from the mountainous Badakhshan region of Tajikistan, and the Ruhab Duet from Afghanistan.

FOLK SONGS

The Badakhshan Ensemble showcased folk songs, spirit and devotional songs, mystical music and dance traditions of the mountain-dwelling, Pamiri people of eastern Tajikistan, many of whom are Shia Isma’ili Muslims.

The event marked the Aga Khan Music Initiative debut in Kenya, with earlier concerts in Mombasa.

The last concert will be in Kisumu.

https://www.nation.co.ke/news/Pluralism-message-marks-Aga-Khan-festival/1056-4335728-9ooh0j/index.html

******
CTV News Calgary: Bollywood stars kick off Canadian Tour – Celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of the Aga Khan

https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1345242
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mystical music and dance to thaw the heart

Festive showers of musical, poetical and stage events have delighted many show-goers during the past couple of weeks, and there is a forecast of more such servings in days to come.

Saturday evening, as we went to the press, a rare ensemble from central Asia’s Pamiri region graced the stage at Aga Khan Pavilion, Parklands, showcasing mystical music, devotional songs and dance traditions. The artistes are in Kenya courtesy the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. The concert highlights the art of master performers of Badakhshan ensemble and Afghan Rubab duets. It is part of the commemoration of Diamond Jubilee of His Highness the Aga Khan.

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https://www.nation.co.ke/lifestyle/lifestyle/Mystical-music-and-dance-to-thaw-the-heart-/1214-4336450-11yx8ykz/index.html
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

USA Diamond Jubilee visit: Welcoming the Jamat to Atlanta

In anticipation of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s historic Diamond Jubilee visit to the United States of America, the American Jamat is preparing for the Mulaqat in the host cities of Atlanta and Houston.

“The City of Atlanta is very proud of our vibrant Ismaili community and their contribution to our social, cultural, and economic landscape. They have served as a strong pillar in our city through their commitment to service and building a strong community." --Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms acknowledging the Jamat’s service ethic and civic engagement in the City of Atlanta.
At the official invitation of the governments of the States of Georgia and Texas, Mawlana Hazar Imam commences a historic 10-day visit to the United States of America on March 13, 2018. He will arrive in Atlanta tonight, and following a Mulaqat with the Jamat from several regions, will then travel to Houston to meet the Jamat there.

Atlanta, the gateway to the South, is known as the headquarters of CNN and the Coca-Cola Company, for hosting the 1996 Olympics, and for being at the center of the Civil Rights movement. This week, the city is host to thousands of Ismailis as they arrive from all over the country for the first USA Diamond Jubilee Mulaqat.

More and photos:
https://the.ismaili/diamond-jubilee/usa-diamond-jubilee-visit-welcoming-jamat-atlanta
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives in the United States

Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Atlanta today on the first stop of his Diamond Jubilee visit to the United States.

Upon his arrival, Hazar Imam was received by Casey Cagle, Lieutenant Governor of the State of Georgia; Abby Turano, Deputy Commissioner for International Relations at the Georgia Department of Economic Development; Daniel Gordon, Chief Operating Officer of the City of Atlanta’s Office of the Mayor, as well as leaders of the Jamat.

As Mawlana Hazar Imam landed, he was welcomed with an official salute by the Atlanta Police Department Honor Guard. This was followed by a performance of both the Nashid al-Imamah and the US National Anthem by the national 116th Army Band.

While in the US, Mawlana Hazar Imam is visiting Georgia and Texas, where he is scheduled to meet with the Governors of both states. He will also meet with the USA Jamat during Mulaqats in Atlanta and Houston.

Hazar Imam was most recently in the US in October and November 2017, when he received the United Nations Foundation’s Champion for Global Change award, and was presented with the Asia Society’s Game Changer Lifetime Achievement Award, both in New York City.

https://the.ismaili/diamond-jubilee/mawlana-hazar-imam-arrives-united-states

*******
Video: Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives in the United States

https://the.ismaili/diamond-jubilee/video-mawlana-hazar-imam-arrives-united-states

Upon his arrival in Atlanta, Mawlana Hazar Imam was greeted by various government officials and leaders of the Jamat. The Atlanta Police Department Honor Guard welcomed him with an official salute, and the national 116th Army Band performed the Nashid al-Imamah and the US National Anthem.

*******
Aga Khan arrives in Atlanta for historic Diamond Jubilee visit

Video:

https://www.ajc.com/news/local/aga-khan-arrives-atlanta-for-historic-diamond-jubilee-visit/dDNYDp8AmFlT6adRo8YSZP/

Aga Khan arrives in Atlanta for historic Diamond Jubilee visit His Highness the Aga Khan, the 49th hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the world's Shia Ismaili Muslim community, arrived in Atlanta Tuesday. The Aga Khan's stop in Atlanta is the first of a 10-day U.S. visit in commemoration of his 60 years of leadership (or Diamond Jubilee) over the approximately 20 million Ismaili Muslims around the globe. The Imam was welcomed Tuesday by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle among other state officials at the Fulton Cou

Video:

https://www.ajc.com/news/local/aga-khan-arrives-atlanta-for-historic-diamond-jubilee-visit/dDNYDp8AmFlT6adRo8YSZP/

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.ajc.com/lifestyles/religion/aga-khan-spiritual-leader-shia-ismaili-muslims-arrives-atlanta/bR2YDdJntbkYoIWvsIChzM/


Aga Khan, spiritual leader of Shia Ismaili Muslims, arrives in Atlanta

Fiza Pirani The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

12:24 p.m Wednesday, March 14, 2018 Atlanta Life




Lt. Governor Casey Cagle welcomes His Highness the Aga Khan, the 49th hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the world’s Shia Ismaili Muslim Community, as he arrives at Fulton County Airport. CURTIS COMPTON/CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

The Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the world’s approximately 20 million Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, arrived in Atlanta Tuesday evening as part of a year-long celebration commemorating 60 years of leadership, also known as his Diamond Jubilee.

Upon invitation from Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, the Aga Khan was greeted at the Fulton County Airport by local officials Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle; Abby Turano, state deputy commissioner for international relations and City of Atlanta chief operating officer Dan Gordon.

More than 200 Ismaili Muslims from around the country also awaited the Aga Khan at an exclusive arrival ceremony, which featured an official salute from the Atlanta police department Honor Guard and a lively performance of the U.S. national anthem from the 116th Army Band.

The Aga Khan has been traveling throughout the Diamond Jubilee year to countries where his humanitarian institutions operate to launch new programs that alleviate poverty and increase access to education, housing and childhood development.

In recognition of the longstanding support of government leaders and other partners in the vision for his institutional work, the Aga Khan will meet with Gov. Deal among other state officials during his stay in Atlanta to discuss areas of mutual interest and collaboration before continuing on to Houston, Texas to meet with Gov. Greg Abbott.

More than 60 years ago, the Aga Khan founded the Aga Khan Development Network, a web of private, non-denominational development agencies across the globe aimed at empowering communities in need through social, cultural and economic development for all citizens, regardless of gender, origin or religion. The AKDN works in 30 countries, including in the United States, and employs more than 80,000 people.

Among its many contributions to raising the quality of life of populations in the developing world, the AKDN’s initiatives have given more than 2 million students access to education and provided humanitarian aid to those affected by global disasters.

“We want to demonstrate that being a local citizen doesn’t preclude you from being a global citizen,” Aleem Walji, CEO of the Aga Khan Foundation and Georgia native, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Emory University alum previously worked as director of the World Bank’s Innovation Labs to improve information technology services to the poor and as head of global development at Google, where he primarily focused on increasing transparency and accountability in government in regions of eastern Africa.

“Through all the work I did, I found the AKDN was the most bottoms-up in implementing development, and the most impactful,” Walji said.

Over the last six decades, the Aga Khan has received multiple accolades for his global service. Most recently, in 2017, the Aga Khan was awarded the Foreign Policy Association Medal; the President’s Medal by the Architectural League of New York; the Champion for Global Change Award by United Nations Foundation and the Asia Game Changer Lifetime Achievement Award by the Asia Society.

“The Diamond Jubilee provides an opportunity to reflect on His Highness’s six decades of tireless work to improve the human condition for people around the globe,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms wrote in a welcome letter to the Aga Khan, who was formally granted the title of “His Highness” by Queen Elizabeth II in 1957. “The city of Atlanta is honored and proud to be one of two communities to welcome His Highness during his visit to the United States.”

During his 10-day visit to the U.S., the Imam will also be holding closed sessions with thousands of members of the Ismaili Muslim community, or Ismailis. Ismailis believe that the Prophet Muhammad was the last and final prophet of Allah and that after his death, the prophet’s cousin, Hazrat Ali, became the first Imam (or spiritual leader). The Aga Khan is their 49th hereditary Imam.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mawlana Hazar Imam meets with Georgia's Governor in Atlanta

“For 60 years, the Aga Khan has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to improving the human condition for the betterment of individuals and the advancement of societies around the world.” -Proclamation by the State of Georgia presented to Mawlana Hazar Imam, Atlanta, March 14, 2018.

Mawlana Hazar Imam was presented with a State Proclamation by Georgia’s Governor Nathan Deal today, recognizing his 60 years of dedication and inspiration towards improving the human condition around the world. The Governor welcomed Hazar Imam at the Georgia State Capitol, following his arrival in Atlanta yesterday for the commencement of his Diamond Jubilee visit to the United States.

Upon his arrival at the Capitol, Mawlana Hazar Imam was received by Brian Kemp, Secretary of State for the State of Georgia. The Proclamation was presented at the meeting, which was attended by Chief of Staff Chris Riley, and Abby Turano, Deputy Commissioner for International Relations, Georgia Department of Economic Development.

The Governor congratulated Hazar Imam for his profound vision and leadership over the past 60 years. They discussed a shared vision of improving the quality of life for all people by promoting early childhood development, planning for the future, and creating opportunities for economic growth. They also discussed possible partnerships around research in vocational education, healthcare, and agriculture, as well as best practices in student and faculty exchange.

The Proclamation recognizes the Aga Khan Development Network's efforts in providing "care and support to people of all faiths and origins who may face serious health and economic challenges." It also mentions Hazar Imam's inspiration for the Jamat of Georgia to "actively contribute to the well-being of all citizens through civic engagement and community service initiatives."

Mawlana Hazar Imam commenced his Mulaqats with the Jamat this afternoon in Atlanta, and is scheduled to travel to Houston later in the week to meet with the rest of the US Jamat.

https://the.ismaili/diamond-jubilee/mawlana-hazar-imam-meets-georgias-governor-atlanta
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Texans are finding ways to live their Muslim faith, not just talk about it

The colorful words blinking on Dallas’ biggest billboard were everything.

Thousands of Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims had spent the day at the convention center next door, participating in parades, performances and prayer to commemorate the start of the 60th anniversary year of our spiritual leader, the Aga Khan.

The Dallas Omni's 23-story light display the night of July 11 celebrated with us. "Diamond Jubilee," the tall letters spelled.

The lights on the Omni symbolized how far the American Ismaili community — my community —had come in the past few decades. Growing up in a post-9/11 era, I felt immense pressure to defend my faith. But as our religious community matured over the years, we felt more secure, we stopped explaining ourselves and we began embracing the power of showing who we are by living our faith.


As we prepare for the Aga Khan’s visit in Houston, his first trip to Texas in 10 years, that shift feels righteous.

The shift was not always obvious to our small community. Ismaili Muslims represent a small slice of Islam worldwide. We constitute about 20 million of the 1.8 billion Muslims. The Pew Research Center estimates there are 3.45 million Muslims in the U.S., of which the Ismaili Muslim community in Texas numbers around 40,000.

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https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2018/03/16/texans-finding-ways-live-muslim-faith-not-just-talk
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://abc13.com/religion/the-aga-khan-to-visit-houston-on-sunday/3225075/


RELIGION & SPIRITUALITY
The Aga Khan to visit Houston on Sunday


HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) --
His Highness the Aga Khan is making a 10-day Diamond Jubilee visit to the United States, marking 60 years of his leadership.

He will be visiting Atlanta and Houston.

The Aga Khan will be received by the Secretary of the State and the Ismaili Muslim leadership upon arrival in Houston on Sunday.

During his visit, he is scheduled to meet with Governor Abbott and the Ismaili community. A significant portion of the Ismaili community from around the U.S. is coming to Houston for this occasion.

The Ismaili community in Houston has been anxiously preparing for this visit with thousands of volunteers helping to make this historic visit memorable by working around the clock.

The Ismailis enthusiastically contribute to community service initiatives in Texas.

"Houston is proud to have a strong and vibrant Ismaili Muslim community that is focused on giving back to the communities it lives in, focused on making Houston a better city for all its citizens," said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. "The Ismaili Muslim community is a thought partner and a symbol of the religious and cultural pluralism that makes America the greatest nation on earth."

The ethical principles that the local Ismaili Muslim community embodies, as exemplified by the Aga Khan, reflected in their everyday lives as Houstonians, and their work in the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts were recognized by the mayor's office, the Houston Food Bank and a Points of Light award presented to the Ismaili volunteers by five former U.S. presidents.

An interactive exhibition titled Ethics in Action: The Aga Khan Development Network, hosted by the City of Houston is on display at the City Hall from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until March 23. This exhibition coincides with the Aga Khan's Diamond Jubilee by bringing to life the work of the institutions he has established through the AKDN to improve the well-being of individuals and communities globally.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Video: Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives in Houston

Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Houston yesterday for the second stop of his Diamond Jubilee visit to the United States. Upon his arrival, Hazar Imam was welcomed with a sabre salute by the Texas A&M Ross Volunteers, the State of Texas’ official honor guard.

https://the.ismaili/diamond-jubilee/video-mawlana-hazar-imam-arrives-houston

*******
Governor Greg Abbott honors Hazar Imam upon his arrival in Texas

Immediately upon his arrival in Houston, Texas, on Sunday, March 18, Mawlana Hazar Imam attended a series of engagements, including meetings with Governor of Texas Greg Abbott and Mayor of Houston Sylvester Turner, followed by a lunch reception with state officials and academic, business, and civil society leaders.

At the luncheon hosted in honor of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Diamond Jubilee, the Governor noted the long standing friendship between the Imamat and the state of Texas, and expressed his congratulations for the Imam’s Diamond Jubilee. Governor Abbott said, “What a tremendous event that is! But, equally tremendous, are the awards and achievements that you and the Ismaili community have achieved over just this Diamond Jubilee year.”

Governor Abbott congratulated Hazar Imam for being presented with the United Nations Foundation’s Champion for Global Change award, and highlighted the State of Texas’ special appreciation for the Ismaili community during the response and recovery efforts following Hurricane Harvey. He said, “the Points of Light, presented by the five past living presidents of the United States to the Ismaili community...for the profound way that the community stepped up and aided the people of Houston and Harris County and this entire region...is symbolic of the ways that our two communities have collaborated so well together.”

Recalling his recent visit to the Ismaili Jamatkhana and Center in Sugar Land, Governor Abbott called it, “a great opportunity for people of all backgrounds to...see in a tangible way the connection that the Ismaili community has established in this region.” Governor Abbott concluded by expressing his hope that the friendship with the Imamat will continue for many years to come.

Hazar Imam appreciated Governor Abbott’s sentiments, stating, “I would also like to say thank you about the partnerships that we have.” He reiterated the strength of the institutional partnerships between the State of Texas and the Aga Khan Development Network. “It is the demonstration of Texas’ generosity in thought and in practice that you have been able to sustain some of our programs [across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East].”

Mawlana Hazar Imam ended his remarks with the hope to continue “building bridges between our institutions“ in order to “measure the wonderful impact that [Texas’] generosity is having.”

https://the.ismaili/diamond-jubilee/governor-greg-abbott-honors-hazar-imam-upon-his-arrival-texas
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.dallasnews.com/life/faith/2018/03/18/aga-khan-arrives-houston-meet-thousands-texas-faithful

All Photos below the article

Aga Khan arrives to meet with thousands of Ismaili Muslims in Texas

UPDATE at 10:30 a.m. March 19, 2018: Revised to include quotes and photos from Gov. Greg Abbott's visit with the Aga Khan.

HOUSTON — Greeted by an honor guard from Texas A&M University and a brass band from Houston, the Aga Khan arrived in the Houston area Sunday to celebrate his 60th year as the spiritual leader to nearly 20 million Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims worldwide.



For Ismaili Muslims in Texas, the visit is a once-in-a-decade event to celebrate and give thanks to the leader they say is personally responsible for their spiritual and material livelihood. He will be in Houston through March 22.

"He really cares for all of us," said Farrukh Valliani of Irving. "We're really fortunate that we're going through this experience."

Valliani and thousands of other North Texas Ismailis have been working around the clock to prepare for the Aga Khan's visit since it was announced in late February.

The plane of the Aga Khan taxies into position after landing at the Sugar Land Regional Airport on Sunday. The Texas A&M Ross Volunteers Company waits on the red carpet.

(Michael Wyke/Special Contributor)

That preparation came to a head Sunday in a formal ceremony at Sugar Land Regional Airport, where some 200 select Ismaili leaders gathered for the official welcome ceremony.

Along with a saber salute from the Ross Volunteers Company of A&M's Corps of Cadets, the Aga Khan was greeted by Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos and was presented a key to the city by Sugar Land Mayor Joe Zimmerman. The dignitaries also stood for the playing of both Ismaili and United States anthems, performed by Houston's Conrad Johnson Orchestra.

"The Ismaili community has shown its commitment to strengthening and empowering our state through service, entrepreneurship, and spiritual leadership," Pablos said. "I would like to thank His Highness [the Aga Khan] for his vision, his leadership, and his community's deep friendship with the State of Texas."

Heena Jiwani, a Texan who was at the ceremony, teaches religious studies and spent two years at London's Institute for Ismaili Studies. She said she felt honored to be in the imam's presence Sunday.

"To be here for his arrival is a really big thing," Jiwani said. "He's just a role model for our entire community."

Who is the Aga Khan?

The Aga Khan is the imam of the worldwide Ismaili community, a branch of Shia Islam. Born in Switzerland and educated at Harvard, he preaches tolerance, the value of education and the importance of community service. At age 81, he is the 49th imam of the Ismaili Muslims.
So he's like the pope?

Not quite. For Ismaili Muslims, the title of imam is hereditary — like royal succession. Each imam selects a successor out of his own children, and the Aga Khan can trace his lineage directly to the Prophet Muhammad. The current imam was given the title of Aga Khan when his grandfather died in 1957.

His influence for Ismaili Muslims is as much cultural as it is spiritual. He has created a number of non-denominational charitable organizations around the globe and says it is his role as imam to tend to both the spiritual and material well-being of his community.
The red-carpet treatment

The Aga Khan is a spiritual leader, but he's also a royal without a nation. He often travels the world and is the guest of heads of state. This month, for example, Queen Elizabeth II of England hosted a dinner in his honor at Windsor Castle. He is visiting Texas as an official guest of the state government and met Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday afternoon.

"We have a state motto - and that motto is friendship. This is a friendship that has lasted many years and that we expect will continue many years into the future," Abbott said at the lunch, according to a press release.
<p><span style="font-size: 1em; background-color: transparent;">Gov. Greg Abbott meets with the Aga Khan, spiritual leader to Ismaili Muslims, during an official visit celebrating his 60th year as imam.</span></p>(Farhez Rayani/Submitted photo)

Gov. Greg Abbott meets with the Aga Khan, spiritual leader to Ismaili Muslims, during an official visit celebrating his 60th year as imam.
(Farhez Rayani/Submitted photo)
Why Houston?

Texas has a large concentration of Ismaili Muslims, with about 40,000 of the Aga Khan's followers in the region. Houston is home to the Ismaili Council for the United States headquarters.
What's he doing this week?

This is the Aga Khan's 60th year as imam, and he and the Ismaili community are celebrating his diamond jubilee. It is a year of service as much as celebration, all leading up to his visit this week.

As part of the festivities, the Aga Khan will speak directly to his followers in a series of closed sessions.

Where can I go to learn more about the Ismaili faith?

Dallas Morning News reporter Naheed Rajwani recently wrote a personal essay about her experiences growing up Ismaili post-9/11. Read it hereor in the March 18 print edition's Points section. Go to the.ismaili to learn more about the Aga Khan's visit to Houston












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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms bids farewell to His Highness the Aga Khan as he departs Atlanta

Photo:
ismailimail.wordpress.com/2018/03/18/mayor-keisha-lance-bottoms-bids-farewell-to-his-highness-the-aga-khan-as-he-departs-atlanta/

*****
Signs on Texas Highways Houston Welcoming His Highness the Aga Khan

Photo:
ismailimail.wordpress.com/2018/03/19/signs-on-texas-highways-houston-welcoming-his-highness-the-aga-khan/

*****
Texas Governor Abbott and His Highness the Aga Khan reaffirm longstanding partnership

Houston, USA, 18 March 2018 – Texas Governor Greg Abbott today lauded the longstanding partnership and friendship with His Highness the Aga Khan, 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, and the Ismaili Muslim Community in Texas.

The Governor spoke at a luncheon hosted in honour of the Aga Khan’s Diamond Jubilee, drawing upon examples of the Aga Khan’s exemplary leadership and accomplishments in improving healthcare and education and the quality of life for people in developing countries. He commended the strong spirit of volunteerism within the Ismaili Community, referencing the recent Points of Light Award where the Community was recognised in the presence of all five living former U.S. presidents for its relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

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http://www.akdn.org/press-release/texas-governor-abbott-and-his-highness-aga-khan-reaffirm-longstanding-partnership
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.thevindicator.com/news/article_4be7e954-2b9c-11e8-a321-af6568f34ac8.html

The Aga Khan is welcomed to Texas

Posted: Monday, March 19, 2018 12:38 pm | Updated: 12:42 pm, Mon Mar 19, 2018.

Texas Secretary of State Press Release | 0 comments

HOUSTON – Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos today welcomed His Highness the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the worldwide Shia Ismaili Muslim community, to Texas on the occasion of his Diamond Jubilee. Texas is home to the largest Ismaili community in the United States; Ismailis reside throughout the U.S. and in 30 countries globally.

The State of Texas and the Ismaili Imamat and Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) have been collaborating since 2002, initially focusing on primary education and in jointly inaugurating the Ismaili Jamatkhana and Center in Sugar Land. Today, the Center is a place to encourage exchange between civic organizations, civil society, and faith communities. This partnership was formalized through an Agreement of Cooperation in 2009, and expanded into other areas including post-secondary education, disaster recovery, health, and culture.

Houston's Ismaili Muslim community embodies the ethic of service to others, having recently received the Points of Light award from five former U.S. presidents in October 2017 for organizing and dispatching more than 2,500 volunteers to assist in recovery efforts throughout southeast Texas following Hurricane Harvey. Secretary Pablos expressed his sincere appreciation and honor to host His Highness in Texas and congratulated Texas Ismailis on their exemplary community engagement and humanitarian efforts throughout the Lone Star State.

"It is my distinct honor to welcome His Highness the Aga Khan to Texas, where the Ismaili community has shown its commitment to strengthening and empowering our state through service, entrepreneurship, and spiritual leadership," Secretary Pablos said. "I would like to thank His Highness for his vision, his leadership, and his community's deep friendship with the State of Texas."

His Highness the Aga Khan, the founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), is the 49th hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the world’s 15 million Shia Ismaili Muslims. The AKDN is a group of private, international, non-denominational agencies working in over 30 countries to improve living conditions and opportunities for people in specific regions of the developing world. The AKDN's organizations have individual mandates ranging from health and education to architecture, rural development and the promotion of private-sector enterprise.&#8232; &#8232;Learn more about the Aga Khan Development Network.&#8232; &#8232;Learn more about His Highness' visit to the United States.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.fairobserver.com/region/north_america/aga-khan-us-visit-islam-philanthropy-news-43192/

A Muslim Leader Honored in the US

By Shenila Khoja-Moolji • March 20, 2018

Religious leaders such as the Aga Khan may be difficult to decipher in Western contexts.

On March 14, the governor of Georgia presented a state proclamation to Prince Shah Karim al-Hussaini, the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims. The proclamation recognizes the Aga Khan as the 49th hereditary imam, tracing direct lineage to Prophet Muhammad through his daughter Fatima.

There are not many occasions when state entities recognize a religious leader, and a Muslim one at that. It is, therefore, worthwhile to understand the Aga Khan’s work and the interpretation of Islam that he represents.

The proclamation makes reference to the Aga Khan’s “longstanding commitment to improving the human condition” and his work in the global South through the development institution that he founded over 50 years ago, the Aga Khan Development Network. The network operates in more than 30 countries and has a broad scope, which includes education, health care, financial services and cultural and environmental preservation.

At first glance, the Aga Khan appears to be like any other rich philanthropist — another Bill Gates or George Soros perhaps, using his private wealth to venture into previously colonized worlds to rescue its people through service delivery. That, in fact, is one of the ways in which the Aga Khan is popularly viewed in Western contexts: a philanthropist, a social entrepreneur, a do-gooder.

The reduction of the Aga Khan’s work to these trendy idioms, though well-meaning, is misguided. It significantly narrows the scope of his efforts, which he grounds in the faith of Islam. Philanthropy, in the American context, has developed over the course of the 20th century as a way for individuals to deploy their private wealth for the good of the people. Such individuals have also often been able to mold public policy to align with their visions.

However, it is precisely this ability of private actors to influence public policies that makes scholars suspicious of “big” philanthropy. Run by private boards with broad agendas, philanthropies yield extensive political power without public accountability, while relying on public funds and tax breaks for their operation.

Additionally, while some philanthropic endeavors have religious affiliations, increasingly many more are distinctly secular. The emergence of the latter in the West has taken place in a context where religion is presented as a conservative force leading toward intolerance, while notions of tolerance and justice are often linked with secularism — even as scholars have delineated the religious roots of secularism. Religion and religious people, thus, are popularly viewed as being out-of-place in the contemporary moment. Such sentiments make religious leaders such as the Aga Khan difficult to decipher in Western contexts.

The Aga Khan has previously explained:

I am fascinated and somewhat frustrated when representatives of the western world — especially the western media — try to describe the work of our Aga Khan Development Network in fields like education, health, the economy, media, and the building of social infrastructure. Reflecting a certain historical tendency of the West to separate the secular from the religious, they often describe it either as philanthropy or entrepreneurship. What is not understood is that this work is for us a part of our institutional responsibility — it flows from the mandate of the office of Imam to improve the quality of worldly life for the concerned communities.

This mandate calls on him to safeguard the individual’s right to personal spiritual search and to give practical expression to the ethical vision of society that the Islamic message inspires. In this worldview, faith and the world become intricately linked. The imam must therefore advance the welfare of his followers across both domains and help them to understand the interconnections.

For instance, the Aga Khan’s articulation of the purpose of education is significantly broader than the reduction of education to a means for accumulating wealth, which we find prevalent in society today. Instead, the Aga Khan notes that the acquisition, production and transmission of knowledge should be guided by a desire to understand and appreciate Allah’s creation. It should also enable one to make a positive contribution to one’s communities and societies. This does not mean that education cannot be deployed to advance material well-being; rather, it posits that accumulation of wealth must be in keeping with the ethics of Islam.

These ethics include generosity, kindness and public welfare. Education, then, should teach us about our interdependencies and the responsibilities that we have to each other. Per the Aga Khan, it should guide us to share our knowledge and competencies to pull up those around us. Such an approach to education would perhaps rein in the unbridled greed and individualism that is so pervasive today.

If there is one key message to take away from the Aga Khan’s visit, it is to make space for Muslim ethical framings of care for the self, community and others. It is crucial to reject the reduction of Islam to only interpretations that breed intolerance. Islam has, is, and will remain an enormous force of good and social justice in the world. And the Aga Khan powerfully represents that aspect of Islam.

*[Note: This piece has been updated to give the date of the proclamation as March 14 instead of March 12.]

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.dallasnews.com/life/faith/2018/03/22/always-guided-us-dallas-area-ismaili-muslims-show-devotion-aga-khan

'He's always guided us': Dallas-area Ismaili Muslims show their devotion to the Aga Khan

Charles Scudder, Staff Writer

In every success, in every family milestone, Farrukh Valliani of Irving sees the Aga Khan's guidance.

Both Farrukh and his wife, Farida Valliani, members of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslim faith, were born in Aga Khan hospitals in Pakistan and were educated at Aga Khan schools before coming to the United States.

Farida is a doctor because the Aga Khan, their spiritual leader, instructs his followers to get the best education possible.

Daughters Alisha, 18, and Shireen, 23, will both graduate during the Aga Khan's 60th year as imam. Alisha is a senior at North Hills Preparatory School in Irving and Shireen is a recent graduate of Emory University. Farrukh says this is a gift to the imam.

"It is very hard to explain what this means to us," Farida said. "We are all directly benefited."

There's something powerful about being in the Aga Khan's presence. They spent this week in Houston for a once-in-a-decade chance to hear from him directly.

The Valliani family watches videos of him online and has large photos of him placed throughout their home. But this is different.
The Valliani family -- from left, Farrukh, Alisha, Shireen and Farida -- in their home in Irving. They are members of the Ismaili faith and traveled to Houston to see their spiritual leader, the Aga Khan, who is pictured above their mantel.(Ashley Landis/Staff Photographer)
The Valliani family -- from left, Farrukh, Alisha, Shireen and Farida -- in their home in Irving. They are members of the Ismaili faith and traveled to Houston to see their spiritual leader, the Aga Khan, who is pictured above their mantel.
(Ashley Landis/Staff Photographer)

"He's always guided us. He's always just holding our hand. Just knowing he's been there in a spiritual and physical way," Shireen said. "Seeing him live makes it 1,000 times better."

After nearly a year of planning, celebration and service, they joined 40,000 Ismaili Muslims from Texas and surrounding states. The highlight: a series of closed sessions through Thursday where the Aga Khan spoke directly to his followers.

"He takes care of everything," Farrukh said, his voice breaking.

"Throughout our life, he's been the main contributor for all of us." Farrukh paused, gaining composure. "And we have to give it back to him."
Faith through service

Ismailis are quick to say that the Aga Khan is not like the pope. He is not elected, but is the sole imam of their faith, a role passed down from generation to generation like royal succession. He can trace his lineage back to the prophet Muhammad.
The Aga Khan during his arrival at the Sugar Land Regional Airport on March 18.(Michael Wyke/Special Contributor)
The Aga Khan during his arrival at the Sugar Land Regional Airport on March 18.
(Michael Wyke/Special Contributor)

The Aga Khan is the single imam for 20 million Ismaili Muslims worldwide, but he's as much a cultural icon as he is a spiritual one. He has created numerous nondenominational charities and organizations including schools, universities, hospitals and more.

The Aga Khan's diamond jubilee year, celebrating 60 years as imam, began in July 2017. For Dallas-area Ismailis, that meant a celebration at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

Shireen, who graduated from Emory University last year and now works as a global marketing consultant in Plano, created a dance routine with a group of friends for the occasion. Alisha and Farida created artwork reflecting on the Aga Khan's importance and their personal connection to him.

But as much as the diamond jubilee is a celebration, it also represents a year of service. At the beginning of the jubilee year, Farrukh and a team of volunteers traveled to Tajikistan to create an English language training program. Alisha traveled to Kenya for a service learning experience at the Aga Khan Academies there.

The Ismaili community in Texas was particularly involved with recovery efforts after Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast. There's a large population of Ismailis in Sugar Land, for example, and they opened the local Jamatkhana, or house of worship, to locals fleeing the floodwaters.

Farida worked overnight shifts at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas to help care for refugees. She credits the Aga Khan, who encourages Ismailis to seek the highest education possible. For her, that meant medical school.

"I felt privileged that I had the education that I could do that instead of just watching on TV," Farida said. "I feel proud I can serve."
Last-minute plans

All of that service has been hyper-focused in recent weeks for the Aga Khan's visit to Houston.

Planning started in September, although Farrukh said the community began preparing for the diamond jubilee as early as 2015. Texas Ismailis knew the Aga Khan would be visiting at some point during that year, but didn't know exactly when.

For months, the community was careful to only make tentative plans. When the Vallianis took a vacation to Jamaica in December, for example, they purchased extra travel insurance in case they needed to cancel their plans at the last minute.

Farida Valliani (left) and her two daughters, Shireen and Alisha, get their bearings for their hotel, other locations and schedules with Diamond Jubilee volunteers Ali Charania and Nazeer Kashavjee at a reception and information table by the baggage claim area at Houston Hobby Airport on March 17.
(Michael Wyke/Special Contributor)

Alisha has been helping to plan a senior trip with her classmates since sophomore year. All that time she's known the jubilee year would be a conflict.

It's something the rest of the class has looked forward to for years, but Alisha had more important plans. She chose not to sign up, not wanting to risk having to pay a hefty cancellation fee should the Aga Khan's visit be a conflict.

After months of uncertainty, the Aga Khan announced that he would visit Atlanta and Houston in March. Texas Ismailis had just four weeks to prepare.

As a member of the Ismaili national council, Farrukh began making regular trips to Houston. Farida began registering faithful at the local Jamatkhana so they'd be able to attend the festivities in Houston.

Shireen and Alisha filled out profiles online to share their skills as potential volunteers.

From a phone app and website, Shireen and Alisha could accept or decline different duties as they arise. One day, they might be manning an information table at a Houston hotel. The next, they may be helping stuff gift bags at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Volunteers in Action - Houston, TX

Thousands of volunteers prepare for the upcoming visit of Mawlana Hazar Imam in Houston, TX ahead of his arrival. #USAVisit #IsmailisInAction
Posted by TheIsmaili USA on Sunday, March 18, 2018

"I think it's more fun to be behind the scenes than just attending," Shireen said. "It feels like you're hosting it."
The imam's arrival

On the day the Aga Khan was scheduled to arrive in Texas, Farrukh arrived at the Sugar Land Regional Airport at 5 a.m. to begin arranging ground transportation.

By mid-morning, the cars were lined up and ready to go. A few Houston Police motorcycles and a squad car preceded the Aga Khan's black Mercedes-Benz with green and red Ismaili flags on the hood.

Farrukh walked briskly from car to car, leaning in to each make sure it was spotless, the wheels were perfectly aligned and everything was just where it needed to be.

A half-hour before the imam's arrival, Farrukh and about 200 other select Ismaili leaders got into position on a red carpet on the tarmac. Farrukh bounced on his toes with anticipation.

"It's behind us," someone said, and with a loud roar the jet dropped out of the sky and sped toward the runway. "Wow."

Farrukh removed his glasses and cleaned them while the jet taxied into position. As the door of the plane opened and the Aga Khan appeared, Farrukh was muttering silently.

"Appreciation," he said later. "Gratitude."

One man in the crowd held out his hands in prayer. Another quietly wept.

Dignitaries and the Aga Khan (far left, third from left) listen as national anthems are performed while Farrukh Valliani (far right) stands with other attendants at the Sugar Land Regional Airport on March 18.
(Michael Wyke/Special Contributor)

After a brief ceremony and playing of the Ismaili and United States national anthems, the imam got in his car and drove toward Houston. Farrukh and the others smiled and waved. The Aga Khan rolled down his window and waved back.

As soon as he was out of sight, the Ismailis at the airport broke from their positions on the tarmac, giving each other big hugs and posing for pictures with the royal jet.

Farrukh made his way through the crowd, stopping for photos and shaking hands.

"Mubarikis," he said. Congratulations. Blessings.

Finally, a brief moment of relaxation after weeks of planning and many sleepless nights. With the official duties out of the way, Farrukh said it was time for spiritual reflection.

"Now we're ready," Farrukh said. "The imam has put a blessing on all of us."

UPDATED at 5:03 p.m. March 22 with more details about the work Farrukh Valliani and his team did on a trip to Tajikistan in 2017.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rowe: The Aga Khan’s visit to Houston reminds us that a pluralist society begins in the classroom

In our increasingly globalized world, it is a pluralist cosmopolitan society that thrives. This is a society that recognizes and affirms diversity from within, and not only accepts those differences, but seeks to understand and learn from them.


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This year marks His Highness the Aga Khan’s Diamond Jubilee, his 60 years as the 49th hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the world’s Ismaili Muslims. With the Aga Khan’s visit to Houston this week — one of the most diverse cities in America — to celebrate this milestone, the Ismaili community here is using the opportunity to reflect on his commitment to faith, pluralism and improved quality of life across the world. A particular focus of his is bringing pluralism — a capacity to see those from different backgrounds as equals — into the classroom.

As Head of School at The Village School in Houston, I place the highest value on diversity. Our student body represents six continents and more than 60 countries. We celebrate the diversity of our international community every day.

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https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Rowe-The-Aga-Khan-s-visit-to-Houston-reminds-12776245.php
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mayor @SylvesterTurner lit the Houston City Hall in Downtown and the cross bridges over Highway 59 and Montrose with teal lights in celebration of His Highness the #AgaKhan's #DiamondJubilee visit to Houston. #ABC13 #USAVisit #Ismaili #AKDN

https://twitter.com/SameeraABC13/status/977255356077412354
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mawlana Hazar Imam departs Houston, completing his Diamond Jubilee visit to the USA

Mawlana Hazar Imam departed Houston early this morning, marking an end to his 10-day Diamond Jubilee visit to the United States. Jamati leaders were present to bid him an emotional farewell on behalf of the US Jamat.

Mawlana Hazar Imam’s visit to the USA began in Atlanta, Georgia, on 13 March at the invitation of Governor of Georgia Nathan Deal. Lieutenant Governor of Georgia Casey Cagle received Hazar Imam upon his arrival. At a meeting with the Governor, Hazar Imam was presented with a State Proclamation recognising 60 years of dedication towards improving the human condition and the positive impact of the Aga Khan Development Network around the world. Upon his departure, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms was at the airport to congratulate him personally on his Diamond Jubilee visit.

Hazar Imam’s visit continued onto Houston from 18-23 March, at the invitation of Governor of Texas Greg Abbott. Hazar Imam was welcomed at the airport by Secretary of State of Texas Rolando Pablos, Mayor of Sugar Land Joe Zimmerman, and the Chief of Protocol for the City of Houston. Mayor Zimmerman presented Mawlana Hazar Imam with a key to the City of Sugar Land. Mawlana Hazar Imam later met with Mayor of Houston Sylvester Turner, who welcomed him and the entire Jamat to the City of Houston. Mawlana Hazar Imam also attended a luncheon with Governor Abbott in celebration of the Diamond Jubilee.

While in Texas, Mawlana Hazar Imam received formal recognitions from city, state and federal officials for his efforts to improve the quality of life of global communities over the past sixty years. This public recognition of the Imam’s contributions was a proud moment for the entire US Jamat.

The majority of Hazar Imam’s time in the USA was spent with the Jamat from across the country who had gathered in Atlanta and Houston. During his final Mulaqat in Houston, Hazar Imam was presented with a gift of 147 glass weights from the Fatimid period on behalf of the USA Jamat. During the same Mulaqat, Mawlana Hazar Imam graciously confirmed plans to establish an Ismaili Centre in Houston.

Throughout the 10-day visit, Mawlana Hazar Imam repeatedly expressed his sincere gratitude to all the volunteers, visible and non-visible, for the tireless efforts that made his visit so happy. The Jamat’s tradition of volunteerism was evident in myriad forms, and each volunteer’s efforts contributed to the success of this historic Diamond Jubilee Mulaqat.

https://the.ismaili/diamond-jubilee/mawlana-hazar-imam-departs-houston-completing-his-diamond-jubilee-visit-usa
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/life/houston-belief/article/Visit-by-the-Aga-Khan-inspires-Ismaili-Muslims-12779081.php

Visit by the Aga Khan inspires Ismaili Muslims across the country

By Monica Rhor
March 24, 2018

A month ago, 85-year-old Yasmin Thawerbhory was in a San Antonio hospital bed, struggling to breathe after a bout of bronchitis. Her plans to travel to Houston for a rare visit by the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of Ismaili Muslims, seemed in jeopardy.
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Her children worried that she would not be strong enough to attend the ceremonies and celebrations marking the Aga Khan's Diamond Jubilee, his 60th year as imam to an estimated 15 million followers across the world.

But Thawerbhory, an immigrant from India who suffers from chronic pulmonary disease and worked until her family forced her to retire at 75, was having none of that. She had attended five jubilees - two for this Aga Khan and three for his predecessor - in her lifetime, and was determined to attend her sixth.

Thawerbhory told her children: The only place I will go will be my Diamond Jubilee.
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Visit by the Aga Khan inspires Ismaili Muslims across the country
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And so she did.

This week, in a wheelchair and accompanied by her family, Thawerbhory was in Houston, along with thousands of other Ismaili Muslims who journeyed from around the country to see the Aga Khan during his second stop on a two-city visit to the U.S.

"I am so, so happy," Thawerbhory said. "I don't need anything else in my life."

As part of his Diamond Jubilee celebration, the Aga Kkan, the 49th imam in direct lineal descent from the Prophet Muhammad, has been touring countries where his humanitarian institutions are located to start new initiatives that tackle poverty, education, housing and childhood development.

During his four-day visit to Houston, the Aga Khan announced plans to build the first Ismaili Center in this country, joining seven other ambassadorial buildings in London, Lisbon, Dubai, Toronto, Vancouver, Dushanbe and Dubai.

The Aga Khan's visit to Houston, home to an Ismaili community of about 40,000 and the Ismaili Council for the United States headquarters, began on March 18 with a welcome from city and state officials, the Texas A&M honor guard and a brass band. The 81-year-old Aga Khan received a key to the city of Sugar Land from Mayor Joe Zimmerman and a video message from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

"Houston is proud to have a strong and vibrant Ismaili Muslim community that is focused on giving back to the communities it lives in," Turner said in his greeting, "focused on making Houston a better city for all its citizens."

That message - of community service and helping others - is at the root of the Aga Khan's visit and what he symbolizes for Ismailis.

Ismaili Muslims, the second largest community within the Shia branch of Islam, focus on self-improvement, building peace and sharing resources to better the community. They trace their 1,400-year-old history to Ali, or Shia, the cousin and son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad, who believed that his legacy could only pass through a family member.

After the Shia branch divided, the Ismailis followed Imam Jafar as-Sadiq's eldest son, Ismail, and continued to follow the hereditary succession from Ismail to the current Aga Khan, whose philanthropic work serves as a role model for followers.

They cite his work with the Aga Khan Development Network, a nondenominational foundation that supports improved education, economics and health care around the world. They cite the establishment of his Global Centre for Pluralism in Ottawa, Canada, a think tank dedicated to promoting tolerance.

"The jubilee creates such a unique sense of optimism and hope for future. It's a good reminder that we are part of much bigger, much greater global Ismaili community," said Mavluda Mavlonazarova, a Houston resident and director of business products for Prime Communications.

For Mavlonazarova, the Aga Khan's visit is a celebration of efforts to build bridges and celebrate differences. The welcome ceremony, with its mix of cultures and communities, was a perfect emblem of that, she said.

As a native of Tajikistan, the 30-year-old said she attended one of the schools started through the Aga Khan's efforts to promote education.

"An occasion like this inspires us even more," Mavlonazarova said, "to grow and understand what can we do to improve ourselves and contribute to the community."

The jubilee celebrations, which took place at the George R. Brown Convention Center, also provided an opportunity for non-Ismaili family members and friends to learn more about the faith and the Aga Khan.

Jason Bourke, 32, a non-Ismaili who came from Boston with his Ismaili fiancee for the jubilee, said the experience has helped him understand the importance of the Aga Khan to his followers.

After Bourke's fiancee and her family had a malaqat - or audience - with the Aga Khan, he saw a joy and ease on their faces, "a real feeling of happiness and feeling carefree."

"Something powerful happened in that room," he said.

For Thawerbhory, each jubilee has marked a milestone in her own life. They inspired her to move ahead on her path toward marriage, motherhood and building a business - and motivated her to "do good work" for others.

After the last jubilee in 2008, and a visit by the Aga Khan to San Antonio, Thawerbhory reached out to widows in her circle and formed a community garden to grow vegetables and fruit for the hungry. Her daughter remembers seeing the elders working in the backyard, drinking tea and laughing.

The examples set by her mother and by the Aga Khan form "the basis for how I live my personal life," said Waheeda Kara, a commercial realtor. "Compassion and sharing, teaching others to be self-reliant, having respect for life. All of those things are the basis for what we do."
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