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SYRIA dates, events and testimonies
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 19674

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prince Aga Khan Visits Old Serail Building in Aleppo, Concludes Visit to Syria

Friday, August 29, 2008 - 07:30 PM

ALEPPO,(SANA)_ Head of the Aga Khan Development Network AKDN His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan visited Friday building of the old Serail in Aleppo.

He listened to a detailed explanation about project of developing the Serail building in accordance with the memorandum of the investment contract regarding this building, which was signed yesterday between the government and the AKDN. The estimated cost of completing the project is about one billion Syrian pounds on a total area estimated at about 11.000 square meters.

The building, which dates back to 1930, is consisted of three stories and a basement. The building is overlooking on Aleppo Castle.

Later, the Aga Khan left Aleppo wrapping up a 6-day visit to Syria during which several agreements and memoranda of understanding with the government regarding establishment of tourism, cultural and developmental projects in both Damascus and Aleppo were signed.

At Aleppo International Airport, the Aga Khan was seen off by Tourism Minister Sa'dalla Aga al-Qal'a, Governor of Aleppo and a representative of AKDN in Syria.

http://www.sana.sy/eng/21/2008/08/29/190591.htm
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xaf



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:50 am    Post subject: Deedar in Syria - Miraculous! Reply with quote

Congratulations to all for the wonderful Golden Jubilee celebrations in Syria. How wonderfully happy our beloved Mowla looked. His smiles knew no boundaries, and why not? The Syrian Jamat was so welcoming, friendly and showed clearly what big hearts they have. This is what our Mowla loves to see - simple, happy folks with hearts of gold filled with love for Him, love which was expressed so clearly and joyously as our Mowla entered the darbars, whilst He was seated on the stage, and on His exit from the darbars. I felt very proud and happy to have been part of such a joyous celebration. Salamiyah and the mountains of Al Khawabi, festooned with red and green buntings, radiated with joy and happiness. And the people, my brothers and sisters, how good-looking they are, their beauty enhanced by the twinkles in their eyes brought on by the presence of our beloved Mowla. This was an occassion not to be missed, and once again I heartily congratulate the Syrian Jamat for making my Mowla smile so much, and for teaching us that it is not great wealth, glamour and top class amenities which are neded to be happy and content. Simple goodness, humanity and concern for other people's welfare and above all unconditional love for Hazar Imam are the essential ingredients for a happy life.

Personally, this trip was full of miracles for my family and myself. For example, our driver got completely lost in the Al Khawabi area. Upto 9am we drove around in the mountains without any luck. Just as we decided to head back to Damascus, our hearts sad and heavy for missing the deedar, out of nowhere a red car appeared and the driver actually escorted our car right upto the base of the hill ontop of which the mandap was. We rushed up the hill as fast as we could and just as we reached the top, Mowla's motorcade arrived. We just stood there in shock as Mowla emmerged from His car, looked towards us and acknowledged us with a nod and a smile. Then as He was ushered into His lounge, volunteers rushed us to the other entrance and escorted us to a place right next to the stage on the left side from where we had a perfect deedar.
I thank Mowla from the bottom of my heart for having sent us a guide just as we were about to give up and for giving us His deedar both outside and inside the darbar. There were many other such miracles which happened which I may share with you later.
This was a trip which was truly memorable and miraculous, never ever to be forgotten!
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ng070758



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

just came back from Syria and reeling from the awesome experience of the Darbars and the kindness,big heartedness and generosity of Ismailis of Syria.Trying to put things in to perspective.Will right with detailed experience and share the miracles after miracles that happened to me and my friends while visiting Syria.
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Updares from theismaili.org:

Friday, 29 August 2008

President Nasser Al-Maghout of the Ismaili Council for Syria bids farewell to Mawlana Hazar Imam at the conclusion of his Golden Jubilee visit to Syria. Photo: Gary Otte

Following several meetings in the morning, Mawlana Hazar Imam departed Syria from Aleppo airport in the early afternoon.

At the airport, Prime Minister Muhammad Naji Al-Utri bade the Imam farewell on behalf of the Government. Leaders of the Jamat and the AKDN in Syria were also present as Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Golden Jubilee visit to Syria drew to a close.

Additional photos are available in the photo gallery.



Thursday, 28 August 2008



Mawlana Hazar Imam smiles during his speech at a ceremony marking the completion of cultural revitalisation work carried out by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in partnership with the Syrian Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums. Photo: Gary Otte

This morning, Mawlana Hazar Imam met again with the President of the Syrian Arab Republic, Dr Bashar Al-Assad. Later, he visited the site being proposed for an Aga Khan Academy in Damascus, as well as the site of a future hotel that the AKDN’s Tourism Promotion Services plans to develop in Old Damascus.

In the afternoon, Mawlana Hazar Imam, accompanied by Prime Minister Muhammad Naji Al-Utri, departed Damascus to travel to Aleppo. Leaders of the Jamat and AKDN gathered at Damascus airport to bid Hazar Imam farewell from the capital city.

In Aleppo, Mawlana Hazar Imam and the Prime Minister attended a ceremony at the Aleppo Citadel to mark the completion of cultural revitalisation work on the citadels of Aleppo, Salah ad-Din and Masyaf, which was carried out by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in partnership with the Syrian Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums.

Also see the additional coverage and photos of the ceremony at AKDN.

Mawlana Hazar Imam also announced the creation of a $15 million urban park in Aleppo. The Park at Bab Qinnesrine, to be built on waste ground owned by the Aleppo Municipality, will create a vast new public green space for the people of Aleppo. In addition to announcing the park, Mawlana Hazar Imam witnessed the signing of an agreement for AKDN’s Tourism Promotion Services to develop a hotel in Aleppo.



Wednesday, 27 August 2008

At the institutional dinner, Mawlana Hazar Imam expresses his happiness while addressing the Syrian Jamati leadership. Photo: Akbar Hakim

Mawlana Hazar Imam had another early start today, as he travelled to Al-Khawabi for the second Golden Jubilee Darbar.

Situated near Syria’s west coast, Al-Khawabi is a mountainous region with a history of Ismaili presence that goes back centuries. Thousands of the Imam’s murids and others travelled from across the region for this Darbar.

After returning to Damascus by helicopter, Mawlana Hazar Imam was guest of honour at a dinner hosted by the Jamati Institutions of Syria. During the evening, a group of young children from the Jamat presented a dance set to an Arabic poem in praise of Hazar Imam. The leadership also presented a gift to Mawlana Hazar Imam, as a gesture of the Jamat’s gratitude for the visit.

http://www.theismaili.org/cms/511/Syria-visit
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AS RECEIVED:

HI ALL…I JUST RECEIVED THESE EMAILS BELOW AND WOULD LIKE TO ADD ON …



THIS IS UNBELIEVEABLE…AS SOON AS WE REACHED SALAMIYAH AT 6AM, THE WHOLE DARBAR WAS ALREADY FULL…WE WERE JUST PREPARING TO SIT SOMEWHERE AT THE BACK OF ABOUT 200,000 ISMAILIS WHEN A VOLUNTEER ASKED US IF WE WERE LOCAL OR INTERNATIONAL JAMAT….AS SOON AS WE CONFIRMED WE WERE FROM KENYA HE TOOK OUR GROUP RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE STAGE AND TOLD US TO TAKE OUR PLACE……TRULY AMAZING………..THEY MADE US,THE INTERNATIONAL JAMAT SIT IN FRONT OF THE STAGE WHILST THEY ALL SAT AT THE BACK……..…..THIS PROBABLY IS AN EYE OPENER FOR US.

TILL ABOUT 9AM IT WAS BEARABLE…..AFTER THAT THE TEMPERATURE ROSE TO 44DEGREES……WITH NO COVER OVER US IT WAS QUITE TOUGH, ESPECIALLY AS WE ARE NOT USED TO SUCH HIGH TEMPERATURES.

===========================================================================

THE AL-KHAWABI DEEDAR WAS DESCRIBED BELOW BY ADAM SAMJI, MY NEPHEW.

I WOULD LIKE TO MENTION THAT WHEN WE WERE DRIVING TO AL-KHAWABI , WE KNEW AT ONCE WHEN WE HAD REACH OUR DESTINATION…ALL ISMAILI HOUSES WERE RED AND GREEN FLAGS AND SO WERE THE ROADSIDES DECORATED SIMILARLY AS MENTIONED BY ADAM…..THE FRUITS WERE IN ABUNDANCE…..BUNCHES OF GRAPES, POMOGRANATES, APPLES PEARS, ORANGES AND FIGS COULD PROBABLY BE PLUCKED FROM THE WINDOWS OF OUR BUS…INFACT WE COULD NOT RESIST THE RIPE FIGS HANGING FROM THE TREES AND INSISTED THE BUS DRIVER STOP SO THAT WE COULD PLUCK THE SWEET GREEN FRUIT FROM THE TREE. ( THIS STAGE IS BEFORE THEY DRY AND BECOME BROWN).

IN AL-KHAWABI WE CHATTED FOR ABOUT 2 HOURS WITH OUR ISMAILI BROTHERS AND SISTERS…IT WAS SUCH AN EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE…PERSONALLY I COULD NOT STOP CRYING ………..THEY ALL CROWDED ROUND US AND WOULD NOT LET US GO BACK TO OUR HOTEL IN LATTAKIA WHICH WAS 2 HOURS AWAY…THEY INSISTED WE STAY WITH THEM IN AL-KHAWABI AT THEIR RESIDENCES.

MOST OF THEM WERE WELL EDUCATED, THEIR PROFFESSIONS RANGING FROM LAWYERS TO DOCTORS AND DENTISTS…AND THEY WERE SO BEAUTIFUL…NOT ONLY PHYSICALLY BUT FROM WITHIN ALSO.

IT WAS TRULY A MEMORABLE TRIP.



FORWARDED MESSAGE



YAM.
This morning at 9:45 am, we were blessed with Holy Deedar of our beloved Hazar Imam. You were in our thoughts as was the Jamat, and Mowla Bapa has sent his blessings for all of you and the entire Jamat Worldwide. We left Homs at 4:00 am, and made the journey to Salamiyah where we arrived at 5:00 am. Our bus took us to the main entrance of the Deedar site, after which we walked the rest of the way (aprox. 25 min). We were accompanied by a member of the Syrian council whom we had met at the airport at our arrival. The site was enormous, and we were told that there were between 150,000 to 200,000 present. The site registration and security were scarce as such, it is impossible to confirm the attendance, however the entire site was occupied by Ismaili and non-Ismailis.
Hazar Imam was with us for just under an hour, it was very hot, however it was bearable. In His Irshad Mubarak, he began as follows: “ My beloved spiritual children, my brothers and sisters in Islam, and others...” He expressed his thanks to the Syrian Government for their hospitality, and reflected on the improvement of the standard of living of the Syrian Jamat, and population in general. He specifically mentioned the support of the Syrian government as being the main reason for the improvements in the lives of Syrians. He talked about the need to build long-standing bridges within Islam amongst different sects, He spoke of the importance on continued commitments to development within Syria, He mentioned the need to address global warming, and the distribution and use of water, as these were issues that will affect the present and future living standards of the people of Syria. He acknowledged the hard work of the volunteers with respect to the Deedar, and gave blessing for Mushkil Asaan.
I am sure I have missed a few points but these are those which are clearest in my mind.
Khaliya was uncomfortable at times, but on the whole she was happy and cheerful, as was the entire family. We were truly blessed as we were seated eight rows from the stage and slightly to Mowla Bapa’s left, amidst the Iranian Jamat.
The overall experience was exceptional and in one which we will cherish for our lives. Inshallah, we will be able to share many more details upon our return.
Warmest regards,
Abdul, Farida, Fayez, Nooren & Khaliya.
Text to 00963 992 481958.



Sending as received



Subject: Darbaar Mubarak in Salamiyah
> Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2008 12:36:39 +0000
>
>
> YAM. Hope all is well. Went to Salamieh fo Darbaar today. Left at 3am arrived there at 6am. The doors to the venue had opened up yesterday at 7pm and jamat had started sitting in place from that time. The field was huge. Plastic and then on top, makeka was laid. THe stage was awesome. There were 2 huge screens in the front. We were sitted in the 5th row from the front of stage. The sun was very hot. Mowla arrived via helicopter and we saw it when it arrived. First, he went to Imam Ismail's tomb and Prince Aly Khan's tomb and said fateha. After, he came into the venue. THe jamat was really excited. THe power in the salwaat was out of this world. THe jamat was so excited that they were trying to grab Mowla's attention when he passed their way. It was very emotional. He walked in the hot sun on the runner s for about 15 minutes. He came onto the stage. He said Irshad as there was other muslims and other faith individuals present. Where he stood to say the Irshad, the sun was direct on him. The Irshad was about 20 minutes or so. He gave blessings to the people who made contributions to make the darbaar possible in material and time. The people were awesome.
> Tomorrow, inshallah, go to Al-Khawabi. Since Mowla has come to Syria, rains have started. There has not been rain in the country for some time now.
> love you lots, karima
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ng070758



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The whole Syrian experience.We landed at 3:30 am ,24th august in Damascus and handful of ourSyrian ismaili brothers were waiting for us with a handmade golden jubilee mubarak sign and greeted us as if we were long lost brothers .We were supposed to have a driver and a  car waiting for us thru the hotel that we had booked so our syrian friend Fayad called the hotel in Hama which is 3-31/2 hrs away and the receptionist could not find our booking or any info o­n the car and driver.Fayad said not to worry they will take us to Salamieh in the bus as soon as the Iranian charter plane arrives and find lodging for me and my friend.One thing lead to another and we were waiting in the airport when Mawla's plane landed.We were o­nly 20 ismailis lined up to greet Mawla o­n the street next to the VIP gate.We were o­n the left side of the car and Mawla was o­n the right side so HE graciously bend, looked at us and waved at us smiling and all of our new friends started hugging and crying so this was the start of our amazing journey into Syria and the bus that we ended up in was the Salamieh leadership entourage who had come to greet Mawla--main mukhi/kamadia,ex president of council and leadership.They took us to regional council office where we had the feast with leadership and we were with them while they were holding meetings and they found  us a family to stay with while in Salamieh--Ismail Al Khateeb and his awesome and generous family.This is part I.stay tuned for part 2 and part 3 of our miracles filled journey into the lives of our Syrian brothers.
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No_problem



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Syrian Satellite TV will show a 30-minute interview with Mawlana Hazar Imam on Sunday 7th September 2008 at 13:40 GMT.

The Syrian TV is available on these satellites:

Hot bird: frequency: 12380 27500 3/4 (V)

Arab sat: frequency: 12054 27500 3/4 (V)

Nile sat: frequency:11823 27500 3/4 (V)

The interview was recorded during Hazar Imam's visit to Syria last month.
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No_problem



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Urgent: The interview with Mawlana Hazar Imam on Syrian TV will be aired 10 minutes earlier than the previous time. Therefore, the interview will be aired approximately at 13:30 p.m. GMT instead of 13:40.

The interview wil be in English. Try this website to get the stram of the Syrian TV if you can't connect to the satellites:

http://www.fomny.com/Video/Arabic/Syria-TV/Syria-TV.htm

Good luck
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As received:

FW: Al Khawabe Golden jubilee Darbar!

Marhaba! Marhaba! Al Khawabe Golden jubilee Darbar!

This is was the site for Alkhwabiya Golden jubilee Darbar of Shah Karim Hazar Imam on august 27th 2008

It is called Al kharas village, Al khwabiya , Syria . The Deedar site was on the peak of a beautiful mountain which is like a plateau and a beautiful villa is built on it.

The Darbar was in the court yard of the villa. The heliport was in the back yard of an adjacent house which belonged to an Ismaili which was made ready for Hazar imam's helicopter to land. The foyer of the villa was made into a beautiful stage.the decoration was all very natural.

The capacity for jamat to be accommodated on this beautiful mountain site was about 6 thousand people. The road leading to the top of the mountain was very curvy and rather steep.but very beautiful.

The mountainous region had about 31 villages and several small jamatkhanas(called masjid in Syria ) .

The road to the mountain was closed to the public vehicles FROM 12 midnight on 26th august

We were privileged to be the guest of a remarkable Syrian Ismaili family
She was the sister of council president of Alkhwabiya. Her name was Roza Al hara. Her daughter Razan Al hara, a 24 year old beautiful and English speaking young lady was our communication medium since no one else spoke English in their family except her.

We were staying at Hotel Shaheen towers in Tartous , a beautiful coastal town which was about 20 minutes from the Alkhwabe village.

The international jamat was supposed to be going to Salamiya for Deedar which was a huge open area site 3 hours away from our hotel.

But since we stayed very close to Alkhwabe and there was no golden jubilee Syria web page up before we began our travel we had made hotel reservation near Alkhwabiya since no hotels were available near Salamiya.

The president of the council was gracious to accommodate my husband and me with Alkhwabe jamat and he sent his niece Razan to help us out with the registration formality.

She was wonderful very hospitable, kind and helpful. She and her father took us to their home which was on the mountain very close to the Deedar site. We spent a day with them on the 26th august.

She insisted we stay the night at their family home since it would be almost impossible to bring a taxi to the top of the mountain on the morning of the Deedar since the road would be closed after midnight for darbar.EVERYONE WAS TO WALK TO THE DARBAR SITE.No vehicles were allowed.

We were honored to stay with the family! There were 4 sisters, 2 brothers and 2 parents a beautiful family of 10 . All of them amazingly loving and kind. They were excited to have Ismailis from U.S as their guests.we had Syrian dinner with them.

Arabic was their language. Only Razan and the youngest son Nizar 10 years old spoke English. Yet we chatted tilll 1am. We some how mingled amazingly well. It was Akram 's (the oldest son) 28th birthday on august 27th the same day as darbar! How lucky!

Everyone celebrated and had fun. Razan was a volunteer so was her brother so they went to the Darbar site at 1am. We rested till 330 am and proceeded to darbar site at 4am. We climbed the mountain for 20 minutes all of us holding hands with each other no vehicles were allowed except for disabled.

Rahaf, the younger daughter 15 years old, held my hands and Roza on the other side. Adnan Al Hara, the head of the family held Shaukat's hands and we were all happily marching to the site. We initially thought it must be a tough way climbing up . But fortunately we reached up quickly .we were joined by many Syrian families all walking to the Deedar site, climbing the mountain. It was an unique experience, climbing mountain to see my Mawla! It was still dark when we reached at the Darbar site apx 430am.

As soon as we reached the volunteers realized we were from international jamat so they took us to be sitted in the first line very close to stage, but we told them we are no leaders nor are we any Mukhi kamadias or in council so we would like to sit with our host family.

So we went to anther block which was for Syrian jamat. ! We sat with Razan's family. But since we were early we got excellent place which was very close to stage and also close to Hazar imam's entrance.

THE WEATHER WAS BEAUTIFUL UP UNTIL 8AM, sunrise was a glorious scene! The sun started shining really bright soon after 8am,. The temperature started rising rapidly. Everyone had hats on their heads
The court yard was not covered. Intezaari program was all in Arabic, consisting of vaez and casidas. I did not understand a word but it was ok I prayed on my own. Another young Syrian couple was sitting next to me so we chatted a bit they spoke some English to get by.

It was fairly hot for about an hour or more. Hazar IMAM'S HELICOPTER WAS SEEN IN THE SKY EXACTLY AT 9.15 AM everyone started waving.
It landed behind the site .we could not see that part. There were no cameras or tvs. Hazar Imam arrived for DEEDAR after about 20 minutes he made the appearance from the left side of the stage. He looked glorious with his golden jubilee attire and golden sunshine falling on his Noorani face adding more glory and NOOR.

WE WERE ALL WEARING SUNGLASSES. I tried removing the dark glasses to have the direct vision but the bright ness was so much I COULD NOT WATCH IT EVEN FOR A MINUTE.

Hazar IMAM appeared with a big smile on his face ,sunshine making him more glowing and stood at the left side of the stage where we were sitting for about 2 minutes smiled and showed his happiness to see the jamat before he came down the red carpeted stairs to walk around the whole courtyard.salvats were being recited all the time.

He looked very very happy and excited to see the jamat he walked every where, the area was not at all big .It took about 7 minutes to go around.
Everyone had great Deedar since he walked on all the red carpets. Showering his blessings!

Then he sat on his golden jubilee chair and Mukhi kamadias and mukhiani kamadiani took place on either side of H Imam. Gold chain was garlanded. Quranic Ayat and translation followed by casidas sung by 5 girls dressed in gold yellow and off white dresses. Loyalty address in English and Arabic was given by the president of the council. Hazar Imam made the IRSHAD Mubarak addressing as my 'spiritual children' and 'my brothers and sisters in Islam'. Irshad consisted of thanks to govt of Syria and blessings to volunteers etc. He said golden jubilee must be celebrated with festivities and he will be with us. He gave ruhani blessings and blessings for everyone including families and jamat of all the murids
He did not do abeshafa. No Mehmani. The gift was a Quran from ummayud dynasty. He appreciated and thanked the Syrian jamat for the gift. He once again gave more blessings for his spiritual children and he said he will pray for 'his brothers and sisters in islam' .

The Arabic translation was done. Mawla was sitting and looking around each and every directions acknowledging and blessing all his murids
The decipline was great. There were nonIsmailis present as well.

This was the closest deedar for 1hour and some minutes on top of the mountain in open air. Sun was getting stronger as if testing our love for the IMAM.perspiration was pouring our faces. BUT everyone was forgetting the heat with the presence of our beloved Hazar imam.
We could sit for many more hours in heat if Mawla was present for longer time! Hazar IMAM left after all the ceremonies.it was about 1and a half hour visit.

The jamat said sukharana tasbihs and was allowed to leave. Everyone so happy and giving mubarakis to each other. We walked down to Razan's house walking with her neighbors and relatives. Had cold drinks and fruits at razan 's house. and we were planning to leave for hotel but RAZAN 'S family insisted we must eat before leaving.

We all had simple Syrian lunch , all prepared by Roza with love very delcious!.we saw hazar imam's helicopter flying over the house.while we were snacking. Everyone shared the happiness and we left after lunch.

We all were sad to depart. We all really bonded. We can never thank Razan AL Hara's family enough, for such a blessed time!.Sukhar Mawla!
It was great.
Amazing Darbar! Amazing Syrian family!
We felt really blessed!
We did not attend Salamiya Darbar so I have nothing to say about the experience there.
Rest of the stay included visiting various Ismaili sites of historical importance.
We went to Damascus spent one day there and then proceeded to Aaman , Jordan .
Petra is a wonderful tourism site in Jordan .
Visit to dead sea and other roman history site was very interesting.
Now we are in Dubai
Went to jk last night.
The brand new Dubai jk is magnificent.
Jamatkhana had a very peaceful atmosphere with extra ordinary ambience
Very very young mukhiani kamadiani , very refreshing.
Great feeling for being an international Ismaili murid.Alhamdallah!
We met few friends.Ate pani puri and falooda in Rangoli restaurant.
Dubai is coming up like no believing.
Great to have Ismaili centre right in the heart of the city which is running up at a remarkable speed.
Our Hazar IMAM 'S BLESSINGS is helping Ismailis to make great progress here.

Shukhar Mawla
Ya Ali madad
Love to all


Dolly Chandani M.D.
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Admin



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More photos being added to:

ismaili.net/heritage/node/18214

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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

THE ECONOMIC TIMES

Aga Khan pours his wealth into Islamic sites in Syria
14 Sep, 2008, 0729 hrs IST, AGENCIES

ALEPPO-SYRIA: The majestic citadel atop Syria's ancient city of Aleppo, the Masyaf fortress of the sinister order of the Assassins and the castle of Arab conqueror Saladdin have all been given a new lease on life as part of a project by the Aga Khan to promote Islamic sites.

"We don't do enough to illustrate to the peoples of our world the greatness of Islamic civilisations," the 71-year-old billionaire spiritual leader of the world's 15 million Shia Ismaili Muslims said in an interview.

The Aga Khan, who last year celebrated 50 years as head of his community, said at a recent ceremony capping work in Aleppo that his goal is to educate the world on the wealth of Muslim culture.

"Because they don't know our history, they don't know our literature, they don't know our philosophy, they don't know the physical environment in which our countries have lived, they view the ummah (the Muslim nation) in terminology which is completely wrong."

The 13th century citadel is in the heart of Aleppo - one of the world's oldest inhabited cities at the crossroads of ancient trade routes - and is a World Heritage Site along with Saladdin's castle. Battered by a long history of bombardments, pillage and earthquakes, the citadel's surrounding walls and some of its 19 towers were strengthened while two mosques, a hammam or bathhouse and a palace were also restored.

For five years dozens of workers restored the minaret of a mosque, baths and the imposing palace within the castle of Saladdin, originally built by the Crusaders on a windswept mountain ridge. The Masyaf fortress is a mediaeval eagles' nest which served as home to the Assassins, contract killers who were an offshoot of the Ismaili sect of Shia Islam who were persecuted as infidels by the dominant Sunni Muslims.

General conservation work was carried at the rugged site, and part of an outer wall was rebuilt. The Aga Khan Trust for Culture carried out the work in close collaboration with Syria's antiquities department, and also revamped the landscape around all three sites to make it more tourist-friendly.

"My interest in working in Syria is to take the various lead countries of the ummah and say, let's start, let's move together, let's revive our cultures so that modernity is not only seen in the terminology of the West, but in the intelligent use of our past," the Aga Khan said.

His visit to Syria was part of a tour of some 35 nations that began in July last year to mark his Golden Jubilee, or 50 years since the Aga Khan became leader of the community in July 1957, succeeding his grandfather.

Fuelled by his enormous wealth the Aga Khan - who ranks 11 on the Forbes list of the world's wealthiest royals with a fortune estimated at one billion dollars - has since 1967 also led an apolitical, secular foundation. The Aga Khan Development Network is involved in projects from promoting health to education, architecture and the rehabilitation of historic cities.

Helping the poor to improve their lives is also high on the Aga Khan's agenda. As a youth he dreamt of becoming an architect before graduating instead from Harvard University with a degree in Islamic history. "In the Judaeo-Christian world, charity is a notion which evokes generosity with nothing in return," the Aga Khan told AFP on the sidelines of his visit to Syria.

"In Islam, the 'best of charities', but not the only one, is to help the poor be self-sufficient," he said. "I was born with Islamic ethics, in a Muslim family. There is nothing wrong with being well off as long as money has a social and ethical value and is not the object of one's own greed.

"That is why I wanted to set up institutions that can manage everyday problems based on Islamic values. "One of the principles of Islam is that on his deathbed every person must try to leave behind a better world," he added. Restoring Islamic sites in Syria was also central to his goal of building bridges between religions and cultures.

"Syria wants to be a secular state where all religions co-exist, even if the majority of the Syrian people are Sunni" Muslim, the Aga Khan said. His Ismaili sect split from mainstream Shia Islam in the 11th century and its followers live today in some 25 countries across Africa, West and Central Asia, the Middle East, North America and Western Europe.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-3481367,prtpage-1.cms
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Computer generated translation from Arabic...

His Majesty the Maulana in an interview with Al Watan Republic 27, 2008 8:32 am Wednesday, August 27,

He Prince Karim Aga Khan Ismailia Muslim community to the importance of his visit to Syria and what constitutes for him the «great specificity», said in an interview with (home): It is a pleasure to visit Syria several times, and I am very happy to be here at the invitation From the Syrian government, particularly that there are links gathered imamate Ismailia, Ismaili Muslims with Syria since many centuries He spoke of Prince Aga Khan Development Network established by and for its activities in Syria and praised the «diverse cultural heritage in Syria, which makes the draft is particularly exciting and encouraging.
The Prince Karim Aga Khan expressed the hope «in launching several new initiatives in the areas of cultural tourism, health care, education and microfinance with decent support by the government».
The Prince Aga Khan noted that «revive the culture can provide an incentive for socially and economically overall improvement in the region» and «improve cultural heritage goes hand in hand with creating economic opportunities for local people, improving social services», expressing his belief that «investment in culture and activities Value a key aspect of development The following is the full text of the dialog

What is the nature of your visit to Syria? The specific objectives of this visit?

We have had the pleasure to visit Syria several times, and I am very happy to be here at the invitation of the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic, on the occasion of golden jubilee «fiftieth anniversary» to assume the imam of Shiite Ismaili Muslims, and during this visit, met with President Bashar al-Assad and a number Gentlemen of ministers and leaders to discuss the work undertaken by the Aga Khan Development Network in Syria.
We also hope to launch several new initiatives in the areas of cultural tourism, health care, education and microfinance with decent support by the government, a visit to Syria Privacy great for me, as you know there are links gathered imamate Ismailia, Ismaili Muslims with Syria since many centuries.

There is news about a major project for the park in Aleppo, can be talked about this garden and its importance?
We will look with the province of Aleppo on the appropriate framework for the establishment of a park on the outskirts of the President of the Old City of Aleppo «adjacent to the historic gateway to the door Guensrin» The garden project will focus on improving the quality of life for residents in the Old City and finding plants with high specifications for the visitors. They are meant for this project should be an integral part of the renovation project in urban areas near the castle-Sharif, the presence of a park can lead to the revitalization of the region, and this is what we have done previously, through similar programs have led to improved quality of life in some locations in Kabul, Cairo, and there Other projects under similar work in India, Mali and Zanzibar.
This is part of the garden program, started by the Aga Khan Foundation for Culture in 2000 in collaboration with the General Directorate of Museums and Antiquities, which began work on each of the castles of Aleppo and Masyaf and Saladin, we are also here in Syria to announce the completion of work at these sites.

Since when is working Aga Khan Development Network in Syria? What types of work undertaken by?

Started work the Aga Khan Development Network in Syria in 1999 when it requested the General Directorate of Museums and the effects of the Aga Khan Foundation for Culture to provide technical assistance to maintain the number of historic sites and castles in Syria and reuse, has been chosen by the castles of Aleppo and Masyaf and Salahuddin to this work and such Projects and many other activities in areas such as rural development and promotion of economic, health care, education, microfinance, as part of our multi-polar world, and within the framework of the Convention on Cooperation for Development signed between the Syrian government and the Aga Khan Development Network, which was ratified by the Council People in in 2002.

Why is the work of restoration work that you have taken in Aleppo task?
We have found in a number of environments in the Islamic world, to revive the culture can provide an incentive for socially and economically overall improvement in the region. These can be historical sites engine for the potential change in the economic and social areas, as these sites are not just places of historical frozen and paralyzed infected, but are assets that can actually contribute to improving the quality of life of people living in those areas.
We have seen an example of such work in Cairo, where we have built a park there and the restoration of a number of cultural monuments located in one of the poorest areas in the city. As we have seen that when we work to restore the gardens Alhomian Tomb in Delhi. In both locations had improved cultural heritage goes hand in hand with creating economic opportunities for local people, improving social services such as health and education, has led to a revival in the region.
The diverse cultural heritage in Syria makes a head of the project is particularly exciting and encouraging.
Is a city of Aleppo, rich history, an important site to preserve it, not as part of the Syrian identity and culture, but as part of the whole world heritage.
Depositions third sites that are part of world heritage in the Islamic world, many have not been preserved.
I believe it is our duty to restore and preserve this heritage because it is part of our culture.
If this culture had been destroyed or altered in ways not consistent with people's thinking and way of life you will find all kinds of imbalances and ironies that will affect society disorder.
Therefore, investment in culture and value systems and make them effective in the contemporary context, I think is a key aspect of development.
This vision is today a growing embrace by governments and civil society.

Is the name of His Highness the Aga Khan on behalf of the Aga Khan Development Network, which were operating effectively in many countries of the world (more than 25 countries), what the philosophy of the network?
And various activities?

Islam, as you know, is a way of life are equally important in terms of religion, the world must not neglect any aspect of Monday.
Since the birth of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him), there was still a tradition of leadership, which represents the forward of the year whether or Shiites, who is responsible for explaining the concept of religion, as well as maintaining the security and comfort people.
Proceeding from this tradition in the Muslim leadership that has emerged and continued for more than 1400 years ago, and as the Ismaili Muslims, must be concerned that the quality of life of society (Ismaili), and other communities living on their side.
Over the centuries, these contracts are still the responsibility of imamate had necessitated the establishment of institutions to address issues regarding the quality of life at the time, and today includes imamate number of non-governmental organizations, institutions and economic development agencies.
Live the great majority of members of groups from Afghanistan, East China, Central Asian States fledgling, through Iran and the Middle East, even in sub-Saharan Africa, in addition to attend a recent in Europe and North America.
In these countries identifies a number of different factors is the quality of life, from my perspective, not limited to the World Bank on indicators of longevity, health or economic welfare of the individual or society.
For him extend the term «quality of life» to cover all aspects of ethical and social context in which people live, not only include the material being measured by generation after generation.
As a result of the imam's vision of comprehensive development in the definition of faith as prescribed by Islam, and involving such a dream to invest in people, intellectual pluralism, and in the pursuit and the search for new knowledge useful as far as investment in material resources, which also includes investment in the social conscience inspired by the ethics of Islam , An action that benefits everyone regardless of sex, or affiliation, religion, nationality or background owned.











About His Highness Karim Aga Khan


His Highness Karim became Aga Khan imam (spiritual leader) to forward the Shiite Ismaili Muslims in the July 11 (July) 1957 is twenty years old, the successor to the Jeddah Sir Sultan Mohammed Shah Aga Khan.

It Imam heir Ninth Session of the forward Shia Ismaili Muslims, Scion direct Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him god of peace) through his cousin and smelting Ali, the first Imam, and his wife, Fatimah, daughter of the Prophet.
Born Aga Khan Amir Ali Khan and Crown Princess of State Ali Khan on December 13, 1936 in Geneva and spent most of his childhood in Nairobi, Kenya, and then he joined me Rosie School in Switzerland for nine years.

Graduated from Harvard University in 1959 and earned a «degree in Islamic history» Honours.
AMR live today in about twenty-five countries, mainly in West and Central Asia, in Africa and the Middle East in addition to North America and Western Europe.
Having seen most of these areas political and economic changes substantially during the past four decades since he assumed the current Aga Khan imamate.
The HH adapting complex system of the Department of Community Affairs Ismailia, created by the Jeddah during the colonial era, to suit a new world of Independent States, which increased in size and complexity after Neil former Soviet Union republics in Central Asia independence.

Aga Khan stressed the conviction spiritual vision of Islam practised thinking, and learn compassion and tolerance, and uphold human dignity, noble creatures God Almighty.

According to Heritage in Shiite Islam, the responsibility for decades to protect the right of individuals in search of self-intellectual, moral and translate the vision of a society inspired by the Islamic message to the practical reality.
As the head of the International Conference on the biography of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him god of peace) held in Karachi in 1976, spoke Aga Khan, addressing the conference, saying: The wisdom of the Final Prophet PBUH in the quest to find new solutions to the problems not be resolved using traditional methods, are Source of inspiration for Muslims to imagine a modern and vital right, without prejudice to the fundamental concepts of Islam.
The AMR throughout history, and the guidance of the imams, significant contributions to the growth of Islamic civilization.
Where, Dar Al-Azhar University in Cairo, science, but the city of Cairo itself, examples of the Ismaili contribution in cultural, religious and intellectual property of Muslims.
Among the philosophers, judges, doctors and scientists in physics and mathematics, astronomers and scientists who is famous in the past and flourished under the auspices of Ismaili Imams there Judge Naman, Akram and Ibn al-Haytham, Nasser Khosro-Din Tusi and helper.
And controlled the achievements of the Fatimid empire, which scored a significant premium on the early history Ismaili period, nearly a century of Islam and even atheist Congress.
Having created the Fatimid dynasty, which has been dubbed the proportion of Fatima daughter of the Prophet (Peace be upon him and handed god), prompted the State, for more than two centuries, the development of arts and sciences, trade in the Near East region from the Mediterranean Sea, its status was established by the Fatimid Cairo as their capital.
In the wake of the Fatimid period, he moved the geographical centre of the Ismaili Muslims from Egypt to Syria and Persia.
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No_problem



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The newspaper interview was made actually with AL-IQTISSADIYA Syrian newspaper and is available in Arabic here:

http://www.iqtissadiya.com/archives_detail.asp?issue=359&id=3730&category=local

They have also a detailed overview of Hazar Imam's visit to Syria:

http://www.iqtissadiya.com/archives_detail.asp?issue=359&id=3729&category=local

But wait for the magnificent TV interview which is in English and will be available soon[/u]
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmaherali wrote:

ويشكل التراث الثقافي المتنوع في سورية عاملاً رئيساً ;&#


I am sorry for this mess, but I cannot edit the post to remove it. However here is the link to the article.

http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fread.all-forum.net&sl=ar&tl=en&hl=ar&ie=UTF-8
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Admin



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hUs4Lq6kescM7NQf7YWKbWVSIu_g

Aga Khan pours his wealth into Islamic sites in Syria

15 hours ago

ALEPPO, Syria (AFP) — The majestic citadel atop Syria's ancient city of Aleppo, the Masyaf fortress of the sinister order of the Assassins and the castle of Arab conqueror Saladdin have all been given a new lease on life as part of a project by the Aga Khan to promote Islamic sites.

"We don't do enough to illustrate to the peoples of our world the greatness of Islamic civilisations," the 71-year-old billionaire spiritual leader of the world's 15 million Shia Ismaili Muslims told AFP in an interview.

The Aga Khan, who last year celebrated 50 years as head of his community, said at a recent ceremony capping work in Aleppo that his goal is to educate the world on the wealth of Muslim culture.

"Because they don't know our history, they don't know our literature, they don't know our philosophy, they don't know the physical environment in which our countries have lived, they view the ummah (the Muslim nation) in terminology which is completely wrong."

The 13th century citadel is in the heart of Aleppo -- one of the world's oldest inhabited cities at the crossroads of ancient trade routes -- and is a World Heritage Site along with Saladdin's castle.

Battered by a long history of bombardments, pillage and earthquakes, the citadel's surrounding walls and some of its 19 towers were strengthened while two mosques, a hammam or bathhouse and a palace were also restored.

For five years dozens of workers restored the minaret of a mosque, baths and the imposing palace within the castle of Saladdin, originally built by the Crusaders on a windswept mountain ridge.

The Masyaf fortress is a mediaeval eagles' nest which served as home to the Assassins, contract killers who were an offshoot of the Ismaili sect of Shia Islam who were persecuted as infidels by the dominant Sunni Muslims.

General conservation work was carried at the rugged site, and part of an outer wall was rebuilt.

The Aga Khan Trust for Culture carried out the work in close collaboration with Syria's antiquities department, and also revamped the landscape around all three sites to make it more tourist-friendly.

"My interest in working in Syria is to take the various lead countries of the ummah and say, let's start, let's move together, let's revive our cultures so that modernity is not only seen in the terminology of the West, but in the intelligent use of our past," the Aga Khan said.

His visit to Syria was part of a tour of some 35 nations that began in July last year to mark his Golden Jubilee, or 50 years since the Aga Khan became leader of the community in July 1957, succeeding his grandfather.

Fuelled by his enormous wealth the Aga Khan -- who ranks 11 on the Forbes list of the world's wealthiest royals with a fortune estimated at one billion dollars -- has since 1967 also led an apolitical, secular foundation.

The Aga Khan Development Network is involved in projects from promoting health to education, architecture and the rehabilitation of historic cities.

Helping the poor to improve their lives is also high on the Aga Khan's agenda. As a youth he dreamt of becoming an architect before graduating instead from Harvard University with a degree in Islamic history.

"In the Judaeo-Christian world, charity is a notion which evokes generosity with nothing in return," the Aga Khan told AFP on the sidelines of his visit to Syria.

"In Islam, the 'best of charities', but not the only one, is to help the poor be self-sufficient," he said.

"I was born with Islamic ethics, in a Muslim family. There is nothing wrong with being well off as long as money has a social and ethical value and is not the object of one's own greed.

"That is why I wanted to set up institutions that can manage everyday problems based on Islamic values.

"One of the principles of Islam is that on his deathbed every person must try to leave behind a better world," he added.

Restoring Islamic sites in Syria was also central to his goal of building bridges between religions and cultures.

"Syria wants to be a secular state where all religions co-exist, even if the majority of the Syrian people are Sunni" Muslim, the Aga Khan said.

His Ismaili sect split from mainstream Shia Islam in the 11th century and its followers live today in some 25 countries across Africa, West and Central Asia, the Middle East, North America and Western Europe.
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Admin



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmaherali wrote:

ويشكل التراث الثقافي


I have cleaned some of this, will try to correct your settings so that you have access to edit and delete functions on your message.

Admin
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No_problem



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Admin and kmaherali,

The automatic translation is of very poor ....

Why don't you contact the editor in cheaf of AL-IQTISSADIYA newspaper who interviewed Hazar Imam for his newspaper and ask him if he can give you the orignal interivew in English? His contacts are shown on this page: http://www.iqtissadiya.com/contact.asp

Phone: +963 11 3065
Fax: +963 11 3737348
Email: info@iqtissadiya.com

The interview was published in edition 359 of AL-IQTISSADIYA and is availbel here: http://www.iqtissadiya.com/archives_detail.asp?issue=359&id=3730&category=local
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No_problem



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just found a short video of Salamieh Mulaqat. The viodo is not very clear as it looks like filed from very far ...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvItFkO_iJs
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No_problem



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The recent Syrian TV interview with Hazar Imam is now availbel here:

http://ismaili.net/heritage/node/18256

It is in English with Arabic subtitles.
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Relevant excerpts from an article: "How Syria's Assad Is Steering His Country out of Isolation" at:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,579986,00.html


"Karim Aga Khan IV, the spiritual leader of roughly 20 million Ismailites worldwide, is visiting the Syrian capital Damascus. The Ismailites, who live primarily in the Middle East, East Africa, Central Asia and on the Indian subcontinent, often constitute the social avant-garde. The Shiite community is also an influential minority in Syria. The Aga Khan Development Network is the world's largest private aid organization, and the man who founded it, 71-year-old Aga Khan, is considered a leading representative of moderate Islam. Its his personal relationships with political and business leaders in the West and the East as much as his billions that make him a much sought-after advisor. The visit to Damascus is the imam's fourth meeting with Assad in recent years.

But the Aga Khan's visit is only one of a series of meetings with world politicians. The Syrian president is suddenly being wooed internationally."

"And how does the Aga Khan feel about this fascinating, often contradictory Syria, buzzing with rumors?

The spiritual leader of the Ismailites spent six days traveling through the country. During his journey, he spoke to an audience of more than 100,000 people in Salamieh, the stronghold of his religious community. He signed contracts to develop educational institutions, hospitals and microloan organizations. He dedicated the citadel in Aleppo, which had been magnificently restored with the help of his organization. Most importantly, however, he met twice with the Syrian president, whom he has known for seven years. "Assad has matured as a person and as a politician," says the leader of the Ismailites. "The West should not alienate him, and it should respect Syria for what it is: a nation with a great culture." But why has there been so little progress when it comes to domestic political reforms? "Assad wants to avoid domestic instability and chaos at all costs. And when it comes to foreign policy, he has successfully expanded his range."
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From_Alamut



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:22 pm    Post subject: Re: SYRIA dates, events and testimonies Reply with quote

I have found a Video Clip of Syria Deedar on Youtube, it is not showing the actual Deedar but the pictures of Welcoming posters and the areas Our Syria Jamat were preparing for our Beloved Hazar Imam. It is Mashallah very beautiful.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kx6chLcvh1I
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