More than 1,200 athletes from around the world will gather in Kenya this
week to participate in the first-ever international Ismaili sports festival.
Hosted by the Aga Khan Council for Kenya, the event has been organised in celebration of His Highness the Aga Khan's Golden Jubilee.
The Golden Jubilee Games, which were officially opened on Tuesday at Aga Khan Sports Centre in Parklands, Nairobi, will showcase the talent of young Ismaili men and women from over 25 countries, selected from among 50,000 athletes at the local, regional and national levels in their respective
Participants in the week-long tournament include recognised athletes who
have competed nationally as well as internationally.
The games will feature 14 disciplines, among them football, tennis, table
tennis, volleyball, badminton, squash, wrestling, golf and chess.
Ten different venues will be used for the event, including the Aga Khan
Sports Centre, Oshwal School, Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani,
Jaffreys Sports Club, Nairobi Simba Union, International School of Kenya and Windsor Golf Club.
The theme of the Games - "Celebration Through Sport" - reflects the spirit
of the Ismaili community in celebrating the Aga Khan's Golden Jubilee
through the universal language of sports, athletics and other recreational
"This is an historic occasion for Kenya," said Zul Abdul, president of the
Aga Khan Council for Kenya. "It is the first time that so many Ismaili
youngsters from diverse backgrounds and cultures will come together, and it will reinforce a spirit of unity through diversity. Most of the participants
are coming to Kenya for the very first time, and this is an opportunity for
them to see what our beautiful country has to offer.
From amongst all the countries around the world that sought to host the
Golden Jubilee Games, we are very proud that Kenya was selected," Abdul
Athletes from Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Burundi, Canada, Congo, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mozambique, New Zealand, Pakistan, Portugal, Qatar, South Africa, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, the United Kingdom, United States, and Kenya will engage in 14 sports throughout the week at some of the
country's best sports venues.
For some participants, such as those from Tajikistan and Afghanistan, this
will be the first time that they will be travelling outside their country.
The Golden Jubilee Games will offer an invaluable social and cultural
Last edited by Admin on Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:09 am, edited 2 times in total
After an exceptional Opening show at the Golden Jubilee Games opening on 24th June 2008, games have started.
Intense competitions between the 27 countries athletes are going on.
Syria team is emerging amongst the most powerful.
Night entertainment is fabulous. After diner each night we got an international Bazar with lots of dances, Burundi drums etc.. the first night. The second night Music party and tonight we saw as a world premiere the USA visit movie - USA, are you jealous of us?
Don't be! here is your Team in Nairobi!
We have hundreds of photos... we wish internet was faster in Kenya so that we could upload all of them. But soon, you will have access to all of them in our new Faces of Golden Jubilee Games exhibition on the Heritage web site at www.ismaili.net
Last edited by Admin on Thu Jun 26, 2008 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total
CRICKET: India beat UAE by nine runs at Ismaili Jubilee Festival
Story by RICHARD MWANGI
Publication Date: 6/26/2008
India beat the United Arab Emirates by nine runs in a thrilling Golden Jubilee Ismaili Sports Festival Twenty20 cricket match at the Nairobi Gymkhana on Wednesday.
Samir Koradia had a brilliant performance with the bat scoring 21 runs off five balls. He punished Nizar Mitian in his last over by hitting him two sixes, two fours and a single. He top scored for India with 44 and was supported by Meerali Nooran with 37 and Maskati Abid 20.
In reply UAE started their innings on a high note scoring at the rate of nine runs per over and at one point the game would have gone either way. The game slipped through UAE’s fingers in the last over when they needed 11 runs to win. At the time they were 139 for 7 and pressure was mounting on the tail-enders.
For India the responsibility of stopping UEA from getting the required runs fell on Penish Rirani who bowled the last over. Rirani had an excellent performance with the ball, claiming two wickets for two from four balls.
Rirani had back to back dismissals when he got Rafeeq Shaban caught by Koradia with his first ball and on the second ball Mizar Matani was adjudged run out. He sealed the fate of UAE when he had Shamshuddin Shamsi caught at mid-wicket by Amit Noorani. At the time UEA had added three runs only out of the 11 required to win.
India won toss and decided to bat first setting a target of 150 and in reply UAE only managed to reach 141 by the time all the batsmen had been sent back to the pavilion.
Early in the day UAE (140 for 6) lost to USA Blue (141 for 6) by four wickets at the same venue.
Twelve countries are taking part in the twenty20 event. Hosts Kenya and USA have two teams each. The other teams are: India, UAE, Pakistan, Afghanstan, Portugal, Canada, Uganda and United Kingdom.
On Thursday, there will be games at Nairobi Gymkhana, Simba Union, Ruaraka Sports Club and Nairobi Jaffreys.
1 frontierless brotherhood
The Kenyan AP Band leads the procession of the athletes. Photo: Zahid WassanjiThe stage was set. Microphones cued. Cameras in position.
Almost 4 000 spectators from countries around the world arrived well in advance of the 9:30 AM start time, eager to witness the Opening Ceremony of the Golden Jubilee Games — the first-ever international festival of sport in the Ismaili world.
Drum rolls echoed the rumble of an excited audience, as athletes paraded onto the grounds behind their national banners. Team sizes ranged from three to three-hundred, and high-spirited cheers filled the air as each was introduced.
The procession — which included men and women representing different cultures, traditions and countries — resonated with the verses of the Qur’an recited at the commencement of the Ceremony:
O humankind! We have created you male and female and have made you nations and tribes that you may know one another. (Surah al-Hujurat 49:13)
President Zul Abdul delivers the official welcome address of the first Golden Jubilee Games. Photo: Moez Visram (Hakim Sons)“The one banner we all come under is Ismaili,” reflected Mehdi Saleh, the Malaysian men’s basketball coach. “Language and country do not matter — it is one ummah. This is our trophy, being here with our brothers and sisters.”
Recalling moments of significance in Ismaili history which had taken place on the same grounds of the Aga Khan Sports Centre, President Zul Abdul of the Ismaili Council for Kenya delivered the official welcome address. He also spoke of the unique nature of the Games.
“Over the course of this week we will see Ismailis, young and old, perform in the greatest display of athleticism, courage and humility,” he said. “The hopes and prayers of our entire community are with all of you as you embark on the privilege of representing your country and our faith in the Golden Jubilee Games.”
President Abdul also thanked the countless volunteers from across the globe who have been working tirelessly to make the Games a reality.
Young Ismaili girls and boys carry the Ismaili Flag with pride. Photo: Moez Visram (Hakim Sons)Heightening the sense of occasion, the Kenyan and the Ismaili flags were hoisted to the sounds of the National Anthem of Kenya and the Nashid al-Imamah. The eyes of the participants and audience members alike were moistened with emotion.
“This is something beyond a sports tournament – it is the meeting of the global Jamat,” exclaimed Ugandan team manager, Amir Ali Virani.
Sumera Ali from Pakistan, echoed, “this is an exceptional experience, where all countries come together and are cheering for each other, even exchanging flags before we compete against each other. You can really see how there is unity in our diversity, and how diversity is a strength.”
The festivities continued with vibrant and colourful performances by the world-renowned Sarkasi Trust group, the Aga Khan Junior Academy, and the Kenyan AP Band.
A pledge of respect and sportsmanship was made by the athletes, represented by Rahim Velji of the United Kingdom, and the officiators, represented by Evan Wesake. They had entered the grounds in a horse-drawn carriage, together with the Chairman Shiraz Magan of the Ismaili Conciliation and Arbitration Board of Kenya who presided over the rite.
Athletes pledge to respect and uphold the spirit of good sportsmanship. Photo: Rahim Khoja (Hakim Sons)President Abdul was joined by Ahamed Eboo, the Convenor of the Golden Jubilee International Task Force that organised the Games, for the Lighting Ceremony. The Lighting represented a collective commitment to honour faith, family and self both during the event and in the course of life.
“The Games are the first time in my experience that boundaries among Ismailis have been transcended through the universal language of sport,” said Nadir Shah, a volleyball player from the United States.
Aman Ali Zamin Ali, who will wrestle on the Afghanistan team, aptly captured the spirit of this morning’s epochal event: “We are lucky to be alive during the Golden Jubilee. I am so happy to meet Ismailis from around the world — from countries in which I didn’t even know Ismailis lived! We are not here to win or lose, but to meet and know each other.”
Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 12:05 pm Post subject: Faces of Golden Jubilee Games
Golden Jubilee Games Opening - Nairobi, Kenya 24 June 2008
Faces of Golden Jubilee Games is a tribute to all the Ismailis athletes from 27 countries, participants, spectators, organizers, volunteers, supporters who are creating history in Nairobi at this moment.
This is the first of a series of albums covering the Games. Each Albums will contain about 100 photos in high resolution. There is no copyrights for these photos. You can use them and print them as you like. If you circulate by email or publish any of those, just mention www.ismaili.net as the source.
GOLDEN JUBILEE GAMES: 2008, June 29: : Prince Hussain and Princess Khaliya attended the G.J.G. this morning as well as the Closing Ceremony of the Golden Jubilee Games tonight. Prince Amyn arrived in Nairobi yesterday but was in Kigali today. He did not attend the Games. The launching of the Games ceremony was grandiose but the closing was not as powerful. A small fireworks ended the Ceremony. Of course tons of photos to come soon
Last edited by Admin on Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:49 am, edited 1 time in total
The Golden Jubilee Games have ended yesterday night and most of the athletes have left today for their countries. Some have remain to visit their home town in the regions and some have gone for Safari...
Here is the second Album covering some of the games of the second day:
Prince Hussain and Princess Khaliya enjoy a light moment at the Closing Ceremony of the Golden Jubilee Games. Photo: Moez Visram
A week of international brotherhood, intense athleticism, and celebration of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Golden Jubilee came to an end at the Closing Ceremony of the Golden Jubilee Games. The Ceremony was a magnificent entertainment production with spectacles that provoked dancing and drew tears. The occasion was made even more momentous by the presence of Prince Hussain and Princess Khaliya.
The evening kicked off with a grand entrance of athletes who paraded in unison behind the flags of all the nations represented, and a banner proclaiming “We Stand as One.” It was a subtle evolution from the Opening Ceremony, where the athletes marched behind the banners of their respective countries.
The evening was filled with incredible acrobatics and dance performances by local Kenyan artists, the Sarakasi Trust, and Ismailis young and old. The performances thrilled eager crowds, who danced and clapped to the rhythms of the varied music. The artists brought harmony to a mix of Bollywood, Arabic, popular East African songs and heart-warming pieces from the Lion King. The festive and upbeat energy of the performing artists was a pleasant compliment to the moving atmosphere of the evening.
National Sports Convenors and leaders of the Golden Jubilee Games committee plant a Baobab tree in commemoration of the inaugural Golden Jubilee Games. Photo: Akber Dewji (Hakim Sons)Epitomising the essence and solidarity of the Games, National Sports Convenors from each country, together with leadership of the Golden Jubilee Games committee, planted a Baobab tree in local Kenyan soil. Its foundation was laid with a stone from the abode of each of the Ismaili Councils represented.
The tree will grow as a living legacy to this historic event. Like the spirit of the Games, it will last for thousands of years with its ability to survive in periods of extreme drought and extend its leaves to provide shelter to the wayfarer. The tree-planting ceremony was complemented with serene music, adding emotion to the finality of the Games.
The Ceremony ended with the extinguishing of the Golden Jubilee Games light. No dry eyes were left in the crowd of thousands gathered on the grounds where the Games were opened nearly six days ago, and where Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Takht Nashini took place in 1957. A bittersweet feeling draped over the emotional crowd as the light, which stood as beacon of hope throughout the week was extinguished.
The ceremony was completed with a magnificent display of fireworks illuminating the night sky, as all looked upwards in awe. The fireworks show was a visual treat to the entire crowd of athletes, volunteers, and spectators, standing as one.
The Closing Ceremony ended with a dazzling display of fireworks. Photo: Akber Dewji (Hakim Sons)
For many volunteers, 15 months of hard work, personal sacrifice, and undeterred commitment culminated in a gratifying display of camaraderie and sincere joy. The day-to-day struggles of the many talented athletes are truly an inspiration to all who witnessed their outstanding feats and to the youth who will learn the legendary tales of their accomplishments. Although some of the 1 200 athletes left the Games with medals around their necks, the participation of all athletes is an accomplishment. As we look on to future Games, we take with us the era of traditions created in this monumentally historic event.
NV resident realizes we're all Olympians Kenya's Golden Jubilee Games impacted the lives of all they touched
North Shore News
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Watching the Olympics got my heart racing again.
"Come on, come on, you can do it!" my fists tight, perched at the edge of the sofa, I urged the Canadian athletes on. As we reached the end of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, I was hit with a flood of memories of my own "mini-Olympic" event, the Golden Jubilee Games, held in June in Kenya to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of the Aga Khan.
At age 52 and just under five feet (I'm petite as short is not part of my vocabulary), I had no hope of being categorized as an athlete but felt I could perhaps participate in the games in some form, even as a volunteer.
The dates of the B.C. tryouts were announced and foolishly I submitted an application for the tennis events. Amazingly, I was chosen to represent B.C. in the Canadian Ismaili Games for the women's singles and the mixed doubles.
Several hundred athletes, their families and friends descended in Vancouver in May. I felt a sense of dejection as I scanned the long-legged, fit and athletic women in their early 20s. "It's not about winning, it's about participating in the first ever Golden Jubilee Games," I told myself.
The games began and my first match was against a 22-year-old retired speed skater. We introduced ourselves and she looked at me and said, "Isn't it wonderful you're still playing tennis!" As my hot flush (no pun intended) subsided, my female survival instinct kicked in. I beat her six-love and went on to win the gold medal in singles and the silver medal in mixed doubles.
When I received an official invitation to represent Canada in the world games in Kenya, I thought of how easily I could have given up on myself by not competing in B.C.
For me this was an opportunity of a lifetime.
How fortunate I was and I started thinking about how much imbalance there is in the world today. I wondered how I could give back and how I could make a difference in the lives of the people of Kenya, the country of my birth?
I started a fundraising campaign through the Aga Khan Foundation and raised more than $15,000 to fund a water reservoir and a school in two separate villages. Would I have done this if I had not been selected? Probably not. Is the phone ringing off the hook from sponsors? Of course not, but I know that I have made a difference, albeit a minute one.
Following the close of the Beijing Olympics, I relive my memories and experience of the Golden Jubilee Games. What a welcome we received in Kenya, from the smiling volunteers who whisked us quickly through the visa process, to the Masai dancers and acrobats at the opening ceremonies.
The athletes parade was heralded by the Kenya police's marching band and there was petite me, dwarfed amongst the tall and lithe Canadian athletes, proudly waving the Canadian flag.
For a brief moment, even I was a celebrity as I was interviewed by the Kenyan media.
The closing ceremonies were also emotional. We all marched together for the final time under a banner that read "We Stand As One."
This time we marched not by country but as individuals, Canadians side-by-side with Tajiks, Indians holding hands with Pakistanis and Kenyans hugging Syrians.
As I walked with fellow athletes from 20 different countries, I thought about what an opportunity each one of us was given, to set our differences aside and to truly stand together.
As I listened to the stories of individual athletes in Beijing, I felt a kinship to them. I could relate to their dreams and to their goals to accomplish their personal best and to their words, "It's not about winning -- it's about participating, about being there, about camaraderie, about integrity and sportsmanship."
So what if I was the oldest female tennis player? I had the opportunity to play against individuals from all over the world. I didn't win any medals but I was overjoyed to have made it to the semi-finals in the singles and the quarter finals in mixed doubles. I received hundreds of congratulatory e-mails and cards which I will cherish forever.
Isn't each one of us an Olympian at heart as each of us fights our own personal battles? The Aga Khan says that, "Struggle is the meaning of life, defeat and victory are in the hands of God, but struggle is a man's duty and should be his joy."
I must go now as my tennis instructor waits -- my challenge begins again. You see, I've started training for the next Ismaili Games which will be held four years from now.
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