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www.ismaili.net :: View topic - “Rays of Light” shines on both sides of the Atlantic
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“Rays of Light” shines on both sides of the Atlantic

 
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 5:16 am    Post subject: “Rays of Light” shines on both sides of the Atlantic Reply with quote

“Rays of Light” shines on both sides of the Atlantic

Rays of Light: Glimpses into the Ismaili Imamat had its North American debut at the Gwinnett Center, in Atlanta, on Sunday, 2 August 2009. A Golden Jubilee International Programme, this exhibition depicts 50 years of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Imamat, against the backdrop of the 1 400 year history of Ismaili Imamat.

Members of the Jamat wait their turn at the entrance of the circular Rays of Light exhibit. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for the USA

In the Muslim tradition of leadership, going back 14 centuries and covering all interpretations of Islam, the role of the Imam is not only to interpret the faith to his murids but also to lead the effort towards their security and wellbeing — the latter concern also extending to communities among whom they live. In 1957, when he succeeded his grandfather and became the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, Mawlana Hazar Imam declared that he dedicated his life to the uplift and progress of Ismailis worldwide. Few at that time could have imagined the scope and depth of this commitment.

Today, the work of the Ismaili Imamat benefits not only Ismaili Muslims, but also the wider society within which they live. “It flows from the mandate of the office of Imam to improve the quality of worldly life for the concerned communities,” said Hazar Imam upon receiving the Tolerance Award at Germany’s Evangelical Academy of Tutzing in 2006.

The 4 000 square foot circular exhibition, which incorporates over 200 photographs, imparts a glimpse into Mawlana Hazar Imam’s efforts to improve the quality of life of all.

“The exhibition is not just one to be looked at — it is to be experienced,” said Nina Hirji Kheraj, one of the curators of Rays of Light. “We hope that visitors will be touched intellectually, emotionally and spiritually by the experience and will leave with an increased understanding of the role of the Imam as a spiritual and world leader, and with a heightened sense of pride in their Ismaili heritage.”

European showings

Rays of Light originally premiered in France. At the occasion of the final Darbar of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Golden Jubilee, which was held in Paris, Hazar Imam and his family received a tour of the exhibition. Many members of the Jamat from around the world also had an opportunity to experience it.

The President of the Assembly of the Republic of Portugal, Dr Jaime Gama, is accompanied by President Amirali Bhanji of the Ismaili Council for Portugal and the AKDN Resident Representative in Portugal, Nazim Ahmad at the Lisbon showing of Luz Irradiante. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for Portugal

In March 2009, the exhibition travelled to Portugal, where it was formally opened at the Ismaili Centre in Lisbon under the banner of Luz Irradiante. A number of Portuguese dignitaries were present for the opening, including the President of the Assembly of the Republic, Dr Jaime Gama, as well as current and past government leaders, members of the diplomatic corps, special guests from the Catholic Church, the wider Muslim community and other members of civil society. They were welcomed by the President of the Ismaili Council for Portugal, Amirali Bhanji, and the AKDN Resident Representative in Portugal, Nazim Ahmad.

The Ismaili Imamat has an established history of partnership with Portugal. In recent years, a Protocol of Cooperation and an Agreement of International Cooperation were signed between the Government of the Portuguese Republic and the Ismaili Imamat. These have led to a unique partnership between the Aga Khan Foundation Portugal and the Patriarchate of Lisbon, and an agreement of academic collaboration between the Aga Khan University and the Catholic University of Portugal.

“The beneficial impact of these initiatives across all segments of the Portuguese civil society has promoted an even better understanding and spirit of collaboration between the Imamat Institutions, the Portuguese people and the Ismaili community,” said President Bhanji. He noted that the agreements signal a common intent to work towards the improvement of the quality of life of vulnerable populations.

Opening of the Atlanta exhibit

The Secretary of State of Georgia, Karen Handel, addresses dignitaries at a reception for the Rays of Light exhibition in Atlanta. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for the USA

To mark the arrival of Rays of Light in Atlanta, the Ismaili Council for the Southeastern United States hosted a formal reception and tour, which was attended by state and local government officials, as well as leaders in education, health and business. The exhibit was formally opened by Karen Handel, the Secretary of State for the State of Georgia.

“We have been so fortunate and blessed for you to call Georgia your home,” said the Secretary of State, addressing the Ismaili community in Georgia. “We know your focus on economic development — but also on improving the human experience here and around the world — and it has made our state and our communities a richer, richer place.”

The wide range of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s accomplishments during the past fifty years impressed the guests. During his tour of the exhibit, Dr Gordon Newby, Chair of Near Eastern Studies at Emory University, expressed that Harvard University must be extremely honoured to count the Aga Khan among their alumni.

Muhammad Aslam Khan, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Pakistan, said that he holds a “great respect for His Highness and his followers.” He also expressed admiration for the contributions of Hazar Imam’s family and added: “I am a personal witness of his work in education, health, culture, architecture, religion”

Experiencing the exhibition

Visitors examine photographs illustrating some of the work that Mawlana Hazar Imam has undertaken during the past 50 years. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for the USA

As the door to the Atlanta exhibition opened, groups were led into the softly-lit hall that housed it. The visitors took their time, examining the photos, reading the captions, asking about the events depicted, and circling back to revisit the same spot — only to discover something new. Each stood in awe in the dome, where they took in images of Mawlana Hazar Imam next to the Preamble of the Ismaili Constitution, or standing amongst murids in Tajikistan as he looked across the Pyanj river at the Jamat in Afghanistan.

Visiting from Vancouver, Canada, Taufiq Mitha felt the exhibition offered “only a small glimpse into the Imam's life.” He said that it “reminds us of the grace, humility and true compassion with which the Imam lives his life, and inspires us to do so as well.”

For Nurani Esmail, Rays of Light illustrated Hazar Imam’s “dedication and hard work for the betterment of all human beings.” It made her feel “proud to be an Ismaili.”

There were moments of silent and serene reflection, of tearful memories and moments where visitors could not hold back the joy, amazement, awe and pride at the achievements of the 49th Imam. Passing through the exit tunnel, taking in the sound of the Nashid al-Imamah and the photograph of Hazar Imam’s family taken at Aiglemont on 11 July 2007, many were touched by an undeniable sense of upliftment.


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

Having completed its showing in Atlanta on 12 August, Rays of Light is now moving to Orlando, where it will be on display between 26 September – 4 October. From there it is expected to travel to other major US centres, including Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.

http://www.theismaili.org/cms/792/
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 9945

PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.nsf2010.com/raysoflight/

Since the time of Hazrat 'Ali, the first Shia Imam, the light of Imamat has illuminated the path of followers and guided their spiritual and intellectual understanding of Islam. His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV is the 49th hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims and a direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) through his cousin and son-in-law, Hazrat 'Ali, and his wife, Hazrat Fatima, the Prophet's daughter.

Upon acceding to the Imamat in 1957 at the age of twenty, His Highness the Aga Khan declared that he had dedicated his life to the uplift and progress of Ismailis worldwide. Few at that time could have imagined the scope and depth of this lifelong commitment, which today extends not only to the Ismaili Muslims, but also to the wider communities within which they live.

Continuing his forefathers' long-standing tradition of Muslim leadership and service to humanity, His Highness has devoted more than fifty years of his life towards upholding the dignity of man, promoting peace and stability and working towards the common good of all peoples, regardless of their origin or religion.

The Ismailis today are privileged and honored to have the opportunity to celebrate the continuous light and love of their Imam, which has enriched their lives and enlightened their souls. The Ismailis refer to the Imam of the Time as Mawlana Hazar Imam.

RAYS OF LIGHT is only a glimpse into the enduring commitment of Mawlana Hazar Imam and his efforts to improve the quality of life of people living across the globe. It aims to present visitors with a feast for the eyes that stimulates the intellect and stirs the soul.

You can learn more about His Highness the Aga Khan and the Ismaili community at
TheIsmaili.org, AKDN.org and iis.ac.uk.

http://www.nsf2010.com/raysoflight/about/

RAYS OF LIGHT: Glimpses into the Ismaili Imamat, a Golden Jubilee International Programme, is an exhibition depicting 50 years of Mawlana Hazar Imam's Imamat, against the backdrop of the Jamat's 1400-year history.

For over 50 years, Mawlana Hazar Imam's guidance has the lit the path of the murids and his tireless efforts have improved the security and well-being of not just the Ismailis, but also that of wider society.

As Mawlana Hazar Imam has emphasised, his work "flows from the mandate of the office of Imam to improve the quality of worldly life for the concerned communities."

RAYS OF LIGHT attempts to provide a glimpse into the tireless efforts of our beloved Mawlana Hazar Imam since he acceded to the Imamat in 1957. Though the scope of his work and the depth of his dedication cannot possibly be contained in any single exhibition, RAYS OF LIGHT nonetheless provides an experience that provokes, stimulates and humbles.

Nina Hirji Kheraj, one of the curators says: "The exhibition is not just to be looked at - it is to be experienced. We hope that visitors will be touched intellectually, emotionally and spiritually by the experience and that they will leave not only with an increased understanding of the role of the Imam as a spiritual and world leader, but also with a heightened sense of pride in their Ismaili heritage."

RAYS OF LIGHT was inaugurated by Mawlana Hazar Imam and the Nurani family during the Golden Jubilee Darbar celebrations in Paris in December 2008. It has since toured Lisbon, Portugal and multiple cities in the US, including Atlanta, Orlando, Dallas, Houston, Austin and Los Angeles with planned shows in Chicago, Washington DC and New York. Its arrival into the United Kingdom at NSF 2010 is an important stop on its international tour which is expected to continue on to East Africa and Dubai.

To read about RAYS OF LIGHT as it has journeyed to other cities please click here.
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Video
http://www.theismaili.org/cms/974/Video-Rays-of-Light-at-NSF-2010

A Golden Jubilee International Programme, Rays of Light: Glimpses into the Ismaili Imamat is an exhibition that depicts 50 years of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Imamat, against the backdrop of the 1 400 year history of Ismaili Imamat.

In the Muslim tradition of leadership, going back 14 centuries and covering all interpretations of Islam, the role of the Imam is not only to interpret the faith to his murids but also to lead the effort towards their security and wellbeing — the latter concern also extending to communities among whom they live. In 1957, when he succeeded his grandfather and became the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, Mawlana Hazar Imam declared that he dedicated his life to the uplift and progress of Ismailis worldwide. Few at that time could have imagined the scope and depth of this commitment.

The 4 000 square foot circular exhibition, which incorporates over 200 photographs, imparts a glimpse into Mawlana Hazar Imam’s efforts to improve the quality of life of all.
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 9945

PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rays of Light: “Thank you for restoring my faith in the human race”by Shellyza Moledina
Special to Simerg

A Brief Review of the Golden Jubilee initiative in London, UK, showing at Imperial College from September 10-26, 2010

Shellyza Moledina found hope and inspiration in "Rays of Light"
The pictures are brilliant, the design is well thought out, the lights are carefully set, and the music is beautiful and soul-stirring: you know you’ve reached the new Golden Jubilee exhibition: Rays of Light.

The outside rim of the exhibition details a pictured timeline of the Aga Khan. Segments around the circle show his work dedicating his life towards helping millions materially and spiritually, through improving access to education and healthcare, while encouraging pluralism and culture initiatives.

The heart of the exhibition attempts to show the Imam-Murid relationship, and display the Imam’s love for the Ismaili community. The names of all 49 Imams of the Shi’a Ismaili tradition are beautifully inscribed in a continuous circle near the ceiling. This part of the exhibition reveals the unbroken continous ‘Rope of Imamat’ and the consistent service towards humankind since the Imam Ali. This is by far the most special area of the exhibition for the Ismailis, and I can see Ismailis of all ages sitting on the white sofas in silence and contemplation, reluctant to leave.

The end of the exhibition was as well thought out as the rest, and left the visitors with Golden Jubilee music, paired with a quote:

“No belief is like modesty and patience, no attainment is like humility, no honour is like knowledge, no power is like forbearance, and no support is more reliable than consultation.”

And yet, I think that Rays of Light was more about the people that it inspired, rather than the exhibition itself.

When I passed along one part of the exhibition, I could see a Rays of Light tour guide quietly answering in depth questions from an intrigued non-Ismaili visitor. As I passed over another section of the exhibition, I saw young Ismaili children sprawled on the ground, reading the names of the prime ministers that the Aga Khan had met, while an happy religious class teacher asked them questions. I remembered a girl my age, saying that Rays of Light had solved her own spiritual unanswered questions about the nature of the Imamat.

I had expected to see the Ismailis moved to tears by this exhibition, but I had certainly not anticipated the interest in the Aga Khan and his philanthropic initiatives from the non-Ismaili community, who constituted 80% of the visitors that I saw on the time of my visit. Everywhere, from non-Ismailis of all ages, I saw expressions of interest, engrossment and appreciation. Never once of boredom.

As I reluctantly walked towards the exit, I noticed a board with hundreds of white comment cards plastered all over it. Curiously, I took a closer look. Some were written by very young children and carefully decorated in bright coloured crayons and large loopy letters. Others were written by older members of the community, declaring their pride of being a Shi’a Ismaili Muslim after witnessing the exhibition. And then my attention focused on a certain card with one line written clearly, signed by a Christian name.

“Thank you for restoring my faith in the human race.”

One line, beautiful in its simplicity, made me realize what Rays of Light was all about.

Hope…and inspiration.

© Simerg.com

Publication date: September 22, 2010
http://simerg.com/about/rays-of-light-%e2%80%9cthank-you-for-restoring-my-faith-in-the-human-race%e2%80%9d/

******
In London, RAYS OF LIGHT draws visitors from near and far

Children from Bait-ul Ilm learn about the work of the Ismaili Imamat at the RAYS OF LIGHT exhibition in London. Photo: Nina Hirji Kheraj

On the second Saturday of this month, a hundred or so Ismaili Muslims — from Eindhoven, Stockholm, Bad Salzuflen, Essen, Frankfurt, Munich and Dublin — made their way north from the Ismaili Centre, London. They walked past the Victoria & Albert Museum and continued up Exhibition Road until they reached Prince’s Gardens. There, on an immaculate lawn stands a pristine marquee embracing a circular, dome-topped structure. They were amongst the first to visit, followed soon after by 150 youth who had brought their non-Ismaili friends to share in a special experience.

RAYS OF LIGHT: Glimpses into the Ismaili Imamat, A Golden Jubilee International Programme, opened in London on 10 September 2010 on the grounds of Imperial College at Prince’s Gardens. Over the course of the week, the European visitors were joined by thousands more — local and foreign, Ismaili and non-Ismaili — seeking to experience the exhibition, which depicts 50 years of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Imamat against the backdrop of the Jamat's 1,400-year history.

The RAYS OF LIGHT exhibition in London has been very popular among the youth, many of whom brought their friends from the wider community. Photo: Nina Hirji Kheraj

“What an amazing exhibition — I am so glad to have visited it,” said one guest. “I am so fortunate to be an Ismaili murid, and I was so very touched to read some of the comments left by not only our fellow Muslim brothers but other members of society as well.”

Since the time of Hazrat Ali, the first Shia Imam, the light of Imamat has illuminated the path of followers and guided their spiritual and intellectual understanding of Islam. Upon acceding to the Imamat in 1957 at the age of 20, Mawlana Hazar Imam declared that he had dedicated his life to the uplift and progress of Ismailis worldwide. Few at that time could have imagined the scope and depth of this lifelong commitment, which today extends not only to the Ismaili Muslims, but also to the wider communities within which they live.

Continuing a long-standing tradition of Muslim leadership and service to humanity, Hazar Imam has devoted more than 50 years of his life towards upholding the dignity of man, promoting peace and stability and working towards the common good of all peoples, regardless of their origin or religion.

Fifteen-year-old Khalil Osman had visited RAYS OF LIGHT before, but he still found himself moved by the work and example of the Imam: “The first couple of times I saw the exhibition I was extremely emotional, and in awe of the inspiring work Hazar Imam tirelessly does — I felt proud to be an Ismaili. Upon returning to see this exhibition today, I feel that as Ismaili Muslims, followers of Hazar Imam, and perhaps simply as human beings, it is our duty and responsibility to try and live by the principles that Hazar Imam shows us.”

Jamati members from Europe write their impressions of the RAYS OF LIGHT exhibition on comment cards. Photo: Alnoor Sunderji“

I feel a responsibility to continue this work,” he added, “and emulate the way Hazar Imam lives his life as an example of responsibility and someone who radiates hope, and betters the lives of all. A truly outstanding exhibition.”

Like the exhibition itself, the RAYS of LIGHT experience is multi-faceted. Each individual encounter is at once unique and personal, but it is also a shared event — for none of the visitors emerge from the exhibition unmoved. The visitor comment cards testify to this.

Pinned on large boards just outside the exhibition, the comment cards have become a display in their own right. Visitors use the cards to reflect, to connect, and to pour out their feelings and memories. A random reading reveals poetry and prose, feelings of pride and humility, and above all a deep sense of gratitude. Many who commented came from other faith traditions.

A young girl pauses to take notes in the rotunda at the centre of the RAYS OF LIGHT exhibition. Photo: Nina Hirji Kheraj

“From one who follows a different path, yet looks towards the same One Light for the hope that triumphs despair, for the indefatigable efforts on behalf of the weak and frail, for the words uplifting the dumb in their misery — thank you for your service,” commented one visitor.

“A really beautiful experience,” remarked visitor Christina Truscott, who could relate with the exhibition from her own faith tradition: “I am a Roman Catholic, but our spiritual bond is evident in all I have seen at your RAYS OF LIGHT experience.”

Expressions of gratitude are a common theme among the comments. So too, is the desire for greater unity, both within the Muslim ummah and across humanity at large.

“Thank you for this beautiful exhibition of the history of the Ismaili’s Imamat. As a follower of the Shia faith of 12 Imams, this was a very insightful and brilliant display of the beauty of Islam and acknowledgement of the great work achieved by this faith. I send my warmest gratitude to the Imam Karim Aga Khan and his blessed followers. I hope unity will continue to spread amongst all Muslims of different sects and all of humanity.”


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

RAYS OF LIGHT is open until 11:00 PM every day, and remains in London until 26 September. Afterwards, the exhibition will set sail for East Africa.


The wall of comment cards outside the RAYS OF LIGHT exhibition has become a display in its own right. Photo: Nina Hirji Kheraj

http://www.theismaili.org/cms/1089/In-London-RAYS-OF-LIGHT-draws-visitors-from-near-and-far
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glimpse into Aga Khan’s life

By FRED OLUOCH

KAMPALA RESIDENTS recently had a chance to follow the life of His Highness the Aga Khan through a photo exhibition highlighting his commitment to improving the human condition and the 1,400 year lineage of the Shia Ismaili Imams.

Under the theme Rays of Light: Glimpses into the Ismaili Imamat, the photo exhibition showed how His Highness the Aga Khan has been uplifting the living conditions of people around the world through increased global engagement and promotion of equitable and sustainable human advancement as well as social justice.

This has been made possible through the Aga Khan Development Network.

The exhibition took place at the Grand Imperial Hotel, Kampala from October 12 to 16, attracting over 2,000 people including senior government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, business leaders and members of the Ismaili community.

http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/Glimpse+into+Aga+Khan+life/-/2558/1537892/-/rinjcl/-/index.html
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RAYS OF LIGHT exhibition to tour across Canada in summer of 2013

http://www.theismaili.org/cms/1446/mailshot
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