The Olympic flame passed between some 12 000 torch bearers during its journey across Canada. Photo: Amin Maherali
When the Olympic Cauldron was lit at BC Place Stadium on 12 February — marking the opening of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games — the fire that set it alight came by way of more than 25 members of the Ismaili community. Like thousands of their fellow Canadians, they were chosen to carry the flame as it made its way across Canada in the months leading up to the Games.
The Olympic Torch Relay was a 45 000 kilometre journey that started in Victoria, British Columbia. As it criss-crossed the land, visiting each Canadian province and territory and touching over 1 000 communities and places of interest, it unified the country and built excitement in anticipation of the Games. In the course of 106 days, some 12 000 people had the honour of carrying the Olympic flame as torch bearers.
The Olympic flame is symbolic of the Games’ principles of peace, brotherhood and friendship — also cherished by Muslims. When it returned to British Columbia, Hassanali Merali had the honour of carrying it in Vancouver.
Vice-President Malik Talib passes on the flame after his run. Photo: Hakam Bhaloo
“Carrying the flame was a unique opportunity to represent the Foundation, the Ismaili community and Canada at large,” said Merali, who was asked to carry the Olympic flame as a representative of the Heart and Stroke Foundation. “The Olympics is an event which represents the multicultural and diverse society in which we live. I take a lot of pride in being a part of the Ismaili community, a community that contributes to the wider society.”
A Tanzanian who immigrated to Canada in 1972, Merali has lived in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and is now a resident of British Columbia. Volunteerism has been an important part of his life, and his services to the Heart and Stroke Foundation over the past 11 years earned him the Foundation’s Skookum Award for leadership, dedication and hard work, as well as the Leadership Award with Distinction, which recognises ten years of dedication and contribution to the organisation.
Olympic torch bearer Hassanali Merali carried the flame as a representative of the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Photo: Hakam Bhaloo
Zoya Jiwa, a Grade 10 high school student from Coquitlam, British Columbia was part of a leadership group that entered a contest run by the Royal Bank of Canada, which challenged students to send in a video showing how their school helps the community. Along with 20 others, Jiwa was selected to carry the Olympic flame over a one kilometre stretch in Coquitlam. “We are all united by the Olympics as it brings people together,” said Jiwa. ”It is also an exciting time for the Ismaili community and it is awesome that we get to participate in the torch relay and other Olympic events.”
Farhan Lalji is no stranger to major sporting events. As a broadcaster with Canadian sports network TSN for the past 12 years, the 2010 Games will be the fourth Olympic Games that Lalji has covered. The network was allocated six spots in the torch relay, and Lalji was the only BC on-air personality asked to carry the flame. He described how the excitement for the event grew as he made his way towards his starting position.
Darbir Rashid and Zoya Jiwa celebrate after their torch run. Photo: Azim Verjee“Once I was in my position to start the relay, the reaction in the streets made me realise that this was an extremely special moment,” said Lalji. “I had about seven minutes with my wife, son, parents, and sister at the starting spot before I got the torch, and I was extremely happy to be able to share with my family. The reaction on the streets and from the people was overwhelming.”
On 11 February 2010, Ismaili Council for Canada Vice-President Malik Talib carried the Olympic flame in Vancouver. “The Olympic Games are an opportunity for the Ismaili community to show our strong community values and spirit of volunteerism,” said Talib. “The Olympic ideals of peace, brotherhood and friendship are shared values of the Ismaili community, and it is our privilege to be given the opportunity to work together with the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games to help welcome the world to Canada.”
A list of Ismaili participants in the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay is provided below.
1 Nov 2009 Ayisha Karim Nanaimo, BC
28 Nov 2009 Hafeez Kassam Grand Falls, NB
17 Dec 2009 Mohamed Manji
President, Ismaili Council for Canada Toronto, ON
17 Dec 2009 Bilaal Rajan Toronto, ON
19 Dec 2009 Salim Patel Mississauga, ON
20 Dec 2009 Ashif Ratanshi Hamilton, ON
23 Dec 2009 Aziz Shariff LaSalle, ON
24 Dec 2009 Nadeem Vellani London, ON
29 Dec 2009 Sarina Mawji Midland, ON
18 Jan 2010 Sherali Saju Calgary, AB
19 Jan 2010 Amal Remu Calgary, AB
19 Jan 2010 Tasleem Kurji Calgary, AB
19 Jan 2010 Adil Damani Chestermere, AB
27 Jan 2010 Farhan Lalji Kamloops, BC
7 Feb 2010 Razia Esmail Chilliwack, BC
7 Feb 2010 Pharid Jaffer Abbotsford, BC
7 Feb 2010 Salim Ahmed Abbotsford, BC
8 Feb 2010 Ali Nanji Surrey, BC
9 Feb 2010 Akber Dhanjee Richmond, BC
10 Feb 2010 Sohail Shariff West Vancouver, BC
11 Feb 2010 Dabir Rashid Coquitlam, BC
11 Feb 2010 Zoya Jiwa Coquitlam, BC
11 Feb 2010 Azim Jamal Vancouver, BC
11 Feb 2010 Malik Talib
Vice-President, Ismaili Council for Canada Vancouver, BC
12 Feb 2010 Nadir Mohamed Vancouver, BC
12 Feb 2010 Hassanali M Merali Vancouver, BC
(upcoming) Zahir Abji Whistler, BC
Ismaili volunteers stand front and centre as Olympics get underway in Vancouver
A young Ismaili volunteer offers directions to tourists in Vancouver. Photo: Riyaz Lalani
As the 2010 Winter Olympic Games got underway in Vancouver, hundreds of Ismaili volunteers from across Canada officially became ambassadors to the world. Donning green-coloured jackets emblazoned with “Ismaili Volunteers” on the front, these Olympic Ambassadors have been welcoming tourists and athletes to the city since the beginning of February, providing information and directions, and managing queues and crowds in Vancouver City Centre.
“It is an amazing feeling to volunteer alongside other members of the Jamat at the largest event Vancouver has ever hosted,” said Kahir Lalji, an Ismaili volunteer.
Through CIVIC — Challenging Ismaili Volunteers in Communities — a youth based programme that focuses the energy of young Ismailis towards improving the wellbeing of the communities in which they live, younger members of the Jamat were also invited to help welcome the world. Volunteers aged 18-25 responded enthusiastically, signing up rapidly to take on the role of youth ambassadors.
Easily identifiable in their green-coloured jackets, Ismaili volunteers in Vancouver City Centre have been welcoming tourists and athletes since the beginning of February. Photo: Hakam Bhaloo
“We were given the opportunity to volunteer at one of the busiest downtown locations,” said Adam Samji, a youth volunteer. “It was a great feeling to represent the Ismaili community in our special green jackets and to showcase our spirit of volunteerism.”
Ismaili volunteers benefit from the recent experience of organising large events that commemorated Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Golden Jubilee, as well as the Jamat’s Khushiali celebrations that take place every year. Their performance has garnered applause from the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC), who requested their organisation and management expertise to streamline other volunteer host locations.
“We are fortunate to have attracted a large and diverse application pool of people from around the world who are willing to volunteer for the Games,” said Allen Vansen, who is responsible for workforce operations at VANOC. According to the organisation, more than 77,000 people applied to donate their time and talent to contribute to the success of the Games.
Tourists visiting Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games seek assistance from an Ismaili volunteer. Photo: Hakam Bhaloo
In addition to taking part as Olympic Ambassadors, the community has also partnered with VANOC in other ways. Some Ismaili volunteers received specialised training from the Olympic Organizing Committee to chauffeur senior government officials and ministers to Olympics Special VIP Events. VANOC also engaged the community’s assistance in managing Olympics-related events.
On 11 February, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, hosted the 2010 Olympic Truce Youth Dialogue at the Vancouver Public Library, which was attended by over 500 youth from across Canada. Following a similar successful event held at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby in September, VANOC asked the community to co-manage and provide human resources.
After the dialogue, the Governor General met with the Ismaili volunteers and expressed her appreciation for their contributions towards the success of the event, recalling the earlier Truce Dialogue at the Ismaili Centre.
Ismaili youth were enthusiastic to volunteer as Olympic Ambassadors and welcome the world to Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Games. Photo: Riyaz Lalani
Ismaili Youth Choir participates in:
Sounds of the Soul
An Evening of Multi-Faith Music
Canada’s most multicultural campus hosts a musical celebration featuring performances from various faith-based groups.
UofT Multi-Faith Centre
the Anti-Racism & Cultural Diversity Office
Sounds of the Soul
An Evening of Multi-Faith Music
Hart House Great Hall
Hart House website
Map to Hart House
$15 / $6 students
Musical talent from the University of Toronto’s highly diverse student body – including ensembles from the Muslim, Jewish, Christian, First Nations, and Hindu faiths – will perform with the goal of raising money to eradicate malaria.
“These students are a model of how religious communities can work together for a common good,” says Richard Chambers, director of the Multi-Faith Centre. “They’re building on shared values – like the desire to help others in need – to create truly harmonious results.”
Bhakti Yoga Club
First Nations House
Ismaili Youth Choir
UofT Gospel Choir
Proceeds go to Spread the Net, for the eradication of malaria.
Everyone is welcome!
UofT Multi-Faith Centre
YouTube video of Rick Mercer promoting this concert
Ismailis join in the global response to earthquake-devastated Haiti
An aerial view of Port-au-Prince`s downtown area demonstrates the extent of damage inflicted by the powerful earthquake that hit the Haitian capital on 12 January. Photo:
UN Photo/Logan Abassi / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
On 12 January 2010, an earthquake of magnitude 7.0 shattered the Republic of Haiti, leaving over 200 000 people dead and 1.5 million homeless. The world, horrified by the disaster, responded with urgency to help the victims of the tragedy. With important government buildings destroyed and many civic employees dead or injured, Haitians had to rely on the generosity and humanitarian efforts of other countries, NGOs and individual donors to provide sustenance and hope.
Many Ismaili Muslims were among those who responded to the disaster, using their resources and skills to find creative ways to provide timely assistance to Haitians.
Given the complete collapse of infrastructure following the quake, receiving goods from abroad and storing and distributing them in Haiti has proven to be difficult. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and former US President Bill Clinton released a statement urging the global community to send cash that would help in purchasing items of necessity on the ground.
Muslim artists led by Fez Meghani, including several musicians and a comedian, came together in support of Haiti. Photo: Courtesy of Fez Meghani, Planetunity Records
News of the quake coincided with plans for a concert by Planetunity Records featuring self-identified Muslim artists. The concert was promptly named Rebuild Haiti, and Fez Meghani, a musician and performer from Texas, pledged to donate all the proceeds to two international aid organisations — American Red Cross and Islamic Relief USA — who were on the ground in Haiti, helping the victims.
Meghani and Planetunity Records then got in touch with musician, Aftab Ali, and comedian, Muhammed Amer, to join in the effort. On 27 February, 400 excited fans from the North Texas region gathered at Coppell West Middle School for a night of music and inspiration and raised $5 000 for Haiti.
“We all are people of the same divine entity before we are nations and tribes,” said Meghani in an interview before the performance. “It is our duty as human beings, as Muslims and as Americans, to do what we can to get the people of Haiti back on their feet.”
“We were planning to do a project in Haiti before the earthquake hit,” said Anar Simpson, who after moving to Silicon Valley, found her niche volunteering for Samasource, a non-profit organisation outsources web-based jobs to those living in poverty in developing countries.
Workers during a training session in Haiti with laptops procured by Samasource. Photo: Courtesy of Samasource
“When the earthquake hit — and luckily no one from our team was hurt — we decided that now, more than ever, Haitians needed jobs,” says Simpson. The lack of Internet connectivity prompted Samasource to collaborate with eight other companies in devising a central texting system that allowed Haitians to text for help or locate their loved ones.
Part of that project was to procure laptop computers for the project centre. Realising how isolated the Haitians had become from the rest of the world, Simpson undertook the effort one weekend to locate laptops to ship overseas. “It’s not easy buying twenty laptops on a Friday evening, but we were going to do it,” she recalls.
To ship the laptops to Haiti, Simpson collaborated with workers from Inveneo––a software company that addresses and overcomes challenges found in rural environments through technology –– whose staff was among the few people able to fly into the region. “I think technology will allow this region to leapfrog the normal development cycle,” said Simpson whose education and experience centres around computers and technology.
Helping from home
Other Ismailis have also found ways to either join in or start their own efforts in helping Haitians. Heena Virani, a graduate student at Fordham University and a Manhattan resident conducted three drives — at her school, office and place of residence — and managed to raise over $8 500 and canned food through weekly reminders via email, Facebook, and by simply using collection boxes at various places.
The “Rebuild Haiti” concert in North Texas raised $5 000 for Haiti earthquake victims. Photo: Courtesy of Fez Meghani, Planetunity Records“For me, supporting Haiti wasn't a decision, but rather a responsibility,” says Virani. “I was touched by communities coming together to help citizens of our world.”
Similarly, when Chicago physician Tohfa Ruda heard that a 15-member team of doctors was headed to a small town on the border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti to provide Haitians medical care, she jumped in to help. In a great show of support, she and her husband Anis collected money and medical items such as gauze, antibacterial ointments and syringes to help the victims.
AKPS students reach out to the community
Posted on 21 May 2010
To provide students with an opportunity to take socially responsible action, AKPS organized a community outrach fundraising in association with Tanzania Education Authority (TEA). AKPS students raised a noteworthy amount of 22 million Tshs with their fundraising efforts and the funds were used to purchase educational supplies and other materials after conducting needs analyses for the three special needs school in Dar-es-Salaam. The 3 schools are Mugabe Primary School, Sinza, Uhuru Mchanganyiko Primary School, Ilala and Maweni Primary School, Kigamboni.
The beneficiary schools received hearing aids, Braille machines, Braille paper, textbooks, exercise books, duplicating and writing paper, A 4 framer, white walking sticks, footballs, bed sheets and 5000 liter water tank.
The collaboration with these special schools does not end with the donations. AKPS students have extended an invitation to play friendly football matches with students from these schools
Stampede Float Focuses on Youth
July 6, 2010 – Calgary, Alberta –
For the past 14 years, during Stampede, the Calgary Ismaili Muslim Community has celebrated being part of Calgary by building award winning floats that feature their partnership with Calgary institutions and inviting everyone to their huge pancake breakfast. The aim is to have fun whilst celebrating the work being done to strengthen Calgary.
This year, the Ismaili community has partnered with United Way of Calgary and Area to promote the importance of education, in particular high school completion, through the creation of an Achievement through High School Fund.
“We traditionally have used the parade float as an opportunity to highlight an issue or need within the larger Calgary community,” President Zaver of the Calgary Ismaili Muslim Community said, “this year we are very excited to initiate the first year of a multi‐year partnership with the United Way by contributing to a fund which will both encourage youth who have no family support to stay in school, and to help youth who have left high school go back and complete their education.”
Ruth Ramsden‐Wood, President of United Way of Calgary and Area echoed President Zaver’s sentiments around the partnership. “United Way believes all children and youth must be encouraged to stay in school. This partnership is a step in the right direction, and shows the Ismaili Muslim Community recognizes how important it is to see our city’s youth succeed.”
The partnership is working to raise $75,000 that will be put towards a school youth bursary fund that will help pay for living expenses while youth attend school. And, it will also support the construction of an on‐line back to school guide for youth who wish to return to school, but aren’t sure about how to do it.
The project augments several other current United Way initiatives which prepare youth for school, support family relationships, increase educational opportunities, and connect youth with career opportunities.
“For youth to succeed as adults, they must have a successful transition into adulthood,” Ramsden‐Wood said, “currently, 30 percent of Alberta students don’t graduate within three years of starting Grade 10, so support from the community that builds opportunities to change this is key to our efforts to ensure all children and youth have every opportunity available to them.”
Governor General of Canada awards medals to three Ismailis during visit to Congo
The three Ismailis who were recognised for their services as Canadian wardens in the DRC pose for a photograph with Governor General Michaëlle Jean. From the left: Altaf Sheriff, the Governor General, Sadrudin Nanji, Shiraj Hemraj. Photo: Maherunisa Nanji
During a state visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) earlier this year, the Governor General of Canada awarded medals of honour to a number of individuals, three of whom were Ismailis.
The visit was part of a wider tour of African countries that included Senegal, Rwanda and Cape Verde. It was an opportunity for the Governor General to pay tribute to Canadian women and men working for NGOs in the region.
“The bonds of friendship which nourish the relations between Canada and the DRC depend largely on the dedicated role played by men and women like you,” said Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean at a reception hosted by the Canadian Ambassador, where she presented medals to people who have made significant contributions to Canada-Congo relations. The Ismaili recipients were all Canadian wardens — volunteers who facilitate communications between the Canadian Embassy and resident Canadians in the event of a local crisis such as internal disorder or natural disaster.
Shiraj Hemraj was recognised for 17 years of service as a Canadian warden and for his bravery in saving the life of a fellow Canadian during the disturbances of September 1991 at the risk of his own. He was also commended in his role as co-founder of the Rawji Foundation, which contributes to the training of Congolese youths and fosters development in the DRC.
Sadrudin Nanji, the current Chairman of the Ismaili Conciliation and Arbitration Board for the DRC, received a medal for his many years of service as a Canadian warden, during which he provided safe havens for all Canadians while coordinating evacuation efforts during the 1991 and 1993 distrurbances in Congo. He was also commended for the close support he provided to Consular Staff in their efforts to help Canadians at particularly crucial moments.
Medal recipient Altaf Sheriff, President of the Ismaili Council for the DRC, was also recognised for his years of service as a Canadian warden, for providing safe havens and for assisting Canadians during the dangerous unrest that took place in March 2007. President Sheriff thanked the Governor General, accepting the recognition as a tribute to Mawlana Hazar Imam’s institutions and to the efforts of all Ismailis in Congo.
The Governor General’s visit to the DRC took place between 18–20 April. She was accompanied by a delegation of Canadians working in a variety of fields, including governance, women’s rights, journalism, arts and culture, civic engagement.
While in Congo, she visited a health centre that receives funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to train midwife nurses and professionalise their practice. The Governor General also met with His Excellency President Joseph Kabila and Prime Minister Adolphe Muzito.
In her address at a state luncheon hosted by President Kabila, she noted that Canada and DRC share many values and ties, including cultural diversity, peace, democratic governance and the consolidation of a state of law. Collaborative efforts and initiatives that promote greater social responsibility would be beneficial, she said, adding that commercial activities must be practised within an ethical framework that is respectful of the people, their culture and the environment.
As the country marks the 50th anniversary of its independence, the Governor General noted that “the Democratic Republic of the Congo is also rich in women, men and an entire generation of young people who are working hard to restore the respect of human dignity.” She urged the Congolese people to celebrate their diversity, which she described as “this country’s — and this continent’s — greatest resource.”
Aga Khan Foundation signs protocol with The Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP)
July 22, 2010 by ismailimail Leave a Comment
Translated via Google, using multiple source.
The Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) and the Foundation Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) today signed a cooperation protocol which aims to improve the quality of life for people living in vulnerable contexts in Lusophone countries.
The protocol was signed by the Executive Secretary of CPLP, Domingos Simões Pereira, Portugal and the representative of the AKDN, Nazim Ahmad, in Luanda.
The purpose of the agreement is to promote mutual cooperation between parties in different fields related to improving quality of life of people living in vulnerable contexts.
The CPLP was established in 1996 as a multilateral forum of choice for the deepening of mutual friendship and cooperation among its members.
The organization comprises Angola, Portugal, Mozambique, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, East Timor and Sao Tome and Principe.
In turn, the Aga Khan covers a group of private development agencies and non-confessional, which work to empower communities and individuals to enable them to improve their living conditions and opportunities, especially in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
The Ismaili Community Ensemble participates in the celebrations marking the 25th anniversay of HRH The Prince of Wales as President of Business in the Community
Tower Hamlets students perform for HRH The Prince of Wales at Royal Albert Hall Business in the Community celebration
On Monday 5 July, students from the Mulberry School for Girls in Tower Hamlets will perform with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and members of the Ismaili Community Ensemble for HRH The Prince of Wales and over 1,000 UK business leaders to celebrate The Prince’s 25th anniversary as President of Business in the Community.
Ismaili Community celebrates Idd with orphans
Monday, 13th September, 2010 E-mail article Print article
Bro. Prem Sagar taking the girl guides and scouts around the orphanage
By Patrick Jaramogi
IT was all smiles for the children residing at the Missionaries of the Poor orphanage in Mengo Kisenyi, when the Ismaili Community took the Edd el-Fitr celebrations to the home on Sunday.
The orphanage is home to over 300 children, the majority of whom orphans and disabled.
During the celebrations, scouts and girl guides from the Ismaili Community took turns to feed the disabled children.
“Celebrations like Edd el-Fitr should not be for only one community. We wanted to share with our Christian friends and vulnerable children,” said Anisa Karmali, the communications coordinator.
She described the event as an outreach activity geared towards sharing and bringing hope to the vulnerable.
Mansur Kothia, one of the community leaders, said: “We decided to bring our children here so that they can see how fortunate they are. It is also an opportunity for them to learn how to share with others.”
The orphanage director, the Rev. Bro. Prem Sagar, commended the Ismaili community for the visit.
“The fact that they came and shared a meal with the children makes them feel loved,” he said.
The Ismailis constitute the second-largest Shia community after the Twelvers in the Muslim world.
Walking for Women’s Health: 19th Annual Ismaili Walk for Women
Posted: 24 Sep 2010 08:46 AM PDT
Walking for Women’s Health: 19th Annual Ismaili Walk for Women
Sunday September 26th, 11 am, Lumbermen’s Arch in Stanley Park, Vancouver
The walk itself will raise awareness and funds for the Women’s Health Research Institute at the BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre, and the rest of the day provides lots of family fun including face painting, a Kids Zone, live music and more: www.ismailiwalk.org
Ismaili Walk for Women
Hon. Mobina S.B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I also want to recognize the great Senator Norm Atkins. He was a friend and a great example to all of us. If he were here today, he would say, "Enough said: Move on to what you really want to say." Therefore, I will continue with my statement.
I rise before honourable senators today to speak to you about sisterhood.
This past weekend I had the privilege of attending the Ismaili Walk for Women in Vancouver. This was the nineteenth year of the walk and the third year of a successful partnership between the Ismaili Muslim Community of British Columbia and the BC Women's Hospital & Health Centre Foundation.
Funds raised from this event benefit the Women's Health Research Institute in its endeavour to advance knowledge and care for women, newborns and their families across British Columbia and around the world.
However, the Ismaili Walk for Women is about more than raising money for, and awareness about, women's health research. This walk is about sisterhood, empowerment and giving a voice to women. Sarah Morgan-Silvester, Chair of the BC Women's Foundation, stated: "The partnership between the Ismaili Muslim Community and the BC Women's Foundation has been an inspiring example of community leadership."
Samira Alibhai, President of the Ismaili Council for British Columbia, went on to state:
This walk is part of our tradition of service, giving back and helping those in need, and helping improve the overall quality of life in the society in which we live by making a meaningful contribution to our local community.
Over this past year, our government has brought pressing issues like maternal health to the forefront, and I commend Prime Minister Harper for this work. We have made substantial investments to ensure that mothers and children have healthy and vibrant futures.
Events like the Ismaili Walk for Women reconfirm Canada's commitment to ensuring that maternal health objectives are met. Being able to participate in an event where women from all walks of life rally together to fight for women's health was both liberating and inspiring.
The following mission statement echoed throughout Stanley Park this past weekend, and it is still one that is fresh in my mind this afternoon: "Healthy mothers create healthy families, which build healthy communities."
Honourable senators, I ask you to join me in congratulating those who made this walk a great success. However, I think it is important to recognize that this is but one small step towards the greater goal of raising awareness about women's health issues, both nationally and internationally.
"After city officials contacted the YWCA, the community organization reached out to its potential financial backers.
Tuesday’s announcement featured three: the Cause We Care and Streetohome foundations, both based in Vancouver, and the Ismaili Council for B.C.
Cause We Care is putting up $1.5-million, Streetohome is contributing $1-million and the YWCA is finalizing arrangements for a “substantial” contribution from the Ismaili Council, Ms. Austin said. "
Social Housing to be Included with New Library Branch in Vancouver
By City of Vancouver
VANCOUVER - A new Downtown Eastside/Strathcona Library branch will include affordable housing for single mothers and their children above the library, the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Public Library and YWCA Vancouver announced today.
"Samira Alibhai, President of the Ismaili Council for B.C. said: "The Ismaili Muslim community of B.C. has a long history of partnerships with diverse organizations in Vancouver to further the mandate of partner organizations and to give back to the local community. We are pleased to be partnering with the YWCA in this vital initiative to provide women with a foundation for success.”"
Waves of Light
Contemporary Ismaili Art
April 4 – April 16, 2011
Amir Ali Alibhai : Farida Mawji : Hakam Bhaloo : Jalal Gilari : Mohamed Somani
Rubina Rajan : Sherazad Jamal : Sher Nasser : Shahira Patni-Tejpar : Yasmin P. Karim
Indian Kana, Indian Kana, 2011 ; Rubina Rajan
Since arriving in Canada from east Africa and beyond in the early 1970s, the Ismaili community has managed to preserve its heritage and make a wide range of valued contributions to their adopted home. To help celebrate the City of Vancouver’s 125th anniversary, the Pendulum
Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of contemporary Ismaili Muslim Artists highlighting the artistic achievements of one of the city’s most vibrant communities.
Curated by Yasmin P. Karim, the show features 10 living artists working in painting, drawing and ceramics and is intended to bring the evolving visual culture of Ismaili Artists in British Columbia to a wider public. Concepts of faith, spirituality, pluralism and modern identity are explored by these artists as they strive to merge a contemporary sensibility with ideas and images with deep historical roots.
Waves of Light explores the idea that that light is spiritual as well as material. The artists’ seek to express the metaphysical nature of light - the light of ethics, of intellect, of knowledge, of good deeds and good will to all humanity - in a way that translates the inner light of artistic imagination, the spiritual essence, into physical forms, colours and images.
The exhibition is presented by the Ismaili Council for BC in conjunction with the Pendulum Gallery. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
885 West Georgia Street, Vancouver BC.
604 250 9682
"She gave reasons for the uplifting of the educational standard of the school which includes teaching aids.
She said one of the main reasons for the good educational standard at the school is its library which offers children the opportunity to borrow books and study them at home.
The library is endowed with various books supplied by the Children's Book Project for Tanzania (CBP). The school is a beneficiary to the project started in 1991 to respond to Tanzania's severe deficiency of books for children. CBP assists production and distribution of reading materials for children and motivates local authorship.
The project has at different levels been supported by CODE (the initiator of the project), Sida, The Netherlands Government, Canada Fund, Danida, HIVOS, British Council, Aga Khan Foundation and the International Reading Association. Local organizations include National Insurance Corporation (NIC), National Bank of Commerce (NBC) and Celtel Tanzania Limited, Municipal Council, Lions Club of Tanzania, HelpAge among others."
Usaid donates Sh1.2bn for Mombasa slum
Saturday, 02 April 2011 00:03 BY BRIAN OTIENO
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The US government has given out Sh1.2 billion to assist non-formal schools in Nairobi and Mombasa slums. The money was given through the United States Agency for International Development.
The money will reach the schools through the Education for the Marginalised Children of Kenya in conjunction with the Education ministry and the Aga Khan Foundation.
Usaid mission director Erna Kerst said that most children in the urban slums who attend non-formal schools have been neglected for long by education stakeholders.
Kerst was speaking during the launch of the Emack non-formal education programme at Mwokoweni Children Centre in Bombolulu, Kisauni.
Kenya’s Basic Education Director Leah Rotich said the government was overwhelmed by the free and compulsory education for primary and day secondary schools. She called on the community and other stakeholders to assist in providing quality education to children in the slums.
Coast Provincial Director of Education Tom Majani and the Aga Khan Foundation regional boss Arif Neky said children from slum areas should be given equal opportunities as those in urban areas.
Rotich said the transition rate to secondary schools is going down because of lack of support for community schools.
Ismaili women raise $66,000 to increase cancer awareness
The Province April 10, 2011 Comments (1)
COQUITLAM -- The Ismaili Women’s Cancer Support Group raised over $66,000 to bring more cancer awareness to the community, and remove the stigma once attached to this disease.
The group held its 2nd annual Salama Gala on Saturday, April 9 at the Executive Plaza Hotel in Coquitlam.
The support group was started in 2002 after a needs assessment revealed an urgent requirement for a forum to serve women affected by cancer.
This was a collaborative initiative with the Canadian Cancer Society. This peer support group welcomes women affected by cancer – cancer patients, survivors and caregivers. Six facilitators lead the group.
In 2003 the group formed a team, Team Salama, to participate in the Relay for Life. Salama means being well, safe and at peace in Swahili.
Baptists, Ismaili Texans Get to Know Each Other, Thanks to Becky Miller
"I think the Ismailis are a remarkable people," said Becky Miller, a former mayor of the City of Carrollton, Texas. On Jan. 17 Miller and eight representatives of the First Baptist Church of Carrollton visited Headquarters Jamatkhana in Dallas, TX, where the local Ismaili community in Carrollton worship. The Shi'i Imami Ismaili Muslims, generally known as the Ismailis, belong to the Shi'i branch of Islam—the other major branch being Sunni. Though a minority, their focus on balancing spiritual and material lives has made the Ismaili community socially conscious, with a strong work ethic.
The Baptists came expecting to see a place of worship, but they soon found themselves engaged in a dialogue of understanding and cooperation. The Ismailis, along with other Muslims, firmly believe in the dignity of all mankind and regard other faith communities as People of the Book, Ahl-al Bayt, to be respected and treated as brothers and sisters, all created by the one God.
"It was a magnificent experience," Miller said. "As Christians, sometimes we think that everyone should be Christian, but frankly that's just not going to happen, and doesn't need to. What we do need is to understand other religious communities, and if we do that we can see that we are in fact more alike than we could have imagined."
One of the main objectives of this visit was to explore the role of women in Islam and examine the misconceived notion that women are ill-treated. "It is they who run the household and they are professionals just like us," Miller said. Women within the Muslim world, and this specific community, are encouraged to work hard, educate themselves, become professionals and volunteer to help others.
Hosting the Baptist visitors is the first of many future events that participants hope will help forge a relationship. "What better way to extend a hand in friendship than to invite someone over to your space; your sanctuary?" asked Salima Dhamani, program manager for this event. The openness of the event allowed everyone to question their stereotypes and learn more about each other.
Congressman Peter King recently held congressional hearings on American Muslims, determined to prove that religious extremism prevails in the American Muslim community. This, Miller said, is simply unacceptable and uncalled for. "Just because someone looks some way or believes something doesn't necessarily mean they are dangerous…it just makes the issue even worse. "There really is a fear still out there...people are afraid of Muslims," Miller added, "and I tell people that there are good people and bad people and that happens in every religion and that's just the way it is. I always remind people of all the Muslims who were killed in the towers." Miller said she felt the Baptist visitors all walked away with a better understanding of the Ismaili community and "they really want to reach out and work together."
Volunteers from the Aga Khan Council for Ottawa Participate in Gardenia / Petro Canada Community Planting Day
Sat Sept 24 - Gardenia / Petro Canada Community Planting Day
Community & Neighbourhoods • Posted by OttawaStart on September 23, 2011
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On Saturday, September 24, Councillor Diane Deans will attend a community planting project along the fence that borders Gardenia Court and the Petro-Canada located at 3201 Conroy Road. The community planting is one part of a collaborative initiative aimed towards deterring vandals from tagging the property fence, which has become a graffiti hot-spot over the years.
Coordinated by Councillor Deans, this initiative will bring together residents of Gardenia Court, the Petro-Canada franchise at 3201 Conroy Road, and volunteers from the Aga Khan Council for Ottawa over a mutual interest to curb the graffiti vandalism that frequents the fence along their connected properties. The City of Ottawa’s By-law Services Branch and the Ottawa Police Service will also play a role in the initiative through enforcement activities.
“This is truly a collaborative initiative that brings the community together,” said Councillor Deans. “The fence has been a target for graffiti vandalism, and it was clear a long-term solution was needed. I am happy that I was able to bring all stakeholders together in a shared effort to ensure our community remains, clean, green and graffiti-free.”
In addition to volunteering on the community planting, the Aga Khan Council for Ottawa, through their Challenging Ismaili Volunteers in Communities (CIVIC) Program, has graciously donated all of the plants and supplies for the project. Established in 2008 and based on a tradition of community service in the Ismaili community, the CIVIC Program has brought together residents of all ages to take part in various volunteer events, including a clean-up of Elizabeth Manley Park and a clothing drive for the Ottawa Snowsuit Fund.
Members of the media are invited to drop by the planting site at 11:00 a.m; parking is available at the Petro-Canada. Councillor Deans will be available for comment during the proceedings.
Ismaili Walk Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary This Sunday
VANCOUVER – On Sunday, September 25, the 2011 Ismaili Walk will celebrate its 20th anniversary and take place at Lumbermen’s Arch in Stanley Park at 11:00 a.m. This year’s Walk, in partnership with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, will help increase awareness of the risks of heart disease and stroke, and raise funds for the Foundation’s “Take the Pressure Down” campaign and for the HeartSmart Kids™ healthy lifestyle program
Last year, the Ismaili Walk raised over $300,000, and over $3.2M since inception.
“Our partnership with the Heart and Stroke Foundation is one which the Ismaili Muslim community is very proud of,” said Samira Alibhai, President of the Ismaili Council for British Columbia. “Partnerships such as these enable the Ismaili community to give back to fellow British Columbians and help create healthy communities.”
“We are thrilled to be working with the Ismaili Muslim community of British Columbia, in what has already been a fulfilling partnership,” said Diego Marchese, CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, BC & Yukon. “We thank the Ismaili community for the support of our organization, and for their continued dedication to the betterment of our community over the past 20 years through the Walk.”
“The Province is a proud supporter of this year’s Ismaili Walk, which thanks to the continued dedication of the Ismaili community is helping to raise awareness of risk factors that affect the health of many British Columbians.” said Health Minister Michael de Jong. “The Walk also reflects our commitment, through our new Healthy Families BC strategy, to ensure that B.C. families have the information they need to live healthy, active lifestyles.”
Stroke and heart disease are the cause of one in three Canadian deaths and are a leading cause of disability. Hypertension, commonly called high blood pressure, is the main precursor to both ailments and is controllable; however, most people with hypertension do not know they have it – and as many as 400,000 British Columbians have untreated high blood pressure.
This year’s Ismaili Walk will feature a full day of live entertainment, delicious heart-healthy meals, and activities for the whole family. For more information, visit: www.ismailiwalk.org.
smaili Walk 2011
for Heart and Stroke Foundation
The Ismaili Walk for Heart and Stroke Foundation is a partnership between the Ismaili Muslim Community of BC and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC & Yukon. Take part in the Ismaili Walk on Sunday, September 25th, and enjoy a fun-filled day of exercise and inspiration, while raising funds and awareness for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC & Yukon.
Ismaili Walk Raises $640,000 For Heart And Stroke Foundaiton
VANCOUVER–The annual Ismaili Walk, which took place at Lumbermen’s Arch in Stanley Park last Sunday , brought out over 2,000 British Columbians and together raised over $640,000. For this year’s annual Walk, the BC Ismaili Muslim Community partnered with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, to help increase awareness of the risks of heart disease and stroke, and raise funds for the Foundation’s “Take the Pressure Down” campaign and for the HeartSmart Kids™ healthy lifestyle program.
Last year, the Ismaili Walk raised over $300,000, and has now raised over $3.8M since inception. The 20th Annual Ismaili Walk featured a full day of live entertainment, delicious heart-healthy meals, and activities for the whole family. Healthy Families BC was one of many proud supporters of this year’s record-setting Walk.
St. David's United Church
West Vancouver, BC, Canada
Changed Lives, Changed World
Karim Family service
June 5th, 2011
This week’s service was a little different. Instead of our usual sermon the congregation invited the Karim family of West Vancouver to come and share their gift of music and to tell us a little of how they live their faith as Ismaili Muslims.
First, nine-year-old Jamil gave a talk describing some of the misperceptions of Islam in the West (see the text of this talk below). Then parents Amin and Nermin, along with Jamil and his older brother Zia and sister Safiya, gave a moving rendition of their song “Generosity” from their CD “and the Light goes on”. They also sang “Raise the Flag” to close the service.
The readings included excerpts from the Muslim Quran as well as from the Hebrew scriptures. Today’s podcast includes an introduction by Cynthia Sedun, the scripture readings, and the Karim’s songs:
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
For the main part of the service the Karim family joined Dan in a conversation about how they embody their faith, including their main projects: a maternity care and orphanage facility and a school in Chitral in Northern Pakistan. To learn more and to support these worthy causes, please visit the Karim’s website at www.shahada.ca.
The Ismaili Muslim community is represented by eight individuals, four women and four men. While they seldom perform outside the Jamatkhana (the name of an Ismaili place of worship and gathering), their repertoire of naat, hamd and salaam is drawn from age-old poetry in Urdu, sung in praise of Allah. It is always performed without instrumental accompaniment and often opens and closes worship services at the Jamatkhana.
Shaping the world around them through grassroots service
Dr Nooredin Nurani (at the far left) and his team of dedicated volunteers offer free dental treatment at an annual event in Atlanta. Photo: Farida Nurani
Through voluntary service or seva, individuals can reshape the world around them to create a better future for others. In many parts of the world, Ismaili Muslims have pooled resources to assist those in need. Through dedicated contributions of time and means, they often create a legacy of hope and a better future for those whom they serve.
Habib Kurwa said the Ismaili Muslim community in Calgary has had a float in the parade for the past 26 years and it has hosted a Stampede breakfast for the past 15 years.
“The view of the community has always been we are proud and happy to be part of Calgary and this great occasion to celebrate some of those historical values,” said Kurwa.
“The values of the pioneers that kind of are at the root of the heritage of the Stampede are shared by communities that have come into Calgary and have established themselves because they also come with family values, with pioneering in an area where they’re new. And with celebrating that by bringing people together. For us, it’s also an opportunity for us to share our community.”
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