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Jamatkhana Architecture
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:55 pm    Post subject: Jamatkhana Architecture Reply with quote

♦ Voices: Bruno Freschi, Architect of the Ismaili Centre in Burnaby, in Conversation with Simerg
http://simerg.com/about/voices-bruno-freschi-architect-of-the-ismaili-centre-in-burnaby-in-conversation-with-simerg/

A Brilliant Architect and a Visionary Imam Combine to Build First Iconic Ismaili Landmark in North America Twenty Four Years Ago

Mr. Bruno Freschi pictured recently at Vij's restaurant in Vancouver. Photo: Nurin Merchant

In a personal message to Mr. Bruno Freschi dated 20th October, 1985, His Highness the Aga Khan wrote:

“With my deep and sincere gratitude for conceiving, designing and buiding a Jamatkhana and Centre which represent our respect for our past, our belief of today, and our hope for the future.The Ismaili Jamath worldwide, and I, are proud of your remarkable achievement.”

In a personal message to Mr. Bruno Freschi dated 19th November, 1985, Prince Amyn Aga Khan, the younger brother of His Highness the Aga Khan, wrote:

I would like you to know that it was a pleasure to work with you. You should be proud of your building. It shows imagination, sensitivity, care and respect. I am delighted with it and I believe the entire Canadian Ismaili community congratulates you. I certainly do.”

“The challenge has been unusual and I feel that it is one which has been successfully met by the prominent Vancouver architect, Mr. Bruno Freschi. Mr Freschi is, in a way, symbolic of the strengths that come from the very diversity of the Canadian way of life. Born a Canadian citizen, he comes from an Italian Catholic background. He has the professional quality and personal sensitivity to create in highly typified cross cultural situations, having already designed Sikh Gurudwara before this beautiful Ismaili Jamatkhana.

(Excerpt of speech made by the Aga Khan at the ground breaking ceremony, 26th July 1982. Note: The Burnaby Ismaili Jamatkhana and Centre was a Silver Jubilee Project)


Mr. Freschi with His Highness the Aga Khan and the Honourable Henry Bell-Irving, Lieutenant-Governor General of British Columbia

In this conversation, often interspersed with candid remarks and interesting personal recollections, Mr. Freschi talks about: the iconic Ismaili Centre and Jamatkhana in Burnaby which he designed; the constant engagement and interest that the 49th Imam of the Shia Imami Ismailis, His Highness the Aga Khan, showed throughout the design and construction processes of this Jamatkhana; the Imam’s role, patronage and worldwide influence in the field of architecture; and the care and pride with which the Ismaili community has preserved and maintained the dignity of the Burnaby Jamatkhana since its opening in 1985. Mr. Freschi also describes the Expo 86 project that he worked on simultaneously while finishing the Ismaili Centre. Though both projects were a success, the code words that were used for the two projects were “Sanity” and “Insanity”. He also offers some words of wisdom to students who may wish to pursue the field that he has been so passionately in love with for several decades. Please read the full interview below. The interview includes several photographs and images from Mr. Freschi’s personal archives and we are indebted to him for giving them to us for publication.

Editor’s note: We will try to resolve the “font” inconsistencies that show-up in various sections of this interview.

Simerg: This is a rare opportunity for us and a treat to be with you - an architect of the highest standing and reputation, someone whom His Highness the Aga Khan placed his trust to design a truly majestic centre and Jamatkhana for the Ismaili community in Canada; and your contributions have been recognized in the most dignified manner - you were invested with the Order of Canada in 1988. The citation reads:

His pinnacle so far has been as Chief Architect and Planner for Expo 86, where his concept became the master plan for the design of all facilities, the movement systems and the exhibition module. He has stimulated visual thinking with his energy, enthusiasm and creative flair in a diversity of structures and has been an inspiration to a new generation of architects.

Many many congratulations. We have a lot to talk about today. Let me begin on a lighter but a fairly relevant theme - food. You seem to have unique perspectives and tastes. What do you think of Vij’s - the food, the ambience and the design. Does design really matter?

Freschi: Thank you. It is wonderful to be here in this marvellous restaurant.

Vij’s is one of the best in Vancouver! I enjoy the Indo-Canadian fusion cuisine and the understated elegance of the place.

Yes, the design effects everything especially the patrons appreciation and perception of the place, the event and the food….“the restaurant is essential, but otherwise irrelevant, as the food is everything”.

Simerg: When we first met in January 2005 - and you might recall this - it was just inside the entrance of the Grand Hall of the National Building Museum in Washington DC, awaiting the arrival of His Highness the Aga Khan to receive the Vincent Scully Award. As we introduced each other, I immediately recognized your importance and you were surprised. I think every Canadian Ismaili should know who Bruno Freschi is, don’t you?

Freschi: I was surprised, and very pleased that I should be that well known. I must add, I was humbled as well. The Jamatkhana is very well known and that pleases me. The appreciation by the Community of the Jamatkhana for whom it was designed is one of the highest honours for me, the architect.


The Aga Khan explaining the Model to some of the guests at the Foundation Ceremony

Simerg: What were your thoughts that evening as the Aga Khan received the Award?

Freschi: The Aga Khan was most deserving of the Award and I was happy to have been part of the process in getting this award for him.

As you may know his support for architecture, indigenous, modern and social on a global scale has been inspiring to my profession all over the world. The Award Ceremony was a great event, and a new direction for the Vincent Scully Prize. This honour reflected both the pluralism and the cultural aesthetics of the Aga Khan, a new modernism.


The Aga Khan, Charles Correa, Robert Ivy and Martin Filler in a panel discussion on “Design in the Islamic World and Its Impact Beyond”, January 25, 2005 at the NBM, Washington. Photo: Nicky Lubis

Simerg: Did you get to meet with him that evening?

Freschi: Yes, he was most generous and lauded my work, in the creation of the Jamatkhana. He said it was one of his most favoured buildings.

Simerg: You had met him in Chicago a few years earlier? Was that project related?

Freschi: I attended a conference of the UIA (International Union of Architects) and AIA (American Institute of Architects) at which he gave a major speech. One humorous incident occurred. As I was late in my arrival at the conference hall, my cab driver took me through a basement service entry to avoid the usual security and congestion at the plaza level.

On arriving, I was just ahead of an entourage of limousines. I accidentally arrived simultaneously with His Highness. We were both equally surprised and the Aga Khan’s photographer, Gary Otte, captured the serendipitous moment. Gary had photographed all my work in Vancouver. Many of the photographs in my personal collection that I am sharing with you were taken by Gary Otte .

Simerg: The Scully Award Ceremony was attended by some well known architects, including Mr. Maki who designed the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat Building in Ottawa. Have you seen the Delegation building? Did you meet with Mr. Maki during the Scully Award ceremony?

Freschi: I have not seen the Delegation Building in Ottawa. I look forward to seeing it soon.

His Highness did introduce me to Mr. Maki and it was here that he again thanked me and said that our Jamatkhana was indeed one of his favourite buildings. He encouraged Mr Maki to visit the building. I have invited Maki to come and visit the Jamatkhana.

Simerg: The Jamatkhana will be twenty five years old soon. Have you visited it recently?


The Ismaili Centre, Burnaby, in foreground against a backdrop of the spectacular Rocky Mountains. Photo: Bruno Freschi Collection, 1985
Freschi: The Ismaili Centre and Jamatkhana, first in North America, is one of the most important works in my career. I visit it frequently. I have continued to be involved in the current upgrading and repairs on its 25th anniversary.

I would like to note that the community has been extraordinary in the care and maintenance of the centre. I see this as an expression of love for the place and its iconic presence in the hearts and minds of the community.

Simerg: While the Jamatkhana was being designed and constructed, were you entirely dedicated to it or did you have other projects that you were engaged in?

Freschi: During the period from 1980 to 1985, I was involved with other projects too, however one stands out as it was virtually simultaneous.

I had won the Commission to be the Chief Architect and Planner for EXPO 86, a World Exposition in Vancouver to open in 1986. I completed both the Jamatkhana and EXPO 86 during the same time. Both were very important and very complex projects involving many people.


Lit from the inside. Bruno Freschi Collection, 1985

However they were very different projects. We had code names for the projects and these reflected the differences: Sanity and Insanity.

Sanity was the Jamatkhana, a very challenging project and a rather beautiful design process. It was complex, yet a sane, compassionate search for a beautiful icon for a community in search for a home.

In contrast EXPO 86 was Insanity, a chaotic unpredictable and rather messy process, a planning and design search for a global play ground, a World’s Exposition.

The sanity-insanity metaphors helped me bridge these two challenging architectural realities.

Both I think, were a success.

Simerg: Is there anything special that you feel about the Ismaili Jamatkhana that you designed?

Freschi: The Jamatkhana is a very special and uniquely spiritual building. It is one of the most significant and important buildings in my career.

Spiritual architecture is a unique design challenge because the architecture must be simultaneously, an iconic, symbolic form, complete and unequivocal yet it must transform and become ephemeral. Indeed the building is an aesthetic statement which symbolically represents a greater belief, “one goes in to go out“. The spirituality of the place is embodied in going beyond place, to go out.


Prayer Hall - Note the geometrical patterns on the carpet. Photo: Bruno Freschi Collection, 1985

Let me explain. Like a theatre, the building is a pre-event to the fantasy of a play or movie. When the lights go out, the curtain goes up, the building is ephemeral, it vanishes and a new event, the play becomes reality. A theatrical metaphor is useful, however spirituality is a more subtle and complex. The architecture seeks to wed cultural, symbolic and religious aspects to a modern building environment.

Simerg: What are the key characteristics of this Jamatkhana’s design…that bring about this profound and complete sense and feeling…of “one goes in to go out”?

Freschi: The design of the Jamatkhana incorporates a powerful relentless set of elements:

GEOMETRY governs the entire site, the building. It is symbolized in the octagon, the mythical “squaring of the circle”.


Geometry governs the entire site, the buiding - "A place of congregation, of order, of peace, of prayer, of hope, of humility and brotherhood", His Highness the Aga Khan, Foundation Ceremony, 26th July 1982

THE OCTAGON is Omni-directional. All axial relationships are equal providing an open and non- hierarchical circulation. “The centre is everywhere, and everyone is in the centre”.


The Octagonal Domes, Photo: Bruno Freschi Collection, 1985
MATERIALITY, the exposure of earth materials, concrete, sandstone and marble gives a material presence and permanence, symbols of a timeless “foundation” for this community.


Materiality, Photo: Bruno Freschi Collection, 1985

CALLIGRAPHY is incorporated throughout the building. The spiritual voice is reflected in the graphic designs on tile work, the glass windows, carpets, and wood screens. Whilst very abstract, the calligraphy is both traditional and spiritually evocative.


Calligraphy and Patterns define the interior of the Centre. Photo: Bruno Freschi Colletion: 1985
The Jamatkhana is a synthesis of the elements of; geometry, materiality, calligraphy; and the principles of; symbolism, universal equality of place, iconic foundation of community.

Simerg: And you as an architect…play that role, to have to fuse these elements…

Freschi: Architecture is the unity of these elements and principles expressed in the building structural narrative, a pattern of octagonal and domed structures giving the sense of unity and universality.

An example of “going out” That ephemeral quality of spiritual space can best be seen in the calligraphy on the glazing of the “lanterns” or windows inside the Jamatkhana. The glass is one inch thick providing acoustic insulation. The graphics are fired on both surfaces of the glass. Seen at an angle the calligraphic images are dual and ambiguous, they visually vibrate to the contemplative viewer. This is “signalectic” architecture, the threshold of the ephemeral sanctuary of spiritual space.


Freschi: "Ephemeral quality of spiritual space can be seen in the calligraphy on the glazing of the windows", Photo: Bruno Freschi Collection, 1985

Simerg: How closely were you engaged with His Highness during the design stages and what kind of leadership did he provide?

Freschi: His Highness was directly involved in all aspects of the project. All the substantive meetings were held directly with him and he did indeed give profound aesthetic leadership.

He was both an excellent design critic and intellectually generous in the pursuit of our design ideas.

The design process by its very nature is evolutionary and iterative. It is seeking answers to unstated problems. There must be a bond and a trust between the client, and the architect. I believe we earned that trust through a strong collaborative attitude shared by the community, His Highness, and the design team.


Freschi on the Aga Khan: "An excellent design critic and intellectually generous in the pursuit of design ideas".

The concept did evolve through iterations, many meetings and presentations with His Highness and the community Board. We all worked in collaborative atmosphere of trust. The process was very fertile and resulted in a very appropriate icon for the community and for Vancouver.

Simerg: On the opening day, what did the Aga Khan personally share with you? He must be a very proud Imam on that day, witnessing the opening by the Prime Minister.
Freschi: Opening day was a very beautiful day. His Highness did express a fond appreciation for all the work by all involved in bring this new and beautiful foundation for a new community in Canada.


His Highness the Aga Khan's appreciative note to Mr. Bruno Freschi for his "remarkable achievement". Message written in the architect's personal volume of the Ismaili Centre Souvenir publication. Image: Bruno Freschi Collection, 1985. See typed transcipt at start of article.



Furthermore, I was very honoured and humbled, and am pleased to share with you, the written comments made by His Highness and his brother, Prince Amyn, in my own copy of the special souvenir edition to mark the Jamatkhana’s opening. It is a wonderful publication.

Simerg: Did Prime Minister Mulroney have a word with you?

Freschi: He extended a very sincere congratulation to me and my team for achieving “a beautiful expression of Canadian pluralism”.

I believe the ultimate purpose of the Jamatkhana is giving iconic foundation to the Ismaili Community in Canada. Both His Highness’s and the Prime Minister’s comments reflected this very Canadian idea.


Prince Amyn Aga Khan's appreciation for Mr. Bruno Freschi's accomplishment. Message in the architect's personal volume of the Ismaili Centre Souvenir. Image: Bruno Freschi Collection, 1985. See typed transcript at start of article.

Simerg: Are you following the Aga Khan’s other projects around the world such as the restoration of historic buildings? What about the Al Azhar Park?

Freschi: I have not seen Al Azhar Park, however the concept and plan are a great concept in the recovery of wasted land and the generation of a timeless asset for Cairo.

Simerg: What projects are you working on at the moment?

Freschi: I am currently establishing a new consulting practice in Vancouver centering on pre-design policy and programming. In addition, I am co-founding an Innovation Foundation to be housed at the University of British Columbia and dedicated to identifying Innovators, their ideas and to implement these in Vancouver.

Simerg: You spent time in Washington DC. How do you feel, architecturally, when you are in that city?

Freschi: DC is a unique American city. It has preserved a sense of urban scale and provided an heroic democratic geometry, the MALL, a magnificent open green commons that can hold millions. The city is now maturing into a real living urbanism including housing and neighbourhoods, yet providing a functioning global capital. I love the scale of streets, the traffic circles, and the parkways. The general architecture is perhaps too historicist for my taste.


Burnaby Ismaili Centre, Outside Prayer Hall. Photo: Bruno Freschi Collection, 1985

Simerg: What are some of your other favourite cities?

Freschi: Vancouver (of course), New York, Isfahan, Rome, Kyoto, and Venice

Simerg: What guidance would you give to a prospective student in the field of architecture.

Freschi: Architecture is a passion. The field is always changing and represents a great challenge to any student. Unlike any other discipline arch, it is an exploration of the self and artistic expression and social purpose. The study of architecture requires dedication, passion, curiosity, cultural awareness, compassion for others, and a lifelong love of study.

Simerg: What are some of the schools of architecture you might recommend?

Freschi: Cooper Union, New York City; Architectural Association, London School of Architecture & Planning, State University of New York at Buffalo (my school )

Simerg: One last question: If you look into the future what might you wish?

Freschi: I would love to get involved with the new park proposed in Burnaby by His Highness. Its proximity to the Jamatkhana should create a complementary development, perhaps a Trans-cultural knowledge environment.

Simerg: Thank you very much for a truly engaging and inspiring evening.


Entrance Portal. Photo: Bruno Freschi collection: 1985








This page has the following sub pages.

♦ Voices: Vij’s, a Great Restaurant, and Mr. Bruno Freschi, the Beloved Architect

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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 15388

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Open Garden Squares Weekend
The Ismaili Centre Roof Garden

June 7, 2009
Posted by ismailimail in Architecture, Europe, Jamat Khana, London.
trackback

The Ismaili Centre Roof Garden is one of London’s best-kept secrets. The serene setting of this beautiful and unusual garden reflects Islamic precedent, drawing from the traditions of a faith that has inspired outstanding buildings for many centuries throughout the world.

The sight and sound of running water, the play of light and shade, the array of plantings and the integration of interior and exterior space – all these serve as symbols to evoke a vision of paradise as garden, the ultimate point of the spiritual quest.

http://www.opensquares.org/

http://ismailimail.wordpress.com/2009/06/07/open-garden-squares-weekend-the-ismaili-centre-roof-garden/
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Project Name: Calgary South Jamatkhana Addition & Renovations Location:
Calgary , Alberta
Value:
$2 million
Project Type:
Project Management
Completion Date:
Building Type:
Institutional
Consultant:
Arup Datta Architect Ltd., Calgary, AB
Owner:
Imara Development Corporation, Calgary, AB
Project Description:
Major Renovation of existing Calgary South Jamatkhana project including removal of mezzanine floor and revised layouts of Prayer Hall, Aute-Room, Coat Rooms, Washrooms, Multi Purpose Room, Mother's Room, Library, Servery, Storage Rooms and addition of Foyer area. Work also included changing the building exterior finishes to stucco and substantial mechanical and electrical upgrades to the system.

Photos at:

http://www.learnaboutsysadmin.net/node/39
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ismaili Centres...


http://www.theismaili.org/cms/802/About-the-Ismaili-Centres
http://www.theismaili.org/cms/804/Architecture-of-the-Ismaili-Centres
http://www.theismaili.org/cms/805/Ismaili-Centre-Resources
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Muslim branch sets down Naperville roots
New worship center opens on city's north side
Comments

June 4, 2010

By SUSAN FRICK CARLMAN scarlman@stmedianetwork.com
Tina Jagshi doesn't have such a long commute to make when it's time for religious services these days. Her old house of worship was in Northlake. Her new one is in Naperville, just off Route 59 near Diehl Road.

"It's five minutes from my house," said Jagshi, a neighbor of state Rep. Darlene Senger, R-Naperville.

Senger and an array of other local dignitaries helped a group of area Muslims celebrate the opening of their new meeting place Thursday. Perched on LaSalle Avenue, the Ismaili Jamatkhana hosts activities every day for its members, most of whom are of Indian descent. The Shia branch of Islam follows the spiritual leader His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan, 49th hereditary descendant of Prophet Muhammad.

Covering some 11,500 square feet, the airy facility includes office space, classrooms, meeting areas and a vast room for worship anchored by lush saffron yellow carpeting.

The building was designed to harmonize with the surrounding businesses while celebrating its Ismaili roots.

"We didn't want necessarily to stand out, but we didn't want to hide ourselves, either," said community member Nizar Jiwani, pointing out the geometric shapes, symmetry and balance that are elements of traditional Islamic architecture.

Built to accommodate up to 500 worshippers, the center is not yet running at capacity, but its rooms see plenty of use.

Classrooms equipped with desks, video screens and white boards give students of all ages in the Friday evening and Saturday school classes a place to learn about their faith and heritage. One room, filled with educational toys for young children, provides space for newly arrived parents to acclimate to Western culture and its unfamiliar ways. The classrooms also accommodate the first few enrollees in the Jamatkhana's early learning center, which concentrates on paving the way for intellectual success in very young children.

Worship takes place twice a day, at 5:15 a.m. and again at 7:30 p.m. weekdays and 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The faithful sometimes arrive as early as 3:30 a.m. to work on spiritual renewal with the help of tasbih -- strings of beads that are similar to the Roman Catholic rosary.

Beyond the walls of the worship center, the Ismailis engage in outreach through the Aka Khan Development Network, which funds schools, hospitals and clinics all over the world.

The members, particularly those who live in and around Naperville, are pleased to have relocated here.

"Naperville has always been one of the very best places to raise a family," said Murad Bhardani, center president.

For more information, go to www.theismaili.org.
http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/napervillesun/news/2352236,6_1_NA04_NEWCENTER_S1-100604.article
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jamatkhanas in India

http://indiajk.blogspot.com/
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Frontispiece of the Ismaili Jamatkhana in Mashhad, Iran

http://simerg.com/about/my-climb-to-sacred-alamut-where-every-stone-tells-a-story/the-frontispiece-of-the-ismaili-jamatkhana-in-mashhad-iran-a-reverential-wonder/

A BRIEF NOTE

By Jehangir A. Merchant

The Ismaili place of worship is seen as that House in which the Light is found, where Allah’s praise is sung in the mornings and in the evenings, and where mu’mins (believers) offer their prayers and fulfill their religious duties.

The frontispiece of the Jamatkhana in Mashhad, Iran. Photo: Ilm magazine, July 1978.



Mashhad Jamatkhana. Photo: PJiwa Collection

The beautiful niche-like frontispiece of the Ismaili Jamatkhana in Mashhad, Iran, inspires reverential wonder as it silently reveals the metaphysical and mystical dimensions hidden in Arabic inscriptions.

Reading from the bottom right-hand side upwards and then moving left to follow downwards to the bottom left-hand side are the Ayats 35-37 of Sura Nur (Chapter of Light) from the Holy Qur’an. The translation is:

“In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

“Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth; His Light is as a Niche in which is a Lamp, and the Lamp is in a Glass, the Glass is though it were a glittering Star, it is lit from a blessed Tree, an Olive neither of East nor of the West, the Oil of which would well-nigh give Light though no fire touched it, Light upon Light, – Allah guides to His Light whom He pleases; and Allah strikes out parables for men; and Allah has knowledge of all things.

“(This Light is found) in houses which Allah has permitted to be exalted and that His Name shall be remembered therein. In them His praise is sung in the mornings and in the evenings, (again and again) by men whom neither trade nor profit can divert from remembrance of Allah, from offering prayers or from paying their dues (Zakat); who only fear a day when hearts and eyes will be overturned.”

In the centre of the frontispiece are inscribed the words Allah, Muhammad, ‘Ali, Fatima, Hassan and Hussein.

In the semi-domed section of the façade is Ayat 103 of Sura Al-i ‘Imran:

“And hold fast all of you together to the Rope of Allah and be not divided.”

Thus the principles of the Shia Ismaili belief are enshrined in this beautiful calligraphy on the exterior of the Mashhad Jamatkhana.

The Ismaili place of worship is seen as that House in which the Light is found, where Allah’s praise is sung in the mornings and in the evenings, and where mu’mins (believers) offer their prayers and fulfill their religious duties.

Publication date: November 26, 2010

________________

Article adapted from Ilm, July 1978.

Related article: My Climb to ‘Sacred’ Alamut, Where Every Stone Tells a Story by Ali Rajput

Please visit the Simerg Home page for links to articles posted most recently. For links to articles posted on this Web site since its launch in March 2009, please click What’s New. Sign-up for blog subscription at top right of this page.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The spirit of working together: Renovation of Baroda Jamatkhana

December 14, 2010 by ismailimail Leave a Comment

This is Baroda Jamat Khana, Platinum Society, Baroda (Gujarat) India, being renovated.

It’s a small Jamat khana inside a compound where Ismailis live. As in the pictures we help each other through everything and were there for one another in time of need.

The spirit, excitement and enjoyment of helping one another as brothers and sisters reflect in the pictures.

-Anil Haider Porbandarwala

http://ismailimail.wordpress.com/2010/12/14/the-spirit-of-working-together-renovation-of-baroda-jamatkhana/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Ismailimail+%28Ismailimail%29
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the view from one of our locations in Masjid Bundar. The clock tower in the picture is part of the Darkhana for the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslim community, in existence since 1915.


This is a bustling area, close to the Mohammad Ali Road.

http://www.mumbaimirror.com/article/82/2010122620101226020521136570d9902/Life-in-a-metro.html
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Old Bagamoyo

Excerpt:

"Continuing north, on the right, is the Jama’at Khana, the Ismaili mosque, which dates from 1880, double-storeyed with a veranda and carved doors. Behind the mosque on the beach side are some 150 tombs in the Ismaili Cemetery."

http://www.tripwolf.com/en/guide/show/688973/Tanzania/Coastal-Tanzania/Bagamoyo/Old-Bagamoyo
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iringa Jamatkhana, Shaffin Haji photos

http://www.flickr.com/photos/7463449@N06/4708977296/in/photostream/
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Video of world JKs

http://www.sadroo.com/jk.php
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Jamatkhana in Tashkorgan, China

Tashkorgan is home to an Ismaili Jamatkhana. The town of approximately 30,000 people also has an art and culture centre in which a huge room is dedicated to the Ismailis of the region, their faith and culture. The centre is open to all and has Ismailis as tour guides. An entry in Wikipedia on Muslim Groups in China notes that the “Shia Chinese Muslims are mostly Ismailis including Tajiks of Xinjiang of the Tashkorgan and Sariqul areas of Xingjiang.”

Photos at:

http://simerg.com/historical-photographs-aspects-of-life-in-the-ismaili-community-1875-2010/historical-photos-life-in-the-ismaili-community-1957-current/a-jamatkhana-in-tashkorgan-china/
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nargis Mawji: Creative Artistic Renderings of Nine Ismaili Jamatkhanas From Around the World

http://simerg.com/modern-artistic-expressions-2/visual-arts-the-artists-and-their-works/nargis-mawji-artistic-renderings-of-ismaili-jamatkhanas/
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Remembering Kampala Jamatkhana: Special in so many ways
By Vali Jamal, PhD

http://simerg.com/the-jamatkhana/remembering-kampala-jamatkhana-special-in-so-many-ways/
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

New Jamatkhana strikes a dignified presence in the capital of Pakistan’s Punjab province
The Ismaili Jamatkhana Lahore symbolises centuries of the community’s presence in the region. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for Pakistan

http://www.theismaili.org/cms/1184/New-Jamatkhana-strikes-a-dignified-presence-in-the-capital-of-Pakistans-Punjab-province

» Also see the complete photo gallery of the Ismaili Jamatkhana Lahore.

Nestled in a low rise residential neighbourhood along Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan Road, the new Ismaili Jamatkhana Lahore is the first facility to be purpose-built for the Jamat in that city. Rooted in tradition and heritage, the Jamatkhana symbolises centuries of the community’s presence in the region, and its continuity in a land steeped in the many interpretations and practices of Islam.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ismaili community celebrate opening of new Ilford centre

Edwina Ellington, Reporter Wednesday, April 13, 2011
5:50 PM

East London’s first Ismaili prayer centre opened its doors in Ilford today in a lavish civic ceremony.

The Jamatkhana will be the community centre for the Ismaili Shia community, of which there are thought to be 150 members in east London.

Ahead of greeting the wider community into the centre, UK Ismaili Council President Amin Mawji said: “It is not a great surprise that we are making this launch with the community here.
“What is a great surprise, however, is how little is known about the Ismaili community.”

There are around 14,000 members of the community in the UK.

Volunteering and education is fundamental to the branch of Shiism, and the Ismaili Volunteer Corps have been giving back to the community through giving their time to the Olympic Games ceremony.

Council Leader Cllr Keith Prince said: “I can’t believe I am finally standing here.
“More than three years ago I was discussing the need for a Jamatkhana in this part of London.

“After some mishaps with the planning, this project is finally off the ground.

“Redbridge is special because it is a microcosm of London, in terms of religion, and we are able to embrace this even more through the Ismaili community.”


http://www.ilfordrecorder.co.uk/news/news/ismaili_community_celebrate_opening_of_new_ilford_centre_1_864814
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

5 Palace Gate

By Navyn Naran

http://simerg.com/the-jamatkhana/5-palace-gate/

t was home away from home
the only place you could plant your feet
and know you belonged;
5 Palace Gate, 1970s

before ’57 it was at Kensington Court
Mawlana Sultan Mohamed Shah’s memoirs
a photo with young Ismaili children
and parents who envisioned
a better life for them

now, for us,
usurped from our ‘homes’ and familiarity,
a strong building, white columns outside.
a plaque on one, i think it read;
“HH Aga Khan Shia Imami Ismaili Center”
step inside.

Ah, this is the entrance -
here in a new country,
this is the entrance
this is our space…
a wide hallway,
doors to the right to enter the main jamatkhana hall,
broad stone stairs rising infront,
to the left a hallway, rooms,
in back a place for nandi
and to go downstairs.

you could imagine…
a young Mawlana Hazar Imam
going up those stairs
to the third or fourth floor
quickly, as was his gait
smiling,
greeting everyone by name in that council office.
I imagined it.
Because it was ‘Mawlabapa’s house’,
and our jamatkhana.


And imagine the scene.
Mawlana Hazar Imam phones,
a volunteer at reception picks up;
her surprise was a story
the council president of the time
may stilll share,
as Mawla shared
at the president’s house when He came for dinner
- delighted to have surprised His murid
to communicate His visit in 1979

It was Mawlana Hazar Imam’s home
as all jamatkhanas are,
and it was somewhere good

as a girl of eleven, you knew you were safe there.
it was a place of belonging,
in the new land, we gathered here.
6:35 du’a time as i remember,
in the main hall.
happy to have caught the buses
the 49, 159,137…
and reached on time.
jamatkhana was full:
overflow across the hall
and downstairs.

many a weekend eve
teenagers blushing
eyeing a heart throb
perhaps able to connect.
adults buzzing around
to us, not a concern
but to respect
and from whom to learn

It was the strict volunteers
like Baby Bai, and others
keeping our behaviour a model,
the respect for the time and place
for which we had gathered

Thursday mornings, safai committee
brushing the carpets, spic and span
for if Mawla came through,
not a speck you’d want Him to see.

I don’t remember when Fridays at
Westminster began…
But it was not home.
5 Palace Gate was home.

The above block, 3 - 15 Palace Gate, pictured in 1975 includes the Ismaili Jamatkhana at the near end. Photo: London Metropolitan Archives. © City of London.

Saturday morning: religion classes upstairs,
on the second floor in a room by the window.
Mrs M – strict, her big glasses,
skirted and bloused, trying her hardest
to keep us quiet and attend.
Jokesters teased, ducking heads to desk;
her back to us, she wrote
on the blackboard.
“Class!” i can hear the giggles -
but not name the boys:
they are in leadership now!
If you paid attention,
it was where basic religious education
cemented in this noggin.
Du’a meanings, ginans, majlises, firmans,
history of Prophet Muhammad, Bibi Khadija,
the Hijra. Hazrat Ali, the Imam’s family…
we’d come down laughing
for everyone teased how strict she was
and who were her favorites.

IYO practices, ping pong after jk,
meetings in the council chambers,
majlises and mayats…
5 Palace Gate was central.
they said you could stay in rooms upstairs,
if you came from out of town.
in the heart and life of individuals
growing up,
these spaces, integral -
now memories -
an inner foundation
of belonging.
Roots.



© Simerg.com

Date reading posted on Simerg: April 20, 2011
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gallery: Jamatkhana development in Afghanistan

http://www.theismaili.org/cms/1199/Gallery-Jamatkhana-development-in-Afghanistan

New Jamat Khanas opening across Afghanistan seen as
catalysts for progress


http://www.theismaili.org/cms/1135/New-jamatkhanas-opening-across-Afghanistan-seen-as-catalysts-for-progress

In Afghanistan, the past year will be remembered for the large number of jamatkhanas that were inaugurated across the country. In Kabul alone, four newly built facilities were opened, while ground was broken for additional jamatkhanas in Badakhshan province and elsewhere.

Qargha Jamatkhana in Kabul. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for Afghanistan Situated in the western part of Kabul, Qargha is a scenic area known for its lake — a big draw for Kabul residents, who visit during the week and especially on weekends for a bit of fresh air and sightseeing. A new jamatkhana opened there in April of this year.

The Jamat in Qargha originates from various parts of Afghanistan and initially settled there in the 1980s during the period of Soviet occupation. At that time, Jamati settlements consisted mainly of mud houses with poor access to sanitation, electricity and other infrastructure. However, recent economic improvements have allowed the Jamat to improve their standard of living. The establishment of the new jamatkhana is seen as a symbol of hope for the Jamat.

The inauguration ceremony was led by the Vice-President of the Ismaili Council for Afghanistan, Karim Bakhsh Hashuri, and brought together a number of local government officials, elders and Jamati leaders. It was followed by Jamati celebration later that afternoon.

Volunteers line up outside Qargha Jamatkhana in Kabul for its official opening. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for Afghanistan

The Qargha Jamatkhana was constructed in 12 months, and benefited from significant involvement of members of the Jamat in all aspects. The complex includes facilities for Bait-ul Ilm religious classes and ITREB institutional offices. Computer and English language programmes are also planned.

Elsewhere in Kabul, jamatkhanas were opened in Wazirabad, Chamandi and Khair Khana. The opening of the Chamandi Jamatkhana was particularly important since the Jamat in the area had previously gone to the neighbouring Charqala Jamatkhana, which was very hard for them to reach.

Decades of political upheaval had hindered the country’s social and economic development. Jamatkhana planning and development efforts in Afghanistan got underway in 2002. Since then, 20 new jamatkhanas have opened and at least nine more are at various stages of construction.

Chamandi Jamatkhana in Kabul. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for Afghanistan

Afghan Ismailis are grateful for the new facilities, which are often easier to access, particularly during the colder months.

“I am very happy that the Chamandi Jamat has its own jamatkhana now,” says Matiuallah Sultani, who attends the new facility regularly. “I used to go to Charqala Jamatkhana sometimes, which had been quite difficult during the winter.” He adds that younger members of the Jamat now have access to Bait-ul Ilm classes, where they can study the Ta’lim curriculum.

There is widespread recognition that jamatkhanas can be catalysts in the Jamat’s progress. The facilities enable the intellectual and social development, and generate new momentum, especially among the youth.

The ribbon cutting at the opening of Chamandi Jamatkhana is performed by Aitmadi Karimdad Mehri, President Rai Shair Baz Hakemy, Vice-President Karim Bakhsh Hashuri, and ITREB Executive Officer Niamatullah Mohammadi. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for Afghanistan
The ribbon cutting at the opening of Chamandi Jamatkhana is performed by Aitmadi Karimdad Mehri, President Rai Shair Baz Hakemy, Vice-President Karim Bakhsh Hashuri, and ITREB Executive Officer Niamatullah Mohammadi. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for Afghanistan

The captain of the Ismaili Volunteer Corps at Qargha notes that the “Qargha Jamati youth have enthusiastically built up the volunteer corps.” In keeping with Mawlana Hazar Imam’s guidance, “they wished to serve the Jamat.” The availability of a new jamatkhana makes that possible.

He adds that “before the new jamatkhana was built, the Qargha Jamat had been too far from the central jamatkhana. Most had not been able to attend more than once a month.”

Rahim Sherzad of Wazirabad Jamatkhana echoes this sentiment. “Building a jamatkhana not only permits Ismailis to come together for congregational prayer, but it also provides children with the opportunity to learn the Qur’an, Du’a and qaseedas.”

“Jamatkhana,” he notes, “is a place of solidarity for the Jamat.”
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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Darkhana, Canada: A Building of Graceful Architecture and Spiritual Nobility

by Pervis Rawji

http://simerg.com/the-jamatkhana/the-darkhana-canada-a-building-of-graceful-architecture-and-spiritual-nobility/
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Memories of Nairobi’s Majestic ‘Town Jamatkhana’, formerly the ‘Darkhana’ of Kenya

By Zahir Dharsee

http://simerg.com/the-jamatkhana/memories-of-nairobi%E2%80%99s-majestic-%E2%80%9Ctown-jamatkhana-formerly-the-%E2%80%9Cdarkhana%E2%80%9D-of-kenya/
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Upanga JK pictures

Nice. Some prayer hall pictures.

http://www.facebook.com/upangajk?sk=wall
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meeting place for Muslim worshippers could be on trading estate

A MEETING place for Muslim worshippers could be opened on a city trading estate.

The Ismaili Council for the United Kingdom, has applied to Gloucester City Council for permission to change a unit on the Moreland Trading Estate.


They hope to use the space for worship and meetings, but insist they are not establishing a mosque.

A spokesman said: "This will not be a mosque, but a space for the private congregational ceremonies of the Ismaili Muslim community.

"The premises will be mainly used in the evenings from Thursday to Sunday. The ceremonies typically begin at 7pm.

"The congregation begins to arrive at 6.30pm with the majority of arrivals between 6.50pm and 7pm. The ceremonies complete at about 8pm and the congregation leaves on a staggered scale with the last people usually leaving at approximately 8.30pm."

The spokesman said there would be occasions when the hall would be used outside those hours, but claimed those occasions would be rare.

The application has been supported by Bizspace Ltd, which runs the trading estate, formerly the Moreland matchstick factory.

In a supporting statement, Jackie Houslop, business centre manager, said the unit had been empty for some time.

She said: "Unit 37A has not been occupied since our previous tenant Bridge Training Limited vacated on January 31, 2009.

"Since then we have extensively marketed this unit with agencies, but most enquiries have been for small one or two person offices or smaller units.

"Within unit 37A there are kitchen and toilet facilities, these are connected to the main sewerage system. It is also situated on the first floor and not exposed to any risks of flooding.

"We have more than 110 parking spaces on site for customers and visitors. These are mainly used during normal hours."

Lyn Ackroyd, chairman of Linden Residents' Association, said: "I can't see it being a problem."

http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/Meeting-place-Muslim-worshippers-trading-estate/story-13287706-detail/story.html
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ismaili Jamatkhana House of Worship Glenview

http://www.architizer.com/en_us/projects/view/ismaili-jamatkhana-house-of-worship-glenview/32626/
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

New jamatkhanas in Northern Pakistan serve as catalysts for improving quality of life

Gilgit-Baltistan (formerly known as the Northern Areas of Pakistan) is home to communities belonging to different cultures, ethnicities and language groups, who have historically lived together in peace and tranquillity. Ismaili Muslims are among those with a strong presence in the region, including in neighbouring Chitral in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and many jamatkhanas are located throughout the area.

More...

http://www.theismaili.org/cms/1311/
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ormara Jamatkhana, Makran Coastal Area, Balochistan

http://ismailimail.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/ormara-jamatkhana-makran-coastal-area-balochistan/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Ismailimail+%28Ismailimail%29
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1953-1957: Ismailia Social and Residential Club and Jamatkhana at 51 Kensington Court, London W8
THE ORIGINS OF ISMAILI IDENTITY IN THE UNITED KINGDOM: A PERSPECTIVE


By Ameer Janmohamed
Special to Simerg


http://simerg.com/the-jamatkhana/1953-1957-ismailia-social-and-residential-club-and-jamatkhana-at-51-kensington-court-london-w8/
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jamatkhana shughnan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPPdPj6-AD8
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Objections to Hook Muslim community centre
11:19am Monday 12th March 2012

By David Lindsell

Hundreds of residents have objected to plans to turn a two storey office by the A3 in the Chessington Industrial Estate into a Muslim commmunity centre.

Office space in Argent House, Hook Rise South, Hook, would be converted into a Jamatkhana community centre for the Ismaili Muslim community.

The building would be used for regular social and learning activities for seniors, families and young people, according to the application.

But the planning application has drawn 136 objections from residents and a petition against with 323 names, with 41 supporters.

Chessington District Residents' Association and Crofts Residents' Association also objected due to concerns about extra traffic, parking and disturbance to neighbours.

There are about 600 Ismaili Muslims, a branch of Shia Islam, in Kingston and Surbiton, according to the application.

Councillors on the south of the borough neighbourhood committee will be asked to give their comments at a meeting on Wednesday, March 14, in Chessington Community College.

A final decision on the application is expected to be taken at a later Kingston Council development control meeting.

http://www.surreycomet.co.uk/news/9584179.print/
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As received...

This is just to let you know that our present North West Jamat Khana( Formerly Harrow Jamatkhane)
(London UK) has got approval to be re-built with work starting soon - taking approximately year or so to complete.

From 26th March 2012, regular "Evening Jamat Khana" will be temporary located at:-

SATTAVIS PATIDAR CENTRE
DHAMECHA HALL - 2ND FLOOR
FORTY AVENUE
WEMBLEY PARK
MIDDLESEX HA9 9PE

http://www.sattavis.co.uk/about/index.html (Patidar Centre Website)

Prayers will be at regular timings of 7.30pm on Mondays to Fridays and 6.30pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

We will be informed of arrangements where Baitul Kiyal (Morning pyayers) will be held later this month.

All main Sunday Majlises held in morning will be in afternoon (please check timings) and Mawlano Rojo in evenings - if it falls on weekends. Please listen to announcements if there are time variations if it falls on week days or even weekends.

Nearest Tube:- Wembley Park (Jubilee Line) turn left from station. End of the road turn left

short walk of about 10mins Bus Routes:- 245 Alperton - Golders Green and 223 Harrow - Wembley.

Car Parking:- Car Park behind Centre on venue grounds but when FULL - street parkings available after 6.30pm
However - when there are any Events at Wembley Stadium - Road Side Parking may not be allowed or timing varied - so make sure of this before you park. See website below

http://www.wembleyparking.net/extrapages.php?placeholder=map (Parking)

http://www.brent.gov.uk/home.nsf/news/LBB-1648 (Proposed Parking Restrictions)
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