Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:14 am Post subject: PHOTOGRAPHS AND VIDEOS OF MHI' S VISITS
His Highness the Aga Khan’s Historic Visit to the Island of Pemba in November 1957
On November 18, 1957, the citizens of Pemba, an island forming part of the Zanzibar archipelago (see map below), honoured the 49th Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, His Highness the Aga Khan, during his one day visit to the Island.
On that historic occasion, Sheikh Sir Said bin Ali al-Mugheri presented to him a casket, bearing the words:
“THESE HISTORICAL LANDMARKS SHALL FOR EVER REMAIN AS FOUNTAINS OF SPIRITUAL AND SECULAR ENLIGHTENMENT.”
Last edited by kmaherali on Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:15 am, edited 1 time in total
The late Khadija Kothari who preserved the memories and photos of the Kothari family. Photo: Taj/Bashir Kothari.
Editor’s note: We have recently received six more historical photographs from the collection of the Kothari family. They are being added below just before the original write-up and photos which were submitted by Ms. Taj Kothari of Florida and her brother, Bashir Kothari, of Calgary, Alberta, for this website’s special series on the 48th Ismaili Imam, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan III (H.H.The Aga Khan III). The photos were preserved over the years by their late mother Itmadibanu Khadija Kothari, pictured above. We would appreciate receiving names of individuals who have not been identified in the photos. Please use the feedback form below or email email@example.com (subject: Kothari collection captions).
Mata Salamat, the Begum Aga Khan, is seen coming down the steps of the plane, as Imam Sultan Mahomed is garlanded by an Ismaili leader upon his arrival in Calcutta. At extreme left, holding an umbrella, is Itmadi Kassam Kothari. Photo: Bashir Kothari/Nuri Kothari, Calgary, Canada
Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah and Mata Salamat being welcomed by the Ismaili leadership upon their arrival in Calcutta. Photo: Bashir Kothari/Nuri Kothari, Calgary, Canada
Members of the Supreme Council in Rajkot, India, with Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan, 48th Imam of Shia Imami Ismili Muslims. Itmadi Kassam Kothari, seated on extreme left in middle row, was a member of the council for several years. Photo: Bashir Kothari/Nuri Kothari, Calgary, Canada
Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah, the 48th Ismaili Imam, pictured in Rajkot, India, with the Ismaili leadership. Itmadi Kassam Kothari was the President of the Kathiawar Education Board and is shown seated to the Imam's left. In suit and tie, to the Imam's right, is the late Rai Pirbhai Rayani who later in life settled in Calgary, Canada. Photo: Bashir Kothari/Nuri Kothari, Calgary, Canada
Photo taken with Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah in Porbander, India, 1939, with members of the Jamat seen seated in the background in a tent structure. Itmadi Kassam Kothari is seen seated at left in a white Raj Darbari dress. Photo: Bashir Kothari/Nuri Kothari, Calgary, Canada.
Itmadi Kassam Kothari with Prince Aly Khan in Jamnagar, India, in 1942 (appx.). Photo: Bashir Kothari/Nuri Kothari, Calgary, Canada
The Kothari’s write:
This opportunity to share a little bit about our family through this Web site has given us immense inner happiness in the sense that we feel that our family’s humble and sincere contribution is being recorded somewhere. We hope that other readers of this blog will share their stories too.
Itmadi Kassam Kothari
Alijah Ismail Punja Kothari and Itmadi Kassam Kothari, our grand father and father respectively, worked closely with our beloved 48th Imam, Hazrat Sultan Mahomedd Shah, Aga Khan III, and also were brought up in the Raj Darbar. My grandfather was awarded a Justice Of Peace Medal by the British Government. This medal was saved by our late mother, Khadija, and is still with us today. As a note I might add that our family was provided special escort by the British whenever we left the home to go out. This was due to our closeness with the Maharajas (literally meaning great or high kings). India at that time was made up of princely states each with its own ruler.
The above photo was taken in 1927 at the residence of my grandfather, Alijah Ismail Punja Kothari, when Imam Sultan Mahomed, the Maharaja of Jamnagar - Jam Ranjit Singh – and the the King of Limbdi visited our bungalow in Jamnagar, Kathiawar. They held a meeting which was attended by our family members and also had lunch during the visit.
Seated on the ground in a traditional dress is my grandfather, Alijah Ismail Kothari. My father, Itmadi Kassam Kothari, is the person in the white suit and tie, by the pole on the right. Standing between Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah and Jam Ranjit Singh, the Maharajah, is my grandfather’s older brother, Premji Punja, with a white turban. As you can see, Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah is in a white suit and hat and carrying a cane.
All the Highness’s were garlanded by my grandfather.
The demise of our grandfather - a handwritten message from the Imam
Above is shown an image of a handwritten telegraph that my father received from our beloved 48th Imam when our grandfather, Alijah Ismail Kothari, passed away.
The telegraph was sent from Cannes and has an official receipt date in Jamnagar of 15 April, 1934. As the heading suggests, it was processed by the Indian Posts and Telegraph department. Some of the features that can be noted – number of words in the telegraph (25) and that it was dispatched from Cannes on 13 April at around 14:00 hours.
The transcript of the message is as follows:
“Dear Cassam Ismail Poonja care Ismaili Council Jamnagar
Deepest sympathy and blessing
your poor father whom
I will allways remember
for his great service Aga Khan”
On the lower half of the page is seen a Gujarati Tarjuma (translation) of the Imam’s message.
The photograph shown above was taken during our beloved 48th Imam’s visit to the State of Jamnagar in February,1939. The same photo is published adjacent to page 342 in Dumasia’s book “The Aga Khan and his Ancestors.”
From left to right are His Highness Jam Saheb, Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah and Jam Saheb’s brother, who is seen holding the Jam Saheb’s daughter in his arms. On the extreme right of the picture, in the volunteer’s uniform, is Major Lakhpati of Bombay, and standing beside him in the traditional dress of the Raj Darbar is our father, Itmadi Kassam Kothari. He wore the dress of the Raj Darbar since he was working with the Maharajas of Jamnagar.
The above photo was taken during Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah’s visit to London in 1954 for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. He and Mata Salamat met with the Mukhi and some other members of the Jamat at a hotel in London. Our (late) brother, Hadi, was among the Ismailis visiting London and he is in the picture seated on the floor, at left.
There is a very interesting account of how my brother got into the photo. Now, this anecdote was conveyed to us by one of the person’s who happened to be present, and we have the video of this conversation with him that was taken in Kenya in 2003.
It appears there wasn’t enough room for everyone to fit in the group photo and our brother, Hadi, could not join in.
But before the photo was taken, the Imam inquired of the Mukhi “aur koy baki hey?” (Is anyone left out?)
The Mukhi had told my brother there was no room and he could not join, but there was no way out of this question that the Imam asked, and the Mukhi replied: ” Khudavind ek baki hey” (one person is missing).
The Imam asked, ” Kon hai?” (who is that person?)
The Mukhi replied “Hadi Kothari.”
The Imam sought a confirmation, “Kothari?”
The Mukhi replied, “Yes, Khudavind.”
The Imam said: “Usko Bulao, uske Bap Dada ne Imam ke Ghar ki Bahoth seva kihe” (call him – his father and grandfather have rendered a lot of service to the House of the Imam).
Our brother, Hadi, passed away on May 24, 2004 leaving behind his widow, Khairoun, who lives in Nairobi, and two daughters. Hadi served in various capacities until 2000.
Hadi also appears in the next two group photos taken with Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah’s two sons, the late Prince Aly Khan (June 13, 1911 – May 12, 1960) and late Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan (17 January 1933 – 12 May 2003).
THE AGA KHAN’S JOURNEY TO HUNZA IN 1961
(A personal recollection by Watson Sims)
“I thought of an incident in 1961, when I was Associated Press bureau chief for that area. Prince Karim, newly-installed as the Aga Khan, decided to visit his Ismaeli Muslim followers in the ancient land of Hunza, then, as now, part of Pakistan, and I was invited to come along.
With the Aga Khan sometimes personally at the controls, we flew in a twin-propeller plane to the mountain outpost of Gilgit.
Next came a journey by Jeep over narrow and often dizzying trails to the Hunza River, southern border of the ancient kingdom. There an awesome prospect lay before us.
Years earlier, the river had flooded and washed away the only bridge to Hunza. Hundreds of feet above the river, three steel cables had been stretched 1,000 yards to connect hills on each side. Suspended from two cables were hooks to carry cargo such as our Jeep.
Attached by pulley to the third cable was a wooden box, five feet square, with sides rising 18 inches. This was our only way to Hunza.
The five journalists in the party, which included one other American, were horrified, and despite urging from Pir Ali Allana, the Aga Khan’s advance man, none would get into the box.
“Come on, Sims,” pleaded Pir Ali. “We’ve GOT to do this.” He sat in the box, and, fearfully, I climbed in beside him.
Far across the river, men pulled on a rope, and, swaying and shaking, the box shot out over the swift-flowing stream. During World War II combat in submarines and torpedo boats, I had rarely known a more uneasy experience. Then came another yank on the rope, and the box flew farther over the river.
Pir Ali’s teeth had chattered as loudly as mine, but then he suddenly became astonishingly calm. “It’s all right,” he said. “We are going to make it.”
“H-h-h-do you know that?” I asked.
“I’ve had my horoscope read,” he said. “It is not God’s will that I should die here.”
Having never had my horoscope read, I was less reassured, but Pir Ali’s faith proved justified, and after a passage that seemed to take years, we reached the other side.”
PHOTOS FROM OUR 2017 POSTS: FROM THE SITE OF THE 48TH ISMAILI IMAM’S BAGAMOYO LANDING TO THE DIAMOND JUBILEE VISITS OF THE 49TH IMAM HIS HIGHNESS THE AGA KHAN
December 25, 2017
The following selection of photographs, videos and quotes is taken from posts that were published in 2017 on this blog, simergphotos, and its affiliated websites, simerg.com and barakah.com; links to complete articles listed after post.
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