The setting is Dar es Salaam, Tanganyika, East Africa, a stronglhold of the Ismaili Moslems. They venerate the Aga Khan (speaking) as a semidivinity. Scarlet-robed members of the Aga Khan Legion surround Him.
Bulletproof caskets of transparent plastic rest on the scale. These contain industrial diamonds on loan from London for the weighing. His followers give the cash equivalent to the Aga Khan for his benevolences.
Europe knows the Aga Khan as a former President of the League of Nations Assembly, Three-time winner of the English Derby, and Husband of a French wife. India His home, knows Him as the Princely pontiff to the Ismailis. They regard him as infallible and ascribe miraculous cures to His bath water.
From Madagascar to Central Asia, Ismaili pilgrims converged on Dar es Salaam last August 10. Five months earlier many saw a similar weighing in Bombay. During the interval The Aga Khan lost a valuable half pound. Here two Indian ladies lead the way. A beared Sikh attends as a visitor. ( Note the Red and Green sache in both the Band and the Guard Uniforms)
Ismailis regarding The Aga Khan as Mohammed's direct descendant through His daughter Fatima, call Him "Our Holy Imam" They take their name from Ismail, whom they regard as the rightful seventh Imam, or Leader.
East Africa contains a growing colony of Ismailis, whose headquarters are in Bombay. Others live in Syria, Burma, Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan. English, as on the arch, serves as their unifying language.
Ismailis tithe their incomes to the fabulously wealthy Aga Khan, owner of a ruby collection reputedly worth $200,000,000. He in turn, distributes their gifts of cash, gold or diamonds among hospitals, schools and other institutions. Almost no Khoja or Indian Ismaili is ever left in want.
Dar es Salaam, home of 74,000 Africans, Indians, Arabs, and Europeans was taxed by the crowd of visitors. To house them, sackcloth huts were thrown up below the coconut palms. Streets became so congested that automobile traffic was limited. Merchants enjoyed a sales boom.