Toronto, 15 October 2010 – “What the Canadian experience suggests to me is that identity itself can be pluralistic,” said Mawlana Hazar Imam before a packed audience at the Royal Conservatory’s Telus Centre for Performance and Learning. Speaking at the invitation of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, Hazar Imam received a warm welcome from the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul.
Toronto, 14 October 2010 – Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Toronto today, where he will deliver this year’s lecture at the 10th annual LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium. An initiative of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, the Symposium engages Canadians in a national conversation around the future shape of Canada’s civic culture. The lecture will take place on on Friday, 15 October at 7:30 PM EDT.
Ottawa, 8 October 2010 – Mawlana Hazar Imam completed a two-day visit to Ottawa for the inaugural meeting of the Board of Directors of the Global Centre for Pluralism. Thursday evening, Hazar Imam also met with His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, at Rideau Hall.
The Aga Khan Development Network’s involvement in West Africa began some 40 years ago, and has included investments in people, culture and enterprise. Last month, Mawlana Hazar Imam joined the President and people of Mali in marking the 50th anniversary of their independence, and inaugurated a National Park developed by AKTC as part of the occasion. Salima Chitalia reviews AKDN’s development efforts in the country.
Professor Mohamed Arkoun passed away in Paris on 14 September at the age of 82. An outstanding research scholar and a rigorous critic of the theoretical tensions embedded in the field of Islamic Studies, he was a courageous public intellectual and a powerful voice in the frequently contentious debates on Islamic modernism and humanism.
Islamabad, Pakistan, 12 August 2010 – FOCUS Pakistan has launched a significant relief effort in the wake of severe flooding that has caused widespread destruction in several of the country’s provinces. With its Search and Rescue Team, Community Emergency Response Teams and hundreds of volunteers, FOCUS has already delivered food, shelters and supplies to hundreds of affected households, with some 200 tonnes of relief goods en route to help thousands more
In June, Ismailis from Bangkok, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur joined the Jamat in Penang, Malaysia for a sports day event that coincided with Father’s Day. Numerous activities were organised, but badminton and table tennis were the centrepiece competitions.
Earlier this year, the Afghan Jamat observed a week-long celebration of volunteerism, a tradition that has long been central to Ismaili culture. Volunteer Week was an opportunity to showcase the impact that volunteers have on the Jamat’s wellbeing, and increase the unity and collaboration among them, as well as within the wider Jamat.
On 11 July, the Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe was the venue for an Imamat Day reception hosted by the Aga Khan Development Network in Tajikistan. The event, which also marked the 15th anniversary of the signing of an Agreement of Cooperation between the Government of Tajikistan and the AKDN, included a cultural show as well as a three-day exhibition of AKDN’s projects in the country during the past 15 years.
Firoz Rasul, President of the Aga Khan University addressed an audience at the Ismaili Centre, London on 8 July 2010, in which he looked ahead towards the University’s next 25 years – a period during which AKU will take an important evolutionary step to become a comprehensive university. He discussed AKU’s plans to offer new programmes in various fields, to build several new campuses and to embark on regional integrated health care strategies.
During a state visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo earlier this year, the Governor General of Canada awarded medals of honour to a number of individuals, including three Ismailis. The Ismaili recipients were all Canadian wardens – volunteers who support the Canadian Embassy and resident Canadians in the event of a local crisis.
Over the past four weeks, millions of people have turned their attention to South Africa, host of the 2010 FIFA World Cup championship. It is the first time that the tournament is being hosted in an African country, and for a group of Ismaili musicians who performed at the Kick Off Concert, the occasion is particularly special.