Mawlana Hazar Imam’s visit to the USA began in Atlanta, Georgia, on 13 March at the invitation of Governor of Georgia Nathan Deal. Lieutenant Governor of Georgia Casey Cagle received Hazar Imam upon his arrival. At a meeting with the Governor, Hazar Imam was presented with a State Proclamation recognising 60 years of dedication towards improving the human condition and the positive impact of the Aga Khan Development Network around the world. Upon his departure, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms was at the airport to congratulate him personally on his Diamond Jubilee visit.
Hazar Imam’s visit continued onto Houston from 18-23 March, at the invitation of Governor of Texas Greg Abbott. Hazar Imam was welcomed at the airport by Secretary of State of Texas Rolando Pablos, Mayor of Sugar Land Joe Zimmerman, and the Chief of Protocol for the City of Houston. Mayor Zimmerman presented Mawlana Hazar Imam with a key to the City of Sugar Land. Mawlana Hazar Imam later met with Mayor of Houston Sylvester Turner, who welcomed him and the entire Jamat to the City of Houston. Mawlana Hazar Imam also attended a luncheon with Governor Abbott in celebration of the Diamond Jubilee.
While in Texas, Mawlana Hazar Imam received formal recognitions from city, state and federal officials for his efforts to improve the quality of life of global communities over the past sixty years. This public recognition of the Imam’s contributions was a proud moment for the entire US Jamat.
The majority of Hazar Imam’s time in the USA was spent with the Jamat from across the country who had gathered in Atlanta and Houston. During his final Mulaqat in Houston, Hazar Imam was presented with a gift of 147 glass weights from the Fatimid period on behalf of the USA Jamat. During the same Mulaqat, Mawlana Hazar Imam graciously confirmed plans to establish an Ismaili Centre in Houston.
Throughout the 10-day visit, Mawlana Hazar Imam repeatedly expressed his sincere gratitude to all the volunteers, visible and non-visible, for the tireless efforts that made his visit so happy. The Jamat’s tradition of volunteerism was evident in myriad forms, and each volunteer’s efforts contributed to the success of this historic Diamond Jubilee Mulaqat.