In anticipation of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s historic Diamond Jubilee visit to the United States of America, the American Jamat is preparing for the Mulaqat in the host cities of Atlanta and Houston.

“The City of Atlanta is very proud of our vibrant Ismaili community and their contribution to our social, cultural, and economic landscape. They have served as a strong pillar in our city through their commitment to service and building a strong community." --Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms acknowledging the Jamat’s service ethic and civic engagement in the City of Atlanta.
At the official invitation of the governments of the States of Georgia and Texas, Mawlana Hazar Imam commences a historic 10-day visit to the United States of America on March 13, 2018. He will arrive in Atlanta tonight, and following a Mulaqat with the Jamat from several regions, will then travel to Houston to meet the Jamat there.
Atlanta, the gateway to the South, is known as the headquarters of CNN and the Coca-Cola Company, for hosting the 1996 Olympics, and for being at the center of the Civil Rights movement. This week, the city is host to thousands of Ismailis as they arrive from all over the country for the first USA Diamond Jubilee Mulaqat.
Atlanta’s Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms met with leaders of the Jamat and formally welcomed Mawlana Hazar Imam and the Jamat to the city. She wrote a personal note, on behalf of the City Council, to all the Jamati members travelling to Atlanta. 
“The Diamond Jubilee provides an opportunity to reflect on His Highness’s six decades of tireless work to improve the human condition for people around the globe. The City of Atlanta is honored to join you in celebrating this special occasion and proud to be one of two communities to welcome His Highness during his visit to the United States,” Mayor Bottoms stated. 
The Atlanta Jamat has a long history of working with other institutions and communities in the area, including collaborating in cultural programs with the Carlos Museum, Emory University, and Kennesaw University, and its I-CERV (Ismaili Community Engaged in Responsible Volunteering) members have participated in numerous local service projects.
Recently, in honor of the Diamond Jubilee, the southeastern USA Jamat hosted a “60 for 60” food-packing event, where they exceeded their goal and prepared 80,000 meals for the needy in greater Atlanta.
The Mayor's letter concluded by wishing the Jamat "A great Diamond Jubilee Mubarak and a memorable stay in our great city. Atlanta’s warm southern hospitality and welcoming values resonate with the values of Shia traditions, making Atlanta a great choice for this gathering."
Illustrating its support for diversity is a City of Atlanta initiative, Welcoming Atlanta. It is a chapter of Welcoming America, an organization that assists immigrants and refugees to integrate and become contributing members of society. At the Global Centre for Pluralism's Awards ceremony in Ottawa last November, Welcoming America was recognized as a finalist for making communities more prosperous and vibrant.
Ismaili Council for the USA President Barkat Fazal also welcomed the Jamat, saying: "The United States Jamat is jubilant at the impending arrival of Mawlana Hazar Imam, as we gather in Atlanta and Houston for this historic visit. We have all been preparing for this day to reflect and to renew ourselves. Our institutions have been planning for this Mulaqat for many months, and thousands of volunteers from all over the country have been involved in the preparations, serving the Jamat in our centuries-old tradition. We will come together on this occasion as one united USA Jamat."
The USA Jamat has been eagerly preparing for this visit and thousands of volunteers have been helping around the clock at the hotels to provide shuttles and information, at the venues to assist them with entry formalities and, of course, to offer them delectable dishes to savor on this momentous occasion.
At the Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the world's busiest, volunteers will be present at the terminals to welcome the arriving Jamat. Latif Jaffer, a senior, was overjoyed as he welcomed the Jamat coming from different regions at the airport. “The Jamat was so happy to see us at the airport! One lady was so overwhelmed that she started crying saying that they were being so well taken care of. As a volunteer, I feel I am so blessed to be part of this experience.”
Shamim Remtullah was arriving from Los Angeles for the Mulaqat. “As we approached the baggage area, we saw the Mulaqat signs and volunteers in Diamond Jubilee T-shirts. It was so heartwarming to be instantly welcomed at the airport,” she said. “Back in the days, in India and Pakistan, your family would all be at the airport to welcome you and this experience was the same – I felt that my family was there to welcome me,” Shamim added.
During the 10-day visit, Mawlana Hazar Imam is expected to meet with the governors of the states of Georgia and Texas. Hazar Imam will also meet with the Jamat from around the country in the host cities of Atlanta and Houston and grant a Diamond Jubilee Mulaqat.