In promoting the sanctity of human life, the Qur'an-e Shariff says that good health, like knowledge, is a divine gift. The family unit nurtures the lives of its members, assisting them in their physical and spiritual endeavours. The wellbeing of individuals, in-turn, contributes to the overall health of the family, and that of society at large.
“Having team members from different Jamatkhanas and ages allowed me to learn from and interact with people that I usually wouldn’t,” said Arisha Keshwani, an athlete playing co-ed volleyball for the first time. This year’s tournament was especially unique for the diversity among the athletes, who ranged in age from 7 to 65, and experienced or novice. Similar to last year’s format, volleyball was offered as individual registrations so athletes of all skill levels and age groups could play together.
Over 80 participants and staff from the Midwest converged in the Chicago Jamatkhana Social Hall for a Lock-In, on February 9, 2019, an all-night event that started after evening Jamatkhana ceremonies and ended in the morning. With a primary goal of community-building, the night comprised of interactive activities, competitions, discussion sessions and much more to keep all participants and staff engaged and energetic.
The Chicago Jamatkhana Social Hall was filled with the songs and scriptures of many faiths that came together on November 13, 2018. The annual Thanksgiving service is a longstanding tradition of the Edgewater Community Religious Association (ECRA), an alliance of about 20 Christian, Jewish, and Muslim congregations in the diverse neighborhood in northern Chicago. The celebration is hosted by a different congregation every November, and this year was the first time the local Jamat had hosted since 2012.
Jamatkhanas and Ismaili Centres play an important role in the lives of the Ismaili community in the USA but they also play a very important role in promoting diversity and pluralism in the communities where they exist.
Situated in six cities around the world, the Ismaili Centres are places of contemplation and congregation, peace and prayer, humility and hope, discovery and dialogue, and equanimity and enlightenment.