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"Civil society is where ordinary men and women, acting as individuals and communities, take the initiative to advance what matters most to them."

The.Ismaili is pleased to publish an interview with Dr Amyn Sajoo, a specialist in international human rights, civil society, and public ethics. As part of a series of interviews with key figures, Dr Sajoo discusses the notion of civil society, its history, significance, and potential to enrich democratic life around the world. 

Dr Nooredin Nurani (at the far left) and his team of dedicated volunteers offer free dental treatment at an annual event in Atlanta.

Described as grassroots because they are led by concerned citizens rather than governments or established institutions, such community action initiatives can be a powerful means in addressing difficult issues. Some Ismailis are successfully using grassroots action to magnify the impact of their volunteer work.

Mawlana Hazar Imam delivers acceptance remarks after being awarded the 2011 UCSF Medal at the University’s Founders Day Banquet.

Mawlana Hazar Imam delivers his acceptance remarks at a banquet in San Francisco on 26 April 2011, after being presented with the University of California San Francisco Medal, the University’s highest honour.

Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellman presents Mawlana Hazar Imam with the 2011 University of California San Francisco Medal, the University’s highest honour.

At a banquet in San Francisco on 26 April, Mawlana Hazar Imam was presented with the 2011 University of California San Francisco Medal. The prestigious recognition builds on existing collaborations between the UCSF and AKDN, and particularly the University’s support for training and research programmes at the Aga Khan University.

His Excellency President Paul Kagame of Rwanda joined members of the Nkabom Steering Committee, including Naveed Somani (far left), for consultation.

In May 2010, Naveed Somani was named to the Steering Committee for the Royal Commonwealth Society’s Nkabom International Youth Leadership Programme. Focused on equipping young people with conflict resolution skills, the programme took him to Rwanda where he witnessed the legacy of a national conflict and its resolution. He shares his impressions and experiences.

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