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Zameer Rayani receiving the “Just Do It Award’ from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

“I didn’t believe it until I was shaking his hand,” Zameer Rayani admits. When his presence was requested at Amazon’s recent All-Hands Meeting in Seattle, he didn’t even share with his family or friends. After all, no one from the HR department had ever won the award in the company’s 25-year history, but with numerous Ismaili Amazonians live-streaming the event around the world, messages like this spread like wildfire on social media: “Do you know Zameer Rayani? Sounds Ismaili, he just got an award from Bezos at our company All-Hands!”

Alaudin Bhanji receiving NASA's Outstanding Leadership Award, in 2014. He is with the (then) Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Dr. Charles Elachi (L), and Dr. John M. Grunsfeld, Associate Administrator, Science Mission Directorate, NASA.

It is a rare and historic honor to have an object in space named after an individual. It is usually reserved for someone who first discovers it, generally after years of painstaking observation of the night sky through giant telescopes. So to be recognized in this manner is indeed an occasion worthy of note. Yet, this is precisely what happened at the end of 2018.

The Urban Land Institute (ULI), a non-profit organization representing the real estate land development industry provides education and advocacy with the objective of building better, more inclusive, and more sustainable urban communities.

AKU nurses Salima Pirani (Dallas) and Amina Huda (California) review patient records during their volunteer shift.
“Thank you again for all you are doing to help staff the shelter. You and all the Aga Khan Council volunteers have been a tremendous help, and I really can’t thank you enough! Your nurses wanted to be here. They came with such open hearts. It was fabulous.” -Monica Soderstrom, Nursing Director for the Butte County Public Health Department, California.
 
The 5 Ismailis from Atlanta that were recognized: (clockwise from center) Dr. Mahnaz Charania, Karim Shariff, Dr. Behnoosh Momin, Asad Abdulla, and Munir Meghjani.

Agile, talented professionals who engage with their communities are celebrated globally for their accomplishments. The 40 Under 40 award provides a platform for recognition of these young men and women who are making an incredible difference in their communities, cities and beyond. This platform is utilized by various distinguished institutions, be it academic in nature, financial or with a commitment to civic engagement. The last two years have seen five individuals from the Atlanta Jamat honored as proud recipients of this coveted award.

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