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It was early fall in 2018 when Dr. Fayyaz Vellani first got his TKN call. “I still remember, being on the train at Trenton, when the Aga Khan Education Board (AKEB) USA reached out to me with a request from AKEB India,” he recalls. The ask from Dr. Vellani was a request to teach a writing residency programme, organized by AKEB India, for students of its flagship mentoring programme. “I felt called”, says Fayyaz, who is currently a Lecturer in Critical Writing at the University of Pennsylvania. “I remember telling Rehim (who called me), that I would either find someone or do this myself. Fundamentally, I said yes, because I knew there was a need”.

Nashir Karmali (left) with the FOCUS team crossing food aid into Afghanistan.

It had long been Nashir Karmali’s desire to offer voluntary service in a developing country. In 2007, he received a call that changed his career and life: He was asked to serve on a TKN assignment with Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS) to conduct a strategic review of their operations in Afghanistan, aimed at expanding its mandate from refugee repatriation to include emergency management, disaster preparedness, and response.

Aswan, the ancient city of Swenett on the banks of the Nile and frontier town on the southernmost border of Ancient Egypt, is the focus for the work of the Om Habibeh Foundation (OHF) in Egypt. The OHF, established by Mata Salamat in 1991 and formally registered in 2006, is an affiliate of the Aga Khan Foundation-Egypt (AKF-E). AKF-E’s program portfolio includes early childhood, civil society and rural development. All these programs function within the Governorate of Aswan, which has a population of 1.5 million people in Upper Egypt.

Participants of the heritage walk in the compound of Darkhana Jamatkhana, the first Jamatkhana established in Mumbai.

There are many Jamatkhanas in India, a handful of which have celebrated over a century of existence. In this article we will explore three of India’s oldest Jamatkhanas, including their histories, architecture, and the role they play in the community today.

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