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.
TheIsmaili.org spoke with the Honorable Halim Dhanidina, an Ismaili who recently became the first Muslim superior court judge in the state of California. Against a landscape of sensitivities and misperceptions surrounding Islam in America and abroad, Judge Dhanidina offers a clear perspective on what it takes to keep justice fair.
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.
Research shows that children who play chess cultivate good habits that benefit them academically and socially. Danial Asaria is a young chess champion from California who has won several local and national awards. His parents discuss how teaching their son chess has helped him to sharpen his focus, improved his analytical abilities and develop other important skills.
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.
At Maria Shriver’s March on Alzheimer’s held at Long Beach, California in October, two large communal canvases served as creative outlets for those who visited the booth on “Art Therapy and Alzheimer’s” hosted by the Ismaili Council for the USA. The canvases drew patients and family members, some of whom were emotional as they painted messages honouring loved ones suffering from a disease that causes memory loss and confusion.