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.
Bridge-building between cultures and religions through dialogue and cooperation is an important means to promote a peaceful and humanistic society. In September, the Ismaili Centre, Lisbon played host to a lecture that was part of the UN Alliance of Civilizations Summer School programme.
Dedicated to promoting harmony among peoples of all faiths, World Interfaith Harmony Week is observed around the world each year during the first week of February. In Portugal, the UN Alliance of Civilizations sought to present a unique multicultural perspective on the week. The Ismaili Muslim community was among 15 religious traditions represented at the event.
North American Ismailis celebrated Eid al-Adha by building bridges of understanding among the communities in which they live. In turn, they learnt more about the beliefs and celebrations of their neighbours.
In November, the Ismaili Centre, Lisbon was the venue of the 2009 Lisbon Forum, an annual event of the North-South Centre. Focused on the “creation of a culture of human rights through education,” the gathering was organised in partnership with the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the Aga Khan Development Network.
East Meets Western, a new television documentary about the Ismaili community and the Calgary Stampede, describes two seemingly disparate cultures that have built a successful relationship based on shared values. The film showcases the volunteerism, creativity and organisational skills of the Jamat, and highlights the historical role that the Stampede has played in promoting cultural pluralism in Calgary.