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An illustration of a polo game from a manuscript of the poem Guy u Chawgan (the Ball and the Polo-mallet) dating from 1546, during the Safavid dynasty in Persia.

Sports have been part of the human experience throughout history, as far back as Sumerian times (4000 BCE), and ancient Egypt. They were often associated with religion, making sports a sacred activity. In those times, common sports included wrestling, archery, and martial arts, each requiring meditation and intense concentration.

Sirbaz Khan, on his way to scaling the legendary K2.

Two Ismaili mountaineers recently summited K2, the second highest mountain in the world and considered by many to be a more difficult and dangerous climb than Mount Everest. Fazal Ali is the first Pakistani to have ascended to the summit of K2 (8,611m) on three separate occasions. He first conquered K2 in 2014, followed by a second successful climb to the summit in 2017.

The inaugural i-CERV weekend saw Ismailis from across the UK volunteer at soup kitchens, homeless shelters, park clean-ups, and training sessions for the aged.

The i-CERV initiative was launched in the United Kingdom jurisdiction Jamat during the Diamond Jubilee year with a great sense of excitement. i-CERV — Ismaili Community Engaged in Responsible Volunteering — is a programme first established in the United States, with a mission to offer its members an opportunity to serve the wider communities in which they reside.

Mawlana Hazar Imam is greeted upon his arrival in Houston by Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos as Dr. Barkat Fazal, President of the Ismaili Council for USA, looks on.

Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Houston yesterday for the second stop of his Diamond Jubilee visit to the United States. Upon his arrival, Hazar Imam was welcomed with a sabre salute by the Texas A&M Ross Volunteers, the State of Texas’ official honor guard. 

Pakistan’s Diamond Jubilee Sports Festival (DJSF) reached its apex earlier this year with an iconic National Games at the Jinnah Complex in Islamabad. Over 1300 athletes from eight regions competed for medals in 17 different sports, supported by enthusiastic crowds. We take a look back at the iconic event.