Over the past year, the global Jamat has demonstrated resilience in a time of great difficulty. They have also acted as a bright light in the darkness of a global pandemic by coming together to support their local communities, but also making use of technology to support the global community. The launch of a brand new streaming TV channel run entirely by the Ismaili community is a testament to this resilience.
In the span of one year, over 300 volunteers have dedicated their time, effort, and expertise to maintain The Ismaili TV as a source of entertainment, education, support, and happiness. Since launching, The Ismaili TV has streamed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, airing thousands of hours of programming.
These volunteers are spread across 24 countries, and have dedicated over 71,000 hours of their time to The Ismaili TV. Interestingly, 63% of The Ismaili TV’s volunteers have no prior TV experience, meaning that not only are people exploring outside their comfort zones in order to support the global Jamat in innovative ways, but also, The Ismaili TV is building capacity, and providing an opportunity for many to expand their skill set and gain experience that will help them in the future.
With the help of this incredible team of volunteers, The Ismaili TV now features a number of original series, produced specifically for the Ismaili community.
Trailblazers is an interview series showcasing Ismaili professionals from around the world who have demonstrated excellence in their respective fields. Science & Technology Unleashed uncovers key insights into profound questions about who we are and the universe we live in. The Sportshow celebrates members of our community who have achieved success in the fields of sports and athletics while Careers of the Future helps viewers prepare more effectively for the future of work by interviewing members of the Jamat who are working at the leading edge of their fields.
In addition to its regular programming, The Ismaili TV has hosted memorable events for each of our traditional festivals. Most recently, the global Jamat celebrated Salgirah and Navroz with a series of programmes including original films produced entirely by volunteers.
The Navroz film Pebbles to Penguins: A Story of Renewal was an immense undertaking, the results of which were a testament to the hard work and dedication of over 50 volunteers from around the world. Videographers, directors, editors, actors, and musicians from Dubai, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, the United States, Kenya, Canada, India, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Tajikistan came together to create this original production during the Covid-19 pandemic in only six weeks, while also respecting all safety regulations. Similarly, the Salgirah film Hope and Light was developed entirely by volunteers from 12 countries who gave their time to the project, including professional actors, musicians, and a dedicated production team.
Impressive volunteer-run productions are not new for The Ismaili TV. Just weeks after it launched, The Ismaili TV aired a virtual Salim-Sulaiman concert, titled “From Our Home to Yours,” featuring the musicians performing from their homes while observing physical distancing protocols. The concert was held in support of the AKDN’s Global Pandemic Relief Fund and shone a light on the work being done by Imamat institutions around the world in response to the pandemic.
The following week, The Ismaili TV presented the Shukrana Concert to coincide with the festival of Eid ul-Fitr. The non-stop musical extravaganza featured over 70 talented Ismaili performers and 20 hours of original content over the course of two days.
On the occasion of Imamat Day, The Ismaili TV presented a three-day programme featuring devotional expressions, archival footage, a new film about the Ismaili Imamat, and a music festival.
In addition to featuring internationally-known musicians and celebrating festivals, The Ismaili TV has featured other high-profile programmes such as the world premiere of Close to Home: Al-Khimyah, a film written and directed by Prince Aly Muhammad, which explores the work of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in Cairo, as well as a special lecture with Deepak Chopra titled ‘The Future of Leadership and Wellbeing’.
So as we celebrate the one-year anniversary of The Ismaili TV, which has brought so much joy, entertainment, and information to the global Jamat, we must also celebrate the hundreds of volunteers who have contributed their time and energy to this endeavour. During the pandemic while we were far apart, The Ismaili TV brought the Jamat together, closer than ever before.
To watch The Ismaili TV live or on demand, visit the.ismaili/tv or download The Ismaili app. A TV guide with upcoming programming in your timezone appears on The Ismaili TV page, below the video window.