The Diwan of the Ismaili Imamat today hosted an Imamat Day reception attended by Prince Amyn, Prince Rahim, and Prince Aly Muhammad, along with senior leaders of government, civil society, and the Aga Khan Development Network.
Distinguished guests were offered a first look at the restored site of the Palacete Mendonça in Portugal’s capital. The meticulous and multi-year refurbishment has stayed true to the building’s original design from 1902 by the architect Ventura Terra.
On behalf of Mawlana Hazar Imam, Prince Amyn extended a warm welcome to guests on this special occasion, the 66th anniversary of Hazar Imam’s ascension to the Ismaili Imamat.
“While this is not an opening of the Diwan,” he said, “it is very special for us at last to be able to host you in this beautiful building and welcome you to the Seat of the Ismaili Imamat, which has been designated by my brother, His Highness the Aga Khan, as the Diwan of the Ismaili Imamat.”
Nazim Ahmad, Diplomatic Representative of the Ismaili Imamat to Portugal, expressed his appreciation to Portuguese leaders, past and present, for supporting Hazar Imam’s work over many decades. He also welcomed guests to share in the Jamat’s happiness on this occasion.
“Today, the worldwide Ismaili community celebrates Imamat Day, in honour of His Highness the Aga Khan’s leadership and guidance over the past six and a half decades. It is a day of joy, of happiness – a day which we are immensely pleased to share with all who have gathered here today.”
In attendance were the country’s most senior leaders, including current and former Portuguese presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers, and mayors — many of whom have worked with the Ismaili community and AKDN over several decades.
Prince Amyn remarked that Hazar Imam and the Jamat will forever be grateful to them and the country for their kind acceptance and welcome, dating back to the 1970s. This generosity, he said, has enabled the community to successfully integrate into Portuguese society and contribute to its ongoing progress.
President Marcelo in his address paid tribute to the Jamat, and noted their dedication to service as exemplary.
“The Ismaili community in Portugal has about 10,000 citizens, fully integrated and imbued with the values of courage, innovation, persistence, and an openness to the world,” he said. “It is this spirit of communion that keeps us firm and united at all times, good and bad, without hesitation.
Through their endeavours in the fields of education, health, culture, and social welfare, the Ismaili community and AKDN agencies in Portugal have worked with compassion for many decades to improve the quality of life in the region and beyond.
“In keeping with the ethics of Islam,” Prince Amyn explained, “wherever we reside we ensure we are active in civil society, working in many fields of endeavour to offer our time, knowledge, expertise, and material resources to help better the cohesiveness of the communities and societies in which we live.”
“And in so doing,” he added, “our purpose is to uphold human dignity, to help improve the lives of the vulnerable, and to support the pluralism that exists here in Portugal, and which is crucial to the maintenance of a peaceful, compassionate and harmonious society.”
These shared values, a spirit of collaboration, and mutual respect continues to shape the relationship between the Ismaili Imamat and Portugal, a partnership that will continue to flourish in the years ahead. A focal point of this is the Diwan building nestled in the heart of Lisbon, which today stands as a symbol of the Ismaili Imamat’s enduring commitment to fostering peace, harmony, and progress around the world.