On 18 May, Prince Hussain and Princess Fareen attended an event hosted by the University of Calgary. In front of an audience comprising faculty and staff, as well as community and Jamati representatives, Prince Hussain delivered a keynote address.
“It’s a privilege of a lifetime being able to bring to you what is essentially the realisation of my childhood dream and further to ask you to share it with others. Because in the end, the goals for me are awareness, education, and change, not aesthetically pleasing images,” said Prince Hussain. “Some of my best memories, most memorable encounters, and favourite animals are featured [in the exhibition]. But that should perhaps not be the takeaway. Ideally visitors will fall in love with my subjects, stay attached or gain interest in them, learn about their plight and consider ways they might help. Help ecosystems and their inhabitants, the planet itself, and, as a direct consequence - humanity."
Dr Mahmoud Eboo, the Diplomatic Representative of the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat to Canada, also spoke at the event, and recalled memories from Prince Hussain’s early years.
“I recall from many years ago in Prince Hussain’s childhood, his first excursions to Kenya where he went on safari, took out his Kodak Instamatic, and simply clicked away at every animal that he could see … In observing him I realised it wasn’t just photographic enthusiasm but he was actually watching to see what they were doing and why they were doing it. So I think that this passion for studying wildlife was very much in his youth.”
Following the event, Prince Hussain and Princess Fareen travelled to the Glenbow Museum at the Edison, where The Living Sea – Fragile Beauty exhibition is on display. There, they attended a reception to engage with business, civil society, and community leaders. Prince Hussain recounted his experiences with marine life and his reflections on the need to protect our planet. As a gesture of appreciation, he presented a signed copy of his book to Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek.
Karim Kurji, one of the tour guides from Calgary commented on the impact the exhibition has had on him and so many others “His passion is immediately apparent and comes through in every word he says about the exhibition and his work with Focused on Nature (FON). Being part of this team has been a life-changing experience and I am so thankful we have been entrusted with sharing his work with the thousands of guests who have visited.”
On 19 May, Prince Hussain and Princess Fareen met with a number of Jamati representatives, where they discussed Prince Hussain’s passion for photography and extensive work in wildlife conservation.
The exhibition is part of Prince Hussain’s work with FON, a not-for-profit organisation he founded in 2009. FON’s mission is to assist in the conservation and protection of threatened and endangered species, as well as habitat conservation efforts when and where possible.
Prince Hussain and Princess Fareen will next travel to Toronto, where The Living Sea – Fragile Beauty will be on display at the Ismaili Centre, Toronto.