In 1978, the Canadian Jamat awaited Hazar Imam’s first visit to Canada with excitement. Shamshu Jamal, a talented Vancouver musician, expressed his joy on this blessed occasion by composing “Maara Mawla Canada Padhaarshe,” the devotional music piece that would go on to become an iconic musical tribute in the Canadian Ismaili community for generations.
In Pakistan, music is a form of cultural expression representing society’s values, traditions, and hopes for the future. From mountainous Gilgit-Baltistan in the North to Karachi on the Southern coast, people have a deep relationship with music and other forms of art.
What is your first memory of music? Can you remember a time when you were so engrossed in a musical compilation that you forgot where you were physically? Many members of the Jamat use music as a connection to their heritage, their upbringing, and their community. In this article we will explore some of their stories.
Renowned artists and composers Salim and Sulaiman Merchant have obtained accolades in the Indian film industry and have performed in a number of prominent spaces including at the opening ceremony of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Their memorable songs such as ‘Jubilee Mubarak’, ‘Ali Mawla’, and ‘Shukran Allah’, which were performed on the occasion of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Diamond Jubilee, still resonate in our minds. To coincide with the upcoming Aga Khan Music Awards, we spoke with the two brothers about their journey.
We humans share our culture through many forms of creative expression, which together embody the arts. Arts encompass multiple ways of channelling creative impulses through poetry and literature, visual, imaginary, and performance. Over time, culture informs, shapes, and transforms the way human society comes to present various art forms which it learns to cherish and covet as civilisations evolve and progress.
In today’s age, children are born into the world and in many cases the first thing they are exposed to by their parents is a smartphone to capture and share their newborn images. This is often an indication of things to come, where electronic devices become a consistent part of their lives. The presence of such devices mean that children are going online at a younger age, but what implications could this have?
Can you imagine life in a place where the very ground you stand on is not stable and it is almost routine to see the land sliding into the river when it rains? Where people know their schools, fields, yards, and even their homes are on unstable ground?
The 13th century Sufi poet Jalal al-Din Rumi once said, “Inside you there’s an artist you don’t know about…” perhaps hinting at the reality that, while consumed by the responsibilities and distractions of daily life, many of us are yet to find the creative gifts that lie hidden within.
Later this month, Mawlana Hazar Imam will preside over the inaugural Aga Khan Music Awards ceremony in Lisbon, Portugal.
Prince Hussain officially inaugurated his exhibition of marine photography last month at the historic Town Jamatkhana in Nairobi.
Films from the Jubilee Arts International Film Festival, which took place in July 2018 during the Diamond Jubilee Celebration in Lisbon, are now available to view online at https://the.ismaili/jubilee-arts/IFF2018.
At a dinner at Buckingham Palace earlier this evening, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales honoured Mawlana Hazar Imam, as Global Founding Patron of The Prince’s Trust, a charity that works to support vulnerable young people to realise their ambitions. Hazar Imam was accompanied by Princess Zahra, Prince Rahim, and Princess Salwa.