Over the last two years, the Ismaili Jamat in Pretoria, South Africa, has engaged with the Department of Architecture from the University of Tshwane and Centre for Faith and Community from the University of Pretoria, to share and explore the rich heritage and history of Ismailis in Marabastad area in Gauteng province in South Africa, which is part of metro Pretoria Area. The Jamat has also provided access to both universities to the library and archives of Dr. Mohamed Keshavjee's collection.

The University of Pretoria's Centre for Faith and Community and  the University of Tshwane's Department of Architecture are actively working on a project to rejuvenate the Marabastad area of Pretoria in South Africa, which is currently quite dilapidated. The students are working on a project to design for basic needs of the local community in Marabastad while representing the social structures of a site and remembering its cultural history. The Ismaili community historically had a Jamatkhana in the area, known as Marabastad Jamatkhana. 

As part of the ongoing engagement with the Jamat, sixteen students and two faculty members visited the Sandton Jamatkhana in February 2023, and spent time in the Jamatkhana library, which houses Dr. Mohamed Keshavjee's collection of books and archives. During their visit they spent time with the archives, learnt about the plurality in Islam and  better understood the identity of Ismailis, their context, and the role of the Imam. Dr. Keshavjee then addressed the class virtually for 90 minutes.




The guests also experienced the full South Asian culinary experience, and were served tea, samosas, biryani, chicken tikka and Kulfi.


This engagement is unique and the Jamat is working to continue to strengthen the partnership.