Illuminating The Ismaili Centre Toronto

Huffington Post, 30 September 2014

With all the attention that has been recently showered on Toronto's Aga Khan Museum, which opened its doors to the public on September 18th, it is easy to forget there is another gem located on the same 17-acre site. This equally impressive structure is not overshadowed because of its architecture; for it is equally bold, including as its centerpiece a crystalline canopy perched asymmetrically on a curved base designed by the celebrated Indian architect Charles Correa with his daughter Nondita. Rather, much of its lack of buoyancy in the press has come from its very purpose and function which remains a mystery to many, including Muslims.

» Huffington Post, 30 September 2014

The Aga Khan's New Islamic Treasure Trove

The Wall Street Journal, 4 September 2014

Toronto — Plenty of museums around the world collect Islamic art—from ornate Persian carpets to Mughal miniature paintings—but there's never been a museum in North America focused solely on exhibiting these pieces, until now.

On Sept. 18, Toronto's Aga Khan Museum will open in a roughly 47,000 square-foot space designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Fumihiko Maki, giving visitors a permanent spot to see one of the top private collections of Islamic art anywhere.

» The Wall Street Journal, 4 September 2014

Johnson hosts annual Dallas Youth Summit and Diversity Dialogue

Focus Daily News, 20 August 2014

DALLAS—Recently, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson hosted dozens of Dallas-area high school students for the 8th annual Youth Summit and Diversity Dialogue held at the Southern Methodist University’s Owens Art Center. Farrukh Valliani, president of the Aga Khan Council for the Central United States, addressed the students, highlighting that cultural diversity was crucial in today’s world.

» Focus Daily News, 20 August 2014

Building on faith: Inside Toronto’s new Aga Khan Museum, designed by the world’s leading architects

The Globe and Mail, 1 August 2014

A majestic structure in a plain Toronto suburb, the ambitious Aga Khan Museum pays tribute to an ancient culture by setting a new standard in contemporary design, Alex Bozikovic writes.

» The Globe and Mail, 1 August 2014

Sharing a smile to aid homeless

Leicester Mercury, 10 July 2014

The homeless in Leicester will benefit from care packages put together by local Ismaili Muslim volunteers. Volunteers spent Saturday packing donations for Action Homeless at the Ismaili Muslim Community Centre in Hamilton. The work is part of the Share a Smile initiative which sees Ismaili Muslims volunteering their time during religious month of Ramadan.

» Leicester Mercury, 10 July 2014

Islam and the Environment

In a public lecture and later interview with IDEAS host Paul Kennedy, Dr Seyyed Hossein Nasr explains why Islam may well be seen as a 'green' religion.

Dr Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Professor of Islamic Studies at George Washington University, has a surprising perspective on his own faith: that it's deeply predisposed towards environmental stewardship. In a public lecture and later interview with IDEAS host Paul Kennedy, Dr. Nasr explains why Islam may well be seen as a 'green' religion.

» Ideas with Paul Kennedy on CBC Radio, 26 October 2014

The Aga Khan: Creating a Brighter Future for Africa

Africa24 Media and CCTV News present a documentary focused on one of the world’s greatest humanitarians, His Highness the Aga Khan. The film talks to many people whose lives the Aga Khan has touched, as well as his Ismaili followers, while finding out from the man himself why he cares so much about Africa, and how he has decided to bring positive change through his generosity and wisdom.

Africa24 Media and CCTV News present a documentary focused on one of the world’s greatest humanitarians, His Highness the Aga Khan. Aired as part of CCTV News’s Faces of Africa series, The Aga Khan: Creating a Brighter Future for Africa focuses on the many initiatives that the Aga Khan has brought to Africa to create infrastructure, improve health care, bring excellence to education, and create opportunities for countless Africans.

The film talks to many people whose lives the Aga Khan has touched, as well as his Ismaili followers, while finding out from the man himself why he cares so much about Africa, and how he has decided to bring positive change through his generosity and wisdom.

» The Aga Khan: Creating a Brighter Future for Africa
First aired on 8 March 2015 on CCTV News.
Ismailis celebrate Islamic culture

Gulf News, 8 July 2015 — Ismaili centres in Dubai and Toronto share mission to spread awareness of Islamic culture.

Dubai: Canada and the UAE [are] enjoying a sense of kindred spirit thanks to outreach efforts by Ismaili centres in both countries to raise awareness about the compassionate culture of Islam, said leaders of the Ismaili community in Dubai.

Amiruddin Thanawala, president of the Ismaili community in Dubai, said he was encouraged by the opening of the first museum in North America in Toronto to showcase Islamic art and culture and said it has the full support of Dubai.

He was speaking at a suhour at the Ismaili Centre Dubai on Tuesday, held in partnership with the Agha Khan Trust for Culture and the Canadian Embassy.

Last year, in cooperation with Art Dubai and the Canadian Embassy, the Ismaili Centre Dubai hosted the first international preview of museum works now on display at the Aga Khan Museum which opened in Toronto in September 2014, he said.

» Gulf News, 8 July 2015

Revealed: Humayun’s Tomb

Revealed: Humayun’s Tomb is a documentary on the first monumental mausoleum of India. It follows the restoration work undertaken by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture that has brought this monument back from near ruin to a condition that is like when it was first built.

Watch REVEALED: HUMAYUN'S TOMB, premiering on Monday, 27 July at 9:00 PM (India time) on the Discovery Channel.

REVEALED: HUMAYUN'S TOMB premieres Monday, 27 July at 9:00 PM (India time) on the Discovery Channel.
REVEALED: HUMAYUN'S TOMB premieres Monday, 27 July at 9:00 PM (India time) on the Discovery Channel.
Discovery Channel
REVEALED: HUMAYUN'S TOMB premieres Monday, 27 July at 9:00 PM (India time) on the Discovery Channel.Discovery Channel

Revealed: Humayun’s Tomb is a documentary on the first monumental mausoleum of India. At the same time the narrative takes us on a historical flashback into the incredible world of the great Mughals. It shows us how the Monument has stood as silent witness to Imperial Delhi’s ups and downs.

Running parallel to the historical theme the documentary follows the restoration work undertaken by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture that has brought this monument back from near ruin to a condition that is like when it was first built. The documentary uses a series of ‘re-creations’ with actors that take the viewer into key moments of Mughal history, from Humayun’s death as he tumbled down his library staircase, to Akbar the Great’s coronation as a young teenager.

Juxtaposing the historical re-creations are scenes filmed in present day depicting the ‘behind the scenes’ efforts that went into the restoration of the site and the buildings around the monument. Bringing all these sub stories together is the environment the Monument exists in. Built next to the Dargah of Hazrat Nizamudin, Humayun’s Tomb stands within the densest cluster of Islamic buildings of Delhi.

» Learn more about REVEALED: HUMAYUN'S TOMB
» Watch a trailer of the documentary
Premiering on Monday, 27 July at 9:00 PM (India time) on the Discovery Channel.

Aga Khan: Interview with Mawlana Hazar Imam on Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

Around the world there are approximately 15 million Ismaili Muslims, who belong to the Shia branch of Islam. Their spiritual leader is the Aga Khan, who traces his ancestors directly back to the Prophet Muhammad. We spoke with him in Toronto.

Around the world there are approximately 15 million Ismaili Muslims, who belong to the Shia branch of Islam. Their spiritual leader is the Aga Khan, who traces his ancestors directly back to the Prophet Muhammad. A wealthy philanthropist, he has made it his mission, based on his faith, to fight poverty, encourage peace, and promote religious understanding.

We spoke with him in Toronto, where the Aga Khan Museum, the first art museum in North America devoted to Islamic art and culture, recently opened to the public.

» WATCH: The Aga Khan — Religion & Ethics Newsweekly
First aired on 31 July 2015 on PBS

Aga Khan: Extended Interview with Mawlana Hazar Imam on Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

"Generosity is part of our faith and so it’s an ethical principle for all of us, whether you’re Shia or Sunni. ... So that’s intrinsic in the nature of faith for us. I mean, the basic premise for the wealthy is you use what you need to live in a dignified manner. What you don’t need, you share." 

"Generosity is part of our faith and so it’s an ethical principle for all of us, whether you’re Shia or Sunni. ... So that’s intrinsic in the nature of faith for us. I mean, the basic premise for the wealthy is you use what you need to live in a dignified manner. What you don’t need, you share." 

Watch more of our interview with the spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslims.

» WATCH: The Aga Khan Extended Interview — Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

First aired online on 31 July 2015 

Ismaili Centre hosts all-female quartet

Dubai's Ismaili Centre, in collaboration with the consulate-general of the United States in Dubai, recently hosted an event conducted by Najmaat, the first female Arab quartet in the UAE.

Dubai's Ismaili Centre, in collaboration with the consulate-general of the United States in Dubai, recently hosted an event conducted by Najmaat, the first female Arab quartet in the UAE.

The all-female group was founded in 2011 by Sherine Tohamy, a professor of Oud from Egypt. Its members come from diverse backgrounds: an American on the violin, a Russian on the harp and flute and a Moroccan on percussions. The performance was designed to be a journey through 11 compositions that included a fusion of Arabic and Western classics.

» Khaleej Times, Dubai, 28 April 2016

St. Mike’s Pontifical Institute honours Muslim leader

Muslims and Christians came together May 20 to acknowledge their common history and ancient bonds as Toronto’s Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies awarded His Highness the Aga Khan with its highest degree.

Muslims and Christians came together May 20 to acknowledge their common history and ancient bonds as Toronto’s Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies awarded His Highness the Aga Khan with its highest degree.

In his role as chancellor of the prestigious graduate school, Cardinal Thomas Collins bestowed an honourary doctor of letters in Mediaeval Studies on the spiritual leader of the world’s 15 million Ismaili Muslims.

Collins praised the Aga Khan as a religious voice of reason, peace and humanity.

» The Catholic Register, 25 May 2016

Ismaili Centre, Dubai

An oasis amid Bur Dubai’s sprawling office towers, the Ismaili Centre and its verdant gardens, Dubai Park, offer welcoming respite from the busy city streets.

An oasis amid Bur Dubai’s sprawling office towers, the Ismaili Centre and its verdant gardens, Dubai Park, offer welcoming respite from the busy city streets.

Something of a hidden gem in the heart of Dubai, the peaceful gardens are maintained as a gift to the city’s residents. This is one of six centres around the world – each as architecturally stunning as the last.

» Emirates Open Skies, 25 May 2016

Against The Grain’s Ayre is a vital reminder that unity is possible

Osvaldo Golijov’s Ayre, brilliantly performed by Miriam Khalil and an ensemble of 11 musicians, currently being presented at Toronto’s Ismaili Centre by Against the Grain Theatre, is a perfect and tremendously satisfying example of just that cultural transcendence, the antidote to the sad burden of reality that drums at us from our TVs, smartphones and newspapers every hour.

As we confront the division, scorn and malice in the world these days, it is vital to be reminded that humanity has the ability to unite and share experiences, despite all the barriers that society, history, custom and culture throw between us.

Osvaldo Golijov’s Ayre, brilliantly performed by Miriam Khalil and an ensemble of 11 musicians, currently being presented at Toronto’s Ismaili Centre by Against the Grain Theatre, is a perfect and tremendously satisfying example of just that cultural transcendence, the antidote to the sad burden of reality that drums at us from our TVs, smartphones and newspapers every hour.

» The Globe and Mail, 11 November 2016