The event also marked the first anniversary of the establishment of the Office of the AKDN Resident Representative in the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.
“This reception helps to raise awareness and provide broader exposure of the work of AKDN in Bangladesh, across the region and around the world,” said Munir M. Merali, the AKDN Resident Representative in Bangladesh. It coincided with the Jamat’s celebration on 11 July of the 58th anniversary of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s ascension as the Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims.
Some 200 guests attended the event, which was held in the social hall of the Ismaili Jamatkhana and Centre, including the Chief Guest, His Excellency Zunaid Ahmed Palak, Honourable State Minister, Ministry of Post, Telecommunications and Information Technology.
Ambassadors, senior government officials, representatives of international donor and developmental agencies, members of civil society, business leaders, AKDN staff, and members of the Ismaili community enjoyed the warm hospitality and welcome provided by the AKDN and local community leaders and volunteers. The Aga Khan Development Network has a historic presence in Bangladesh, having worked for over three decades in early child development, pre-tertiary education and financial services.
Guests learnt about some of the AKDN’s global initiatives — including the Aga Khan Museum and Aga Khan Park in Toronto, and projects of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture — and about the honours that were accorded to Mawlana Hazar Imam during the past year, such as the Council of Europe’s North-South Prize and the Padma Vibhushan, India’s highest civilian decoration.
The Imamat Day celebrations also marked nearly two years since the AKDN Protocol of Cooperation was established with the government of Bangladesh. Signed in Dhaka by the Foreign Minister, Her Excellency Dr Dipu Moni and Mawlana Hazar Imam in the presence of the Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the protocol provides a framework for collaboration in the areas of social, cultural and economic development.