The event was hosted by the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat to Portugal in collaboration with the Ismaili Council for Portugal, and was attended by leaders of Jamati and AKDN institutions, members of government and the diplomatic corps, development partners, and members of the Jamat. Prince Amyn was welcomed to the Ismaili Centre by Portugal’s Ismaili Scouts group. While there, he officially opened the Ethics in Action exhibition, a Diamond Jubilee initiative.
Addressing the gathering, Prince Amyn remarked that the Ismaili community was fully integrated into the life of Portugal, noting that the activities of the Ismaili Imamat are based on shared values and that joint efforts are being made toward creating a more pluralistic outlook. “At a time of conflict and sectarian tension, what we are doing, shows we share a common culture and that we are all brethren, whether born here or elsewhere” he said.
At the event, Prince Amyn also announced the contribution of €100,000 made by members of the Ismaili community, towards the reforestation of Leiria’s ‘mata nacional’ — one of the areas worst hit by the forest fires in October that devastated large amounts of land and claimed the lives of several people, and forcing others to flee from towns and villages.
The donation will allow the clearing of over 75 hectares of land located in the northern part of the National Forest of Leiria in the region of Pedrógão Grande, and the subsequent planting of close to 200,000 trees. The commitment follows an earlier contribution announced by Mawlana Hazar Imam of €500,000 last June, towards the support of victims of the deadly forest fire in Pedrógão Grande in central Portugal.
Nazim Ahmad, Diplomatic Representative of the Ismaili Imamat to the Portuguese Republic, also delivered a speech to guests. In his remarks, Mr Ahmad detailed the long and deep relationship between the Ismaili Imamat and the Portuguese Republic. “The unique and likeminded values in development, underpinned in a relationship of deep dialogue and understanding, has led to the establishment of several agreements towards the improvement of quality of life, culminating in the agreement for the establishment of the Seat of the Ismaili Imamat in Portugal.”
AKDN agencies have been present in Portugal since 1983, with the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) working in the areas of early childhood education, social inclusion, and urban poverty. Across all of its activities, AKF has sought to help communities drive their own progress, connecting people from all walks of life, and working with them to help identify and realise their aspirations.