The collection of some 100 photographs of oceanic ecosystems in various parts of the world depicts the beauty, fragility and diversity of marine life, and brings to attention the necessity and urgency to protect, conserve and manage our oceanic heritage and resources.
Prince Hussain accompanied Chief Guest Mr Keriako Tobiko, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forestry for a special viewing of the exhibition.
In his remarks, Cabinet Secretary Keriako noted that Kenya has 500 kilometres of coastline that is vital to the country’s ecosystem. “Marine ecosystems are an important life-support system for our country as they contribute to tourism, community livelihoods, fishing, and transport, which help to sustain our economy.”
He underscored the many initiatives the Kenyan government has undertaken to support healthy marine ecosystems and emphasised the need for each of us “to go to the most humanly possible depths in our conservation efforts... so that future generations can witness the images in the (Fragile Beauty) photographs first-hand.”
He further commended Prince Hussain for “a true display of exceptional passion for marine ecosystems” and for using photography to inform and educate audiences about the diversity that exists in our seas and oceans.
In welcoming diplomats and senior government officials, Dr Azim Lakhani, Diplomatic Representative, Aga Khan Development Network in Kenya, spoke about how AKDN and the Ismaili Community have contributed to Kenya’s development, noting that the venue – the 97 year-old Town Jamatkhana (referred to locally as Khoja Mosque), has been a demonstration of their longstanding and permanent presence in the country.
He also spoke about the importance of the photography exhibition itself. “The photographs … underscore the importance of environmental conservation, making people aware of the beauty that exists under our seas and what we could forever lose if we do not protect and conserve our oceans,” he said.
Sabeeha Charania, a member of the Kenyan Jamat, shared her thoughts after viewing the exhibition: “Prince Hussain’s work is exhibited in a very artistic manner, combining the vivid hues and vibrant beauty of marine life to weave in a beautiful story of marine life’s diversity and fragility.”
Wendy Waweru, an invited guest at an event open to members of the media and dignitaries, spoke of what she learned from the exhibition.
“The exhibition proved very enlightening on marine life; there is so much to learn about their way of life. The most fascinating element to me was the symbiotic behaviour and relationships of marine life,” Waheru said. “There are so many untold marine life stories that need to be highlighted. And arts presents a great way to champion such environmental causes — not only is it visually captivating but you learn a lot too.”
While in Nairobi, Prince Hussain together with his fiancée Miss Elizabeth Hoag, also visited a number of AKDN projects including the Aga Khan High School, the Aga Khan University Hospital, Frigoken, Kenya’s largest vegetable processor, and Serena properties.