Knowledge Society

The international environment at the IIS creates a dynamic space for collaboration where ideas are shared from diverse settings and backgrounds.
The international environment at the IIS creates a dynamic space for collaboration where ideas are shared from diverse settings and backgrounds.
The Institute of Ismaili Studies: A spotlight on pluralism
The Institute of Ismaili Studies: A spotlight on pluralism
2 December 2021

At The Institute of Ismaili Studies (IIS), more than 50 students arrive in London every autumn at the start of the academic year to embark on a voyage of discovery. For those studying at the IIS, there is a deep sense of pluralism inherent in the student experience.

Researchers have proven that the first five years of a child’s life are the most crucial in terms of brain development.
Researchers have proven that the first five years of a child’s life are the most crucial in terms of brain development.
Educating from the cradle onwards
Educating from the cradle onwards
28 October 2021

Seeking knowledge is inextricably linked to faith and spirituality in the Muslim tradition. In his address during the foundation laying ceremony of the Aga Khan Academy in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Mawlana Hazar Imam spoke of the intersection of education and faith. He said that, “The Holy Qur’an sees the discovery of knowledge as a spiritual responsibility, enabling us to better understand and more ably serve God’s creation.”

The profession of teaching involves constantly adapting to changing circumstances; among young people, their societies, and the world at large.
The profession of teaching involves constantly adapting to changing circumstances; among young people, their societies, and the world at large.
Teachers: Inspiring tomorrow’s leaders
Teachers: Inspiring tomorrow’s leaders
4 October 2021

The 20th century writer William Arthur Ward once wrote that “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” On the occasion of World Teachers’ Day 2021, we celebrate the teachers and educators in our Jamat that continue to inspire us week after week, and thus help to positively shape the future of humanity.

Students enjoying the outdoor landscaping at the UCA Khorog Campus.
Students enjoying the outdoor landscaping at the UCA Khorog Campus.
University of Central Asia to celebrate first graduating class during virtual ceremony
University of Central Asia to celebrate first graduating class during virtual ceremony
15 June 2021

Mawlana Hazar Imam will deliver a virtual address at the University of Central Asia’s first-ever convocation on 19 June. The ceremony will honour the first class of undergraduate students at the School of Arts and Sciences and will be livestreamed from the University campuses in Khorog, Tajikistan and Naryn, Kyrgyzstan.

Four of the crew members of Expedition 65 currently aboard the International Space Station, including flight engineers Thomas Pesquet (ESA), Megan McArthur (NASA), and Shane Kimbrough (NASA) as well as Commander Akihiko Hoshide (JAXA).
Four of the crew members of Expedition 65 currently aboard the International Space Station, including flight engineers Thomas Pesquet (ESA), Megan McArthur (NASA), and Shane Kimbrough (NASA) as well as Commander Akihiko Hoshide (JAXA).
NASA and Ismaili Jamat in the US partner for a live event from the International Space Station
NASA and Ismaili Jamat in the US partner for a live event from the International Space Station
12 May 2021

In today’s global environment, engineers, scientists, and inventors from different backgrounds collaborate on a global scale to create the technologies that impact human life on a daily basis. Against this backdrop, the Ismaili Council for the Southwestern US is collaborating with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to host an In-flight Education Downlink live from the International Space Station with Expedition 65 astronaut Megan McArthur on 17 May 2021. 

Pandemic perseverance: Pursuing your dreams during Covid-19
Pandemic perseverance: Pursuing your dreams during Covid-19
26 February 2021

I always saw the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) as a daunting exam; nevertheless, the fact that so many students would be taking it with me physically gave me some sense of moral support, even if that support was coming from strangers.

Azan Virji from Kenya and Ashiana Jivraj from Canada aim to help other international students navigate their journey in higher education in the USA.
Azan Virji from Kenya and Ashiana Jivraj from Canada aim to help other international students navigate their journey in higher education in the USA.
International students helping others achieve their dreams
International students helping others achieve their dreams
29 January 2021

Take any highly successful person and chances are that person had a mentor to guide his or her journey, but when Kenyan-born Azan Virji set out to obtain a world-class medical education in the United States, he didn’t know whose path he could follow.

Abdul Saboor Farid shares public health guidelines with his students to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Abdul Saboor Farid shares public health guidelines with his students to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Building a knowledge-sharing bridge between the USA and Tajikistan during the pandemic
Building a knowledge-sharing bridge between the USA and Tajikistan during the pandemic
29 January 2021

As the global community faced unforeseen challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, schools and universities were required to quickly implement remote learning in order to maintain social distancing and other Covid-19 safety protocols.

Shehnaz Wadhwania at the beam signing of Abram Agnew Elementary School in Santa Clara, CA.
Shehnaz Wadhwania at the beam signing of Abram Agnew Elementary School in Santa Clara, CA.
Impact and innovation: An educator’s journey into school leadership
Impact and innovation: An educator’s journey into school leadership
29 October 2020

“Education is an equalizer. All of us who are in education, we’re not in there for money. We’re there for impact,” said Shehnaz Wadhwania, currently the founding principal for Abram Agnew Elementary School in California’s Santa Clara Unified School District. Before becoming a school leader, Shehnaz followed a unique career path in education, where she felt she could make the greatest impact.

Saif Punjwani standing next to the prototype of his FIRST Robotics Competition team's lift mechanism. Saif led the creation of the lift mechanism, which was a crucial component that allowed his team's 2019 robot to lift above the ground and reach a new level.
Saif Punjwani standing next to the prototype of his FIRST Robotics Competition team's lift mechanism. Saif led the creation of the lift mechanism, which was a crucial component that allowed his team's 2019 robot to lift above the ground and reach a new level.
Student-run nonprofit seeks to close gaps in STEM education
Student-run nonprofit seeks to close gaps in STEM education
24 October 2020

Everything is made of something. Materials science is the study of what objects are made of – from metals to ceramics and polymers – and why certain materials function the way they do. It is the science that explains why your phone charger is made of the insulator polycarbonate or why a car contains the fireproof material fiberglass in its bumpers, doors, roof, and wheels. Though materials science and engineering (MSE) is not often studied in schools, it is the foundation of all objects in our world. 

The Aga Khan Economic Planning Board in India has invested in upskilling for teachers, to help them navigate the new world of online education.
The Aga Khan Economic Planning Board in India has invested in upskilling for teachers, to help them navigate the new world of online education.
Crisis as a catalyst: Unlocking opportunities in teaching and education
Crisis as a catalyst: Unlocking opportunities in teaching and education
25 September 2020

Across the world, education has been one of the most severely disrupted areas in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Through the introduction of various online initiatives, the Aga Khan Economic Planning Board (AKEPB) in India has invested in upskilling for teachers, to help them navigate the new world of online education.

Yaseena Khalfan, a teacher at the Aga Khan Academy in Nairobi, has had to be creative and learn new skills to transition to remote learning.
Yaseena Khalfan, a teacher at the Aga Khan Academy in Nairobi, has had to be creative and learn new skills to transition to remote learning.
Teachers and students of the Jamat embrace remote learning amidst pandemic
Teachers and students of the Jamat embrace remote learning amidst pandemic
1 September 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced teachers and students around the world to make an abrupt transition from classrooms to remote learning as schools, universities, and religious education centres were closed. Teachers redesigned lessons and adapted to the new reality of keeping students engaged virtually. Meanwhile, students adjusted to learning online without the ease of classroom interactions. Ismaili teachers and students around the world have risen to this challenge and are finding ways to embrace remote learning and tap into the opportunities it offers.

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