Our Stories

See stories from the Ismaili Community around the world.

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.

SEDP is an initiative of the Ismaili Council for Pakistan, with a primary goal to improve the quality of life of remote communities in the mountainous regions of Pakistan.
SEDP is an initiative of the Ismaili Council for Pakistan, with a primary goal to improve the quality of life of remote communities in the mountainous regions of Pakistan.
Saving for generations to come
Saving for generations to come
7 February 2021

Sharifullah, of Immit in Ishkoman Valley, Gilgit-Baltistan, believes prosperity lies in saving for future generations. While working as a farmer, he barely earned enough to feed his family. With some assistance, Sharifullah and his family are now on a path to progress.

SEDP 02 - Sharifullah

Video: Saving for generations to come
7 February 2021

Due to the harsh climate in Immit, Northern Pakistan, the local soils require labour-intensive work to become suitable for cultivation, and the low income earned from farming leaves no money to save, so Sharifullah began to look elsewhere for his livelihood.

Aziz Nathoo presents at the United Nations in New York City on the role of civil society and specifically on civil dialogue in interfaith spaces.
Aziz Nathoo presents at the United Nations in New York City on the role of civil society and specifically on civil dialogue in interfaith spaces.
One person’s mission to connect communities
One person’s mission to connect communities
23 November 2020

"I spend a lot of time learning about my faith and trying to be an exemplary ambassador of Islam in the world,” said Aziz Nathoo, who has immersed himself in teaching, dialogue, peacemaking, tolerance, and promoting pluralism for the past 20 years.

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. 

Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad students planned and implemented an organic farm on school grounds during the pandemic.
Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad students planned and implemented an organic farm on school grounds during the pandemic.
Students build organic farm during school closures
Students build organic farm during school closures
3 September 2020

A group of Ismaili students from Afghanistan and Tajikistan made the most of a difficult situation when they were unable to return home from the Aga Khan Academy in Hyderabad during the Covid-19 pandemic. With the abundance of spare time they were suddenly given, the students planned and implemented an organic farm on the school grounds.

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.

Danial Asaria at a chess tournament.
Danial Asaria at a chess tournament.
Prodigy Danial Asaria inspires others to pursue the game of chess
Prodigy Danial Asaria inspires others to pursue the game of chess
8 August 2020

In the second round of the USA National High School Senior Online Rapid Chess Tournament, chess prodigy Danial Asaria hovered over the resign button on his computer screen. He describes the moment as being “completely dead lost.” However, since this was his final chess tournament as a high school student, he did not want to regret what could have been, so he continued to play.

Amin Bhatia is an award-winning composer with nearly 50 scores to his credit. He has written music for film, TV, and album projects for over 30 years and recently won a Canadian Screen Award for his work on the Netflix show Anne with an E.
Amin Bhatia is an award-winning composer with nearly 50 scores to his credit. He has written music for film, TV, and album projects for over 30 years and recently won a Canadian Screen Award for his work on the Netflix show Anne with an E.
Composer Amin Bhatia wins Canadian Screen Award
Composer Amin Bhatia wins Canadian Screen Award
23 July 2020

Amin Bhatia and his musical composing partner Ari Posner have been nominated for the Canadian Screen Awards for the last five consecutive years, including two nominations this year for Canadian TV shows. However, with no wins to show from the previous years, Amin wasn’t expecting to win this year.

Dr Karim Damji with Dr Sheila Marco, who graduated as a glaucoma specialist from the University of Nairobi and now works at AKUH Nairobi and the University of Nairobi.
Dr Karim Damji with Dr Sheila Marco, who graduated as a glaucoma specialist from the University of Nairobi and now works at AKUH Nairobi and the University of Nairobi.
Canadian Jamat works to improve healthcare systems around the world
Canadian Jamat works to improve healthcare systems around the world
14 July 2020

Mawlana Hazar Imam has frequently commented on the value of sharing our time and knowledge with Jamats around the world and with the communities in which they live. Canadian Ismaili health professionals have taken that message to heart, having a long history of partnering with the agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) to improve the quality of life of people around the world.

Salma Lakhani from Edmonton will be the first Muslim Lieutenant Governor in Canadian history.
Salma Lakhani from Edmonton will be the first Muslim Lieutenant Governor in Canadian history.
Salma Lakhani appointed as first Muslim Lieutenant Governor in Canadian history
Salma Lakhani appointed as first Muslim Lieutenant Governor in Canadian history
1 July 2020

On 30 June 2020, Salma Lakhani, a member of the Jamat in Edmonton, was named as the next Lieutenant Governor of Alberta by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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