Our Stories

See stories from the Ismaili Community around the world.

Anam Sherali (center) with other volunteers in Houston. The Ismaili Volunteer Corps in the USA have supported the development of the Jamat for over 40 years.
Anam Sherali (center) with other volunteers in Houston. The Ismaili Volunteer Corps in the USA have supported the development of the Jamat for over 40 years.
Volunteers in the USA continue a tradition of service
Volunteers in the USA continue a tradition of service
27 November 2019

In celebration of the Ismaili Volunteer Corps (IVC) 100th anniversary celebration this year, the USA Jamat reflects on the significance and history of the organization. Thousands of volunteers across the country have served as part of the USA IVC. Here, we highlight a number of individuals - with different paths to their journeys, these volunteers tell a tale of happiness and humility.

Current social media practices are creating a generation dissatisfied with their own lifestyle while battling a ‘Fear of Missing Out.’
Current social media practices are creating a generation dissatisfied with their own lifestyle while battling a ‘Fear of Missing Out.’
If it isn’t on Instagram, did it happen?
If it isn’t on Instagram, did it happen?
7 August 2019

In October 2015, Essena O’Neill, a popular Instagram Influencer, deleted 2000 pictures from her profile in what appeared to be a crisis of conscience. Having counted over half a million followers, and living many young peoples’ dream life, she eventually came to realise that the so-called ‘real world’ was a better place to spend her time.

The Melbourne Pipe Band performs at the annual Australia Day breakfast hosted by the Melbourne Lions Club and the White Horse Council.
The Melbourne Pipe Band performs at the annual Australia Day breakfast hosted by the Melbourne Lions Club and the White Horse Council.
Melbourne Pipe Band brings community together
Melbourne Pipe Band brings community together
23 May 2019

Music plays a vital role in culture and society alike, not only for expressing ourselves but also for promoting and uplifting physical and mental wellbeing. Music allows people from all different backgrounds to come together to appreciate and engage with their traditions, while also forming connections with one another.

Young volunteers from Kampala work together to repaint the Kyanja Muslim Nursery School.
Young volunteers from Kampala work together to repaint the Kyanja Muslim Nursery School.
Painting a better tomorrow
Painting a better tomorrow
20 May 2019

In Uganda, volunteer communities have come together in numerous ways to create positive change — a cornerstone of civil society. In a small township in the northern part of Kampala, more than 50 volunteers between the ages of 11 and 15 put their hands to work repainting the Kyanja Muslim Nursery School in late April. 

Seniors in Atlanta’s Matki Band performing at the Diamond Jubilee Opening Ceremonies on July 11, 2017.
Seniors in Atlanta’s Matki Band performing at the Diamond Jubilee Opening Ceremonies on July 11, 2017.
US seniors show their passion for recreational music
US seniors show their passion for recreational music
14 May 2019

Recreation plays a key role in the physical and mental wellbeing of everyone, young and old. For seniors especially, involvement in recreation has a number of benefits in enhancing cognitive and motor skills, and provides an opportunity for socializing and developing new talents. For a group of seniors in the USA, a passion for music has shown that age is no limit to composing and performing for themselves and others.

It takes a village: Volunteers from around the world contribute to the transformation of the Aga Khan Hospital, Dar es Salaam
It takes a village: Volunteers from around the world contribute to the transformation of the Aga Khan Hospital, Dar es Salaam
24 April 2019

Tamarind dhow, by Rashida Alibhai
Tamarind dhow, by Rashida Alibhai
US seniors display creative talents through the arts
US seniors display creative talents through the arts
11 April 2019

Art has been shown to be of therapeutic value, creating a sense of calm, engaging creative areas of the brain and offsetting depression, especially in older adults, offering a valuable pastime for everyone to consider. Here, we feature the works of four artists, all senior members of the Jamat, who arrived in the US from different countries, and who display their cultural sensibilities in their colorful creations. 

Members of the Canadian Jamat participate in a music video for the devotional song "Aaya Mawlana" written and composed by Zaheed Damani and Alya Bejaoui.
Members of the Canadian Jamat participate in a music video for the devotional song "Aaya Mawlana" written and composed by Zaheed Damani and Alya Bejaoui.
Devotional music: A timeless art of mysticism, beauty, and connectivity
Devotional music: A timeless art of mysticism, beauty, and connectivity
28 March 2019

In 1978, the Canadian Jamat awaited Hazar Imam’s first visit to Canada with excitement. Shamshu Jamal, a talented Vancouver musician, expressed his joy on this blessed occasion by composing “Maara Mawla Canada Padhaarshe,” the devotional music piece that would go on to become an iconic musical tribute in the Canadian Ismaili community for generations.

Rafiq at the National Sawdust Concert, Brooklyn, New York, April 2018.
Rafiq at the National Sawdust Concert, Brooklyn, New York, April 2018.
Cultural connections: How Ismailis in the United States are influencing music
Cultural connections: How Ismailis in the United States are influencing music
27 March 2019

What is your first memory of music? Can you remember a time when you were so engrossed in a musical compilation that you forgot where you were physically? Many members of the Jamat use music as a connection to their heritage, their upbringing, and their community. In this article we will explore some of their stories.

Salim-Sulaiman perform at a Jubilee Concert in Houston, Texas.
Salim-Sulaiman perform at a Jubilee Concert in Houston, Texas.
Musician and composer brothers Salim-Sulaiman speak about what music means to them
Musician and composer brothers Salim-Sulaiman speak about what music means to them
26 March 2019

Renowned artists and composers Salim and Sulaiman Merchant have obtained accolades in the Indian film industry and have performed in a number of prominent spaces including at the opening ceremony of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Their memorable songs such as ‘Jubilee Mubarak’, ‘Ali Mawla’, and ‘Shukran Allah’, which were performed on the occasion of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Diamond Jubilee, still resonate in our minds. To coincide with the upcoming Aga Khan Music Awards, we spoke with the two brothers about their journey.

It is possible to coexist in a healthy way in both actual and virtual communities so long as balance is maintained and lines of communication remain open.
It is possible to coexist in a healthy way in both actual and virtual communities so long as balance is maintained and lines of communication remain open.
Coexisting in two worlds: Young people and the Internet
Coexisting in two worlds: Young people and the Internet
24 March 2019

In today’s age, children are born into the world and in many cases the first thing they are exposed to by their parents is a smartphone to capture and share their newborn images. This is often an indication of things to come, where electronic devices become a consistent part of their lives. The presence of such devices mean that children are going online at a younger age, but what implications could this have?

Professor Mona Siddiqui delivers the annual lecture commemorating Milad-un-Nabi on the topic of “Hospitality, Global Conflicts and Migration: From Divine Imperative to Social Conscience.”
Professor Mona Siddiqui delivers the annual lecture commemorating Milad-un-Nabi on the topic of “Hospitality, Global Conflicts and Migration: From Divine Imperative to Social Conscience.”
Professor Mona Siddiqui delivers annual Milad-un-Nabi lecture at Ismaili Centre, Toronto
Professor Mona Siddiqui delivers annual Milad-un-Nabi lecture at Ismaili Centre, Toronto
30 January 2019

On 15 January 2019, world-renowned public intellectual Professor Mona Siddiqui, OBE, delivered the annual lecture commemorating Milad-un-Nabi, to an audience of over 250 government and community leaders, academics, and members of the Jamat on the topic of “Hospitality, Global Conflicts and Migration: From Divine Imperative to Social Conscience.” 

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