Our Stories

See stories from the Ismaili Community around the world.

Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah in his IVC Colonel uniform surrounded by members of the IVC in India.
Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah in his IVC Colonel uniform surrounded by members of the IVC in India.
We make a difference: Ismaili Volunteer Corps celebrates 100 years of service
We make a difference: Ismaili Volunteer Corps celebrates 100 years of service
3 December 2019

In 2019, Jamats around the world have been celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Ismaili Volunteer Corps (IVC). Throughout its history, the IVC has aimed to serve the needs of the Jamat. Within the ethic of improving the quality of life of all humanity, the IVC also serves the broader communities of which the Jamat is a part. This service to society is seen as a civic responsibility and has always been an important part of IVC’s work.

On the occasion to commemorate 20 years of the Ismaili Centre Lisbon, the President of the Portuguese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, joined the Ismaili volunteers and leaders of the Jamat for a group photo.
On the occasion to commemorate 20 years of the Ismaili Centre Lisbon, the President of the Portuguese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, joined the Ismaili volunteers and leaders of the Jamat for a group photo.
Serving with a smile in Portugal
Serving with a smile in Portugal
28 November 2019

Ever since Ismailis began to settle in Portugal in the 1970s, members of the Jamat have contributed their time and talents on a voluntary basis towards the development of the community and wider society. Here, we share the stories and experiences of Portuguese volunteers across generations, united by a lifetime of service.

Top (left to right): Ali Alhaj, Ari Surani, Anisa Zulfova. Bottom: Arisha Wadani (front right) with her Guides group in Pakistan.
Top (left to right): Ali Alhaj, Ari Surani, Anisa Zulfova. Bottom: Arisha Wadani (front right) with her Guides group in Pakistan.
Young volunteers offering service around the world
Young volunteers offering service around the world
28 November 2019

For much of the history of the Ismaili Volunteers Corps, young volunteers, scouts, and guides have played an important role in supporting the needs of the Jamat in various parts of 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.

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