Our Stories

See stories from the Ismaili Community around the world.

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.” 

Our days can become inundated by frivolous scrolling through endless social media feeds, and responding to a constant stream of messages.
Our days can become inundated by frivolous scrolling through endless social media feeds, and responding to a constant stream of messages.
How the Internet has changed us
How the Internet has changed us
17 January 2019

The digital age has changed our lives in many parts of the world, inextricably tethering them to the Internet for the simplest to the most sophisticated of tasks. In the first of a new series of articles on how to use digital media safely, Altaf Jiwa outlines the role that the Internet and social media have come to play in our daily lives.

Dancers perform during the Rihla performance in Vancouver.
Dancers perform during the Rihla performance in Vancouver.
Rihla: from Roots to Dreams entertains audiences across Canada
Rihla: from Roots to Dreams entertains audiences across Canada
27 December 2018

Audience members at Calgary’s Jack Singer Concert Hall were taken on an inspiring musical journey as Rihla: from Roots to Dreams completed its cross-Canada performance tour on 22 December 2018.

Jamati members from Uganda showcase their traditional dance at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Jamati members from Uganda showcase their traditional dance at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Ugandan Jamat embraces diversity and pluralism
Ugandan Jamat embraces diversity and pluralism
27 December 2018

The Jamat in Uganda consists of a blend of East and West, with Ismailis having settled in Uganda from various parts of the world including Belgium, Canada, India, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom. The various Jamati institutions in Uganda have drawn strength from this diversity and the knowledge and experience it brings, and have organised a number of initiatives to embrace diversity and pluralism within the Jamat and beyond.

Girl Guides and Boy Scouts plant trees together to commemorate Pakistan's 71st Independence Day.
Girl Guides and Boy Scouts plant trees together to commemorate Pakistan's 71st Independence Day.
Environmental awareness highlighted through tree-planting events around the world
Environmental awareness highlighted through tree-planting events around the world
5 December 2018

In Islamic tradition, society is encouraged to leave behind a wholesome and sustainable natural environment for those who will inherit the Earth. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) is believed to have said "Even if the end of time is upon you and you have a seedling in your hand, plant it."

Sulaiman Hakimi and Jamil Ahmadi cycled across Canada while raising awareness and funds for the Breakfast Club of Canada.
Sulaiman Hakimi and Jamil Ahmadi cycled across Canada while raising awareness and funds for the Breakfast Club of Canada.
A bike ride they’ll never forget
A bike ride they’ll never forget
12 November 2018

Cycling across Canada to raise money for charity wasn’t the original plan for Sulaiman Hakimi and Jamil Ahmadi, both from Afghanistan, who came to the country as refugees over a decade ago.

Young students study in the Gulshan-e-Noor Library and Reading Room.
Young students study in the Gulshan-e-Noor Library and Reading Room.
International Literacy Day: New library in Gulshan-e-Noor celebrates joy of reading
International Literacy Day: New library in Gulshan-e-Noor celebrates joy of reading
8 September 2018

The very first revelation to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) was a command to read. Thus, from the very beginning, learning and education has held a special place in Islam. For all communities and societies today, learning and education rests on literacy, or, the ability to read and write. The recently-established Gulshan-e-Noor Library and Reading Room in Pakistan aims to enhance the literacy of its visitors by providing them with access to knowledge, a space to hold educational programming, and a team of well-trained staff to facilitate learning.

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