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A look back at the stories we told over the past year.
An eminent Muslim leader, thinker and reformer of the 19th century, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah, Aga Khan III was born in Karachi on the 2nd of November 1877. It is reported that when the Aga Khan I received word of his birth, he had replied, “Name him Sultan,” as he would earn a “distinguished position in the world.” Through Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah’s remarkable achievements over his lifetime, we learned this to be true.
From a village with restricted access to education, and peculiarity associated with working women, Laghli Zamrud defied all odds and became the first midwife of Chitral.
As the nation celebrated Pakistan’s 75th Independence Day with enthusiasm, the Ismaili Girl Guides rejoiced in the day by continuing their legacy of voluntary work. 1,800 Ismaili Girl Guides across Pakistan showed their love and patriotism for the country by indulging in social action and community service giving 6,500 minutes on 75 different projects, benefiting more than 3,500 people, reflecting on the multiple themes of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by United Nations to address global issues and challenges.
Sepak Takraw, a unique sport, also known as kick volleyball, is a team sport, played with a ball made of rattan or synthetic plastic, between two teams of two to four players on a court, resembling a badminton court. Unlike volleyball, in Sepak Takraw, players are not allowed to use their hands to play with the ball and are required to use their feet, head, knees and chest to volley the ball. An emerging sport in Pakistan, Sarfaraz Rehman and Deedar Rani Durdana Khan represented Pakistan at the King’s Cup Sepak Takraw World Championship in Thailand.
"A cosmopolitan society regards the distinctive threads of our particular identities as elements that bring beauty to the larger social fabric," replied Mawlana Hazar Imam in response to a question about globalization at Harvard University. The trend toward globalization has ushered us into an age of residing as a global village. To navigate through the challenges posed by increasingly globalized societies, it has become imperative to enhance and promote inter- and intra-religious harmony and develop mutual understanding and empathy based on an acknowledgement of religious diversity and differences.
For more than a century, the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and its predecessor institutions have worked for under-developed communities in Asia and Africa to enhance their quality of life. The role of Imamat in the development of the subcontinent goes back to the time of Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah, who was a stalwart of education. He advocated for quality education and supported the Aligarh University Movement by providing funds, leadership and guidance. By establishing the first Aga Khan School in Gwardar in 1905, Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah laid the foundation of AKDN more than a century ago.
Mental health isn't just the absence of mental illness. It extends to a more holistic spectrum of emotional and social well being, and affects how we think, feel, and act. To raise awareness of mental health issues globally and mobilise efforts around it, World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year. This year's theme highlights the urgency to make quality mental health care a reality for all.
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.
In Pakistan, the Ismaili community is scattered all over the country, with a substantial number residing in the mountainous valleys of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral. These valleys are known for their beauty and splendour, but also bear many socio-economic and environmental issues. Jamati and AKDN institutions continue to provide access to basic services in the region.
Nizar Ali from Khandujal Village has become the first lawyer in Australia from Chitral. After completing his Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Karachi, he struggled to procure a respectable career during the recession in 2008. Looking at his peers moving to Australia, he decided to apply for a degree in higher education in Australia.
The ongoing development of new Jamatkhanas in the northern areas of Pakistan has constituted the ground breaking of four new Jamatkhanas in Gilgit-Baltistan and Upper Chitral. The new spaces allocated are seismic-resistant and will serve as a multipurpose space for the community.
High school student Aimaan Sayani has lived in Pakistan and Canada, and spent five years studying at the Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa, Kenya. “When I used to hear Aga Khan Academies students talk about studying there, and when I read about the school, I was so intrigued,” she said.
The festival of Eid al-Adha celebrates the common humanity and ethical heritage shared by the three Abrahamic faiths. A new musical composition performed by artists in the UK harnesses a long-standing relationship between three faith communities and illustrates the strength found in diversity.
Azima Dhanjee, a Pakistani entrepreneur, co-founded ConnectHear, a platform that generates sign language interpreters and seeks to increase deaf accessibility and inclusion in Pakistan.
When the United States government released a service that supported users in finding a vaccination site near them, Ontario-native Zain Manji realised there was nothing stopping him from creating a similar tool for Canadians.
The Covid-19 pandemic remains a serious public health concern across the globe. International attention is currently focused on the alarming situation in India, as many other countries around the world confront and prepare for second and third waves of infection.
Health can be defined as a state of physical and mental wellbeing. While there are many ways to achieve this state, sport is a globally recognised medium that facilitates healthy lifestyles. Created in 2020, The Sportshow is a series on The Ismaili TV that promotes dialogue with Ismaili talent in the field of sport worldwide. Based on the show, here are the unique stories of three accomplished, skilled, and inspiring Ismaili athletes.
Ismailis from different parts of the world have stepped up to support their communities and help each other maintain their health and overall wellbeing during the pandemic.
Ismaili CIVIC is a global programme under which the Jamat throughout the world has united around a mission to serve humanity by rendering services to improve the quality of life of the communities in which they live. This international endeavour reflects the community’s ethic of civic engagement and good citizenship, exemplifying Islam’s core values of service, peace, compassion and care for the vulnerable.