Content Tagged with Our Community

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.

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.

Today we share a story about two children, Nargis and Aziz, who celebrate the festival of Navroz with their family. Parents and grandparents may wish to read this story with children, whether in person or over a video call.

As Diane Mariechild eloquently quoted, "A woman is a full circle; within her is the power to create, nurture and transform." With this notion in mind, ‘Women’s Day’ is celebrated annually on the 8th of March around the world. Although the initiative to celebrate Women’s Day was designated in 1909, it was not until 1977 when the United Nations officially recognized the 8th of March as a day to pay tribute to women and their achievements, regardless of their religious, ethnic, social and economic backgrounds.

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.

"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.

Modern challenges and global disruptions, including the recent COVID-19 pandemic, have impacted children around the world, both in terms of their physical growth and mental development, as well as their quality of life. On this World Children’s Day 2020, our pledge is to prioritize and contribute towards the holistic development of our children and the children of the Jamat worldwide. Let us invest in our children’s future by providing them with enabling environments and opportunities to realize their aspirations amidst the pandemic and beyond.

Shehnaz Wadhwania at the beam signing of Abram Agnew Elementary School in Santa Clara, CA.

“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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

Dilshad Mawani (left), Sultana Sherali (top left), and Mumtaz Hirani (top right) have helped to make face coverings for physicians and families all over the Dallas region.

For Sofia Babool, a 20-year-old sophomore studying neuroscience at the University of Texas at Dallas, conversation in recent weeks has centered around Covid-19. The world seems to be on pause; her school, favorite coffee shop, everything in her life has been turned upside down.

Ghulomidinov Navruzshoh says he will continue to produce and distribute masks until everyone in his village of Emc has one.

Members of the Jamat in Tajikistan are helping their communities — which are at high risk of natural disasters — as part of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), an integral part of the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH)'s emergency management activities.

President of the Council for Kenya Shamira Dostmohamed delivers provisions to the National Police Service along with Safety and Security members Zahid Peermohamed and Sonya Nanji.

During this time, through its Ismaili CIVIC initiative, the Kenyan Jamat has come together from across the country to volunteer time and resources to help those in need.

Our Community is constituted of members from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds, engaged in industry, trading and education and based from various regions across Mozambique.

Rahim Bhimani uses the industrial laser cutting machine in his basement to create thousands of face shields for healthcare workers.

In mid-March, as Covid-19 arrived in Canada amidst fear and panic, Rahim Bhimani began talking with his peers in Toronto, discussing possible ways they could help to serve health care workers in the local area and beyond.