Thousands of people from various cultures came together to celebrate the end of Ramadan at the London Eid Festival in the city’s iconic Trafalgar Square on Saturday 8 June 2019.

Fête de la Musique, also known as World Music Day, is celebrated on 21 June every year. On this day, musicians around the world are urged to play and listen to music outdoors in their neighbourhoods, or in gardens, parks, and public spaces. In the lead-up to the occasion earlier this month, thousands of people gathered to celebrate Eid ul-Fitr at the London Eid Festival 2019 in Trafalgar Square, where they were treated to a special performance by the UK Jamat’s Ismaili Community Ensemble.

The Melbourne Pipe Band performs at the annual Australia Day breakfast hosted by the Melbourne Lions Club and the White Horse Council.

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.

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.

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.

Alaudin Bhanji with former NASA administrator, Charles Bolden, at the Mars Science Laboratory  “Curiosity” Entry Descent Landing event.

It is a rare and historic honor to have an object in space named after an individual. This is usually reserved for someone who first discovers the object, generally after years of painstaking observation of the night sky. So to be recognized in this manner is indeed an occasion worthy of note. This is precisely what happened for Alaudin Bhanji at the end of 2018.

Nabila Tejpar, pictured with her Father Aziz, has continued her family's tradition of motor racing.

As we sat in a bakery at London’s South Kensington waiting for our tea and cakes, I couldn't help but sense how composed the young woman sitting opposite me was. In Nabila Tejpar’s profession however, I sensed that staying calm under pressure came with the job. It wasn't every day that you met a young Ismaili woman who was taking the UK rally driving scene by storm. 

Tamarind dhow, by Rashida Alibhai

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. 

Ismaili health professionals from the US trained doctors in Khorog on heart disease. Here, a doctor checks a patient's blood pressure.

Nestled at the base of the Pamir mountain range lies Gorno-Badakhshan (GBAO), a place of immense beauty within a harsh and rugged mountainous region — home of Nasir Khusraw. The population in Badakhshan is predominantly Ismaili and live in small villages along the slopes of the Pamirs or near the tributaries of the Pyanj River that divides Tajikistan from Afghanistan.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

Films from the Jubilee Arts International Film Festival, which took place in July 2018 during the Diamond Jubilee Celebration in Lisbon, are now available to view online at https://the.ismaili/jubilee-arts/IFF2018.

In this age of constant connectivity, there is both an expectation and perhaps a desire to always be contactable, in a plethora of ways.

It is estimated that at the end of 2018, 51.2 per cent of the global population, or 3.9 billion people, were using the Internet. While the Internet has brought about many positive changes, there have also been some undesirable effects of its growth and increased usage.

Late last year, a diverse group of interfaith leaders visited the Aga Khan Museum to explore its exhibitions, architecture, and facilities. As the United Nations has decreed the first week of February World Interfaith Harmony Week, The.Ismaili is pleased to share the experiences of these visitors in an article written by Ruth Broyde Sharone, first published on 15 November 2018 by The Interfaith Observer.

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.”

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.

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.

International Talent Showcase participants performed the official Jubilee Arts song at the finale of the event.

Performances from the Jubilee Arts International Talent Showcase, which took place in July 2018 during the Diamond Jubilee Celebration in Lisbon, are now available to view online at https://the.ismaili/jubilee-arts/ITS2018.

Dancers perform during the Rihla performance in Vancouver.

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.