Mustafa Said, Laureate of the Performance category is conferred with an Aga Khan Music Award by Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Excellency President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, and Prince Amyn.

At a momentous and celebratory event held at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, the Aga Khan Music Awards reached a crescendo, as His Excellency President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Mawlana Hazar Imam, and Prince Amyn awarded prizes to ten laureates, representing 13 countries around the world.

The Seminar panel was composed of members of the Aga Khan Music Awards Master Jury, Steering Committee, and Secretariat.

On the third day of the inaugural Aga Khan Music Awards, eminent figures in the realm of arts and music came together to participate in discussions relating to the concept, vision, and impact of the Awards. The Seminar was attended by Mawlana Hazar Imam, Prince Amyn, Prince Hussain, and Prince Aly Muhammad.

Prince Amyn, Prince Hussain, and Prince Aly Muhammad applaud the finalists of the Aga Khan Music Awards’ Award in Performance category.

Earlier today, finalists for the Aga Khan Music Awards’ Award in Performance category performed for a live audience, which included Prince Amyn, Prince Hussain, and Prince Aly Muhammad.

Master Musicians performing along with the Gulbenkian Orchestra at the first event of the inaugural Aga Khan Music Awards.

The Aga Khan Music Awards opened with a concert on 29 March, featuring the Gulbenkian Orchestra, led by maestro Pedro Neves, which performed new works with Master Musicians of the Aga Khan Music Initiative from Tajikistan, Syria, and Afghanistan, in the presence of Mawlana Hazar Imam and members of his family. This video features the grand finale performance of the concert.

Mawlana Hazar Imam with Isabel Mota, President of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation; Prince Amyn, and Francisco Lacerda, CEO of the CTT (Portuguese Postal Services).

Prior to the concert held on 29 March for the Aga Khan Music Awards, the CEO of CTT (Portugal Postal Services) Francisco Lacerda unveiled a special commemorative stamp in honour of the Awards. Mawlana Hazar Imam signed one of the first day covers of the commemorative stamp along with Prince Amyn, Isabel Mota, President of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, and Raul Moreira, Head of Philately at CTT.

Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Lisbon on 29 March to preside over the inaugural Aga Khan Music Awards ceremony. Hazar Imam was greeted at Lisbon’s Figo Maduro airport by Rahim Firozali, President of the Ismaili Council for Portugal, and Nazim Ahmad, Diplomatic Representative of the Ismaili Imamat to the Portuguese Republic.

Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Lisbon on 29 March 2019 to preside over the inaugural Aga Khan Music Awards.

Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Lisbon today to preside over the inaugural Aga Khan Music Awards ceremony. Taking place from 29-31 March at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the Aga Khan Music Awards will feature three days of concerts and events honouring laureates in the six domains being recognised by the Award.

Sirojiddin Juraev performing along the Gulbenkian Orchestra conducted by Pedro Neves.

On 29 March, the Gulbenkian Orchestra, led by maestro Pedro Neves, performed new works with Master Musicians of the Aga Khan Music Initiative from Tajikistan, Syria, and Afghanistan, in the presence of Mawlana Hazar Imam and members of his family.

Fairouz Nishanova joined AKDN in 2000 and has served as Director of the Aga Khan Music Initiative since 2005. In this capacity, she has overseen the creation of the Aga Khan Music Awards’ structure and the organisation of its inaugural ceremony.

As part of a series of interviews, Fairouz Nishanova discusses the work of the Aga Khan Music Initiative (AKMI), and its positive impact in strengthening community, identity, and access to diverse forms of cultural expression. The.Ismaili is pleased to publish this interview ahead of the inaugural Aga Khan Music Awards to commence later today.

Nobovar Chanorov (2nd from right) and the Shams group shared a medley of Pamiri sounds to an enthralled audience at the Ismaili Centre, London.

For communities residing among the Pamir mountains of Tajikistan, music is part of everyday life, appreciated and practiced at every opportunity. On 28 March 2019, Nobovar Chanorov and the Shams group of music artists shared a medley of Pamiri sounds to an enthralled audience at the Ismaili Centre, London.

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.

Zia (left) is currently exploring western fusion. He has formed a band, along with four other musicians from Hunza.

In Pakistan, music is a form of cultural expression representing society’s values, traditions, and hopes for the future. From mountainous Gilgit-Baltistan in the North to Karachi on the Southern coast, people have a deep relationship with music and other forms of art. 

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.

Elaha Soroor performs at the Ismaili Centre, London in October 2017.

We humans share our culture through many forms of creative expression, which together embody the arts. Arts encompass multiple ways of channelling creative impulses through poetry and literature, visual, imaginary, and performance. Over time, culture informs, shapes, and transforms the way human society comes to present various art forms which it learns to cherish and covet as civilisations evolve and progress.

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.

Read the story of Samir Firasta who saved the life of a stranger during his morning walk; about how this Ismaili’s presence of mind gave a new life to a renowned architect.

Let us reflect on how we too can contribute to make a difference in somebody's life.

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?

The inspiration for the Friendship Centre came from the Buddhist monasteries in the area, and the architectural influences include exposed brickwork, stark character, and a quadrilateral layout.

Can you imagine life in a place where the very ground you stand on is not stable and it is almost routine to see the land sliding into the river when it rains? Where people know their schools, fields, yards, and even their homes are on unstable ground?

Can you imagine life in a place where the very ground you stand on is not stable and it is almost routine to see the land sliding into the river when it rains? Where people know their schools, fields, yards, and even their homes are on unstable ground?

The art of music uses acoustics to tell a story. Age-old tales have been passed down for generations in the form of song and verse, from the Middle East and North and West Africa, to South and Central Asia.

The 13th century Sufi poet Jalal al-Din Rumi once said, “Inside you there’s an artist you don’t know about…” perhaps hinting at the reality that, while consumed by the responsibilities and distractions of daily life, many of us are yet to find the creative gifts that lie hidden within.