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More than $2 billion in private scholarships are available each year to deserving students for filling out some paperwork, writing an essay or two and occasionally being interviewed in person or over the phone.

Each year, companies and charities offer more than $2 billion in private scholarships, which, in addition to being an attractive form of education financing, are also a prestigious form of recognition. But many scholarships go unfulfilled because nobody applies for them. Three students share tips from their scholarship successes.

Volunteers hard at work setting up displays for the AKDN Exhibition at the Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe.

On 11 July, the Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe was the venue for an Imamat Day reception hosted by the Aga Khan Development Network in Tajikistan. The event, which also marked the 15th anniversary of the signing of an Agreement of Cooperation between the Government of Tajikistan and the AKDN, included a cultural show as well as a three-day exhibition of AKDN’s projects in the country during the past 15 years.

Firoz Rasul, President of the Aga Khan University, spoke at the Ismaili Centre, London on 8 July 2010, where he looked ahead toward the University's next 25 years.

Firoz Rasul, President of the Aga Khan University addressed an audience at the Ismaili Centre, London on 8 July 2010, in which he looked ahead towards the University’s next 25 years – a period during which AKU will take an important evolutionary step to become a comprehensive university. He discussed AKU’s plans to offer new programmes in various fields, to build several new campuses and to embark on regional integrated health care strategies.

The three Ismailis who were recognised for their services as Canadian wardens in the DRC pose for a photograph with Governor General Michaëlle Jean. From the left: Altaf Sheriff, the Governor General, Sadrudin Nanji, Shiraj Hemraj.

During a state visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo earlier this year, the Governor General of Canada awarded medals of honour to a number of individuals, including three Ismailis. The Ismaili recipients were all Canadian wardens – volunteers who support the Canadian Embassy and resident Canadians in the event of a local crisis.

Following their performance at the World Cup Kick Off concert, Salim and Sulaiman Merchant, Alisha Popat and their fellow musicians perform the song “Africa You Are The Star” at the Carnivore Grounds launch in Nairobi.

Over the past four weeks, millions of people have turned their attention to South Africa, host of the 2010 FIFA World Cup championship. It is the first time that the tournament is being hosted in an African country, and for a group of Ismaili musicians who performed at the Kick Off Concert, the occasion is particularly special.

Firoz Rasul is the President of the Aga Khan University

Firoz Rasul, President of the Aga Khan University will speak on Thursday, 8 July at the Ismaili Centre, London. President Rasul’s talk will look ahead toward the University’s next 25 years.

Watch the video of this live event now.

“Flow” specially composed for the 25th anniversary of the Ismaili Centre, London, is performed by Jonathan Eato and Thomas Maternik from Royal College of Music together with members of Ismaili Community Ensemble.

Exhibition Road Music Day, an annual festival of live, international music concerts and workshops in London, renewed itself on 20 June with participation from the Ismaili Community Ensemble.

AKDN.org and TheIsmaili.org have launched new web resources focused on the Aga Khan Museum and the Ismaili Centre, Toronto that promise to be useful and informative both within and outside the Jamat.

Following the Foundation Ceremony of the Ismaili Centre, the Aga Khan Museum and their Park in Toronto last week, two important new web-based resources have been launched. One is an AKDN site that profiles the Aga Khan Museum and its Collection, and the second is a web page dedicated to the Ismaili Centre, Toronto.

Mawlana Hazar Imam receives a certificate of Honorary Canadian Citizenship from Prime Minister Harper.

Toronto, 28 May 2010 – Mawlana Hazar Imam and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper were in Toronto today to mark the Foundation of the Ismaili Centre, the Aga Khan Museum and their Park situated in the city’s Don Mills area. The Prime Minister used the occasion to formally announce the Canadian Parliament’s unanimous decision to make Mawlana Hazar Imam an Honorary Canadian Citizen.

At his arrival in Toronto, Mawlana Hazar Imam is greeted by James Moore, the Federal Minister of Canadian Heritage, and Kathleen Wynne, Ontario’s Minister of Transportation.

Toronto, 27 May 2010 – Following a short visit to Ottawa, Mawlana Hazar Imam landed in Toronto this afternoon, where he will participate in tomorrow’s Foundation Ceremony of the Ismaili Centre, the first-ever Aga Khan Museum for Islamic Art and Culture, and the park where they will be situated in the city’s Don Mills neighbourhood.

An aerial view of the Wynford Drive site, which is being developed into a park where the Ismaili Centre, Toronto and the Aga Khan Museum will be situated. The site is clearly visible from the adjacent Don Valley Parkway thoroughfare.

Toronto, 26 May, 2010 — On Friday, May 28, 2010, His Highness the Aga Khan will participate in the Foundation Ceremony to mark the beginning of the development of the Ismaili Centre, the first-ever Aga Khan Museum for Islamic Art and Culture, and the park where they will be situated in Toronto’s Don Mills area.

Upon his arrival in Ottawa, Mawlana Hazar Imam was welcomed by Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon, Ismaili Council for Canada President Mohamed Manji, and other leaders of the Jamat and AKDN institutions in Canada.

Ottawa, 26 May 2010 – Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Ottawa this afternoon, marking the start of a two-day visit to Canada during which he will participate in the Foundation Ceremony of the Ismaili Centre, the first-ever Aga Khan Museum for Islamic Art and Culture, and the park where they will be situated in Toronto’s Don Mills neighbourhood.

A sign posted at an Ashram run by an Indian NGO that helps child labourers decries child exploitation.

It is believed to be one of the fastest growing forms of organised crime in the world, though most people ignore it or are simply unaware. But through a five-part series currently being aired on BBC World Television, executive producer Faridoun Hemani and researcher Jazzmin Jiwa hope to change that. They assert that human trafficking is a modern form of slavery.

17 May 2010 – An update from Focus Humanitarian Assistance on FOCUS’ collaboration with Jamati institutions and national agencies in response to the devastating landslide that occurred in the Attabad village of Hunza Valley in Pakistan on 4 January 2010.

Entrance into the Ismaili Centre, Dubai — a plurality of perspectives.

The Ismaili Centre, Dubai was recently recognised by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority with the inaugural Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Patrons of the Arts Award. The award honours individuals and organisations that have made a significant contribution towards the development of Dubai’s cultural sector.

The Uganda Jamat is committed to provide sustained support to the affected people. Volunteers and resources will continue to be mobilised until the people of the affected region are resettled.

When the fertile farming district of Bududa was devastated by mud-slides that swept away hundreds of lives, the Ismaili community of Uganda were quick to mobilise assistance. Within a week, donations of food, medical supplies, clothing, and sanitary supplies – together with volunteers – quickly made their way to Bulucheke Camp.

Zain Verjee of CNN International hosts an on-stage conversation with Dr Amyn B. Sajoo about his book, “A Companion to the Muslim World”.

The Institute of Ismaili Studies recently launched A Companion to the Muslim World, the first book in a new series of publications on essential themes of Muslim heritage. Intelligently written, yet easy to read, the book aims to assist the non-specialist reader to better understand the Muslim world.

A biennial flagship event of the United Kingdom Jamat that is now in its 26th year, NSF is much more than a sports festival. It is a celebration of Ismaili Muslim values, and an affirmation of the bonds that unite the Jamat.

The National Sports Festival – a flagship event of the Ismaili Muslim community in the United Kingdom – renewed itself during the weekend of 2–5 April 2010 at Loughborough University. With over 1 000 participants playing 11 sports and competing in 37 categories, NSF 2010 was the biggest edition in the biennial sports festival’s 26-year history.

A biennial flagship event of the United Kingdom Jamat that is now in its 26th year, NSF is much more than a sports festival. It is a celebration of Ismaili Muslim values, and an affirmation of the bonds that unite the Jamat.

The National Sports Festival – a flagship event of the Ismaili Muslim community in the United Kingdom – renewed itself during the weekend of 2–5 April 2010 at Loughborough University. With over 1 000 participants playing 11 sports and competing in 37 categories, NSF 2010 was the biggest edition in the biennial sports festival's 26-year history.

FOCUS International Coordinator Gulam Juma delivers his presentation at a panel discussion on “Education, Community Preparedness and Capacity Building.”  From right to left: Bernard Chomilier, World Food Programme; Dale Herzog, United Parcel Service and C

As the world continues to face challenges that lead to man-made or natural disasters, the improvement of humanitarian logistics and ultimately the human condition is critical. At a recent conference in Georgia, FOCUS shared its expertise on disaster response, recovery and mitigation.