Short Video Presentation: Recent Six Kilo Find of Fatimid Gold Coins is “a Scientific, Cultural Treasure”

The recent discovery of 2000 gold coins from the Fatimid Period has received world wide media coverage. The following three minute video presentation summarizes the coin findings as well as conveys the feelings of Dr. Robert Kool, curator of coins at the Israel Antiquities Authority.

For a detailed piece and photos about this Fatimid treasure find please see Phys.org’s article Largest Find of Medieval Gold Coins.

Also of interest: Discovery of Fatimid Glass in a Byzantine Shipwreck.

Date posted: March 25, 2015.

_____________

Please also see:

Exclusive Photo Essay: Montreal’s Beautiful 2015 Navroz Celebrations by Muslim Harji

Photographer Muslim Harji captures the spirit of the Navroz celebrations in Canada’s 2nd largest city, Montreal, with  a series of photographs portraying the beauty, diversity and happiness of the Ismaili jamat. The city is host to the largest contingency of Ismailis from Afghanistan in the Western world, and has been home to hundreds of Ismailis of South Asian origin, mainly from Africa, since the early 1970’s…..More

PLEASE CLICK: Exclusive Photo Essay: 2015 Navroz Celebrations in Montreal

Please click on image for Montreal's 2015 Navroz Celebrations. Photo: Muslim Harji.

Please click on image for Montreal’s 2015 Navroz Celebrations. Photo: Muslim Harji.

A Simerg Brief: “I Absolutely Admire the Aga Khan” — Howard Shearer

Howard Shearer

Howard Shearer

Highly accomplished, Jamaican born Howard Shearer served as a member of McMaster University’s Board of Governors while heading Hitachi Canada Ltd. as its President and CEO. In an interview with the University’s McMaster Times for its 2008 Winter/Spring edition, Mr. Shearer talked about “Leading by a Moral Compass” that readers of this website will find interesting.

When asked, “What living person do you most admire?”, Howard Shearer replied:

His Highness the Aga Khan

His Highness the Aga Khan

“I have to say my mother. She dared us to imagine what is possible. That’s crucial. I absolutely admire the Aga Khan. He established a moral compass in terms of his teaching and his commitment to social responsibility – for contributing to society.”

As for his motto, Shearer explains, “Carpe diem. The opportunity to do something always exists today. I encourage people to make every effort to seize the opportunities that are in front of them and not to wait until tomorrow, because tomorrow will bring its own opportunities.”

To read Mr. Shearer’s inspiring interview, please click: Leading by a moral compass, and scroll to page 16.

Date posted: Monday, March 23, 2015.

____________

Nowruz Messages from Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and US President Barack Obama

STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER STEPHEN HARPER

Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, seen walking past the water pond of the Park located between the Ismaili Centre and the Aga Khan Museum during the opening ceremony in September 2014 of the two cultural landmarks built by the 49th Ismaili Imam. Photo: The website of the Prime Minister of Canada, www.pm.gc.ca.

Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, seen walking past the water pond of the Park located between the Ismaili Centre and the Aga Khan Museum during the opening ceremony in September 2014 of the two cultural gems built by the 49th Ismaili Imam. Photo: The website of the Prime Minister of Canada. See photo and video links below.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper on March 21, 2015 issued the following statement on the celebration of Nowruz:

“Laureen and I would like to offer our best wishes to everyone celebrating Nowruz both here in Canada and around the world.

“Nowruz, or ‘new day,’ is a festival that has been celebrated for thousands of years by Persian, Kurdish, Central Asian and Ismaili communities. It marks the beginning of spring and a New Year, and is an opportunity to reflect upon the past year, recognize good fortune, and look to the year ahead with hope. Our Government shares your optimism for the future and will continue to work to help create a year of peace and prosperity for all Canadians.

“Nowruz traditions include a spring cleaning of the home, preparation of the haft-seen table, the gathering of families and friends to share meals and gifts, as well as musical and dance performances. In addition, shortly before Nowruz bonfires are lit and individuals recite a special phrase that helps to symbolically carry away the hardships of the past year with the flames.

“Nowruz is an opportunity for all Canadians to learn about the ancient Persian festival and recognize the important contributions of Iranian-Canadian, Central Asian and Ismaili communities to building a peaceful, pluralistic and prosperous Canada.

“On behalf of all Canadians, I wish everyone celebrating Nowruz a happy and healthy New Year.

“Nowruzetan Pirouz!”

For more photos and a comprehensive 10 minute video of the opening ceremony of the Ismaili Centre and the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, please click on the following links:

________________

MESSAGES BY FIRST LADY, MRS MICHELLE OBAMA, AND PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

President Barack Obama hugs First Lady Michelle Obama in the Red Room of the White House prior to the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) reception on March 20, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama hugs First Lady Michelle Obama in the Red Room of the White House prior to the National Newspaper Publishers Association reception on March 20, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Excerpts from remarks by the First Lady, Mrs. Michelle Obama, at the White House on March 11, 2015:

“I think it’s so fitting that we’re holding this celebration here today because one of my favorite things about the White House is how it is truly the People’s House — a house that reflects the diversity of culture and traditions that make us who we are as a country. And Nowruz is one of those traditions.

“For more than 3,000 years, families and communities in the Middle East, Asia, and all around the world, including here in the United States, have celebrated this holiday to mark the renewal of the earth in springtime — and we’re finally feeling spring! To reflect on the year before, and to make new commitments for good health, prosperity in the year ahead.

“And just like in many of your homes, we have created our own White House Haft-Seen. As you all know, Haft-Seen [see Simerg’s piece The Beautiful Nowruz (Navroz) Tradition of Haft Sin – ed.] essentially means “Seven S’s,” and each “S” represents a different hope for the New Year — a hope for blessings like patience and love and sweetness. For example, we’ve got grass sprouts that represent rebirth and renewal of nature. We’ve got an apple for health and beauty. We have crushed berry spice that represents the sunrise and the spice of life.”

~~~~~

MESSAGE BY PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

Date posted: March 22, 2015

_________________

Navroz Mubarak: The Beautiful Navroz Tradition of Haft Sin + Links to Great Navroz Readings

To celebrate Navroz, families in Iran gather around a specially prepared holiday table to make wishes for the coming months. Items on the table refer to new life and renewal, and they are based around the number seven….Read more

Please click: The Beautiful Nowruz (Navroz) Tradition of Haft Sin

Conceived and created by Nurin Merchant of Ottawa, this Navroz greeting incorporates the rose and jasmine flowers which are extremely popular in Iran during the celebration of Navroz. The base of the picture shows shoots of wheat grass signifying robust evergreen health throughout the year. Image: Nurin Merchant. Copyright. Please click on image for Haft Sin.

Conceived and created by Nurin Merchant of Ottawa, this Navroz greeting incorporates the rose and jasmine flowers which are extremely popular in Iran during the celebration of Navroz. The base of the picture shows shoots of wheat grass signifying robust evergreen health throughout the year. Image: Nurin Merchant. Copyright. Please click on image for Haft Sin.

Date posted: Friday, March 20, 2015.

_________

Please also click Simerg’s New Downloadable Publication: Nawruz Literary Readings, Poetry and Ginan

The Muslim World at the USA Library of Congress: An Interesting Collection of Images at Simergphotos

Below, Battle tunic with Qur’anic Verse and Inscriptions in Praise of Muhammad and Ali….More Photos

Inscribed with much of the text of the Koran, this eighteenth-century linen Shiite Muslim battle tunic, most probably from Iran or southern Iraq, also bears inscriptions in praise of the prophet Muhammad and of his son-in-law, Ali. It is eloquent testimony to the place of religious commitment in all aspects of life in the Islamic world. Across the shoulders is inscribed verse 13 of Surah 61 (“al Saff,” or Battle array): “Help from God and a speedy Victory. Photo: Library of Congress, USA. Please click on image for more photos.

Inscribed with much of the text of the Koran, this eighteenth-century linen Shiite Muslim battle tunic, most probably from Iran or southern Iraq, also bears inscriptions in praise of the prophet Muhammad and of his son-in-law, Ali. It is eloquent testimony to the place of religious commitment in all aspects of life in the Islamic world. Across the shoulders is inscribed verse 13 of Surah 61 (“al Saff,” or Battle array): “Help from God and a speedy Victory. Photo: Library of Congress, USA. Please click on image for more photos.

In Memoriam: Mohammed Ibrahim Ali (1925 – 2014) by Enoo

PLEASE CLICK: In Memoriam: Mohammed Ibrahim Ali

 A SON’S TRIBUTE TO A LOVING FATHER

Renowned Ismaili musician and composer, Enoo, pictured with his beloved dad in 2005 before the Vancouver  mulaqat with Mawlana Hazar Imam. Photo: Enoo archives.

Renowned Ismaili musician and composer, Enoo, pictured with his beloved dad in Vancouver in 2005 before the mulaqat with Mawlana Hazar Imam. Photo: Enoo archives.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Simerg invites obituaries/in memoriam pieces honouring deceased family members. Please see submission guidelines and examples by clicking Obituaries and Tributes.

Voices of Graduates: The Magnificent Aga Khan University Convocations in Nairobi, Kampala and Dar-es-Salaam

….The guiding rope
That God has cast
We hold fast to it
The pendulum moves

We Appreciate…Read More

PLEASE CLICK: “We Appreciate” – Poem and Voices from the Aga Khan University East Africa Convocations: Graduates and Families Speak About Hopes and Express Gratitude to University’s Founder, His Highness the Aga Khan
Dar-es-Salaam Procession

Simerg Profiles His Excellency Gordon Campbell, Canada’s Representative to the Ismaili Imamat

Mawlana Hazar Imam receives His Excellency Gordon Campbell at Aiglemont. Left to right: Malik Talib; Rouben Khatchadourian, Prince Rahim, HE Gordon Campbell, Mawlana Hazar Imam, Dr Mahmoud Eboo, and Dr Shafik Sachedina. AKDN / Cécile Genest

Mawlana Hazar Imam receives His Excellency Gordon Campbell at Aiglemont on March 4, 2015. Left to right: Malik Talib; Rouben Khatchadourian, Prince Rahim, HE Gordon Campbell, Mawlana Hazar Imam, Dr Mahmoud Eboo, and Dr Shafik Sachedina. AKDN/Cécile Genest

Mawlana Hazar Imam received His Excellency Gordon Campbell, Canada’s Representative to the Ismaili Imamat, at Aiglemont, France, on Wednesday, March 4, 2015.

Recently appointed to this role by the Government of Canada, Gordon Campbell has also been serving as Canada’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom since September 2011. Prior to his appointment, Mr Campbell served three terms as Premier of the province of British Columbia from 2001 to 2011, during which time he was ranked best fiscal manager among Canadian premiers by the Fraser Institute.

Joining Mawlana Hazar Imam and Mr. Campbell at the meeting were Prince Rahim, Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Personal Representative to Canada; Dr Mahmoud Eboo, Resident Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network in Canada; Malik Talib, President of the Ismaili Council for Canada; Rouben Khatchadourian, Political Counsellor at the Canadian High Commission to the UK; and Dr Shafik Sachedina, Head of the Department of Diplomatic Affairs at Hazar Imam’s Secretariat.

Mawlana Hazar Imam at a luncheon hosted by Premier Gordon Campbell that was attended by community, education and business leaders in honour of Mawlana Hazar Imam's Golden Jubilee visit to British Columbia. Gary Otte

Mawlana Hazar Imam at a luncheon hosted by Premier Gordon Campbell that was attended by community, education and business leaders in honour of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Golden Jubilee visit to British Columbia in 2008. Photo: The Ismaili/Gary Otte.

In 2008, Mr. Campbell as BC’s Premier hosted a luncheon in Mawlana Hazar Imam’s honour for the Golden Jubilee visit to the Province. At the event, Mawlana Hazar Imam signed his book Where Hope Takes Root for the Premier. Mr. Campbell spoke about the contribution made by the Ismaili community in the Province and across Canada: “It touches us in British Columbia when we go to the Partnership Walk and we see literally thousands and thousands of people, not just Ismaili people, but many, many others as well joining the Ismaili community here. And most importantly, young people, young people who are becoming aware of the fact that we live in a great place and there may be things we can do to help others live in better places around the world. That is your message, and it is a message that is based on not just talking about the opportunities here before us but actually taking steps down that road to hope and to promise that you have talked about so much in the past.”

Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness Aga Khan, signing his book "Where Hope Takes Root" for Gordon Campbell, the Premier of British Columbia during his 2008 visit to the province to celebrate his Golden Jubilee.  Photo: With permission of The Vancouver Sun.  Copyright. Please click on photo for book review.

Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness Aga Khan, signing his book “Where Hope Takes Root” for Gordon Campbell, the Premier of British Columbia during his 2008 visit to the province to celebrate his Golden Jubilee. Photo: With permission of The Vancouver Sun. Copyright. Please click on photo for book review.

Mr Campbell, a Vancouver native, studied English and Urban Studies at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and completed his MBA at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. He spent two years teaching in Nigeria with the Canadian University Service Overseas (CUSO) where he also coached championship state basketball and track and field teams in addition to launching a major library restoration initiative. After his return to British Columbia, Mr Campbell founded a successful property development firm. He then began his political career in local politics in Vancouver, where he went on to serve as Mayor for three successive terms from 1986 to 1993, and spearheaded key urban regeneration projects and ground-breaking initiatives in literacy and cultural diversity.

As Premier, Mr Campbell was recognized for his leadership on climate change issues and his reconciliation initiatives with Canada’s First Nations.  He was recognized as a champion of Canada’s highly successful 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Vancouver and Whistler, British Columbia.  Mr Campbell worked to ensure that the 2010 Olympics were not just about the city of Vancouver, but were a Games that all Canadians could celebrate and call their own.

The Globe and Mail recently reported that Mr. Campbell is being floated as federal Conservative candidate for a new federal riding in Vancouver. Residents are receiving phone calls asking them if they’d vote for the former B.C. premier were he to run for the federal Conservatives in their electoral district.

Date posted: March 5, 2015.
Last updated: March 6, 2015 (typo, Hazar Imam received Gordon Campbell at Aiglemont on March 4, 2015, and not on February 4 as mentioned previously).

______________

Material compiled from the following sources:

Obituaries and Tributes: Simerg Invites Ismaili Readers from Around the World to Honour and Celebrate Lives of Family Members Who Have Returned to Their Original Abode

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un
“Surely we belong to God and to Him we return.” — Holy Qur’an

Did you know that Simerg offers to all its Ismaili readers around the world an opportunity to submit memorials to honour and celebrate the lives of beloved members of their families who have physically departed this world?

The 48th Ismaili Imam, Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah, His Highness the Aga Khan (1877–1957), wrote in his Memoirs that “Life is a great and noble calling, not a mean and grovelling thing to be shuffled through as best as we can but a lofty and exalted destiny.”

It is the individual’s celebrated life that we are asking you to reflect and write about, in the form of a short notice or a longer tribute. There is no restriction about how long ago the beloved individual passed away. Please see below for examples of different styles of obituaries, and how to submit your tribute.

Honouring Lives Lived

By Malik Merchant
Publisher-Editor, www.simerg.com

Top portion of image shows plaque commemorating Ismailis who were killed in a WWII raid in Burma. Bottom half is a surreal image by Sarite Sanders of Aswan’s Fatimid cemetery.

Simerg offers all its Ismaili readers around the world an opportunity to submit memorials to honour and celebrate the lives of beloved members of their families who have physically departed this world recently or in the past. The memorials may be submitted in the form of (1) a simple short notice or (2) a tribute of up to 500 words.

Substance of the Notice and Tribute

1. The simplest kind of tribute is a notice about the passing of the person. The notice will contain some information about the who, when, and where of a person’s death. It may be one paragraph, which includes the name of the parents or spouse(s) of the deceased, the children of the deceased, sibling or close relatives of the deceased, place of residence, the Jamatkhana or funeral home where the last rites were carried out and where the deceased was finally laid to rest. This short notice may be followed by a longer tribute at a later date as described in (2) below. The following is an example of a notice:

“[Name of Deceased], author and playwright, died peacefully at home in [city], on [date]. He was the much-loved husband of [spouse name], father of [children], guardian and grandfather. The last rites were held in [name of Jamatkhana] on [date] and he was later buried on [date] at [name and city of cemetery]. Post funeral religious ceremonies were conducted at [name of Jamatkhana]. It was the wish [of the deceased or the deceased family] that monetary contributions in his honour be made to [organization, hospital, cause etc.].”

2. The purpose of the longer tribute will be to celebrate the person’s life. It will start with the same basic information you put in the notice (1, above), and goes on to add details about the person’s life: hometowns, education, jobs, family members, and personal interests and activities. Anecdotes may be included from the person’s life to help family members, readers and future generations to reflect on the life of the individual. The universal tale, as is well-known, lies in specific examples, and for this reason we are inviting you to write a tribute of up to 500 words in length.

For examples of short obituaries see The Times of London and for longer obituaries/tributes please see your local newspaper, or click The Globe and Mail. These newspaper links as well as What to Write will assist you in constructing appropriate obituaries.

Submission Rules

The obituary may be for any Ismaili person or a non-Ismaili by marriage or birth to an Ismaili who has passed away recently or at any time in the past.

Each submission must specify your relationship with the deceased person, as well as include your full name, mailing address and the phone number where you may be contacted. Anonymous pieces will not be accepted for publication, although the editor may at his discretion allow author anonymity once the tribute has been approved for publication. Please submit the notice or tribute as a PDF file or include it in your email message. The tribute can be in English or French

Notices and tributes will appear on a cumulative basis, once a month (frequency is subject to change). They should be submitted to simerg@aol.com with the subject of the email reading “Celebrated life of [name of deceased].” There is no charge whatsoever for this initiative being offered by Simerg. The editor will contact you with the draft copy once the notice or tribute has been finalized for publication. Along with your short notice or tribute, we ask you to submit the celebrated person’s photo. For long tributes, we invite you to submit additional photos which have a direct relevance to the person’s life that you have described. Images should be in JPG format.

Thank you

Malik Merchant
Publisher-Editor
www.simerg.com
simerg@aol.com

CANADA.

______________

Published tributes:

The editor welcomes tributes to the deceased. Please send them to simerg@aol.com. Each submission must carry with it the contributor’s full name, address and phone number where he/she can be reached for authentication purposes. Anonymous submissions will not be acknowledged or replied to.

Sign-up for blog subscription at top right of this page.