By Zohra Nizamdin
WINNER, CATEGORY 2 (age 25 and over)
Just as the wings of a butterfly flap can have large effects on the other side of the world, I believe that the combination of Aga Khan Museum, the Ismaili Centre, and their Park will have a positive impact of epic proportions throughout dimensions of space and time. There are a plethora of reasons why I am ecstatic about this project but there are some that really speak to my soul. Some of these reasons include my involvement in making history, the cultivation of art in Islam and the expression of pluralism.
When I was a young girl, I would always wonder what it would be like to live in the times of Imam Muizz and the Fatimid period. It would be such a spectacle to see the first Fatimid gold coin, the birth of the first university, and the Ismaili contributions to culture and the advancement of sciences in areas such as chemistry and physics. Many of our Pirs and Dais played a major role in shaping the history of our rich culture which has been cultivated throughout time. Although it would have been astonishing to be alive in that era, it is just as awe inspiring to be alive today. The Aga Khan legacy has paved the path for the betterment of society in the future. His Highness the Aga Khan has devoted his entire life to advance humanity so that the generations to come will have valuable assets to look after.
The contents of the museum will encompass contemporary Islamic art to the origin of our faith, 14oo years ago. Art is the representation of the philosophy of a certain population at given period in time. The Aga Khan Museum will display the rich culture and timeline of Islam through solidified philosophies in the form of various artifacts. Some of the art will be personally donated from His Highness the Aga Khan, which will add to the magnificence of the collection. Such assortment of beauty and culture will shed light on the humanities of Islam and display the peaceful and affluent history of Islam as well as Ismailism.
The main reason I am so excited about this amazing endeavor is because of its promotion of pluralism in the Western world in regards to Islam. The exhibit of various pieces from different backgrounds and ethnicities will serve to broaden the horizons of the Islamic perspective as well as other point of views. It is my deepest desire that this combination of Museum, Ismaili Center and Park functions to bring all of humanity together under a common purpose: to learn and appreciate Islam for what it is, a peaceful and unifying religion.
I am honored and delighted to see all of these wondrous ideals coming together to form the mosaic of peace and understanding. A center of worship, an art platform and a park of natural beauty to tie all the inner and outer spaces together into one location that can provide realization and deep, inner peace.
Date essay posted: Tuesday, August 16, 2011.
About the writer: Zohra Nizamdin, 31, was born in Doha, Qatar, and studied at the Pak Shama School. After coming to the United States, she went to Brook Haven College where she received her Associate degree in Science and Arts. She is currently based in San Antonio, Texas.
Please also read winning essay in category 1: “Why I am Excited About the Aga Khan Museum, The Ismaili Centre and Their Park” by Emmanuel Iduma
A note from the Publisher/Editor: We offer our congratulations to Zohra Nizamdin on the winning essay in Category 2 (Ages 25 and over), in which a total of six essays were received. The winner will be receiving the prizes as outlined in the essay competition announcement within the next 4-6 weeks; please see 2011 Simerg Essay Writing Contest – $1000.00 in Cash Prizes. Essay(s) from both categories that ranked close to the two winning essays may be published on this Website in future at the editor’s discretion, with the writer(s) receiving complimentary prizes as noted in the announcement. General remarks from the editor and judges, if received, will be published after the winners of the short essay “Why I Like this Photo” have been announced later this month. We thank everyone who participated in this competition as well as the judges for dedicating their valuable time towards this important initiative.
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