Special Series: Exclusive Photos of His Highness the Aga Khan by “Papa Jaan”

PLEASE CLICK: Exclusive: Photos of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s 1961 Visit to Hunza by the Late Abdul M. Ismaily (“Papa Jaan”)

Photo: Abdul M. Ismaily. Copyright. Please click on image for more photos.

Photo: Abdul M. Ismaily. Copyright. Please click on image for more photos.

Editor’s Note: Over the coming weeks Simergphotos, the sister blog of this literary website, will be publishing historical photos of His Highness the Aga Khan that were captured by the late Abdul Mohamed Ismaily, lovingly known to his family and friends as “Papa Jaan.” A passionate amateur photographer, Mr. Ismaily followed His Highness and his entourage during the Ismaili Imam’s visits to his followers in Hunza, Kampala, and Dar-es-Salaam.

"Papa Jaan"

“Papa Jaan”

Papa Jaan passed away in 1981 at the age of 55, and his photos remained part of his estate. They have been reproduced here with the permission of his family. We commence the series with Mr. Ismaily’s photos of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s visit to Hunza in 1961, which also includes a  rare anecdote by a journalist who accompanied  His Highness to Hunza. Please click Exclusive: Photos of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s 1961 Visit to Hunza by the Late Abdul M. Ismaily (“Papa Jaan”)

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NEXT: PHOTOS OF HIS HIGHNESS THE AGA KHAN IN UGANDA

Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, arriving at Kampala's Entebbe Airport. Photo: Abdul M. Ismaily ("Papa Jaan"). Copyright,

Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, arriving at Kampala’s Entebbe Airport. Photo: Abdul M. Ismaily (“Papa Jaan”). Copyright,

His Highness the Aga Khan and Pope Benedict XVI: A Very Special Photo of Two Faith Leaders Meeting Each Other at the Institut De France in Paris

PREPARED AND COMPILED BY ABDULMALIK MERCHANT
(Publisher-Editor http://www.simerg.com and http://www.simergphotos.com)

As part of his famous Apostolic Journey to France in 2008, Pope Benedict XVI, on September 13, paid a visit to the “Institut De France” in Paris. The Pope, who had been elected as the 265th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church in 2005, was presented with a gold medal by the Institut, and also unveiled a plaque commemorating his visit. During his very brief remarks to the audience, the Pope expressed his gratitude to the Institut “both personally and as the successor of [Simon] Peter.”

His Highness the Aga Khan, Mawlana Hazar Imam, was also in attendance at the Institut de France as the Associate Foreign Member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts (Academy of Fine Arts), one of five learned societies within the Institut which was founded in 1795.

Everyone’s attention in the hall was drawn to Mawlana Hazar Imam and the Pope, with an extraordinary sense of interest and keenness, as the two faith leaders greeted each other with a handshake. Simerg is pleased to present this licensed copyright photo with permission from Getty Images.

Pope Benedict XVI is seen greeting His Highness the Aga Khan on September 13 at the Institut de France in Paris during an official visit to France in 2008. Photo: Copyright. Getty Images. Published on Simerg/Simergphotos with a Licencing arrangement with Getty Images. Fench caption: Vue plongeante du pape BENOIT XVI serrant la main de l'AGA KHAN à son arrivée sous la coupole de l'Institut de France à PARIS entouré de nombreux académiciens et autres personnalités dont Gabriel DE BROGLIE, Hélène CARRERE D'ENCAUSSE, Jean-François JARRIGE, Jean-François BACH, Arnaud D'HAUTERIVES, Michel ALBERT, Christian PONCELET président du Sénat, Jean TULARD, Alain DECAUX, Pierre-Jean REMY, Michel MOHRT, Max GALLO, le cardinal André VINGT-TROIS archevêque de Paris et le cardinal Paul POUPARD. (Photo by Philippe Petit/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Everyone’s attention is drawn to Pope Benedict XVI and His Highness the Aga Khan as they greet each other on September 13, at the Institut de France in Paris during an official visit by the Pope to France in 2008. Photo: Copyright. Getty Images. Published on Simerg/Simergphotos with a Licensing arrangement with Getty Images. Fench caption: Vue plongeante du pape BENOIT XVI serrant la main de l’AGA KHAN à son arrive sous la coupole de l’Institut de France à PARIS entouré de nombreux académiciens et autres personnalités dont Gabriel DE BROGLIE, Hélène CARRERE D’ENCAUSSE, Jean-François JARRIGE, Jean-François BACH, Arnaud D’HAUTERIVES, Michel ALBERT, Christian PONCELET président du Sénat, Jean TULARD, Alain DECAUX, Pierre-Jean REMY, Michel MOHRT, Max GALLO, le cardinal André VINGT-TROIS archevêque de Paris et le cardinal Paul POUPARD. (Photo by Philippe Petit/Paris Match via Getty Images).

In 2013, Pope Benedict dramatically resigned his position as the Head of the Catholic Church due to his deteriorating strength, advanced age and the heavy demands of being Pope, and retired at the Mater Ecclesiae, a small monastery located inside the Vatican State City. His present successor is Pope Francis I, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

SOME BRIEF NOTES ON THE PAPACY AND THE IMAMAT, AND SIMON PETER IN THE ROMAN CATHOLIC AND ISMAILI TRADITIONS

The Catholics adhere to the belief that the Pope is a successor of St. Peter. The Ismailis regard their 49th hereditary Imam as the direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s) through Hazrat Ali (a.s.) and Hazrat Bibi Fatima (a.s.). In a speech made at the Canadian Parliament in 2014, the Aga Khan declared that “the Ismaili Imamat is a supra-national entity, representing the succession of Imams since the time of the Prophet.” And, in an interview with Politique International he said, “The religious leadership of the Ismaili Imam goes back to the origins of Shia Islam when the Prophet Muhammad appointed his son-in-law, Ali, to continue his teachings within the Muslim community. The leadership is hereditary, handed down by Ali’s descendants, and the Ismailis are the only Shia Muslims to have a living Imam, namely myself.”

In the Catholic tradition, the foundation for the office of the Pope is found primarily in Matthew, where Jesus is quoted as telling Simon Peter:

“You are ‘Rock,’ and on this rock I will build My Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

This series of successions of the Pope is known as “Apostolic Succession,” with the line of Bishops stretching back to the apostles, who lived during the time of Jesus. Simon Peter is recognized as having been the first Pope. Early Christians reserved the title of “Pope” for St. Peter’s successors.

However, in branches of Shia theology as well as Ismailism, Simon Peter’s role is seen as the direct parallel to that of Hazrat Ali as the first Imam. Ismailis along with some other Shia groups maintain that every major Prophet had a spiritual legatee (Waṣi) or successor called the Asas (foundation) who taught the inner meaning to those who had the capacity to understand it. In this regard, Adam had Seth; Noah had Shem; Moses had Aaron, and Jesus had Simon Peter. A well known sacred tradition of the Prophet Muhammad says that “Ali is to me as Aaron was to Moses,” confirming that Ali held the same level of authority as Aaron did.

Date posted: December 31, 2015.
Last updated: January 1, 2015.

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We welcome your feedback, please click Leave a comment or send it to simerg@aol.com, subject: Aga Khan and Pope.  Your feedback may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation. We are unable to acknowledge unpublished letters.

The following were used as references for the compilation of this piece:

  1. Apostolic Journey to France: Greeting by the Holy Father during the visit at the Institut de France (September 13, 2008)
  2. The Popes: From St. Peter to Pope Frances by Rupert Matthews,  2014 Edition published by arrangement with Moseley Road Inc.
  3. http://www.catholic-pages.com/pope/peter.asp
  4. Peter in Islam, at Wikipedia.
  5. Comparing the Imamat and the Papacy: Some Short Notes (at Ismailignosis.com).
  6. The Delegation Decoded – An Esoteric Exegesis of the Delegation of the Isma‘ili Imamat, by Khalil Andani.
  7. Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, C. Glasse.
  8. Voices: “The Power of Wisdom” – His Highness the Aga Khan’s Interview with Politique Internationale (English translation)
  9. In a Dynamic and Stirring Address to Members of the Canadian Parliament, His Highness the Aga Khan Shares His Faith Perspectives on the Imamat, Collaboration with Canada, the Muslim World Community (the Ummah), the Nurturing of Civil Society, Early Childhood Education, Voluntary Work, and the Unity of the Human Race

Also see the following important features to learn more about the Aga Khan and the Ismaili Imamat:

in which His Highness the Aga Khan responded to Pope Benedict’s controversial remarks concerning Islam that he had made in 2006; and Special Series: Ismaili Expressions on the Imamat and Imam of the Time — (I) The Preamble of the Constitution of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims

A Marvellous Collection of Photos of His Highness the Aga Khan’s Visits to Canada, India and Greece

Editor’s note: In Part II of a special series on the 49th Ismaili Imam’s visits to numerous countries that he undertook during 2015, we cover India (April), Canada (May) and Greece (September). Please click A Marvellous Collection of Photos of His Highness the Aga Khan’s Visits to Canada, India and Greece.

Please click on photo for complete story and more pictures. Photo: Ontario Liberal Part. Copyright. Published with permission.

Please click on photo for complete story and more pictures. Photo: Ontario Liberal Part. Copyright. Published with permission.

Poems “Anand” and “Intezaar” in Joyous Anticipation of the Diamond Jubilee of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, on July 11, 2017

Anand

The Imam Blessing with Hand on Shoulder

BY SHARIFFA KESHAVJEE

Oft I sing Anand Anand
Lip service alone stirs
Not the heart to joy
Enshrined in us all
Is the primordial joy
Who will awaken it ?

Come ye Gardner of
The soul awaken in me
Open the door of joy
Lift the veil so I may see
The joy of perfection
In each cell the miracle

I am not so worthy
I need not strive
I live in the perfection
Of your creation
For you have laid
Your hand upon
My shoulder bowed

This Jubilee I await
To feel at depth
That resonance
That symphony
Come together in
Perfect harmony
Sat chit Anand

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Jubilee Intezaar

A prayer left my lip

Being asked
Is your heart jumping with joy?
My heart in reflective pause
Shed a tear of inquiry
Nay! where is joy I asked
It is in your visage?
A prayer left my lip

I asked
Is joy a heart searching seed
Is it locked in the bud of the rose
In the first ray of sunlight
In the rising companion star
Counting hues of green in nature
A prayer left my lip

I asked
Will it grow for me?
Experience a petal of the rose
The hint of morning light
A naked sight the first star
In ever surrounding verdure
A prayer left my lip

The answer came
There it ever is
In the heart of man
In every sinew and pore
In every breath
In every smiling blink

The prayer left my lip
Travelling heavenward
Ricocheting resounding
Hymnal songs of yore
It came back
To settle in my heart
Poured forth in song

In joy is enshrined
A dance of creation
A harmonious rhythm
A fine tuned fork
A Resonating universe
Is my Gods love
Is in my prayer

Life no Ponderous task
For in its joy of being
The incredible lightness
Leads moment to moment
To the Sirat of sat chit anand
The prayer left my lip
The answer is yout Jubilee

Date posted: December 15, 2015.

Copyright: Farida Keshavjee/Simerg.

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Sat – Truth; pure and eternal that never changes.
Chit –
Vision, knowledge.
Anand – Ecstasy, bliss, happiness.

Shariffa KeshavjeeEditor’s note:  Shariffa Keshavjee of Kenya, a regular contributor to Simerg, recently heard a tape of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Golden Jubilee Farman that was made in Kenya in which he asked “Are your hearts jumping with joy?” Tears flowed and the intezaar of the coming Diamond Jubilee came to her mind, inspiring Shariffa to pen the two poems. The Diamond Jubilee of His Highness the Aga Khan, inshallah, will be celebrated on July 11, 2017, when he will complete 60 years as the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, in direct lineal descent of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.) and Mawlana Ali (a.s.), the first Imam. Co-incidentally, on July 1, 2017, Canadians will begin celebrating the 150th anniversary of their country with major events, festivities and programs around the country.

Simerg welcome’s your feedback. Please click Leave a comment.

A Spiritual Father’s Love for His Community: The 79th Salgirah (Birthday) of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan

“When I leave this evening I would like that you should remember two things. One, that I will take with me in my heart the remembrance of each and everyone of you, the face of each and everyone of you. Secondly, that my love for my Jamat is a lot stronger than yours can ever be for me and I would like you to remember this…you must remember that Imam loves you more, much more than you can ever love him and you must be strong in this knowledge.” — Mawlana Hazar Imam, Karachi, December 26, 1964.

Photo_AKDN_Anya Campbell

Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, 49th hereditary Imam of Shia Ismaili Muslims directly descended from the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.). Photo: AKDN/Anya Campbell. Copyright.

Spread in various countries around the world, the Shia Imami Ismailis have their own innumerable ways for celebrating important religious occasions according to their various cultural, social and religious traditions and backgrounds. One very important occasion in the annual calendar of the Ismailis is the Salgirah, or the birthday of their spiritual leader (Imam). His Highness the Aga Khan is their present Imam, and Ismailis around the world will be marking his 79th Salgirah on December 13, 2015. The following readings will enhance the readers’ understanding about the occasion as well as the special relationship that binds the Imam of the Time with his spiritual children.

Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Salgirah and the Depth of His Love for the Jamat

The term Salgirah is of Persian origin. Sal means anniversary and girah means knot and hence Salgirah literally means ‘an anniversary knot added on to a string kept for the purpose’. This article approaches the subject of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s birthday in terms of the Imam’s love for his murids and the love and devotion of the murids for their Imam.

In Salgirah Ginan Pir Sadr al-Din Asks Mu’mins to Act Righteously and Gain Spiritual Recognition of Imam-e-Zaman

+ Listen to ginan at Ginan Central

Eji Dhan Dhan Aajano has attained a very special status because it is primarily recited during the festivities marking the birthday of Mawlana Hazar Imam. The appropriateness of reciting the ginan during Salgirah will become apparent as we try to understand the ginan and its underlying spiritual teachings. To listen to various renditions of Eji Dhan Dhan (#160),  as well as over 760 other ginans please click http://ginans.usask.ca/recitals/ginans.php?id=0.

The Preamble Of “The Constitution of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims”

The new Ismaili Constitution was ordained, signed and sealed by His Highness the Aga Khan on December 13th, 1986, his 50th birthday. His Highness did this with the belief that the Constitution would provide a strong institutional and organizational framework for his Ismaili community to contribute meaningfully to the societies among whom they live.

His Highness the Aga Khan and the Ismailis

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On the occasion of His Highness the Aga Khan’s 75th birthday on December 13, 2011, Simerg published a three-part photo essay tribute to the 49th Ismaili Imam. For those who may have missed, the series has been consolidated into a captivating one piece photo essay, which can be read by clicking on the above link.

Date posted: November 28, 2015.

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Archives: Please click Table of Contents for links to all articles published on this blog since March 2009. Subscribe to this Website via the box near the top right of this page.

(1) His Highness the Aga Khan visits UNHCR and (2) UN material related to his uncle, Prince Sadruddin, whose name became synonymous with UNHCR

“We must do everything possible to prevent human suffering”

His Highness the Aga Khan with UNHCR chief Antonio Guterres at UNHCR Headquarters. Photo: The Ismaili.

His Highness the Aga Khan with UNHCR chief Antonio Guterres at UNHCR Headquarters. Photo: The Ismaili.

His Highness the Aga Khan visited the UNHCR headquarters on November 6, 2015 to meet UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, and discuss past and future cooperation in emergency operations around the world. His Highness is the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims and nephew of the late Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, who was high commissioner for refugees from 1965-77, a pivotal period in the organization’s history.

His Highness was greeted by UNHCR staff before he held private talks with the High Commissioner  followed by a meeting with senior UNHCR officials on the long-standing partnership between the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and the UN refugee agency.

The two sides looked at ways of further strengthening their partnership in the Middle East, Asia and East Africa. They discussed possible new joint initiatives in areas such as contingency planning; pluralism and diverse societies; and country specific cooperation in areas where AKDN is active as well as global advocacy to bridge the humanitarian-development divide.

They also discussed the global political situation and the effects of extremism and sectarianism on previously tolerant and diverse societies.

“We must do everything possible to prevent human suffering,” said the Aga Khan. “But preempting humanitarian emergencies requires investments, equipment and the necessary resources to ensure the response system is already in place when the crisis hits.”

The High Commissioner agreed, noting that “UNHCR and the Aga Khan Development Network have a lot in common. It is partnerships like ours that can help broaden the way the international community responds to crises today through a stronger humanitarian-development link, and by promoting closer cooperation with actors from different cultural and geographical backgrounds.”

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Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan
“AN EXCEPTIONAL MAN”

Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan (1933 - 2003). Photo: UNesco Courier. Copyright

Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan (1933 – 2003). Photo: Unesco Courier. Copyright

Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, uncle of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, led the UN refugee agency during 12 years in the 1960s and 1970s, leaving an indelible print on UNHCR’s history. He led the agency through some of the most challenging moments, and his name became synonymous with UNHCR.

Prince Sadruddin became High Commissioner in January of 1966 at the age of 33 the youngest person ever to lead UNHCR. Prior to becoming High Commissioner, he served for three years as Deputy High Commissioner. He was at the helm of the UN refugee agency during one of its most difficult periods. This included the 1971 the Bangladesh crisis, which uprooted 10 million people, the 1972 exodus of hundreds of thousands of Hutus from Burundi to Tanzania and the Indochinese boat people tragedy of the mid-1970s. In 1972, Prince Sadruddin played a key role in finding new homes for tens of thousands of South Asians expelled from Uganda by Idi Amin.

Prince Sadruddin’s entire adult life was devoted to humanitarian work. After leaving UNHCR at the end of 1977 at his own request, he served in various capacities, dealing with humanitarian situations in many parts of the world on behalf of the United Nations. These included Afghanistan and Iraq during the first Gulf war. He was also a trustee of a number of charity organisations. He published several books and received numerous national and international decorations, including the French Légion d’honneur and the United Nations Human Rights Award.

Simerg has come across many pieces of letters and documents on Prince Sadruddin in the UN archives, and we reproduce two below that serve as reminders of his priceless services to the United Nations.

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[I] EXTENSION OF APPOINTMENT LETTER

“This extension…constitutes a new fixed term appointment on a $1 a year basis…” 

Please click on image for enlargement

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Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan Extension of Appointment

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[2]  “AN EXCEPTIONAL MAN”

“Prince Sadruddin was a statesman in the truest sense of the word. By focusing on the protection of refugees, he represented the moral and compassionate side of the international community…He worked on behalf of the poor and dispossessed, while celebrating humanity through culture and art…”

Please click on image for enlargement

Kofi Annan Message for Prince Sadruddin Aga KhanDate posted: Saturday, November 7, 2015.

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We welcome your feedback, please click Leave a comment.

Credits:

  1. Report of His Highness Aga Khan’s visit to UNHCR and Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan’s profile compiled and adapted from the website of http://www.unhcr.org.
  2. United Nations Archives at https://archives.un.org/

Please also see the following articles on Prince Sadruddin posted on this website:

Congratulations to the Rt. Honourable Justin Trudeau, the new Prime Minister of Canada: For Ugandan Ismaili refugees, he reminds them of the glory days when his father and the Aga Khan facilitated their settlement in Canada

BY VALI JAMAL
Kampala, Uganda
(Special to Simerg)

Justin Trudeau has a special moment with his mother, Mrs. Margaret Trudeau, before the searing in ceremony. Photo: Sgt. Ronald Duchesne, Rideau Hall.

Mr. Justin Trudeau has a special moment with his mother, Mrs. Margaret Trudeau, before the swearing in ceremony. Photo: Sgt. Ronald Duchesne, Rideau Hall.

The remarkable victory by Justin Trudeau in the Canadian Federal Election held last month, and his momentous swearing in ceremony at Rideau Hall on November 4, 2015, as Prime Minister of Canada, has resonated with Uganda-origin Ismailis everywhere for the role played by his father, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau (1919 – 2000), in the settlement of 7,000 of them after the expulsion of 1972.

Please click on photo for enlargement

The swearing-in ceremony of the new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, seated 5th from left, and his cabinet took place at Rideau Hall. The Governor General of Canada, the Rt. Honourable David Johnston, is seated next to the Prime Minister. Photo: The website of the Governor General of Canada.

The swearing-in ceremony of the new Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, seated 5th from left, and his cabinet took place at Rideau Hall on Wednesday November 4, 2015. The ceremony was presided by the Governor General of Canada, the Right Honourable David Johnston, who is is shown in the photo on the right of  the Prime Minister. Photo: Sgt. Ronald Duchesne, Rideau Hall

This is the first time in Canadian history that a child of a former Prime Minister has followed in the footsteps of his father, and taken the top job in the country. The Liberals got a majority of 180 seats, but more, their victory signals a 180 degree turn from the divisive politics of the Conservative government.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the presence of his Cabinet delivers a statement in front of the Rideau Hall facade. Photographer: MCpl Vincent Carbonneau, Rideau Hall.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the presence of his Cabinet delivers a statement in front of the Rideau Hall facade. Photographer: MCpl Vincent Carbonneau, Rideau Hall.

In his address the newly sworn Prime Minister stated: “Canada is strong not in spite of its diversity, but because of it, and we are committed to bringing new leadership and a new tone to Ottawa. We also made a commitment to pursue our goals with a renewed sense of collaboration. Most importantly, we will be a government that governs for all Canadians and brings Canadians together.” These are significant words.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was plunged into a selfie ocean as he and his wife, Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, mingled with the crowd outside Rideau Hall after the swearing ceremony. Photo: MCpl Vincent Carbonneau, Rideau Hall.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was plunged into a selfie ocean as he and his wife, Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, mingled with the crowd outside Rideau Hall after the swearing ceremony. Photo: MCpl Vincent Carbonneau, Rideau Hall.

To me, today’s grand event of Justin Trudeau taking the oath as Prime Minister was also “back to the past”, 1972, when Canada admitted so many of us Uganda Asians under the leadership of his father, Pierre Elliot Trudeau. For me, too, as an Ismaili, the 1972 expulsion is special because of the role my spiritual leader, His Highness the Aga Khan, played in the resettlement of the expellees in Canada, with Pierre Elliot Trudeau, no less, and because of the role played by his uncle Prince Sadruddin as head of UNHCR in taking the last of the Uganda expellees to refugee centres in Europe.

Our success in settling down in Canada led to Canada enshrining Multiculturalism in Canada’s laws in 1987, and to His Highness the Aga Khan siting the Global Centre for Pluralism in Canada.

There were around 65,000 Asians in Uganda at the time of the 1972 expulsion. The British papers racheted it up to 80,000 based on the census of 1969, not realizing that over ten thousand had crept away to UK to beat immigration quotas, and thirty thousand or so had non-British nationalities, including 15-20,000 Ugandans.

Asian refugees boarding a plane at Kampala's Entebbe airport after Idi Amin's edict in 1972 cleansing Uganda of its Asian citizens and residents. Photo: Government of Canada archives.

Asian refugees boarding a plane at Kampala’s Entebbe airport after Idi Amin’s edict in 1972 cleansing Uganda of its Asian citizens and residents. Photo: Government of Canada Archives.

The UK Prime Minister, Edward Heath, started calling up all Commonwealth Premiers to help with the crisis. Australia said they would not budge from their “White Australia” policy. India and Pakistan said, sure, they’d take their 10,000 nationals but not UK passport-holders. USA said they would accept 1,500 Asians “on parole” – i.e. without going through their immigration processes. The British passport-holders in fact didn’t want to go anywhere except Britain, viewing the expulsion as a blessing in disguise for short-circuiting the never-ending voucher system of the British. Britain eventually accepted responsibility for their 30,000 subjects.

Edward Heath’s pleas fell on receptive ears in Canada. Within a week of the expulsion notice, departmental meetings were held in Ottawa to respond to the Uganda Asian crisis and within a fortnight the Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau, announced at the parliament that Canada was ready to accept “without numerical limitation those Asians who meet the immigration selection criteria.” His Highness the Aga Khan contacted Mr. Trudeau to negotiate with him how many refugees Canada would accept. In the end Canada admitted around 7,000, one-third non-Ismailis.

Prince Sadrudin Aga Khan pictured with Ugandan Asian refugees at the Naples refugee centre. Photo: Vali Jamal Collection. Copyright.

Prince Sadrudin Aga Khan pictured with Ugandan Asian refugees at the Naples refugee centre. Photo: Vali Jamal Collection. Copyright.

The Aga Khan family played another significant role in the expulsion story in the form of Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan (uncle of His Highness) as head of the UN refugee agency, UNHCR. At the last week of the expulsion deadline there were still around 6,000 Asians in Uganda who wanted to make a go of their verified citizenship or who were handicapped and had failed getting into any country. UNHCR quietly let it be known that they’d take away any Asian wanting to leave. Prince Sadruddin personally visited several UNHCR centres and managed to resettle all the 6,000 or so Uganda Asian refugees in a score of countries within a year.

I have recorded the expulsion drama of the Ugandan Asians in a major well-researched and exhaustive work of around 1700 pages which is expected to be published next spring. I am just so pleased my book will come out under a compassionate administration in Canada, one that holds fast to the tenets of multiculturalism.

FLASHBACKS 25 YEARS APART

[I] THE SILVER JUBILEE OF HIS HIGHNESS THE AGA KHAN (1982-1983)

Please click on photo for enlargement

A unique and historical photo signed by the late Canadian Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau, which was taken in the Prime Minister's Office during Mawlana Hazar Imam's Silver Jubilee visit to Canada in April 1983. (l to r) - Hon. Sec Farouk Verjee (National Council), Mr. Gerry Wilkinson (His Highness the Aga Khan's Secretariat, Aiglemont, France), Hon. Sec Mohamed Manji (Ontario Council), President Amirali Rhemtulla (Grants Council), Mawlana Hazar Imam, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Prince Amyn Muhammad Aga Khan, President Mehboob Dhanani (Ontario Council) and President Zulficar Lalji(National Council). Canada. The full signature line note from the Prime Minister read: To Farouk with the best of Memories . Trudeau. 1983. Photo: Photo: Farouk Verjee Collection, Vancouver,

A unique and historical photo signed by the late Canadian Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau, which was taken in the Prime Minister’s Office during Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan’s Silver Jubilee visit to Canada in April 1983. (l to r) – Hon. Sec Farouk Verjee (National Council), Mr. Gerry Wilkinson (His Highness the Aga Khan’s Secretariat, Aiglemont, France), Hon. Sec Mohamed Manji (Ontario Council), President Amirali Rhemtulla (Grants Council), Mawlana Hazar Imam, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Prince Amyn Muhammad Aga Khan, President Mehboob Dhanani (Ontario Council) and President Zulficar Lalji(National Council). Canada. The full signature line note from the Prime Minister read: To Farouk with the best of Memories . Trudeau. 1983. Photo: Photo: Farouk Verjee Collection, Vancouver.

[II] AND TWENTY-FIVE YEARS LATER…THE GOLDEN JUBILEE (2007-2008)

Justin Trudeau greets His Highness the Aga Khan as he arrives in Ottawa, Canada, to celebrate his Golden Jubilee in 2008. Looking on are Senator Mubina Jaffer, left, and MP Yasmin Ratansi. Mr. Trudeau was then an MP for his Papineau riding in the Quebec. Photo: The Ismaili.

Justin Trudeau greets His Highness the Aga Khan as he arrives in Ottawa, Canada, to celebrate his Golden Jubilee in 2008. Looking on are Senator Mubina Jaffer, left, and MP Yasmin Ratansi. Mr. Trudeau was then an MP for his Papineau riding in the Quebec. Photo: The Ismaili.

Date posted: November 4/5, 2015.
Date last updated: November 8, 2015 (new photo at top)

For more photos and reports please visit the websites of the Governor General of Canada at http://www.gg.ca and the Prime Minister of Canada at http://www.pm.gc.ca.
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Dr. Vali Jamal

Dr. Vali Jamal

About the writer: Vali Jamal has a BA from Cambridge (Trinity College) and a PhD from Stanford. He was a Senior Economist with UN-International Labour Organization from 1976 to 2001. He lives in Kampala, Uganda. As noted above in his piece, his mammoth illustrated work on the Ugandan Asians will be released next spring.

We welcome your feedback on Vali Jamal’s piece. Please click Leave a comment.

Memorable Photos, Quotes and Messages of Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah, His Highness the Aga Khan III

IRRESPECTIVE OF AGE, THE ISMAILI IMAM’S STATUS IS EXALTED

“O Jamat do not consider me small. I am the descendant of the Prophet and my grandfather is Hazrat Amirul Mominin (Hazrat Ali) and my grandmother is Khatoon-e-Janat (the Lady of Paradise) Hazrat Bibi Fatima. I am the Light (Nur) of both Hazrat Ali and the Prophet (Muhammad). Though young in age I am exalted. We Imams change the physical bodies in this world but our Nur is eternal and originates from the very beginning. You should therefore take it as one Nur. The Light of God is ever present. The Throne of the Imamat of Mawlana Murtaza Ali continues and it will remain till the Day of Judgement.” — Quoted in “Le Renovation du Shiisme Ismailien en Inde et au Pakistan” by Michele Boivien. Click to Read More in a Special Photo Essay.

Reverse of a medal commemorating the Diamond Jubilee of Aga Khan III. Photo: Nizar Noorali Collection, Pakistan

Reverse of a medal commemorating the Diamond Jubilee of His Highness the Aga Khan III. Photo: Nizar Noorali Collection, Pakistan. Please click on photo for article on the Jubilees.

In about 20 months, on July 11, 2017, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan (addressed as Mawlana Hazar Imam by his Ismaili community) will, inshallah, complete 60 years of his reign as the 49th hereditary Imam of his worldwide followers. He became the Imam upon the death of his grandfather, Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah, His Highness the Aga Khan III, who had reigned the community for 72 years, having become the 48th Imam in August 1885 at the age of 7. The quotes mentioned at the top of this post refer to his young age when he became Imam. He was born in Karachi on November 2, 1877.

The late Imam went on to describe his own Diamond Jubilee, 60 years of Imamat, as an “incomparable occasion.” In this piece, we mark Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah’s 138th birth anniversary (which falls on November 2, 2015) with a collection of memorable photos, messages and quotes, particularly as they relate to his Golden, Diamond and Platinum Jubilees that the Ismailis celebrated during his life time.

PLEASE CLICK: Photo Essay: The Historical Jubilees of His Highness the Aga Khan (1877-1957), the Imam of the Socio-Economic Revolution

Date posted: November 1, 2015.

Exclusive Photos by Jean-Marc Carisse: “Victorious Trudeau”, His Highness the Aga Khan and Liberal MP Yasmin Ratansi

LETTER FROM PUBLISHER

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“Victorious Trudeau”
Justin Trudeau with wife Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau just as results from polling stations across the country confirmed a Liberal majority government. Photo: Jean-Marc Carisse. Copyright.

By Abdulmalik Merchant

“Victorious Trudeau” is the caption of this large, beautiful and poignantly touching photograph on the front window of Jean-Marc Carisse’s Studio Café located on Elgin Street in Ottawa. It’s a remarkable record of history in the making, as it was taken by Mr. Carisse in Montreal just as Mr. Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party won the 2015 Federal Elections in Canada held on Monday, October 19th.

Countless other photos adorn the walls of the studio café Jean-Marc and his wife have lovingly and meticulously built on Elgin Street. Mr. Carisse, an award winning photographer (see profile below), has seen action around the world for more than forty years. From activists to artists, and singers to prominent world leaders, past and present, Carisse has the iconic figures as well as the common man well represented in his European inspired space that I call The Jean-Marc Carisse Museum of Photography.

SudioCafe&Gallery-MCarisse

Carisse Studio Cafe Photography Gallery on Elgin Street in Ottawa.

Ask Jean-Marc Carisse – the humble, lively and ever-joyous and smiling man – about the background and context of the photos, and he will oblige with details so rich, interesting and, sometimes, amusing that you will want to go back and look at the photos on the walls again and again.

Jean-Marc’s enormous collection include hundreds of photos of the 49th Ismaili Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, in group settings. One that Carisse is particularly attached to, in which His Highness appears alongside former USA President Jimmy Carter and Cuban leader Fidel Castro, was taken at the funeral of Justin’s father, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. In this photo Justin, the loving son, and now Canada’s Prime Minister designate – he officially becomes the Prime Minister on November 4 – is seen resting his head on his late father’s casket. This is a truly remarkable and poignant photo taken in sadder circumstances.

Pierre Trudeau FuneralThe photograph shows former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s family, friends, colleagues, and official guests in attendance to observe his passing. His son, Justin, rests his head on the casket of his father. Margaret Trudeau is in the front pew with son, Alexandre. In attendance next to Cuban President Fidel Castro are former Governor-General Romeo Leblanc, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. Other notables present at the ceremony not shown in this photograph include past Canadian Prime Ministers John Turner, Joseph Clark, Brian Mulroney, and Jean Chrétien. Photo: Copyright Jean-Marc Carisse.

When I asked Mr. Carisse to create a special dropbox for me of the photos of His Highness, he gladly obliged for the photos that were electronically available which he had shot over the past 12 years or so. These photos were from the Ismaili Imam’s visits or meetings with Ministers who during the 2002-06 time frame headed the Department of External Affairs. The Liberals were in power at that time, and Ms. Yasmin Ratansi, an Ismaili Muslim, was the Liberal MP representing the Don Mills East constituency. She lost her seat in the 2011 Federal Elections to the Conservative member by less than 1,000 votes in what turned out to be a watershed election for the Liberals, who could only keep 34 seats out of 308. But last week in a major turn around, Ms Ratansi won the same riding by almost 10,000 votes, with Liberals increasing their count by a substantial margin to 184!

I wondered whether I might find Yasmin somewhere in the dropbox of thumbnails that Jean-Marc had set up for me. Indeed! I found her, and there were quite a few. I met with Jean-Marc Carisse late yesterday, Monday, October 26, to view the actual enlarged versions, out of which we selected a couple with two Ministers. Also Carisse shared a portrait of His Highness the Aga Khan (see below)

This is our little tribute to Ms. Ratansi who has worked hard for Canadians. Undaunted, this remarkable lady was not prepared to go into oblivion just because she and her party were defeated four years ago. She has come out strong, and we wish her well in the years to come in her service to the people of this great country.

re, Bill Graham & Yasmin RatansiHis Highness the Aga Khan and Yasmin Ratansi (right) in a happy exchange with Canadian External Affairs Minister Bill Graham (2002-2004), looking on. Photo: Jean-Marc Carisse. Copyright.

Marc Carisse 2005 0607 203His Highness the Aga Khan, MP Yasmin Ratansi and External Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew (July 2004 – February 2006). Photo: Jean-Marc Carisse. Copyright.

With regard to Mr. Justin Trudeau, who will officially become the Prime Minister on November 4, I might note that the relationship of the Ismaili Imamat with his family goes back more than 40 years, when the Liberal Government under Justin’s father, Mr. Pierre Trudeau, accepted thousands of Asian refugees including  Ismailis from Uganda.

Judging by the respect and warmth that Mr. Justin Trudeau has shown towards the Ismaili Imam and the Ismaili community, we expect that the fraternal bonds between the Ismaili Imamat and Canada will continue to remain strong, as they have been under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other Prime Ministers  before him.

Aga Khan by Jean-Marc CarisseHis Highness the Aga Khan. Photo by Jean-Marc Carisse. Copyright

We wish Mr. Justin Trudeau and his  Liberal Government the very best to serve this country well, and to lead the country to loftier heights. The Ismaili community, as ever, will continue to excel in its commitment to this magnificent country in all spheres of human endeavour, under the guidance of their beloved Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, who asked his Ismaili followers in 1978 to make Canada their permanent homes.

We conclude by mentioning that the Diamond Jubilee (60th Imamat Day Celebrations) of His Highness the Aga Khan will be celebrated in July 2017, at the same time that Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary. We look forward to celebrating these two great milestones in Canadian and Ismaili history under the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Date posted: Tuesday, October 27, 2015.
Last updated: October 28, 2015.

Please also visit Simerg’s photoblog at http://www.simergphotos.com for an enhanced version of this piece containing additional photos of His Highness the Aga Khan. _______________

We invite your feedback – please click Leave a comment.

Jean-Marc CarisseAward winning photographer, Jena Marc Carisse has photographed the political, cultural and social scenes in Ottawa and around the world for over 40 years.  He was official photographer for the Prime Minister’s Office for many years serving Prime Ministers Trudeau, Turner and Chrétien, as well as serving Official Opposition Leaders Bill Graham, Stéphane Dion and Michael Ignatieff. He’s also photographed consecutive Prime Ministers from Diefenbaker to Harper, US Presidents from Ford to Obama and hundreds of world leaders. Many of his photographs have appeared on the covers and pages of history and political books (including his own coffee table book “Privileged Access w/ Trudeau, Turner & Chrétien” by Warwick Publ. 2000),  magazines including Time, Paris Match and Maclean’s, as well as TV documentaries and biographies.

His Highness the Aga Khan’s Visit to Los Alamos Lab On Thanksgiving Day 56 Years Ago Impressed Scientific Hosts, and Revealed He Was In Top Physical Condition

The 49th Ismaili Imam

“Friendly, smiling and interested in everything he saw, the Aga Khan impressed his scientific hosts on every phase of the medical research. He manifested particular interest in the Laboratory’s work in tissue culture and its potential for cancer research, in the genetic effects of both radiation and inbreeding in mouse colonies, the use of radioactive isotopes in diagnostic medicine, and the possibilities of using whole body counters for studying the problems of aging.

“The Moslem leader eagerly donned the required surgeon’s scrub suit to be measured in the Laboratory’s whole body counter and appeared gratified to learn that his high potassium content indicated top physical condition.” — Excerpt from “NASL Community News”

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The Aga Khan, seen with Dr. Thomas Shipman, showing immense delight of gift of trinite presented to him during his visit to the Health Research Laboratory in Las Alamos, California, in November 1959

Official News Release of the Aga Khan's Visit to the Lab

OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE OF THE AGA KHAN’S VISIT TO THE LAB ON THANKSGIVING DAY, NOVEMBER 27, 1959

The following is the transcript:

Los Alamo, New Mexico, November 27, 1959: A surprise Thanksgiving Day visit was paid to the health research center of the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (LASL) by Aga Khan IV, youthful spiritual leader of 20,000,000 Moslems in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

The 23-year-old Imam of the Shiah Moslem Ismalli sect is currently touring medical institutions throughout the United States with the purpose of raising money to support a surgical wing in a hospital which he established in Nairobi, Kenya, Africa last year. His trip to Los Alamos was an offshoot of a two-day visit to Dr. Randolph Lovelace, head of the Lovelace Clinic in Albuquerque.

Hosts of the Moslem dignitary for the Laboratory were Dr. Thomas L. Shipman and Dr. Wright Langham of the LASL health division. They greeted the Aga Khan at 9:20 am at the Los Alamos airstrip and spent two hours demonstrating to him the cancer research facilities of the biomedical building. The visitors returned by plane to Albuquerque at 11:00 am.

Accompanying the Aga Khan to Los Alamos were Dr. Lovelace; Dr. Thomas Rees, plastic surgeon associated with Cornell Medical School; Michael Curtis, a traveling companion; and Madame Buguel, private secretary.

_________________

A report of the visit appeared in “NASL Community News” on December 3, 1959, Volume 1 Number 24, under the heading “YOUNG AGA KHAN TOURS HEALTH LAB ON SURPRISE THANKSGIVING VISIT.” See below for images of the report, and click each image on this page for enlargement.

Aga Khan IV Los Alamos Lab Visit News Report page 1

continuation of above news report

Last updated: September 25, 2015.

______________________

NOTES

1. About Los Alamos (from Wikipedia)

In a study conducted by American City Business Journals in 2004, Los Alamos County topped the list as the best place to live in America in terms of quality of life. This was attributed to the high levels of job stability, income and education of Los Alamos residents, many of whom are employed as scientists and engineers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The county has one of the highest number of PhDs per capita and the median household income of $78,993 per year is the fourth highest among all the counties in the US. In per capita income, Los Alamos County ranks 1st in New Mexico and 18th in the United States. Other factors contributing to Los Alamos’s high quality-of-life index were the access to affordable housing and short commuting times.

2. Source of article of the Aga Khan’s Visit:

http://www.lanl.gov/

(This piece had appeared on this website earlier – ed.)