OTTAWA: The New Jamatkhana is 1 Year Old; An Ottawa Architect’s Favourite Building; and Iconic Sussex Drive

1. THE OTTAWA JAMATKHANA

Hundreds of Ismailis come by the busloads and personal automobiles to visit Ottawa during the summer months – for many the primary destinations are the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat Building and the beautiful new Ottawa Jamatkhana which opened exactly a year ago, on July 19, 2013. The visitors marvel at the Ottawa Jamatkhana’s spacious facilities for spiritual practices as well as the space it offers for social interaction and cultural programmes, including religious education classes.

As the Ottawa Jamat marks its first anniversary in the new Jamatkhana we repost on this page a link to Farouk Noormohamed’s statement and photos of the lovely building.

Speaking of Ottawa, local architect Kristopher Benes names his favourite building in the city, and we provide a link to a piece about Ottawa’s iconic Sussex Drive which is home to the Delegation Building.

Check out all the readings below and enjoy your summer in Ottawa, Canada’s Capital!

Please click: Exclusive: Architect’s Statement and Photos of the Fabulous New Ottawa Jamatkhana

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2. MY FAVOURITE OTTAWA BUILDING

By Kristopher Benes

As an architect I often get asked to name my favourite Ottawa building! Being a fan of minimalism I was often hard pressed to find anything non-residential that came immediately to my mind –- until that is, when the Ismaili Imamat Delegation building was completed in 2008.

Modern architecture often draws criticism for being too stark, extreme in its simplicity. However, it is its ability to highlight the world around us that I find to be so beautiful in modernism.

The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat Building.

The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat Building.

The clarity with which the play of shadows for instance may fall upon a crystal white surface allows architecture to behave as an ever-changing canvas, a reflector if one prefers, of what is going on all around. When the sun moves across the sky, the shadows dance along the building’s surfaces and when the sky takes on a different shade, the building glows in a completely different light.

Light can be a wonderful paint brush for those blank walls; it does not need any more complexity than that. And obviously, Fumihiko Maki, the building’s design architect, understands light better than I ever could hope to (after all he has won a Pritzker Prize for his contributions and has enjoyed a career spanning some 50 years).

I think it is this understanding of light and an ability to shape it so beautifully which speaks to me most about the Ismaili Imamat Delegation Building.

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3. ICONIC SUSSEX DRIVE

Please click: Photo Essay: Celebrating Sussex Drive, His Highness the Aga Khan and, Five Years on, the Crystalline Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat Building

Sussex Drive is denoted by the yellow line. Going East, you start at Rideau Street (blue line) where the 700 Sussex Condominium building is located. Between Rideau Street and #35 on the map, you pass the Connaught Building  (550 Sussex) and the US Embassy (490 Sussex). The National Gallery of Art (380 Sussex) and the Basilica (385 Sussex) as well as Reconciliation Monument are located at or around #35. Then just a hundred metres east of #35 are located the Global Centre for Pluralism (330 Sussex), the Royal Canadian Mint (320 Sussex) and the Embassy of Kuwait (333 Sussex). The Saudi Embassy (201 Sussex) and the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat Building (199 Sussex) are at #36, with the Lester Pearson Building (125 Sussex) and the John G. Diefenbacker or the Old City Hall (111 Sussex) approximately 100-200 metres further east. At #37 you reach Rideau Falls Park (50 Sussex) and the French Embassy (42 Sussex).  Finally, Sussex Drive winds down (or starts if you are travelling South!) at #38, the residences of the Prime Minister (24 Sussex) and the Governor General (1 Sussex) as well as the High Commission of South Africa (15 Sussex). One of the pictures of the Delegation Building shown below was taken from Jacques-Cartier Park in Gatineau, which is denoted by #30 on the map. Map credit: The National Capital Commission (with minor edits by Simergphotos to represent Sussex Drive more clearly).

Sussex Drive is denoted by the yellow line. Going East, you start at Rideau Street (blue line) where the 700 Sussex Condominium building is located. Between Rideau Street and #35 on the map, you pass the Connaught Building (550 Sussex) and the US Embassy (490 Sussex). The National Gallery of Art (380 Sussex) and the Basilica (385 Sussex) as well as Reconciliation Monument are located at or around #35. Then just a hundred metres east of #35 are located the Global Centre for Pluralism (330 Sussex), the Royal Canadian Mint (320 Sussex) and the Embassy of Kuwait (333 Sussex). The Saudi Embassy (201 Sussex) and the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat Building (199 Sussex) are at #36, with the Lester Pearson Building (125 Sussex) and the John G. Diefenbacker or the Old City Hall (111 Sussex) approximately 100-200 metres further east. At #37 you reach Rideau Falls Park (50 Sussex) and the French Embassy (42 Sussex). Finally, Sussex Drive winds down (or starts if you are travelling South!) at #38, the residences of the Prime Minister (24 Sussex) and the Governor General (1 Sussex) as well as the High Commission of South Africa (15 Sussex). Map credit: The National Capital Commission (with minor edits by Simergphotos to represent Sussex Drive more clearly).

Date posted: Saturday, July 19, 2014.

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A Collection of Inspiring Stories, Readings and Photo Essays of the Ismailis of Tajikistan

EVERY LINK ON THIS PAGE IS WORTH A CLICK

His Highness the Aga Khan's First Historic Visit to Badakhshan

His Highness the Aga Khan’s First Historic Visit to Badakhshan

“Shukr Mawlo, Shukr Mawlo” – When Hope is All You Have Left, a Story for Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Salgirah by Gulnor Saratbekova (Uruguay/Tajikistan)

Literary Reading: The Mystery of the Missing Mount Nasir Khushraw

Olivier Galibert: Ismaili Portraits from Tajikistan by Olivier Galibert (France)

Voices: A Western Correspondent’s Account of the Aga Khan’s Historic First Visit to His Followers in Gorno-Badakhshan

Photo  Gallery: Ismaili Portraits From Tajikistan (I) by A. M. Rajput, UK

Literary Reading: Shi’a Ismaili Tradition in Central Asia – Evolution, Continuities and Changes

“Ba Shokouh” – The Magnificent Ismaili Centre in Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Matthieu Paley: Journey to the Roof of the World (Portraits of Ismailis)

 

(Absolutely) Irresistible Street Foods of South East Asia by Muslim Harji

Intrepid globetrotter Muslim Harji of Montreal had a trip of a lifetime recently when he visited Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar (Burma).  This second photo essay, in a 3-part South East Asia series, covers his adventures and experiences with the delicious mouth-watering street foods of South East Asia. No traveler would wish to miss this excellent post by a Canadian Ismaili photographer, whose lens captures the extraordinary!

Please click: (Irresistible) Street Foods of South East Asia Through My Lens by Muslim Harji

Nevin Harji looks on as a smiling young Burmese girl prepares hot roti/paratha. Please click on photo for "Street Foods of South Asia. Photo: Muslim Harji, Montreal, PQ, Canada. Copyright.

A smiling young Burmese girl prepares hot roti/paratha. Please click on photo for “Street Foods of South East Asia.” Photo: Muslim Harji, Montreal, PQ, Canada. Copyright.

 

My Late Mother, Jean Kirk, and Her Collection of Rare Photos of His Highness the Aga Khan by Allison Wallace

VIEW PHOTOS OF HIS HIGHNESS THE AGA KHAN
AT SIMERG AND SIMERGPHOTOS

View Allison Wallaces’s rare and unique collection of His Highness the Aga Khan’s photos at Simerg or Simergphotos by clicking on the respective links or images shown below.  Simergphotos is richly suited for images, but readers will also enjoy an equally absorbing viewing experience here on Simerg. A visit to Simergphotos is a must for the fascinating photo essays published on the blog over the past 18 months!

“[My] mum trained as a teacher in London and was passionate about the importance of education, the communication of knowledge and the enhancement of the individual through such knowledge. During her time in Kenya, she held the position of Principal at the Aga Khan Primary School in Nairobi where His Highness the Aga Khan on at least one occasion, privileged her to host a visit.” — Allison Wallace

Please click here to view the Jean Kirk Aga Khan photo collection at Simerg Please click here to view the Jean Kirk Aga Khan photo collection at Simergphotos
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Exclusive: The Myanmar Jamatkhana by Muslim Harji @Simergphotos

PLEASE CLICK: Photo Essay: The Ismaili Jamatkhana in Myanmar, With Notes on the Community’s Patriotic Spirit

Also, publishing on Sunday, April 20, 2014: Concepts of Modern Cosmology
and Astrophysics in the Ginans

Please click on image for photo essay. Copyright: Muslim Harji

Please click on image for photo essay. Copyright: Muslim Harji

 

“Ba Shokouh” – The Magnificent Ismaili Centre in Dushanbe @Simergphotos

“We salute those who have donated their time and talent and material resources to this project, including those who designed, constructed and decorated this building and its surroundings. You have created a remarkable building that will enhance the cityscape of Dushanbe.”
His Highness the Aga Khan, 49th Ismaili Imam

Please click: “Ba Shokouh” – The Ismaili Centre in Dushanbe, Tajikistan

View into entry foyer of the Ismaili Centre in Dushanbe. Please click on image for exclusive photos. Photo: FNDA Architecture Inc. Copyright.

View into entry foyer of the Ismaili Centre in Dushanbe. Please click on image for exclusive photos. Photo: FNDA Architecture Inc. Copyright.

Photo Collection and Stirring Speech Excerpts of His Highness the Aga Khan at Simergphotos

Simerg’s recent post about His Highness the Aga Khan’s dynamic and stirring address to members of the Canadian Parliament has been published at Simergphotos under a different page theme suited for photos. Please click on the following image to read the speech as well as view the photos, some of which are exclusive to Simerg.

Please click on image to read post at ww.Simergphotos.com

Please click on image to read post at www.Simergphotos.com

For the original Simerg post, please click on In a Dynamic and Stirring Address to Members of the Canadian Parliament, His Highness the Aga Khan Shares His Faith Perspectives

Ismailis in China: 48th Imam’s Historical Messages and Quotes, 3 Jamatkhanas, Cemeteries, Maps, Culture and Heritage by Ghulam Panjwani

Following the recent publication of an exclusive piece Ismailis in China – A Travelogue with a Special Photo Collection by Ghulam Panjwani, we are happy to add more photos and images to the original collection, and publish it as a special photo essay at Simerg’s companion photo blog. Please click on the following link or image:

Photo Essay: Ismailis in China

Hand carved and painted ceilings, pillars and walls inside Xingjiang's Poskam jamatkhana. Please click on image for more photos.

Hand carved and painted ceilings, pillars and walls inside Xingjiang’s Poskam jamatkhana. Please click on image for more photos.

Our Final Post for 2013: Nelson Mandela at Robben Island by Muslim and Ayesha Harji

Muslim Harji shares his photos of “Robben Island”, where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his life, for the first time since he captured them some seven years ago. He decided to release them through this blog following the recent death of the great African freedom fighter and icon at the age of 95.

PLEASE CLICK: Photo Essay: The Robben Island Prison Through My Lens by Muslim and Ayesha Harji

Please click for Robben Island

Please click for Robben Island

 And forthcoming on New Year’s Day

Please click: EXCLUSIVE: Ismailis in China – A Travelogue with a Special Photo Collection by Ghulam Panjwani

The foyer of the jamatkhana in Tashkurgan, with the Khalifah at the right. Photo: Ghulam Panjwani Collection. Copyright.

The foyer of the jamatkhana in Tashkurgan, with the Khalifah at the right. Photo: Ghulam Panjwani Collection. Copyright. Watch this page on January 1, 2014.

At End of 2013, a Selection of Great Reads from Simerg and Simergphotos…and Coming on New Year’s Day — “Ismailis in China”

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THE NEW OTTAWA JAMATKHANA

The new Ottawa jamatkhana marks a new chapter in the life of the Ismaili community of the National Capital Region and will become a symbol of the community’s commitment to Ottawa…

 11 - Qayl as an astronaut  QAYL’S ENCOUNTERS WITH ASTRONAUTS

Exploring space…learning about what’s there and how to get there, is something that I am interested in. I decided to do a photo essay…“a picture is worth a thousand words” 

 Post op patient

A SURGEON’S JOURNEY TO CHITRAL

This story is an example of hope that Dr. Kurwa has brought to people living in some of the remotest areas in the world…

 Daman Jamatkhana Foundation

THE ISMAILI COMMUNITY IN DAMAN

The period of the Ismaili Imam Islam Shah marked the growth of the Khoja community of Ismailis all over India. The Khojas in Daman were part of the migrants…

 V0029869 A plague house being whitewashed by men standing on scaffold THE AGA KHAN AND THE BUBONIC PLAGUE

“I knew that I must take the initiative. I was not entirely without scientific knowledge. I was convinced that the Surgeon General’s Department was working along the wrong lines…”

 Bead Bai Cover  SULTAN SOMJEE’S ‘BEAD BAI’

If you look at the face again after reading the 450-page tome, you would be forgiven for losing yourself in sheer rapture of the woman who has made you fall in love with her story….

…..WITH OTHER GREATS PIECES, JUST A CLICK AWAY
(Please on click image below)

Please click on image for links to articles published in 2013 (and earlier)

Please click on image for links to articles published in 2013 (and earlier)

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FORTHCOMING….ITS HERE

Please click: EXCLUSIVE: Ismailis in China – A Travelogue with a Special Photo Collection by Ghulam Panjwani

Carved ceiling of Poskam jamatkhana. Photo: Ghulam Panjwani Collection.

Carved ceiling of Poskam jamatkhana, Xingjiang, China. Watch this space on January 1, 2014. Photo: Ghulam Panjwani Collection. Copyright.