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!
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 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.
3. ICONIC SUSSEX DRIVE
Date posted: Saturday, July 19, 2014.
EVERY LINK ON THIS PAGE IS WORTH A CLICK
“Shukr Mawlo, Shukr Mawlo” – When Hope is All You Have Left, a Story for Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Salgirah by Gulnor Saratbekova (Uruguay/Tajikistan)
Olivier Galibert: Ismaili Portraits from Tajikistan by Olivier Galibert (France)
Photo Gallery: Ismaili Portraits From Tajikistan (I) by A. M. Rajput, UK
Matthieu Paley: Journey to the Roof of the World (Portraits of Ismailis)
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!
“[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
Also, publishing on Sunday, April 20, 2014: Concepts of Modern Cosmology
and Astrophysics in the Ginans
“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
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.
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
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:
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.
And forthcoming on New Year’s Day