His Highness the Aga Khan’s Executive Jets by Malik Merchant @Simergphotos

The Challenger 300, the Global Express and the Global 5000 built by Bombardier are a very important part in the journeys that His Highness the Aga Khan undertakes to meet his Ismaili followers around the world and to perform work related to his role as the head of the Aga Khan Development Network. Many photo hobbyists have captured the 49th Ismaili Imam’s jets through their lenses. To view a selection, please click:

The Executive Jets of His Highness the Aga Khan

Please click on image for “The Executive Jets of His Highness the Aga Khan.” Photo: Dave Henderson. Copyright.

Also, every week simergphotos will publish a historical illustration which underlines an artistic, ethical, moral, religious or scientific theme. For this week’s illustration, please click Historical Images: The American Declaration of Independence Illustrated.

Alamut: A 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle by Nadirshah Mackwani

Khosrow and Shirin, Madjnun in the desert, the beautiful Mi’raj of the Holy Prophet as well as other works of art from the Persian and Mughal Schools of painting are now available as impressive and decorative 1000 piece puzzles designed for children of all ages.

The Ismaili founder and partner of Sindbad Puzzle, Nadirshah Mackwani, has also created a jigsaw puzzle featuring the famous Rock of Alamut, the 10th-11th century Ismaili stronghold in Iran. Read more about Nadirshah’s unique initiative by clicking on Piecing the Alamut Puzzle Together or the image below:

Please click for “Piecing the Alamut Puzzle Together”

Remarkable Tales of Ismaili Women of Shimshal: Hussn Bibi and Her Journey to New Zealand

“When I was 15 there were 21 people living in the house and my friend Hasiet and I had to do all the weekly washing for the whole family, even in winter. It took all day and I got frost bite in my feet several times. My toes would turn black. We’d go down to the river and make a fire to heat the water. We used to burn our socks, trying to warm our toes by the fire” — Hussn Bibi

Tales of Ismaili Women of Shimshal: Hussn Bibi and Her Journey to New Zealand to Study English

Please click for Ismaili Women of Shimshal

“….The university recommended the Campbell Institute. When I went to see the Campbell directors they were intrigued by the notion of this woman [Hussn], this mountain farmer from Pakistan, coming to their school which mostly enrolled Korean and Chinese youths. The fees seemed astronomical to me, but my mother’s estate provided collateral, the Campbell Institute awarded a generous scholarship to Hussn, and Lynette, my companion on the first trip to Shimshal, sent one thousand pounds….” — Pam Henson, author of Women of Shimshal

Endearing Photos from the White House: A Tribute to President Barack Obama

A Tribute to President Barack Obama on His Re-election: Endearing Photos from the White House

President Barack Obama looks at the Nobel Peace Prize medal for the first time at the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo, Norway. December 10, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

For a summary of photo stories, please visit Simerg’s photo blog home page at www.simergphotos.com or click on the following for the most recent photo posts:


Historical American Newspapers on His Highness the Aga Khan’s ‘Incognito’ Visit to the USA in 1906-1907


“….This is my first visit to America, and as I have read much of the wonderful progress and commercial power of the nation, I look forward to an interesting trip….” — His Highness the Aga Khan III

A portrait of Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah, His Highness the Aga Khan III, dated 1911, a few years after his historic USA visit. Copyright: National Portrait Gallery. Please click for article.

“….[The Aga Khan] is one of the three or four chiefs of a religion by inheritance who are and have been for centuries voluntarily recognized as such by followers in all parts of the world, separated from each other by physical and political conditions and united only in their allegiance. He is without exception the most interesting Oriental who has ever visited the United States.” — Washington Herald and New York Tribune, Sunday, January 27, 1907……Please Read More

Naser-e Khosraw’s Risky and Dangerous Homeward Journey, from Michael Wolfe’s “One Thousand Roads to Mecca”

In our concluding part of the series on  Naser-e Khosraw’s travels, the Ismaili poet, philosopher and traveller provides a grim look at the merciless deserts of Arabia and the predatory ways of the Arab Bedouin. He encounters camel riding pirates, and the price of safe-passage costs him and his party their money and their clothes. But he also finds great consolation during a nine-month stay in the city of Lhasa. Read his fascinating account by clicking Naser-e Khosraw’s Dangerous Homeward Journey: From “One Thousand Roads to Mecca” by Michael Wolfe or on the following image:

A portrait of Naser-e Khosraw on a large rock in Badakhshan. Please click on image to read the concluding part of his journey. Photo: Ali M. Rajput., UK.

A portrait of Naser-e Khosraw on a large rock in Badakhshan. Please click on image to read the concluding part of his journey. Photo: Ali M. Rajput., UK.

Photos of His Highness the Aga Khan at the Rooftop Islamic Garden of the London Ismaili Centre

In 1989, Shamas Nanjijuma was called upon to serve lunch to His Highness the Aga Khan and Ismaili leaders at the rooftop Islamic Garden  at London’s Ismaili Centre. This website’s companion photo blog, www.simergphotos.com, is pleased to publish a small, yet rare collection of photos from Nanjijuma’s personal collection. Please click His Highness the Aga Khan with Ismaili Leaders and Volunteers at the London Ismaili Centre’s Rooftop Garden or on the image below.

Please click for photo piece

1936 Photos of Zanzibar and Tanganyika from the US Library of Congress

Readers who live(d) in Zanzibar or Tanzania, have visited the marvellous East African countries, or are somewhat familiar with the beautiful continent of Africa, will be thrilled to view a collection of photos dated 1936 at Simerg’s companion website, www.simergphotos.comThe photos are from the Matson (G. Eric and Edith) Photograph Collection which is housed at the US Library of Congress. Please click Beautiful People and Places of Zanzibar and Tanganyika: Photos from 1936 or on the image below.

Please click for photo essay

“I Wish I’d Been There” – Volunteeering at the Dawn of the Age of Imamat by Aziz R. Kurwa

In History in Quotations, which reflects five thousand years of World History, authors M. J. Cohen and John Major write as follows:

“Muhammad said:

‘He of whom I am the Mawla (patron), Ali is his Mawla. O God, be the friend of him who is his friend and be the enemy of his enemy.’

“This became the proof text for the Shia claim that Ali, the Prophet’s cousin and son-in-law, was the Prophet’s rightful successor after the Prophet’s death in 632. The meaning of Mawla here probably implies the role of patron, lord or protector.”

The authors then sum up by stating that through the use of the term Mawla, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.) was giving Mawlana Ali (a.s.) the parity with himself in this function. Dr. Aziz Kurwa, a long serving member of the Ismaili community, takes us to the beginning of Islamic and Ismaili history and imaginatively constructs the role he played as a volunteer on that eventful and historic occasion, a day which was described by one of our readers as “an introduction to a new world order”. Aziz Kurwa was among the thirty-one who contributed to Simerg’s highly acclaimed series I Wish I’d Been There.

Please click on image below or: Volunteering at the Dawn of the Age of Imamat

London, 1979: His Highness the Aga Khan, 49th hereditary Imam of the Ismailis and direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s) receiving Fatimid Gold dinars from Dr. Aziz Kurwa, a long serving leader of the Ismaili community who was at the time President of the Ismailia Association for the U.K.