“I Wish I’d Been There” – What is One Moment in Ismaili History You Wish You Would Have Liked to Witness and Why!


Publisher/editor SimergBarakah and Simergphotos

A decade has passed since the first publication of our series “I Wish I’d Been There” when we asked you to be “a fly on a wall” and pick one moment in Ismaili history that you particularly wish you had lived to see, and why. [Note: The “I Wish I’d Been There” idea had sprung from the December 1984 issue of American Heritage magazine which was dedicated to American history under the same theme.]

The response was superb, with scholars, writers and readers from every field imaginable contributing insightful and thought-provoking pieces some long and others short and precise. Following the series, a professionally looking booklet was produced, which is downloadable as a PDF file.

Aside from the current Covid-19 pandemic which has wreaked havoc, affected everyone’s day to day life, and disrupted our plans, a great deal has changed in the past 10 years: young children have entered university, students are now in professional employment, and many have embarked on new careers and adventures. New sources of knowledge have come to light and been published, and we have celebrated the Golden and Diamond Jubilees of our beloved Mawlana Hazar Imam, as well as participated in new Imamat initiatives and projects. As such, we have decided to relaunch a series that was so well received and acclaimed for its originality and the remarkable quality of the narratives.

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I Wish I'd Been There - Ismaili History Simerg Series
Simerg Launches a New I Wish I’d Been There Series

Technology and the quality of podcasts keeps on improving. The new “I Wish I’d Been There” series will, therefore, avail of these developments. In addition to textual expressions, we would like to receive contributions in the form of podcasts, as well as videos (of up to 5 minutes).

We would like all age groups to contribute to the series. In 2010, we published thirty-one unique stories. Can we double that count in 2020? The series will commence on October 15th, 2020 and conclude in April 2021.

From 50 words to a narrative of 500-800 words or more (or a 1- to 5- minute podcast/video), see what you can do to inspire, and educate, thousands of readers around the world with your insight of one scene, incident or event in ISMAILI history, recent or past, you would like to have witnessed — and why?

We look forward to a fantastic response. Please write to Malik Merchant at Simerg@aol.com.

Date posted: August 21, 2020.


Download the First “I Wish I’d Been There” Series on Ismaili History


Click on image to download complete I Wish I’d Been There Series in PDF Format


Malik with his mum Maleksultan

Malik Merchant is the founding publisher/editor of Simerg (2009), Barakah (2017) and Simergphotos (2012). A former IT consultant, he now dedicates his time to family projects and other passionate endeavours such as the publication of this website. He is the eldest son of the Late Alwaez Jehangir Merchant (1928-2018) and Alwaeza Maleksultan Merchant who both served Ismaili Jamati institutions together for several decades in Mozambique, Tanzania, Pakistan, the UK and Canada in both professional and honorary capacities. Malik’s daughter, Dr. Nurin Merchant, is a veterinarian and supports his endeavours as an honorary editor of the three websites.

Before departing this website please take a moment to review Simerg’s Table of Contents for links to hundreds of thought provoking pieces on a vast array of subjects including faith and culture, history and philosophy, and arts and letters to name a few.

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