January 1, 2021: Simerg Wishes All its Readers Many Happy Returns for the New Year; and We Collectively Express Our Gratitude for Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Blessings

Festive Lights Ottawa Simerg Nurin Merchant
Ottawa downtown, December 31, 2020, lit during the festive holiday season. Greetings at top and bottom are mine and not part of original photo. Photo: Nurin Merchant / Simerg.


My dad arrived at the grounds of the Aga Khan Park on the evening of December 31, hoping to take photos of the setting sun for the last time in 2020. Unfortunately, he was a little bit late to see the setting sun as it had gone under cloud cover. Pointing his camera to the west towards and beyond the unique dome of the Toronto Headquarters Ismaili Jamatkhana situated on 49 Wynford Drive, he was able to capture photos of the clouds that were glowing white from the sunlight. The Jamatkhana lights at the base of the dome were already on, and the scene was quite beautiful. Snow that had covered the grounds on December 25, Christmas day, had melted with warmer temperatures and rain on days that followed. Small patches of snow were scattered throughout the Park.

Sun set New Years Eve Aga Khan Park and Ismaili centre
A couple chat on a bench across one of the 5 ponds at the Aga Khan Park on a cool December 31, 2020 evening, as the setting sun in the horizon, at right of picture, casts its lights on clouds covering it. The majestic dome of the Ismaili Jamatkhana is seen at left of picture, with its circular base lights turned on. Photo: Malik Merchant / Simerg.
Flags of Ismaili Imamat, Canada, Ontario and Toronto at Aga Khan Park on December 31, 2020.
The flags of Canada (nearest), the province of Ontario, the city of Toronto and the Ismaili Imamat flutter on a cool and windy December 31, 2020 evening at Aga Khan Park, while the setting sun in the horizon casts its light across clouds covering it. The Ismaili Centre building is seen at left of the flags. The dome of the Ismaili Jamatkhana is not in view in this photo, but see preceding photo. Photo: Malik Merchant / Simerg.

I was 440 kms away in Ottawa watching Ismaili TV. Then a few hours later, before midnight, I headed to downtown Ottawa to seek out that extra bit of new year feeling in the year of the Covid-19 pandemic. Auckland, Sydney, Bangkok had already celebrated the start of 2021 with incredible fireworks. Ottawa stopped the new year fireworks many years ago but there have been exceptions with shows at Parliament Hill on rare occasions. Ottawa is one of the world’s coldest capital cities, but it doesn’t feel that way this year, and there has also been very little snow. Toronto, I think, has seen more of it.

Some marvellous decorations on Wellington Street made me feel that 2021 was finally here. I am glad I went to downtown. So with these photos, some embellished with new year greetings, my dad and I along with members of our family convey our best wishes for the new year to all our readers and friends, with many happy returns.

December 31, 2020: Holiday season lights decorate Ottawa, corner of Elgin and Wellington Streets. Festive artwork at top of photo are mine. Photo: Nurin Merchant / Simerg

We remain humble and grateful to Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, for his constant care and guidance, and for showering all his spiritual children around the world with his most affectionate loving blessings for good health and happiness, spiritual progress, worldly success, strength of faith and unity, as well as best loving blessings for mushkil-asan. He has also said to us that we are all in his heart, in his thought and in his prayers.

Aga Khan Museum Sunrise January 1 2021
Sunrise Aga Khan Museum January 1, 2021, camera facing SE. Photo: Malik Merchant / Simerg.

Date posted: January 1, 2021.


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Nurin Merchant with her bunny, Pistachio.

Dr. Nurin Merchant received her veterinary medicine degree with distinction from the Ontario Veterinary College (University of Guelph) in 2019, and now works as a veterinarian in the Ottawa region. Born and raised in Ottawa, Nurin completed her international baccalaureate (IB) program at Colonel By Secondary School before proceeding to the University of Guelph for an undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences which she passed with Honours. She then pursued veterinary medicine in the same school. Nurin enjoys hiking, loves nature and, of course, animals. She is also an artist. She paints, sculpts as well as designs and makes greeting cards during her spare time. She has two lovely bunnies named Pistachio and Canela, which she acquired from animal care and rescue facilities a few years after the death of her first rabbit, Wobbles. She assists her dad Malik with the publication of this website and two other blogs Simergphotos and Barakah.


2 thoughts on “January 1, 2021: Simerg Wishes All its Readers Many Happy Returns for the New Year; and We Collectively Express Our Gratitude for Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Blessings

  1. A Very Happy New Year 2021 to Malik and Nurin. May this New Year bring good tidings to all in Mawla’s Universe. Ameen

    The beautifully caught glowing white background of the sunset at majestic dome of Ismaili Jamatkhana, Toronto, now resides in my heart, So does the Nurin’s midnight welcome to the year 2021 in downtown Ottawa. May Mowla continue to give you more inspiration as such to delight our senses in Simerg and Barakah. Ameen

    Layla Moledina
    January 1, 2021.

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