M. Ali Lakhani Presents Ideas of His Highness the Aga Khan as Educational Correctives to Islamophobia Before Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights

Introduced by MALIK MERCHANT

Further to our recent video presentation of Vancouver Ismaili lawyer M. Ali Lakhani’s appearance before the Senate of Canada’s Standing Committee on Human Rights on the topic of Islamophobia, we are pleased to provide a link to the full transcript of the video on the Senate website.

Mr. Lakhani was in the first panel with two other witnesses, Nuzhat Jafri, the Executive Director of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women and Maryam Khan, Assistant Professor of the Faculty of Social Work at the Wilfrid Laurier University. He was participating in his capacity as the Editor of Sacred Web: A Journal of Tradition and Modernity, a journal he founded 25 years ago, and now the leading journal in its field.

In his testimony, Mr. Lakhani discusses the causes of Islamophobia, quoting His Highness the Aga Khan at several points in his remarks, and highlights the ideas of the Ismaili Imam and the initiatives of the Global Centre for Pluralism and Imamat Institutions contributing as educational correctives to Islamophobia.

His presentation generated interest and comments from the Senators. Please read the full transcript of all the six participating witnesses by clicking on Islamophobia: Senate of Canada Standing Committee.

Date posted: December 20, 2022.

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Faith and Ethics The Vision of the Ismaili Imamat by Ali Lakhani, editor Sacred Web, Simerg, Books by Ismaili authors
M. Ali Lakhani’s Faith and Ethics

M. Ali Lakhani, QC, graduated from Cambridge University and has been practising as a barrister in Vancouver for the last forty years. Interested in applying metaphysics to modern world issues, in 1998 he founded Sacred Web: A Journal of Tradition and Modernity, a leading journal in the field that has published articles by the Prince of Wales, the Dalai Lama, Karen Armstrong, Huston Smith, Seyyed Hossein Nasr and William C. Chittick, among others. Mr. Lakhani’s book Faith and Ethics: The Vision of the Ismaili Imamat has been featured in Simerg’s special series on books by Ismaili authors.

“This Was a World Cup Lionel Messi Refused to Lose” – A Must Read Report by Chris Jones for CBC Sports

Introduced by MALIK MERCHANT

“Messi’s final victory…. was one of refusal. He could have given in to so many defeating things, so often. He said no to all of them. He ignored the perils of time. He rejected the precociousness of youth. He denied doubt and disavowed pressure. He spurned hopelessness and abandoned fear” — Read more by Chris Jones, CBC Sports

Click on photo to read match report by CBC’s Chris Jones. The report includes a great collection of photographs from the finals

Award winning writer Chris Jones was present at the finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup match in Lusail, Qatar, between Argentina and France. His report — along with photographs that CBC has posted — is one of the most enjoyable and succinct writing on the game I have come across. Simerg invites readers to read the report by clicking on the photograph above or on CBC: This was a World Cup Lionel Messi refused to lose.

Date posted: December 19, 2022.

Featured photo at top of post: Lionel Messi holding the FIFA World Cup and celebrating with his team after defeating France in the finals on December 18, 2022. Photograph: Tasnim News Agency, CC BY 4.0 (https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=126764017)

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Ode to the Ismaili Imam of the Present Time, Mawlana Shah Karim, His Highness the Aga Khan

[Ismaili Muslims around the world celebrated the 86th birthday of their 49th Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, on December 13, 2022. The following beautiful ode was submitted in our comments section by France’s Moez Nato as his feedback to Simerg’s article entitled Ismaili Muslims Celebrate 86th Birthday of Mawlana Shah Karim Al Hussaini Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan. We feel that the ode deserves a post in its own right and we are pleased to publish it as submitted by Moez, with minor editorial changes related to capitalization and spelling — Ed.]

By MOEZ NATO, France

In the name of Allah the Most Clement, the Most Merciful,

At the first hours of this blessed day of your birthday oh Beloved Khudavind, millions and millions of voices of your murids of your globalized Jamat, will invoke the Grace, the Mercy of Allah so that you have a good health, a long life, a serene family happiness and that all your dear wishes are realized.

And may you always remain this Bright Lighthouse in this world which is going through a deep sanitary crisis, accompanied by climatic disturbances, wars and the noise of boots, socio-economic troubles in a world in full geopolitical changes.

And we will also have, on this happy day, affectionate thoughts filled with gratitude, esteem and sincere recognition for all the members of your Noorani family for their tireless commitment to make radiate throughout the world all your wishes, projects and who present your Jamat, as Muslims Shia Ismaili Imami Nizari responsible, worthy and bearers of values and humanistic projects with universal scope.

On this happy anniversary day, we will renew as your spiritual children bound by the Bayat, our unwavering attachment to your Spiritual Authority. We humbly express our sincere shukranas for your high benevolence, your Hidayats, your Farmans to always protect us, guide us to the right path of Sirat al-Mustaqim and encourage us for the spiritual quest.

With your constant Guidance, O Being of Light, we seek, as murids living a faith of conviction, as ambassadors of Islam, as worthy and responsible dais, to apply the precious precepts of the ethics of our faith. And as you advice us, we never forget to always remember the presence of Allah in our life journey.

And in this troubled world, we seek, thanks to your vision of a contemporary enlightened Islam, to extend these precepts in our daily commitments as loyal, responsible and committed citizens in the pluralist, tolerant and generous civil society.

Good health and long life to our Imam of the Present Time!

Date posted: December 13, 2022.
Last updated: December 17, 2022.

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FEEDBACK

Simerg welcomes your feedback. Please click Leave a comment. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

REVIEW SIMERG’S TABLE OF CONTENTS AND VISIT ITS SISTER 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. Also visit Simerg’s sister websites Barakah, dedicated to His Highness the Aga Khan, and SimergphotosThe editor may be reached via email at mmerchant@simerg.com.

Asians queue outside the British High Commission in Kampala to verify their citizenship status following Idi Amin's decree of August 1972 giving them notice to leave the country within 90 days. Simerg.

“Uganda Expulsion at 50: A Time for Reflection” – Recording of Event Held on Sunday November 6, 2022

Introduced by MALIK MERCHANT

[NOTE: The event is over. We invite you to watch a recording of the event by clicking on  https://youtu.be/xPnry0TvCY8. For a background article, see below — Ed.]

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November 6, 2022: Uganda Expulsion at Fifty

The Ismaili Tariqah and Religious Education Board for the United Kingdom (ITREB, UK) is hosting a virtual panel discussion today, Sunday, November 6, 2022, involving five leading members of the Ismaili Muslim Jamat (community) who have been involved in one way or another in the resettlement process since the expulsion of Asians from Uganda 50 years ago. The link for the panel discussion is Watch Zoom: Uganda Expulsion at 50. (Note: Passcode/password not required, as the Zoom link provided is more than sufficient to enter the event.)

The discussion will commence at 7:30 PM GMT (see other local times below). Readers of this website are urged to watch this unique and important session and inform their family members, friends and other contacts to join the session. Please mark it on your calendar.

The session is part of ITREB UK’s Heritage Series and is entitled “The Ugandan Asian Expulsion at 50 — Reflections on the Emergence of a new Ismaili Diaspora in North America and Europe.” The program is an initiative of BUA50 (British Ugandan Asians at 50) which is composed of a Steering Committe with members from the UK and other countries around the world. BUA50 commemorative events have also taken place in South Africa and Australia.

The panelists for this event will include Amin Mawji OBE (Order of the British Empire), who is currently the Diplomatic Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in Uganda. He will provide the opening remarks. Others in the panel are lawyer and economist as well as author of a recent book, Memories of a Ugandan Refugee: Encounters of Hope from Kampala to Vancouver, Jalal Jaffer, one of the early expellees who has held senior leadership positions in Ismaili institutions, and Arafat Jamal, Diplomat and Senior Representative for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in South Sudan.

Story continues below

In August 1972, President Idi Amin decreed that all resident Asians had to leave Uganda within 90 days. Departing Asian were allowed to take only £ 50.00 per family and a maximum of 220 kgs (485 lbs) of personal effects. The UK, Canada, other countries and the United Nations scrambled to assist thousands who were rendered stateless. Photograph: Journey into Hope, The Ismaili Canada, 1994.
In August 1972, President Idi Amin decreed that all resident Asians had to leave Uganda within 90 days. Thousands were rendered stateless by this decree and scrambled to the UK, Canada and other countries with the assistance of the United Nations. Photograph: Journey into Hope, A Chronicle of the Ugandan Asian Migration, Published by The Ismaili, Canada, 1994.

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Asians queue outside the British High Commission in Kampala to verify their citizenship status following Idi Amin's decree of August 1972 giving them notice to leave the country within 90 days. Simerg.
In August 1972, President Idi Amin decreed that all resident Asians had to leave Uganda within 90 days. Departing Asian were allowed to take only £ 50.00 per family and a maximum of 220 kgs (485 lbs.) of personal effects. The UK, Canada, other countries and the United Nations scrambled to assist thousands who were rendered stateless. In this photo, Asians queue outside the British High Commission in Kampala to verify their citizenship status, while a newspaper vendor walks around selling copies of the latest issue of the English newspaper Uganda Argus. Photograph: © The Mohamed Amin Foundation.

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Departing Asians on the tarmac of Entebbe airport as the first flights began to leave Kampala following Idi Amin's decree in August 1972 which gave them 90 days to leave the country. Departing Asian were allowed to take only £ 50.00 per family and a maximum of 220 kgs (485 lbs) of personal effects.
Departing Asians on the tarmac of Entebbe airport as the first flights began to leave Kampala following Idi Amin’s decree in August 1972 which gave them 90 days to leave the country. Stateless Asian were allowed to take only £ 50.00 per family and a maximum of 220 kgs (485 lbs.) of personal effects. Photograph: © The Mohamed Amin Foundation.

The panelist will be in conversation with Dr. Mohamed Keshavjee, a lawyer, mediator and author of several highly acclaimed books, among them “Into That Heaven of Freedom” and “Islam, Sharia and Alternative Dispute Resolution: Mechanisms for Legal Redress in the Muslim Community.” Dr. Keshavjee has a background in the International Protection of Human Rights. He recently participated in a BUA50 event held in South Africa.

The closing remarks will be offered by Mahmood Ahmed of the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF, UK), who was the founding Diplomatic Representative of the AKDN, Uganda.

The Ugandan expulsion of 1972 lay at the fault-line of disagreement between the Uganda, British and Indian governments who refused to take responsibility for the fate of the Asian minorities of East Africa at the end of the decolonisation process. In the words of Yash Tandon, a Ugandan policymaker, political activist, professor, author and public intellectual, the Asian minorities became “stepchildren of the colonial empire.”

An event not to be missed, this unique session is open to everyone and requires no prior registration.

Again, the link to the session is Watch Zoom: Uganda Expulsion at 50 ((Note: Passcode/password not required, as the link provided is more than sufficient to enter the event.) The session is on Sunday, November 6, 2022, and the program can be viewed around the world at the following local times:

. 7:30 PM GMT (UK, Portugal)

. 8:30 PM (France, Spain, Germany and many other European countries)

. 2:30 PM (New York, Toronto etc.)

. 11:30 AM (Vancouver, Los Angeles etc.)

. 12:30 PM (Edmonton, Denver etc.)

. 1:30 PM (Chicago, Houston etc.)

. 10:30 PM (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa)

Readers in other worldwide cities in the Middle East, Central and South Asia, the Far East well as Australia and New Zealand, please calibrate your calendar time according to the GMT time of 7:30 PM.

NOTE: When you open the Zoom link and if the ITREB UK event hasn’t begun, the start time of the event that is displayed on your screen is your local time, wherever you may be.

Do not miss this important and unique discussion.

Date posted: November 3, 2022.
Last updated: December 17, 2022 (added link to recording of event, see top of page.)

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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. Also visit Simerg’s sister websites Barakah, dedicated to His Highness the Aga Khan, and Simergphotos. The editor may be reached via email at mmerchant@simerg.com.

Demystifying the Rich Ismaili Tradition of Ginans: Carleton University’s Esteemed Scholar Karim H. Karim to Give Keynote Lecture Organized by the Association for the Study of Ginans, Saturday, December 17, 2022 via Zoom

Introduced by MALIK MERCHANT

[Note: The event has ended. A link to a recording of the presentation will be provided when it becomes available; please read background article below — Ed.]

The rich and beautiful tradition of Ginans (Hymns, contemplative or reflective knowledge), sometimes referred to as poetry, that was introduced into the Indian subcontinent by Ismaili dais (missionaries) such as Pirs Satgur Noor, Shams, Sadardin helped gain new converts as well as sustain the faith of their subsequent generations for hundreds of years. The hope and promise given by the Pirs in their compositions that their hereditary spiritual master — the Imam who was at the time based in Iran — would one day make his appearance in the subcontinent (jampu dip) was realized several centuries later with the arrival of the 46th Imam, Mawlana Shah Hassanali Shah, Aga Khan I, in the 19th century.

Memorized and sung in Ismaili homes and religious gatherings, the Ginans remained the most powerful tool for keeping the faith alive. Today, in the western world, the tradition continues to thrive with Ginans being recited by Ismaili children as young as 5 or 6. With the arrival of thousands of Ismailis from the Middle East and Central Asia over the past 30 years, it is inspiring to note that they too have adopted the Ginanic tradition, just as Ismailis, whose origins are in South Asia have adopted the tradition of reciting Qasidas composed in Arabic and Farsi by eminent Ismaili figures and dais such Nasir Khusraw and Shams Tabriz.

Karim H Karim Carleton University, Association for the Study of Ginans, News, Announcement
Karim H Karim

However, how well are Ginans and their meanings understood by the new generation of Ismailis? Why is there so much confusion surrounding the Hindu element in Ginans? For that matter, are Ginans essentially Hindu in nature? And what about the solid Islamic concepts of the Unity of God (Tawhid) and Muslim ethics of compassion, honesty, forgiveness that are enshrined in the Ginans? The Prophet Muhammad himself is featured in many Ginans. Hopefully, Karim H. Karim, will seek to enlighten his audience on Saturday December 17 in his talk entitled “Are Ginans Islamic or Hindu?”

The term Satpanth (true path) was introduced by Ismaili Pirs in their compositions. In his brief synopsis about his lecture, Karim H. Karim notes:

“Satpanth’s core beliefs are founded on Shia Islamic concepts. Its ginans articulate Ismaili principles in Indic languages, music, and symbols. Like other pluralist traditions in India, Satpanth has drawn from mythological and cosmological knowledge that is integral to South Asian spirituality. Ginans flourish at the religious cross-roads of the sub-continent, the Middle East and Central Asia. This liminal space is rich and dynamic: it is integrative of traditions and worldviews, generative of art and thought, and nourishing of spirituality. It is a site of the human quest for truth that narrow notions about religion cannot confine.”

Simerg hopes that all its readers — Ismaili Muslims, non-Ismaili Muslims as well as people of other faiths — will participate in Dr. Karim’s Zoom presentation that will take place as follows:

Zoom connection: https://tinyurl.com/2sru2w7j
Zoom  ID : 9150118939, Passcode: asg22
Broadcast Date: Saturday, December 17, 2022.
Broadcast times in various parts of the world:
India (Mumbai): 9:30 PM;
Pakistan: 9:00 PM;
East Africa: 7:00 PM;
Syria: 12:00 PM (Noon)
Dubai: 1:00 PM;
UK, Portugal (GMT): 4:00 PM;
France, Spain etc.: 5:00 PM; and
North America: EST (Toronto, Atlanta, New York etc.): 11:00 AM; CST (Chicago, Houston etc): 10:00 AM; MST (Calgary, Denver etc.): 9:00 AM; PST (Vancouver, Los Angeles etc.): 8:00 AM.

Readers in other worldwide cities in the Middle East, Central and South Asia, the Far East well as Australia and New Zealand, should calibrate their time according to the GMT time of 4:00 PM (16:00 hours, Saturday December 17, 2022).

Date posted: December 16, 2022.
Last updated: December 17, 2022.

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FEEDBACK

Simerg welcomes your feedback. Please click on Leave a comment. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

REVIEW SIMERG’S TABLE OF CONTENTS AND VISIT ITS SISTER 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. Also visit Simerg’s sister websites Barakah, dedicated to His Highness the Aga Khan, and SimergphotosThe editor may be reached via email at mmerchant@simerg.com.

Calgary’s Former Mayor Naheed Nenshi on CBC Radio’s IDEAS Program: Listen to His Insightful Talk and Read His Interview With Host Nahlah Ayed

Introduced by MALIK MERCHANT
(compiled from material published on the websites of The Samara Centre for Democracy and the CBC)

The Samara Centre for Democracy (see featured image at top of post) holds a public lecture each year called In Defence of Democracy. This year it was delivered by former Calgary mayor, Naheed Nenshi, in November 2022 at the Toronto Public Library. It was aired on CBC Radio’s IDEAS program on December 9, 2022. IDEAS is hosted by Nahlah Ayed, an award-winning veteran of foreign reporting. You can tune in to Nenshi’s presentation and read Ayed’s interview with the former mayor by clicking on Keep Fighting to Build Strong Communities.

Nenshi is a proud first-generation Canadian of Indian ancestry, whose parents immigrated from Tanzania. His family and his Ismaili Muslim faith, which is today led by the 49th Hereditary Ismaili Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, instilled in him the ethic of seva (or service), something he tries to live every day. During his three terms as mayor between 2010 and 2021, Calgary was named as one of the best cities to live in the Western Hemisphere.

Click on photograph for CBC’s IDEAS

Nenshi, Aga Khan and Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell Simerg
His Highness the Aga Khan is warmly greeted by the then Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi during his visit to Calgary in May 2018 to celebrate his Diamond Jubilee. Photograph: The Ismaili.

In recognition of his leadership, Nenshi was awarded the World Mayor Prize in 2014 by the City Mayors Foundation. He is also the recipient of the President’s Award from the Canadian Institute of Planners and the Humanitarian Award from the Canadian Psychological Association for his contribution to community mental health. Today, Nenshi is an intentionally known voice on urban issues. He has presented to audiences across Canada and the world, including the World Economic Forum. Hear Nenshi’s IDEAS presentation by clicking Keep Fighting to Build Strong Communities.

Date posted: December 14, 2022.

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FEEDBACK

Simerg welcomes your feedback. Please click Leave a comment. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

REVIEW SIMERG’S TABLE OF CONTENTS AND VISIT ITS SISTER 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. Also visit Simerg’s sister websites Barakah, dedicated to His Highness the Aga Khan, and SimergphotosThe editor may be reached via email at mmerchant@simerg.com.

Aga Khan Cuts Birthday Cake on visit to Toronto in 1978, Simerg

Ismaili Muslims Celebrate 86th Birthday of Mawlana Shah Karim Al Hussaini Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan

Please click: Glimpses Into the Ismaili Imamat

On the auspicious occasion of His Highness the Aga Khan’s 86th birthday on December 13, 2022, we wish Ismailis around the world and friends of the Ismaili community Salgirah Mubarak.

Since the time of Hazrat ‘Ali, the first Shia Imam, the Light (Noor) of Imamat has illuminated the path of followers and guided their spiritual and intellectual understanding of Islam. His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan is the current bearer of the Light. He is the 49th Hereditary Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims and a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) through his cousin and son-in-law, Hazrat ‘Ali, and his wife, Hazrat Fatima, the Prophet’s daughter. Ismailis affectionately address him as Mawlana Hazar Imam (meaning Our Lord, the Present Living Imam).

Article continues below; please click on calligraphy to read complete piece in Barakah, a website dedicated to His Highness the Aga Khan

Calligraphy on the auspicious occasion of the Aga Khan's birthday, Simerg
Calligraphy: Border – Shah Karim in square Kufi; Central – Shah Karim Imam-e-Zaman in eastern Kufi. Artist: Karim Ismail, Toronto, Canada.

Upon acceding to the Imamat on July 11, 1957 at the age of 20, His Highness declared that he had dedicated his life to the uplift and progress of Ismailis worldwide. Few at that time could have imagined the scope and depth of this lifelong commitment, which today exceeds not only to the Ismaili Muslims, but also to the wider communities within which they live.

Continuing his forefathers’ long tradition of Muslim leadership and service to humanity, His Highness, has devoted more than 65 years of his life towards upholding the dignity of man, promoting peace and stability and working towards the common good of all peoples, regardless of their origin or religion.

As Ismailis around the world celebrate the 86th birthday of His Highness, they express their heartfelt gratitude to him for his love and guidance that has enriched their lives and enlightened their souls.

Please read the complete piece on our sister website Barakah.

Date posted: December 11, 2022.
Last updated: December 12, 2022.

Featured image at top of post: Mawlana Hazar Imam is presented with a birthday cake by Ismaili leaders in Toronto, Canada, November 1978. Photograph: Zinat Virani Family Collection, Vancouver.

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FEEDBACK

Simerg welcomes your feedback. Please click Leave a comment. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

REVIEW SIMERG’S TABLE OF CONTENTS AND VISIT ITS SISTER 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. Also visit Simerg’s sister websites Barakah, dedicated to His Highness the Aga Khan, and SimergphotosThe editor may be reached via email at mmerchant@simerg.com.

Worthy Notes from the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar: Sialkot in Pakistan is the Soccer Ball Manufacturing Capital of the World; Women to Referee Crucial Group E Match

Introduced and compiled by MALIK MERCHANT

Sialkot, Worlds football manufacturing capital. Simerg
Location of Sialkot in Pakistan. Punjab Province; nicknames of city: City of Iqbal and World’s Football manufacturing capital; population: 655,852, 13th largest city in Pakistan. Credit: Wikipedia.

AL RIHLA: THE 2022 FIFA WORLD CUP SOCCER BALL

The 2022 FIFA world cup currently underway in Qatar is being watched by billions around the world. While we are all rooting for our respective countries and favourite teams, let us not overlook some extraordinary facts about the tournament and football in general. The football (soccer ball) is central to the sport, and for its origins and history please visit Ben’s website Yoursoccerhome: History of the Soccer Ball: From Origin to Modern Day.

Did you know that Sialkot, a city in northeast Pakistan near the Kashmiri border, makes more than two-thirds of the world’s soccer balls in one of the town’s 1,000 factories. That includes the Adidas Al Rihla, the official ball of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, that is now in the final stages of the group matches, with the knock-out stage of the competition set to begin on Saturday, December 3. Bloomberg has an excellent photo feature about the making of the Al Rihla football, and I think readers will be fascinated with the story. Please click on This Is Where Most of the World’s Soccer Balls Come From (Note: you are allowed to read 5 articles free). Al Rihla is the 14th official World Cup ball and, according to FIFA, the fastest and most accurate ball yet. The ball features a panel design inspired by a Dhow, a traditional Arab boat, with a blue, red, and yellow colour scheme that is meant to represent the landscape of Qatar. The Al Rihla balls are also the first World Cup ball made exclusively with water-based ink and glue, which are less harmful to the environment. The ball also includes a chip in the centre of the ball that can determine any contact by any player. What appeared to be a header flick by Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, was ruled out as his goal and given to his teammate Bruno Fernandes who crossed the ball in the game against Uruguay.

In a piece for the Voice of America (VOA), Ayaz Gul who reports for VOA from Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, notes that while Pakistan’s national teams have never qualified for the FIFA World Cup, its footballs repeatedly have. He further writes that Pakistan and China, have supplied the official match balls for the World Cup 2022, called Al Rihla, which means “the journey” in Arabic and is inspired by the culture, architecture, iconic boats and flag of Qatar.

Pakistan was also among the producers of the official match balls for the previously two World Cup championships in 2014 and 2018. The footballs are manufactured in Sialkot by German multinational Adidas through ‘Forward Sports’ whose managing director, Hassan Masood, said in a statement in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup that 3,000 footballs would be used during the tournament in Qatar and 8 million replicas are expected to be sold around the world. Sialkot is also famous for producing high quality sports goods and hosts many of the producers of FIFA certified footballs. May we remind you once again to read the Bloomberg photo feature on Al Rihla.

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WOMEN REFEREES

Another heartwarming story that has come to our attention is that for the first time in the men’s world-cup history, three women referees will be officiating the crucial final Group E encounter between Germany and Costa Rica on Thursday, December 1. As the table stands now, any 2 of the 4 teams (Spain, Costa Rica, Japan and Germany) in the group could qualify for the round-of-16. French referee Stéphanie Frappart will be the referee in charge, and she will have Neuza Back of Brazil and Mexico’s Karen Diaz Medina as her assistants on the field. USA’s Kathryn Nesbitt will also be working as the offside specialist in the video review team. Two other women, Salima Mukansanga of Rwanda and Yoshimi Yamashita of Japan, are also on the FIFA list to referee games in Qatar.

Frappart refereed men’s games in World Cup qualifying and the Champions League, and this year’s men’s French Cup final. She also took charge of the 2019 Women’s World Cup final for FIFA. When asked if she ever has comments from players, managers or fans due to being a woman, Frappart said: “Since I started, I was always supported by teams, clubs and players. I was always welcome in the stadium, so I feel like another referee inside the pitch. I was always welcome, so I think I will be welcome as before.”

Date posted: November 30, 2022.

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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. Also visit Simerg’s sister websites Barakah, dedicated to His Highness the Aga Khan, and Simergphotos. The editor may be reached via email at mmerchant@simerg.com.

Islamophobia: M. Ali Lakhani Appears Before the Senate of Canada’s Standing Committee on Human Rights to Testify on the Subject – Watch Video

Introduced by MALIK MERCHANT

Vancouver lawyer, M. Ali Lakhani, KC, was invited by the Senate of Canada to testify before its Standing Committee on Human Rights on the topic of Islamophobia. He was participating in his capacity as the Editor of Sacred Web: A Journal of Tradition and Modernity (www.sacredweb.com), a journal he founded 25 years ago, and now the leading journal in its field. Mr. Lakhani has written several articles on Islam, Islamophobia and on misunderstandings about Islam and Muslims, and he has spoken at universities and public events on these topics. Examples of his writing on these subjects are:

Each of three witnesses testifying before the Standing Committee made a 5-minute opening statement, which was followed by about an hour of questions from the Senators.

In his opening statement, Mr. Lakhani spoke of the value of viewing Islamophobia through the wider and harmonizing lens of human dignity rather than the Senate’s suggested frame of gender, and intergenerational and intersectional expressions of Islamophobia, which he said might be polarizing and subject to identity politics. He cited GK Chesterton’s comment, ‘When people begin to ignore human dignity, it will not be long before they begin to ignore human rights.

Mr. Lakhani went on to discuss the causes of Islamophobia, quoting His Highness the Aga Khan at several points in his remarks, and highlighted the ideas of the Ismaili Imam and the initiatives of the Global Centre for Pluralism and Imamat Institutions contributing as educational correctives to Islamophobia. His presentation, and these ideas and initiatives, generated interest and comments from the Senators.

We invite our readers to view a video of Mr. Lakhani’s testimony HERE.

Date posted: November 30, 2022.

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M. Ali Lakhani, QC, graduated from Cambridge University and has been practising as a barrister in Vancouver for the last forty years. Interested in applying metaphysics to modern world issues, in 1998 he founded Sacred Web: A Journal of Tradition and Modernity, a leading journal in the field that has published articles by the Prince of Wales, the Dalai Lama, Karen Armstrong, Huston Smith, Seyyed Hossein Nasr and William C. Chittick, among others. Mr. Lakhani’s book Faith and Ethics: The Vision of the Ismaili Imamat has been featured in Simerg’s special series on books by Ismaili authors.

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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. Also visit Simerg’s sister websites Barakah, dedicated to His Highness the Aga Khan, and Simergphotos. The editor may be reached via email at mmerchant@simerg.com.

A view of the Aga Khan University, Karachi. Photograph: AKDN, designned by Thomas Payette

Thomas M. Payette, Renowned Architect, Dies Aged 90: His Design of the Aga Khan University was the Cornerstone of the Award-Winning Firm He Founded

Prepared by MALIK MERCHANT

We have learnt with immense sadness, through an obituary posted in Vineyard Gazette, that Thomas M. Payette, FAIA, renowned Cambridge architect and founder of Payette Associates, died on November 12, 2022, at the age of 90.

Raised in East Grand Rapids in Michigan, Tom studied at Michigan State University, where he received a degree in structural engineering. He married Ginny, his sweetheart from his grade school years, in 1954 and they moved to Cambridge, where Tom attended the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He received his Master’s in Architecture in 1960.

Thomas Payette
Thomas Payette (d. November 22, 2022), designed Aga Khan University

The obituary in Vineyard Gazette notes that, after graduating, Tom began working at Markus and Nocka. By 1965, he became president of the firm. It would later become Payette, an international design firm of more than 150 people. His selfless leadership and passion guided Payette into what it is today: an award-winning firm known for its leading design in hospitals, laboratories and universities. Included in its notable work is the Aga Khan Medical Center in Pakistan.

Over the three decades since its initial conception and planning, the Aga Khan University has withstood the test of time, growing and adapting to accommodate new emergent technology, political turmoil and cultural changes….A major force in the heart of the developing world of South Asia, the University represents both a link to the great Islamic academic traditions of the past and a bold, progressive action aimed at providing education and healthcare services to people in Pakistan and the surrounding region

JENNIFER HEGARTY, March 2019

In a short but illuminating piece published on the firm’s website under the title #PayetteForward: Our Roots with Aga Khan, Jennifer Hegarty notes the firm’s association with the Aga Khan University as follows:

“Our 30-year relationship with Aga Khan University has been a cornerstone of the firm we are today, a firm recognized by the AIA with the 2019 Architecture Firm Award. We are proud of the legacy of work we have produced and continue to develop with the Aga Khan University — which was the first of many fruitful international relationships in our portfolio.”

In her post, Jennifer also refers to the original master plan for the Aga Khan University and Thomas Payette’s continuous involvement with the institution in the ensuing years “to furthering the original vision through over 30 years and several master plan updates, keeping their pledge to the founders not only to keep the University true to cultural values, but to recognize the needs of the region in educating young people in the science of medicine and the care of patients.”

We invite our readers to learn more about Thomas Payette’s unique and extraordinary role in the design of the Aga Khan University by reading the following three illustrated pieces on the firm’s website:

Our readers join us in conveying our sincere condolences to all the members of the Payette family. In particular, our Ismaili readers will always remain grateful to Thomas M. Payette for playing such an important role in the planning, design and development of one of the most significant and cherished projects in the life of their beloved 49th Hereditary Imam, Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan.

Date posted: November 23, 2022.

Featured photo at top of post: A view of the Aga Khan University, Karachi. Photograph: AKDN.

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The editor may be reached via email at mmerchant@simerg.com.