Heart breaking images from Prince Hussain Aga Khan’s ongoing “The Living Sea: Fragile Beauty” exhibition at the Ismaili Centre Toronto

The image of a snared dolphin that sunk my heart

By DR. NURIN MERCHANT

The photograph by Prince Hussain Aga Khan of two dolphins swimming side by side had the greatest impact on me when I visited his exhibition The Living Sea — Fragile Beauty at the Ismaili Centre Toronto.

My eyes were immediately drawn to one of the dolphin’s tails, which had a black rope (presumably from fishing equipment) tightly ensnared around it. The rope had been cinched so tight over time that it was now embedded in the dolphin’s skin. My heart sank — such an intelligent yet helpless creature experiencing so much pain and suffering due to mankind’s irresponsibility with its creation.

I would like for the readers to think about something we can all relate to for a moment — pretend that one day you are walking barefoot on a beach, somewhat far from home. Suddenly, OUCH! You feel a sharp pain, and notice that you have accidentally stepped on a piece of glass that has become deeply embedded in the sole of your foot. Somehow, no matter how hard you try, you cannot remove the glass. No one is around to help you, so you are forced to walk all the way home; each step is a painful burden as the glass digs in, deeper and deeper. A few hours later you reach home, fetch a pair of tweezers, and thankfully succeed in removing the shard.

Habituated bottlenose dolphins taken by Prince Hussain Aga Khan at a site known as Dolphin Reef near Hurghada, Egypt, November 2020. Note the rope attached and digging deep into the second dolphin's tail
Habituated bottlenose dolphins taken by Prince Hussain Aga Khan at a site known as Dolphin Reef near Hurghada, Egypt, November 2020. Note the rope attached and digging deep into the second dolphin’s tail — impossible for a simple diver to remove. Photograph: Nurin Merchant/Simerg

This dolphin has no one to help it. In the scenario you just imagined, just like we use our feet to propel us forward, the dolphin uses its tail. Unlike the scenario though, this dolphin has likely been living with this injury for months, not hours. And one day, it is very probable that he or she will die from this injury.

This photograph highlights the damage that we continue to inflict upon nature and juxtaposes it with nature’s strong will and resiliency. I see it every day in my career as a veterinarian — animals are far more resilient and perseverant than humans, but this is because they have no choice but to survive, but to persevere.

We must be their voice. And we must always remember: nature’s resiliency cannot compete with our destruction. One day, just as this dolphin — an animal recognized by many scientists as a non-human person due to their high level of intelligence and ability to be self-aware — will succumb to its injuries, so will our ecosystems and the species who call it home (ourselves included).

Each and every one of us has a duty to protect, preserve, and conserve Nature and our home, Planet Earth. Without it, there is no us.

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Plastic in the Oceans

Ismaili artists Al-Qawi Nanavati pictured at Prince Hussain Aga Khan's exhibition at the Ismaili Centre Toronto
Al-Qawi Nanavati, a graduate student pursuing Printmaking at the University of Iowa pictured at Prince Hussain Aga Khan’s exhibition The Living Sea — Fragile Beauty, at the Ismaili Centre Toronto; May 22, 2023. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg.

By AL-QAWI NANAVATI

Originally from Mumbai, India, I have long been an artist and am currently pursuing a graduate program in Printmaking at the University of Iowa through an Iowa Arts Fellowship. My recent visit to Toronto happily coincided with the presentation by Prince Hussain Aga Khan of his exhibition The Living Sea: Fragile Beauty at the Aga Khan Museum. I then spent a considerable amount of time viewing the exhibition in the Ismaili Centre Toronto’s social hall and patio. I left the two events feeling inspired and motivated to do whatever I can to assist Prince Hussain in his goals of educating us and raising our awareness about the disturbing state of the oceans and its sea creatures.

The two images shown below captured my attention the most after hearing Prince Hussain speak about his passions and purpose behind the show. The images are mounted on a large panel in the patio of the Ismaili Centre. Titled Plastic Bag and Plastic Waste, they were taken in two different parts of the world, the Philippines and Sardinia, 3 years apart. I thought a lot about these two photographs long after I left the show. They were extremely poignant and show us a mirror into what we are doing to our planet.

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Plastic bags in ocean, Hussain Aga Khan, simerg
Two photographs captured by Prince Hussain Aga Khan of plastic bags in the ocean (top the Philippines, bottom Sardinia) that alarmed Al-Qawi Nanavati when she visited his exhibition The Living Sea — Fragile Beauty at the Ismaili Centre Toronto; May 22, 2023. Photograph: Al-Qawi Nanavati/Simerg.

Prince Hussain has caption notes accompanying the two photographs. For the first photo, taken in May 2017 in the Philippines, the Prince writes: “This was the most depressing thing I’ve ever witnessed.”

For the bottom photo, taken in August 2020 in Sardinia, Prince Hussain laments: “Unfortunately few, if any, effective solutions exist to rid our oceans of this ongoing problem. Most would be difficult to bring to scale. As long as mankind isn’t ready to give up plastic or capable of producing reliable alternatives, our marine environment (and others!) will suffer.”

Date posted: May 28, 2023.
Last updated: May 29, 2023 (reformatting.)

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Children, youth and professionals share their voices on Prince Hussain Aga Khan’s photo exhibition “The Living Sea – Fragile Beauty”

Introduced by MALIK MERCHANT

Both the Glenbow at the Edison in Calgary and the Ismaili Centre Toronto venues of Prince Hussain Aga Khan’s exhibition The Living Sea — Fragile Beauty have provided me with ample opportunities to meet people of all ages to hear what they think about the exhibition in general and which specific photographs, if they had to pick only one, impressed them the most. I am delighted to present a selection of video and audio recordings of the beautiful voices I have heard in the last few days.

VIDEO

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AUDIOS

(1) ZOHEB NAZERALI, Ismaili Centre Toronto

Hussain Aga Khan The Living Sea
Sophia Suleman — listen to her audio below — picked “Pilot whales swimming through the light” as her favourite image in Prince Hussain Aga Khan’s exhibition The Living Sea – Fragile Beauty that is on display at the Ismaili Centre Toronto until June 4, 2023. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg.

(2) SOPHIA SULEMAN, Ismaili Centre Toronto

(3) ADRIENNE, Ismaili Centre Toronto

More audios below

Visitors at Prince Hussain Aga Khan's exhibition The Living Sea -- Fragile Unity at the Ismaili Centre Toronto; May 26, 2023.
Visitors at Prince Hussain Aga Khan’s exhibition The Living Sea — Fragile Beauty at the Ismaili Centre Toronto; May 26, 2023. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg

(4) ADEN WALJI SAYED, Ismaili Centre Toronto

(5) ADYAN MOMAN, Ismaili Centre Toronto

More audios below

Visitors at Prince Hussain Aga Khan's exhibition The Living Sea -- Fragile Unity at the Ismaili Centre Toronto; May 26, 2023. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg
Visitors at Prince Hussain Aga Khan’s exhibition The Living Sea — Fragile Beauty at the Ismaili Centre Toronto; May 26, 2023. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg

(6) SALMA and TAJ JADAVJI, Glenbow at The Edison (Calgary)

Adam Walji Sayed -- listen to his audio below -- picked "Marine Iguanas" as his favourite image in Prince Hussain Aga Khan's exhibition The Living Sea - Fragile Beauty that is on display at the Ismaili Centre Toronto until June 4, 2023.
Adam Walji Sayed — listen to his audio below — picked “Marine Iguanas” as his favourite image in Prince Hussain Aga Khan’s exhibition The Living Sea – Fragile Beauty that is on display at the Ismaili Centre Toronto until June 4, 2023. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg.

(7) ADAM WALJI SAYED, Ismaili Centre Toronto

(8) IRIAN, Ismaili Centre Toronto

(9) KHALIL NAZARALI

Young Ismaili volunteers and friends  at Prince Hussain Aga Khan's exhibition The Living Sea -- Fragile Unity at the Ismaili Centre Toronto; May 26, 2023. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg
Young Ismaili volunteers and friends at Prince Hussain Aga Khan’s exhibition The Living Sea — Fragile Beauty at the Ismaili Centre Toronto; May 26, 2023. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg

Date posted: May 27, 2023.
Last updated: May 29, 2023 (typos and restore missing audios.)

Please visit our sister website Barakah for our exclusive reports and photographs of Prince Hussain Aga Khan’s presentations in Calgary and Toronto.

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Renowned Crow’s Theatre in Toronto issues special call for Ismaili Actors for premiere of The Wrong Bashir

“The Wrong Bashir found the right audience on opening night if gales of laughter are any indication. From the curtain opener to the surprise at curtain fall, the sold-out crowd at the Firehall had a grand time. The Wrong Bashir is going to be a big hit; for some, it will be a laugh-yourself-silly evening” — Jo Ledingham, Vancouver Theatre Review

By MALIK MERCHANT

Following a fully sold-out run and critical acclaim for the Vancouver world premiere, Crow’s Theatre has announced the Toronto premiere of the new Ismaili comedy, The Wrong Bashir. The play will open in Toronto next year on May 21st 2024 and run until June 9th, 2024.

The play was met with enthusiastic full-houses and positive reviews in Vancouver — leading the prestigious Toronto theatre to pick up the new play as part of its bold, ambitious and imaginative 2023-2024 season.

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The Wrong Bashir Cast, Ismaili Play, Crow's Theatre
The full cast of The Wrong Bashir take the stage in Vancouver. Photograph: Matt Reznek

Last week, Crow’s Theatre issued a special call for Ismaili actors to audition. They are seeking Ismaili actors for roles of many different ages and types. The full casting call link is available HERE.

For some of the roles (Nani, Nana, Gulzar) varying levels (and less experience in acting) is welcome. For the roles of Al-Nashir, Mansour, Bashir, and Nafisa, acting experience is required.

As exemplified by initiatives such as Jubilee Arts, there is hidden artistic talent in the community, and the theatre welcomes Ismailis interested to audition. Auditions began in April and the directors hope to wrap up in the next few weeks, so interested applicants are encouraged to submit as soon as possible. To submit, send a resume and headshot in one attachment to Director Paolo Santalucia (paolo@crowstheatre.com). Questions can be directed to thewrongbashirplay@gmail.com, and full information on how to submit is available at this LINK.

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The Wrong Bashir by Zahida Rahemtulla, Crow's Theatre 2024 season, Toronto, Simerg, Ismaili drama
Shera Haji, Leena Manro, and Aman Mann in the Vancouver production of The Wrong Bashir. Photograph: Matt Reznek.
The Wrong Bashir, Crow's Theatre, Toronto, Simerg, Zahida Rahemtulla, Simerg and Hussein Janmohamed, 2024 season
Hussein Janmohamed, Parm Soor, and Aman Mann were among the stars in Vancouver’s rendition of The Wrong Bashir, which received a world premiere in BC in March 2023. Photograph: Matt Reznek.

The Play

The Wrong Bashir is Burnaby-born Ismaili playwright Zahida Rahemtulla’s debut play. It follows Bashir Ladha, a young philosophy major who has drifted from his Ismaili roots. Bashir’s parents receive a call that their wayward son has been selected as Student’s Mukhisaheb (congregational leader in Ismaili Jamatkhana), and they dutifully accept on his behalf. Before Bashir has a chance to argue, two official committee representatives arrive at the Ladha household.

As the two representatives slowly begin to realise a possible mistake in selection, the doorbell rings and Bashir’s excited grandparents and family friend make a surprise visit, having caught wind of the news in their Jamatkhana. The fun begins and much hilarity ensues as everyone struggles to keep up a farce. Reflections about tradition, the second-generation, and community are all brought to life in this heartfelt comedy, which also affectionately brings to life much of the humour that exists within Ismaili communities.

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Playwright Zahida Rahemtulla and Director Paolo Santalucia

Zahida Rahemtulla, Ismaili Playwright, The Wrong Bashir, Crow's Theatre Toronto, 2024
Zahida Rahemtulla, playwright of The Wrong Bashir.

Zahida Rahemtulla is a playwright and short story writer. Her debut play, The Wrong Bashir, premiered with Touchstone Theatre in Vancouver and was recently picked up for Toronto premiere with Crow’s Theatre, which has been a leading force in new play creation in the Canadian theatre landscape. Zahida currently facilitates Parragon Theatre’s East of Tarragon Project in Scarborough and is passionate about education and working on new plays and with new playwrights.

Paolo Santalucia, director of The Wrong Bashir, Crow's Theatre, Toronto
Paolo Santalucia, director of The Wrong Bashir.

Paolo Santalucia is an award-winning actor, director and writer. He is a graduate of the Soulpepper Academy, and has been a member of Soulpepper’s ensemble for the past ten seasons. Paolo is a co-founder and Artistic Leader of the award-winning Howland Company. Paolo also teaches classical performance with the University of Toronto’s Theatre and Drama Studies Program, and is the recipient of two Dora Mavor Moore Awards in acting, one nomination for direction, and has been shortlisted for the John Hirsch Award for Directing.

Date posted: May 15, 2023.

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We welcome your feedback. Please click Leave a comment.

Please take a moment to review Simerg’s Table of Contents as well as visit Simerg’s sister websites Barakah and Simergphotos. The editor Malik Merchant may be reached via email at mmerchant@simerg.com.

A brief note on Prince Hussain Aga Khan’s beautiful photo book “The Living Sea” – get your copy before it sells out!

By MALIK MERCHANT

There are books around me, galore! And some of the oversized books in my collection are quite beautiful. In 2022, I added one more beautiful volume to my collection, “Depth of Field: The Aga Khan Beyond the Lens” (read reflections by Nizar Motani.) I proudly have it on my tiny square living room table for me as well as everyone visiting me to enjoy. As Motani observed: “This epic volume and once in a life time publication should be an occasion of immense pride and happiness for every Ismaili murid and should belong in our homes.”

Depth of field, Aga Khan Beyond the Lens, by Gary Otte, Ismaili Imam, Simerg

The photograph of my beloved Imam — Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan — on the front cover is a joy to see. It also serves as a source of strength in my daily life, and reminds me of his ancestry to the Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him) from whom he is directly descended and holder of the Hereditary Divine Seat of the Imamat. As the volume’s editor, Gary Otte could not have chosen a more vivid and warmer photo for the cover.

On Thursday, May 11, 2023, at the opening of Prince Hussain Aga Khan’s exhibition in Calgary, I acquired “The Living Sea,” a fully illustrated 320 page hardback edition of the Prince’s collection of sea animal photographs captured over the last few years. The exhibition hosts, The Glenbow at the Edison, were allocated 100 copies and, as of the 2nd day of the exhibition, they had already sold 25 copies (each @ CAN $80.00 + taxes, as applicable). According to the information that I have, there will be a total of 350 copies for sale in Canada — including Glenbow’s stock of 100. It appears that the volume, with its small print run, will have to go into second printing. The book is beautifully bound and printed in Spain.

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The Living Sea by Hussain Aga Khan, Hardcover, 312 pages, 24 x 33 cms, published by ‎ La Fábrica, 2022 simerg
The Living Sea by Hussain Aga Khan, Hardcover, 320 pages, 24.13 x 3.18 x 33.02 cms, published by ‎ La Fábrica, Oct. 18 2022.

The Living Sea Exhibition – Fragile Beauty exhibition (May 11-21, 2023, Calgary) is going to be etched in everyone’s memories forever, judging by the comments and the time that most visitors are taking to view the photographs, reading their captions as well as gathering facts and statistics on the fragility of the sea and its beautiful creatures that are posted on a number of panels. I therefore differ with the Ismaili community’s Al-Akhbar newsletter that says that “the exhibit can be viewed in approximately 30 minutes.” Indeed, Prince Hussain’s excellent timeline from 2004-2023 and profile alone require at least 5-7 minutes of reading time. I don’t recommend that visitors rush through an insightful exhibition such as The Living Sea in 30 minutes. I would recommend at least another 20-30 minutes!

And what when the exhibition winds down in Calgary on May 21? Its return to Calgary may be some years away. How are we going to preserve and cherish the memories of the Prince’s incredible insight into the sea and its creatures that we are being presented through the exhibition? How do we cherish the work he is doing and share them with our young children and youth?

This is where owning your own copy of “The Living Sea” becomes important. The book is insightful, and outlines Prince Hussein’s firsthand experiences he underwent to capture these emotive photographs. The electronic media is around, but nothing is as satisfying and pleasurable as holding a book in your hands, taking the time to flip through its pages as you read it. As parents, we will bring excitement and happiness to our children as we show them the book. Their astonishment will be reflected as they point or place their finger on the photographs. Most importantly, this will be an opportunity to educate our children at a young age about the fragility of the marine ecosystem, how vital it is to our existence on Earth, and how imperative it is that we work to protect it as well as all the creatures who call it home. I therefore recommend you to acquire your own copy of this marvellous volume. And many who will not visit the exhibition, will get a lot of satisfaction by owning the volume.

With regard to its prominent placement, “The Living Sea” and “The Aga Khan Beyond the Lens” will sit next to each other at an angle, so that they fit well on my tiny square living room table.

Date posted: May 13, 2023.

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We welcome your feedback. Please click Leave a comment.

Please take a moment to review Simerg’s Table of Contents as well as visit Simerg’s sister websites Barakah and Simergphotos. The editor Malik Merchant may be reached via email at mmerchant@simerg.com.

Free exhibition, Calgary, May 11-21: Glenbow at the Edison brings you the phenomenal beauty and fragility of the ocean and its creatures through photographs of Hussain Aga Khan

For free exhibition tickets, please click The Living Sea: Glenbow at the Edison

“Given that humans live on land, we tend to have a rather terrestrial-centric view of the world. But when we consider that 98% of Earth’s biosphere, the place where life can exist, is made of water and that every other breath a human takes cycled through the sea, it becomes clear that the ocean is not only vital to our planet, the ocean is our planet” — Brian Skerry, in introduction to Diving Into Wildlife (2nd ed., 2015). Skerry is photojournalist and contributor to National Geographic

Photograph: Hussain Aga Khan/Diving into Wildlife
Photograph: Hussain Aga Khan, published in Diving into Wildlife, page 34. Click on image to reserve free tickets.

“The work of Hussain Aga Khan is visual poetry created in the sea that seduces the viewer to discover her mysteries and leads people to care ….Through his work, Hussain tells an important story. It is a story about a magnificent place he has explored, photographed and shares with us now. It is a story about a place quite unlike any other, and is a place that needs our help” — Brian Skerry, in introduction to Diving Into Wildlife (2nd ed., 2015)

Spaces for the “The Living Sea – Fragile Beauty” are filling up fast, so get your free ticket NOW by clicking on GLENBOW AT THE EDISON.

Related posts:

Date posted: May 9, 2023.

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Aga Khan Garden Edmonton Nurin Merchant simerg news

CANCELLED EVENT: Aga Khan Garden to feature Treaty 6 Singers and Dancers and the Royal Canadian Artillery Band in Coronation Celebration at U of A Botanic Garden, Saturday May 13, 2023 — Free admission & parking!

Compiled and prepared by MALIK MERCHANT

UPDATE MAY 9, 2023: Due to the severity of wildfires in Alberta, this special event commemorating the coronation of King Charles III has been cancelled.

The Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta is joining with the University of Alberta in a special celebration to mark the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III on Saturday, May 13, 2023, at the University of Alberta Botanic Garden in Edmonton. The celebration will feature free public admission to the Botanic Garden throughout the day, and an afternoon program to include performances by the Treaty 6 Singers and Dancers (Aga Khan Garden, 1:30 PM), the RCMP Pipes and Drums (Pine Pavilion, 2:15 PM), the Royal Canadian Artillery Band (Aga Khan Garden Amphitheatre, 3:00 PM) and Kita no Taiko Japanese Drummers (Kurimoto Japanese Garden, 3:45 PM.)

The official program will commence at 1:00 pm at the Aga Khan Garden’s beautiful Talar building with greetings by Her Honour, the Honourable Salma Lakhani, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.

Talar Building Aga Khan Garden Edmonton, University of Alberta Botanic Garden, Simerg
A view of Aga Khan Garden’s magnificent Talar Building, where Her Honour, the Honourable Salma Lakhani, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta will offer greetings on Saturday, May 13, 2023, before the commencement of special musical events celebrating the coronation of King Charles III. Photograph: Nurin Merchant/Simerg.

Here is a brief description of the bands that will be performing at the Coronation celebration:

Treaty 6 Singers and Dancers (Aga Khan Garden)

For our readers’ information, Treaty 6 encompasses 17 First Nations in central Alberta including the Dene Suliné, Cree, Nakota Sioux and Saulteaux peoples. Treaties are the law of the land in the relationship between First Nations and the rest of Canada.

The peoples of the Treaty 6 area have diverse cultural traditions that are reflected in their musical and dance styles. All of these groups regard music and dance as vital parts of their lives. For them, music has a strong presence in their lives; in ceremonies, rituals, prayer, and various other spiritual practices. Along with dance, it is a means to unite people with each other and with the Creator. Dancers follow the beat of the drum, which is interpreted as a continuation of the Earth’s heartbeat – the same heartbeat that unites all people and is first heard inside the mother’s womb.

Today, music and dance continue to play a vital role in the spiritual and cultural lives of the Treaty 6 peoples.

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The Royal Canadian Artillery Band (Aga Khan Garden, amphitheatre)

The Band provides music for military parades and ceremonial occasions, formal concerts, government functions, tattoos, and special events. The RCA Band performs as a 35 piece Brass / Reed Parade Band, a 35-piece Concert Band, as well as in various smaller configurations.

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The RCMP Pipes and Drums (Pine Pavilion)

RCMP Pipes and Drums. Simerg article
RCMP Pipes and Drums will perform at the University of Alberta Botanic Garden’s Pines Pavilion on Saturday, May 13, 2023 in honour of the coronation of King Charles III at Westminster Abbey, London, on May 6, 2023. Photograph: RCMP Pipes and Drums.

The RCMP Regimental Pipes and Drums of Alberta is comprised of Civilian, Military and RCMP members. The band is a not for profit group with members throughout Alberta that promote the RCMP within Alberta and nationally. The band uniform consists of the RCMP scarlet tunic and the RCMP tartan kilt. This uniform is recognized world wide and represents a national institution.

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Kita no Taiko Japanese Drummers (Kurimoto Japanese Garden)

This drumming group is one of the oldest Japanese drumming groups in North America and will enthrall the audience through the powerful, beautiful sound of the taiko (drum). Watch how taiko combines dynamic music, primal rhythms, and the human spirit to create an unforgettable artistic experience.

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Coronation Celebration of King Charles III

King Charles Coronation Celebration, University of Alberta Botanic Garden, Japanese Garden, Aga Khan Garden
Please click on image to visit the Lt. Governor of Alberta website for further information about the coronation celebration event.

Date posted: May 8, 2023.
Last updated: May 9, 2023 (event cancelled.)

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Material for this post was compiled from the following websites:

Canada Post issues Eid stamp graced with image of a beautiful Iranian artifact crafted 700 years ago

“It may seem unusual that an ancient artifact from medieval Iran would make its way onto a Canadian stamp, but it’s really not at all. This is a wonderful reflection of who we are as Canadians and how diverse our country is. We celebrate cultures from across the world here.” — Dr. Fahmida Suleman, curator of the Islamic World collections, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, as quoted in Canada Post Magazine article.

Crafted nearly 700 years ago in medieval Iran, the elegant, hand-painted ceramic bowl on this year’s Eid stamp was made during Ramadan — one of the holiest months in the Islamic calendar, when Muslims in Canada and around the world fast as an act of worship, self-purification and spiritual growth. This is Canada Post’s fifth Eid issue. The 2023 stamp also features, in calligraphy, the words Eid Mubarak, a traditional Arabic greeting that means “have a blessed Eid”. Its issue date is April 3, in advance of both Eid al-Fitr which is expected to be observed on Friday, April 21, and Eid al-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice, which marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to the Kaaba in Mecca. The 2023 Hajj is scheduled to take place between June 26 and July 1…. PLEASE READ MORE IN CANADA POST MAGAZINE.

To buy stamp (in booklet of 6), please click Eid (2023): Permanent domestic rate stamps. The link includes an image of the stamps booklet and describes the two Islamic Eid festivals in more detail. The booklets should be available at Canada Post locations around the country. The specifications for the stamp are as follows:

Designer: Subplot Design Inc; Issue date: April 3, 2023; and Quantity produced: 55,000.

Date posted: April 14, 2023.

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Please take a moment to review Simerg’s Table of Contents as well as visit Simerg’s sister websites Barakah and Simergphotos. The editor Malik Merchant may be reached via email at mmerchant@simerg.com.

Two Princes in the Aga Khan’s family have their birthdays 1 day apart – Hussain has turned 49 and his nephew Irfan is 8

Prince Hussain Aga Khan Simerg

“From the first Costeau film I saw and the fish I started keeping at the age of five, the first octopus and cuttlefish that squirted ink at me….I knew I couldn’t, wouldn’t stop exploring the sea,” says Prince Hussain. Read more about his marine expeditions and exciting encounters in the underwater world as well as his contributions to the work of the Ismaili Imamat by clicking on photo shown above or APRIL 10: PRINCE HUSSAIN AGA KHAN.

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Prince Hussain’s nephew, Prince Irfan, is 41 years younger! His recent photo with his grandfather, His Highness the Aga Khan, the 49th Hereditary Imam of the Ismaili Muslims and direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him and his family), brought immense joy to Ismailis around the world. Our piece on the young Prince includes the meaning of his beautiful name Irfan. Please click on photo or APRIL 11: PRINCE IRFAN AGA KHAN.

Date posted: April 11, 2023.

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A voice of condolence, solidarity and heartful prayer for Farana Sadrudin, 49, and Mariana Jadaugy, 24, who lost their precious lives at Lisbon Ismaili Centre’s knife attack

Editor’s note: In the aftermath of the knife attack at the Ismaili Centre in Lisbon that killed Farana Sadrudin and Mariana Jadaugy, condolences have been expressed to the families of the victims privately, in public statements or through the media. One such expression was received by Simerg from Paris based Moez Nato in response to our report on the funeral of Farana Sadrudin that took place in Lisbon on Friday, March 31, 2023. We publish Nato’s expression of sympathy that we feel is representative of how hundreds of thousands of members of the Ismaili community in Portugal and around the world feel about the tragedy that has taken place. The image at top of this post features Mariana Jadaugy (left, photo credit: NOVA FCSH) and Farana Sadrudin (photo credit: Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal).

By MOEZ NATO

French (English follows)

Chers soeurs et frères de foi,
Chers amis,

Cette horrible nouvelle de Lisbonne ne peut que nous fendre le coeur et nous attrister profondément. Nous sommes touchés dans notre chair. Quelle douloureuse nouvelle! Quels malheurs!
Mais pourquoi ce geste fou, violent?

Nos prières et nos pensées pour les parents et les proches des innocentes victimes. Nos prières pour que Allah, dans toute Sa Miséricorde et Sa Clémence ouvrent à leurs âmes en paix le Royaume de Lumière.

Que les Bénédictions de Mowlana Hazar Imam soient pour les parents des victimes une source de réconfort spirituel.

Nos condoléances attristées à toute la communauté ismailie de Lisbonne .
Nos pensées et notre soutien moral au Peuple Portugais et aux Autorités Politiques Institutionnelles qui ont toujours manifesté leur bienveillance à l’ Imamat Ismaili et soutenu l’ intégration loyale, harmonieuse de notre Jamat au sein de la société civile portugaise.

Avec nos affectueuses pensées et l’ expression de notre solidarité, de notre fraternité, à toutes les personnes qui ont acceuillie cette affreuse nouvelle de Lisbonne avec beaucoup de tristesse.

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English

Dear sisters and brothers of faith, Dear friends,

This horrible news from Lisbon can only break our hearts and sadden us deeply. We are touched in our flesh. What painful news! What misfortunes! But why this crazy, violent gesture?

Our prayers and thoughts for the parents and loved ones of the innocent victims. Our prayers that Allah, in all His Mercy will open the Kingdom of Light to their souls in peace.

May the Blessings of Mawlana Hazar Imam be a source of spiritual comfort to the relatives of the victims.

Our heartfelt condolences to the entire Ismaili community of Lisbon.

Our thoughts and our moral support to the Portuguese People and to the Institutional Political Authorities who have always shown their benevolence to the Ismaili Imamat and supported the loyal, harmonious integration of our Jamat within Portuguese civil society.

With our loving thoughts and the expression of our solidarity, our fraternity, to all the people who have received this dreadful news from Lisbon with great sadness.

Date posted: April 2, 2023.

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As a follow up to Moez Nato’s message of condolence posted above as well as others that we have received, Simerg invites its readers to submit their thoughts, reflections and condolences on the tragedy that took place on March 28, 2023, in Lisbon. Please submit your feedback by clicking Leave a comment. Also, please click HERE to read other messages of condolence.

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.

Scenes of bereavement at at the funeral ceremony for Farana Sadrudin that took place at the Ismaili Centre Lisbon on Friday, March 31, 2023. Photograph: Jornal de Noticias. Please click on photo for numerous reports and more photographs.

Fatal attack at Ismaili Centre Lisbon: Funeral of Farana Sadrudin, 49, victim of knife attack that killed her and Mariana Jadaugy, 24; and video of condolence at the Parliament of Portugal

Report prepared and compiled by MALIK MERCHANT

Farana Sadrudin, aged 49, who was killed in a knife attack that took place on March 28, 2023, at the Ismaili Centre Lisbon was buried on Friday, March 31, the 9th day of the Muslim month of Ramadhan, at the Cemitério do Lumiar following a funeral ceremony that was held at the Ismaili Centre and attended by more than 1,500 people.

The cemetery has burial zones for numerous faith groups including Muslims, Christians and Jews. The funeral for the 2nd victim, Mariana Jadaugy, aged 24, will be held Saturday, April 1, in Sintra, a resort town near Lisbon. The horrible crime, that also injured a 3rd person, was committed by Abdul Bashir, a refugee who had been living in Portugal for the past 12 months.

The traditional Ismaili Muslim post burial prayers of zyarat and samar for the soul of Farana were held at the Ismaili Centre Jamatkhana immediately after the completion of the burial rites.

Numerous Portuguese newspapers carried reports and photographs of the hearse’s arrival at the Ismaili Centre before the funeral ceremony as well as scenes of bereavement outside the Ismaili Centre as families, friends and members of the public gathered to mourn and pay respects to the deceased.

The largest Portuguese circulated newspaper Correio da Manhã (CM Journal) noted that the hearse to carry the body for burial at the cemetery arrived at the Ismaili Centre at 9:00 AM local time, two hours ahead of the funeral ceremonies at 11:00 AM. Please click HERE for CM’s report and photos of the hearse. The newspaper further reported that dozens of heavily armed police officers were at the Ismaili Center as funeral ceremonies took place for Farana. The newspaper also put out a short video Farana’s funeral marked by emotion and tears from family and friends in Portuguese.

Scenes of bereavement at at the funeral ceremony for Farana Sadrudin that took place at the Ismaili Centre Lisbon on Friday, March 31, 2023. Photograph: Jornal de Noticias. Please click on photo for numerous reports and more photographs.
A scene of bereavement at the funeral ceremony for Farana Sadrudin that took place at the Ismaili Centre Lisbon on Friday, March 31, 2023. Photograph: Jornal de Noticias. Please click on photo for numerous reports and more photographs.

The Jornal de Notícias, one of Portugal’s oldest newspapers, carried photographs of scenes of bereavement outside the Ismaili Centre Lisbon, as a vast crowd gathered to pay respects at the funeral ceremony for Farana. The newspaper has also grouped links to various reports related to the attack at the Ismaili Centre under one special section; please click HERE.

According to the Portuguese media, the funeral for the second victim, Mariana Jadaugy, will take place in Sintra, a town near Lisbon. Earlier, the Lisbon School of Economics and Management (ISEG) had issued the following In Memoriam statement for the 2 victims:

“ISEG deeply regrets the deaths that occurred yesterday at the Ismali Center in Lisbon, in particular that of student Mariana Jadaugy, ISEG student, master in Development and International Cooperation. Mariana finished her master’s degree in December 2021 with an average of 15 out of 20, where she defended her thesis on the theme “Women’s Participation in Non-Governmental Organizations: Contributions to Your Study”.

“ISEG vehemently repudiates any type of violence and discrimination, and associates itself with the pain of the Ismaili community in Portugal, also conveying its deepest feelings to the families, colleagues and friends of the victims.”

OTHER NOTES AND STORIES OF INTEREST FROM THE PORTUGUESE MEDIA

REPORT SUMMARY — “The Assembly of the Republic on Friday, March 31, 2023, approved a vote of condolence for the victims of the attack that took place on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, at the Ismaili Center in Lisbon. The members of the assembly gave a a long standing applause to the families, those responsible for the center and the representative of the Ismaili Imamat in Lisbon​ who were present in the galleries.”

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VIDEO: CONDOLENCES EXPRESSED BY PARLIAMENT OF PORTUGAL

Video: Portuguese Parliament, March 31.2023.

This post will continue to be updated with emerging stories, including Mariana Jadaugy’s funeral that is scheduled to take place later today, Saturday, April 1, 2023.

Date posted: March 31, 2023.
Last updated: April 3, 2023 (CM Jornal link to video of funeral)

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