Available for Viewing and Purchase in Calgary: Prince Hussain Aga Khan’s Signed Copies of “Diving Into Wildlife” PLUS An Exclusive Collection of Italian Made Scarves Inspired by His Beautiful Photos of Sea Animals

By MALIK MERCHANT
Publisher/Editor SimergBarakah and SimergphotosBarakah 

Hussain Aga Khan
Prince Hussain

For more than 12 years, Simerg has supported the initiatives of Prince Hussain Aga Khan to his satisfaction. When we first received his signed book “Animal Voyage” in 2009, they were snapped up within a few days. Then, we received his signed and unsigned copies of “Diving Into Wildlife” containing sea animal photos that were also sold out. We are pleased to inform you that we now have in stock very limited quantities of signed copies of “Diving Into Wildlife” for sale in Canada. The signed copy is available at US $125.00 (Note: The current Canadian bank exchange rate will be used for payments in Cdn $).

In addition to Diving Into Wildlife, we have also received for sale an entire collection of Italian made scarves inspired by Prince Hussain’s photography. The beautiful STENNELA produced scarves were conceived by Valérie Maurice and designed by Kirsten Synge, exclusively for the Prince’s organization Focused on Nature (FON). The scarves as well as the signed books may be viewed in Calgary, before making a purchase. As in the past, the entire proceeds from the sales of scarves and books will be submitted to Prince Hussain’s organization FON, which assists in the conservation and protection of threatened and endangered species, as well as habitat conservation efforts.

Story continues below

PHOTO BOOK: DIVING INTO WILDLIFE

Diving Into Wildlife by Hussain Aga Khan Simerg Signed copy
Cover Page of Prince Hussain Aga Khan’s Diving Into Wildlife.

______________

Hussain Aga Khan with his father and Portuguese President in Lisbon
Prince Hussain presents a photograph to his father, Mawlana Hazar Imam His Highness the Aga Khan, and Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa at The Living Sea photo exhibition in Lisbon in September 2019. Photo: The Ismaili/Jorge Simão.

______________

STENELLA SCARF COLLECTION INSPIRED BY PRINCE HUSSAIN’S PHOTOGRAPHS

Focused on Nature Scarves
200 cm x 140 cm ( 85% modal, 15% silk) $US 290.00; Italian made and produced by STENELLA brand for Prince Hussain’s organization FON. Other sizes are also available and priced from $US 90.00. Please contact Malik Merchant at mmerchant@simerg.com to view – and purchase – the scarves in person in Calgary.

The author of this piece will gladly arrange to show you, by appointment, the entire collection of the beautiful scarves in person in Calgary. At the same time, you will also be able to make purchase of the scarf of your choice; they range in price from approximately US $ 95.00 to US $ 295.00, depending on material (silk or silk/cotton) and size. Please contact mmerchant@simerg.com for more details about the objects and to arrange a viewing in Calgary. During the viewing at a mutually arranged location, Malik will respectfully observe the social distancing guidelines in place for COVID-19 as well as any other recommendation(s) you and your family members may be observing at the time. Malik looks forward to your interest in these beautiful objects related to Prince Hussain Aga Khan’s incredible voyage of discovery in wildlife and nature since his childhood.

Date posted: April 22, 2022.

_____________________

Malik Merchant, publisher and editor of Simerg, Insights from Around the World
Malik Merchant

Malik Merchant is the founding publisher and editor of Simerg (2009) as well as its two sister websites Barakah (2017) and Simergphotos (2012). An IT consultant for more than 40 years in the UK, USA and Canada, he now engages in family related projects and is devoted to his websites. His passion for literature and community publications began in his childhood years through the work of his late parents Jehangir (d. 2017) and Malek Merchant (d. 2021), who both devoted their lives to the service of the Ismaili community, its institutions and the Imam-of-the-Time as missionaries and religious education teachers. In the UK, Malik edited Ilm magazine with his father. The internet encouraged him to launch his first website, Simerg, in 2009. A resident of Ontario since 1983, he recently relocated to Alberta. He has an animal loving daughter Dr. Nurin Merchant; she is a vet and practices in Ontario. Malik can be contacted by email at mmerchant@simerg.com. He can also be reached — and followed — @twitter and @facebook.

National Geographic Photo Story: A Journey Through Tajikistan’s Pamir Mountains

In the heart of Central Asia lie the dramatic Pamir Mountains; while the topography of this lofty region poses unique challenges to daily life, new initiatives including those by the Aga Khan Development Network have helped to bring fresh opportunities to some of Tajikistan’s remotest communities. Please click on Pamir Mountains or on photo below to read Christopher Wilton-Steer’s piece in the National Geographic.

National Geographic Photo
Please click on image to read Pamir photo story in the National Geographic.

Date posted: April 21, 2022.

________________

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. Simerg’s editor may be reached at mmerchant@simerg.com

The Heavenly Ismaili Jamatkhana at Night; and Changing Face of Nature at Morningside and Aga Khan Parks

Hopefully, you did not miss photos of the rich autumn colours at Aga Khan Park, when autumn foliage peaked around November 5, 2021. If you missed the post, please click HERE.

Click on photo

About a week later, as trees started losing their leaves, Malik Merchant happened to be at the grounds of Aga Khan Park at night, and captured the beauty of the heavenly Ismaili Jamatkhana dome through lit-up trees, moments before the lights in the prayer hall went out. See the beautiful photos HERE.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Click on image

The face of nature changed once again, as more and more trees shed their leaves and lost much of the autumn foliage. For one last time Malik Merchant visited Morningside Park, and also made his customary pilgrimage to the Aga Khan Park. His story and spectacular photos are HERE.

Date posted: November 18, 2021.

_____________________

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. Please also visit Simerg’s sister websites Barakah and Simergphotos.

Autumn Photos: Blazing Red Maples at Aga Khan Park

Introduced by MALIK MERCHANT
(Publisher-Editor Barakah, Simergand Simergphotos)

What truly instilled in me a love for nature? I had taken it for granted in Africa! But on a New Moon Night (Chandraat or Chaand Raat; Bengali, Urdu etc.) in Salt Lake City, Utah, during the 3rd week of November 1979, I looked up at the sky with the Wasatch Mountain range around me. There I spotted the beautiful crescent on a clear evening!

Chandraat as Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah, His Highness the Aga Khan III, 48th Hereditary Imam of Ismaili Muslims, said is a night that will generate immense happiness and peace. In anxious moments of arriving in a new city to work as a trainee computer programmer, the sighting of the New Moon is exactly what I needed. I have loved nature ever since that day.

Yesterday, November 5, in Canada and in many other parts of the world, Ismailis marked the Night of the New Moon with special prayers of Salwaat and the prayers of Bibi Fatimah — the beloved daughter of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.S.) and wife of the first Shia Imam Hazrat Ali (A.S.) from whom Ismaili Imams are directly descended. Thousands of Ismailis around the world attended their respective Jamatkhanas while many others prayed at home due to Covid-19 procedures in place. I spent hours during the day time taking photos — I was even more excited and energized, because of the significance of the day.

Please click HERE or on image below to view a small collection from hundreds of nature photographs I took, mostly with my Olympus OM-D EM10, between November 3 and 5, 2021 in Toronto’s forests and parks.

Blazing Aga Khan Park
Please click on image for story Blazing Aga Khan Park and photos from Parks and Forests in Toronto.

Date posted: November 6, 2021.

_______________________

Simergphotos Presents Nature Photos Inspired by the Writings of Aga Khan III

Malik Merchant recently set out to capture pertinent pictures that would be reflective of the writings of Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah, His Highness the Aga Khan III, on the glories of nature and the purpose of life. From the joys of watching beautiful moon and sun rises to the struggles that living things have to endure to sustain themselves as well as to multiply, Malik was lucky enough to experience moments he was seeking out for his new piece in Simergphotos.

A painting of Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah by N.B. Dewji that appeared in a voluminous journal called Rahe Rast, published in 1948-49 under the supervision of Dar es Salaam’s iconic religious education teacher Karim Master. Please read Rahe Rast article.

The photo post has been prepared to mark the 144th birth anniversary of the longest reigning Imam in Ismaili history, Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah, His Highness the Aga Khan III. Born on November 2, 1877 in Karachi, he became the 48th Ismaili Imam in August 1885 at the age of 7. He passed away on July 11, 1957 after a reign of 71 years, the longest in Ismaili history, handing the Hereditary Imamat that originated with Hazrat Ali (a.s.), the first Shia Imam, to his grandson Mawlana Shah Karim al Hussaini, His Highness the Aga Khan IV. Prince Karim is now in his 65th year of Imamat. Please click SIMERPHOTOS or on any of the two images on this page for a beautiful collection of nature photos as well as quotes on nature and the realities of life by Aga Khan III.

Please click on image for NATURE PHOTOS reflecting the wisdom of Aga Khan III.

Date posted: November 1, 2021.

________________

Flowers, Flowers and More Flowers – with Love – for the Children, Girls, Sisters and Mothers of Afghanistan

By MALIK MERCHANT
(Publisher-Editor, BarakahSimerg and Simergphotos)

PLEASE READ THIS FIRST: We wish to remind Jamati members in Afghanistan that they should remain calm, and not give in to panicked reactions. A Jamati advisory was issued on August 20, 2021 to that effect (please read it in English and Farsi). We have learnt from newspaper reports that tens of thousands of Afghan citizens, out of panic, have shown up at the gates of Kabul airport hoping to get a flight out of the country. This panicky rush has resulted in seven deaths. Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, is giving constant guidance and direction to the Jamati leadership in addressing the developments that are taking place in the country. A special AFGHANISTAN HELPLINE has also been set up. As per the advisory and announcements being made in Jamatkhanas around the world, we are gratified to learn that “Ismaili and AKDN institutions remain safe, and have not come under any undue pressures, and that in accordance with Mawlana Hazar Imam’s guidance, all our institutions continue to operate as normal”.

______________________

Flowers

These daytime and night-time photos of the beautiful Hibiscus flowers were taken at the Aga Khan Park in Toronto in the last week. The post is dedicated to the children, girls, sisters and mothers in Afghanistan, with the hope that they will be given the opportunity to become fully engaged in the country’s development, progress, growth and prosperity in the years ahead.

(Click on photos for enlargement)

Hibiscus Aga Khan Park Simerg Malik Merchant. August 22, 2021
Hibiscus. August 22, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simerg.
Hibiscus Aga Khan Park Simerg
Hibiscus. August 15, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simerg.
Hibiscus Aga Khan Park Simerg Malik Merchant
Hibiscus. August 14, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simerg.
Hibiscus. Photo: © Malik Merchant Simerg Aga Khan Park
Hibiscus. August 15, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simerg.
Hibiscus Aga Khan Park Simerg Malik Merchant
Hibiscus. August 22, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simerg.
Hibiscus Aga Khan Park Ismaili Jamatkhana Aga Khan Museum Malik Merchant Simerg
Hibiscus. August 15, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simerg.
Hibiscus Aga Khan Park Malik Merchant Simerg
Hibiscus. August 14, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simerg.

_______________

Last Word: The Pigeons and the Hibiscus

Through wisdom, may compassion, love, peace and power be given to the women of Afghanistan

Hibiscus and Pigeons Aga Khan Park, Peace, Power, Compassion, Wisdom Simerg Malik Merchant
Hibiscus and Pigeons. August 22, 2021. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.

Date posted: August 22, 2021.

_____________________

Another version of this post appears in Simergphotos.

We welcome feedback from our readers. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or click Leave a comment. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

Stunning Nature Photos from Aga Khan Park: The Majestic Hawk, Honey Bees, Russian Sage and the Beautiful Hibiscus

See Nurin and Malik Merchant’s extraordinary photos of their visit to Aga Khan Park. Nurin notes that with 6 summer weeks remaining, make the most by visiting the Park or other gardens and trails where you live. Then of course, we will all see the arrival of autumn that will offer us spectacular fall colours!

Please click INCREDIBLE ENCOUNTERS AT AGA KHAN PARK or on image below

Broad-winged hawk at Aga Khan Park, August 7, 2021. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Please click for photo essay.

Date posted: August 9, 2021.

__________________________

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.

A Beautiful, Creative and Prayerful Birthday Card from Daughter to Dad

By MALIK MERCHANT
Publisher/Editor SimergBarakah and Simergphoto

The greeting card shown above as a featured image and in the post below is from my daughter Nurin, and it is more than what I would wish for on my birthday on August 5, which coincides with the birthday of Princess Salwa, wife of Prince Rahim (b. October 12), and mother to their beautiful two children Prince Irfan (b. April 11) and Prince Sinan (b. January 2).

Like all children and youth of today, Nurin is multi-talented, and who would think that a veterinarian would have an interest in designing creative birthday cards for friends and family members — but that’s one of her favourite hobbies. She has done tons, and they are gorgeous. She has been an artist from her childhood, and could have easily pursued a degree in the fine and visual arts — during her schooling years she learnt to play the flute, the chelo and the piano, and she was great at tap dancing. She continues to paint and sculpt whenever time permits her.

NUrin Merchant Nature of Prayer
The Nature of Prayer” by Nurin Merchant is a 14″ x 10″ mixed media acrylic painting on canvas. Secured on the canvas with strong glue are a handmade Tasbih (prayer beads), and 3 dried leaves bearing the Arabic inscriptions of Allah, Ali, and Muhammad. The whole piece represents prayer through the invocation of these names. This work was Nurin’s contribution for Colours of Love, an art and culture initiative by the Aga Khan Ismaili Council for Canada during the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan. The painting was published in the print edition of The Ismaili Canada magazine. Photo: © Nurin Merchant

For the Golden Jubilee of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, her mixed media painting “The Nature of Prayer,” shown above, was featured in the print edition of The Ismaili magazine.

I think she was very thoughtful about her decision on the career path she ultimately chose to pursue. She loves animals and has adopted two bunnies, Canela and Luc, from an animal care and rescue facility. Her previous bunnies Wobbles and Pistachio died. Luc who fractured his leg late last week is recovering after a surgery.

Please click on photos for enlargement

Nurin and Malik Merchant framed onto a creative birthday card designed by Nurin.

The Blue Jays are back in Toronto playing their home games after a long long time and Nurin, as the team’s fan, is wearing the club’s baseball cap. I take photos with an Olympus, so she had that in mind too when creating the card, and her wish for me in the card is: “I pray that Mawla Bapa [Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan] always bless you with good and improved health, happiness, barakat, mushkil assan, and long life. Ameen.”

That certainly made my day, and I feel very very happy. Thank you Nurin, and I await as my friends and family members treat me to lunch and dinner in the coming days and weeks! If anyone is thinking of a little present, no handkerchiefs please! I get a new white set from Nurin every couple of birthdays.

A side view of Nurin’s birthday card which she created for me because of my love of taking photos with my simple Olympus E-M10 camera!

I really look forward to Nurin’s photo essay of her recent trip to Toronto when she visited the Aga Khan Park, Edwards Gardens, the East Don Trail and the Ever Green Brick Works. Here are samples of her photos including one taken at the Aga Khan Park of a bee pollinating on a Russian (Purple) Sage herb plant. These plants are located in front of the Ismaili Jamatkhana dome along with the matching coloured lavenders; the honey and bumble bees as well as other insects simply love them. You will see tons of bees buzzing around the plants on a sunny day. The bumble bees favour the lavenders over the sage. She also took a photo of the Jamatkhana dome as we were travelling north on Don Valley Parkway, a feat that is unsafe for me to carry out while I am driving. As Ismailis, we are enormously proud of what Mawlana Hazar Imam has built in Canada.

Aga Khan Park Russian Sage Bee Pollinating
A bee on Russian sage at Aga Khan Park, Toronto. July 2021. Photo: Nurin Merchant/Simerg.
Ismaili Jamatkhana dome from DVP Toronto.
A view of the dome of the Ismaili Headquarters Jamatkhana from Toronto’s busy Don Valley Parkway, Northbound. The photo was taken from a moving car by Nurin who was seated on the passenger side. Note the references to the Aga Khan Museum and the Ismaili Centre by the Eglington Avenue Exit sign. The dome when fully lit at night looks spectacular. We hope to bring that photo to our readers in the near future. July 2021. Photo: Nurin Merchant/Simerg.
monarch Butterfly Aga Khan Park
A butterfly on tree at Aga Khan Park. July 2021, Photo: Nurin Merchant/Simerg.
Flower, East Don Trail, Toronto, July 2021. Photo: Nurin Merchant
Flower, East Don Trail, Toronto, July 2021. Photo: Nurin Merchant/Simerg.

Finally, if you are celebrating your birthday this week, a very happy birthday to you too with best wishes for your health, success and happiness as well as fulfillment of your wishes.

Date posted: August 2, 2021.

_______________________

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.