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”.

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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.

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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.

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Another version of this post appears in Simergphotos.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.