Emerald Ponds, a Grizzly Family of Four, Jagged Mountains and More: An Unforgettable Day on Hwy 40 in Alberta’s Kananaskis Country

After about an hour’s driving (appx 80 kms) from Calgary on the Trans Canada Hwy you are ready for a lifetime experience as you drive through the paved Alberta Hwy 40 or the Kananaskis Trail. Malik Merchant has seen wildlife on the path on every trip he has made over the last few weeks; he now shares photographs that he took on his most recent trip. Please click HERE or on the image(s) below for his latest story, and also visit his photoblog Simergphotos for more of his beautiful experiences in and around Calgary.

Grizzlies Kananaskis Country, Hwy 40
Grizzlies, Kananaskis Trail (Alberta Hwy 40). Please click on photo for story and more photos.
Wedge Pond, Kananaskis Country, Hwy 40
Wedge Pond, Alberta Hwy 40. Please click on photo for story and more photos.

Date posted: August 15, 2022.

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Photos: Driving Through the Scenic Backcountry Gravel Hwy 742, the Smith-Dorrien Trail, in Kananaskis Country

Malik Merchant subjects his Mazda 6 Sedan through 60 kms of rough gravel road, the Hwy 742 or the Smith-Dorrien Trail, to experience some stunning mountain scenery and wildlife in Alberta’s spectacular Kananaskis region. Please click HERE or on photo below to read his report of a memorable 3 hour trip that ended with the greatest rib-eye steak in his life at the Rustica restaurant in Canmore, with the magnificent Three Sisters Mountains smiling on him. Kananaskis is a very short drive from Calgary, and having made 3 trips to the region in as many days (!) Merchant highly recommends everyone to discover this beautiful section of Alberta that brims with natural beauty, easy to moderate to the most strenuous hiking trails as well as great wildlife!….. Read More

A memorial bench at Sprays Lake Reservoir on Hwy 742, the Smith-Dorrien Trail, that starts at the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada. Please click on image for full report and photographs

Date posted: July 27, 2022.

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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 Simergphotos. Reach the editor, Malik, at mmerchant@simerg.com

Stunning Photographs from Kananaskis, a Gem in Canada’s Alberta Province

Malik Merchant spontaneously takes off for a drive through the stunning Kananaskis Mountain Range in the Canadian Rockies in Alberta. He meets beautiful people, sees awe inspiring lakes and sunsets as well as has close encounters with wildlife. No doubt, the late Aga Khan regarded the appreciation of nature as among the TEN PRINCIPLES one should have for a happier, richer and more meaningful life. Click HERE or on any of the photos below for Malik’s informative and exciting piece.

Wildlife in the Kananaskis. Click on photo for story and beautiful photos.
Lakes, mountains and beautiful sunsets in the Kananaskis. Click on photo for story and more photos.
Wildlife in the Kananaskis. Click on photo for story and beautiful photos.

Date posted: July 5, 2022.

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Beautiful Scenes from Calgary: The Top Canadian City to Live In, According to New World Rankings

Malik Merchant has lived in more than 12 cities around the world. When he was suddenly offered an opportunity to relocate to Calgary he did not hesitate. His motto: Seek to be forward looking and be courageous and hopeful. Armed with a camera, just as he did in Toronto and Ottawa, Malik is pleased to share some of his beautiful moments in Calgary, a city that has recently been named as the third best city in the world to live in. Please click CALGARY or on the photo below.

Scenes from Calgary, Malik Merchant, simerg
Downtown Calgary. Please click on photo for complete story.

Date posted: June 26, 2022.

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A Beautiful Day at the Aga Khan Garden, Alberta, in Edmonton: Story and Photos with Insightful Quotes of His Highness the Aga Khan

Malik Merchant drives to Edmonton from his new home in Calgary on the last day of spring, and spends several hours at the Aga Khan Garden. His story, photographs as well as insightful quotes from His Highness the Aga Khan’s speech made on the inauguration day in 2018, bring the Aga Khan Garden alive to readers of Simerg’s sister website, Simergphotos. Please read and share Malik’s beautiful post by clicking on Aga Khan Garden or on the photo below.

Aga Khan Garden Edmonton
A view of the beautiful Talar structure from the Chahar Bagh; Aga Khan Garden, Alberta, in Edmonton. Please click on photo for full story.

Date posted: June 22, 2022

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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.

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

Fantastic Glimpses and Insights from the 1964 East African Safari Rally

Introduced by MALIK MERCHANT
Publisher/Editor  SimergphotosBarakah and Simerg

The football matches between great rival teams in East Africa such as Young Africans and Sunderland of Tanzania and Luo (later Gor Mahia) and Nakuru of Kenya caused a great deal of excitement among football fans, but no sporting event could match the mass appeal and interest of the gruelling 3,000 mile East African Safari rally that was held over 4 days during Easter. Weeks before the event, we would wonder how many cars would be entering the race, how many drivers would come from overseas, and the makes of the cars. Once the rally began in Nairobi, tens of thousands people from all walks of life in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania would throng the streets to see the arrival of the rally cars in their villages and towns. We would be listening to the radio for updates, and waiting to read the morning papers. We are pleased to bring to our readers a selection of photos of the 1964 rally from the collections of The Henry Ford. While the focus is on Ford cars — and specifically the Comet — readers will get an appreciation of the preparations that went into making each car “safari ready” to withstand all that the East African roads and weather would throw at the drivers and their cars to push them into early exit from the rally. Please click HERE or on the photo below to read the story.

Comet Caliente East African Safari American entry; simerg and simergphotos malik merchant
This beautiful Comet Caliente was one of a team of special Ford Comets which was the first American entry in the gruelling 1964 East African Safari rally. The two-door fastback model was equipped with numerous safety features including roll bars, extra lights, engine skid plates and tow bolts. Photo Credit: From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Please click on photo to read more.

Date posted: April 15, 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 at mmerchant@simerg.com

How a Small Ismaili Village of 20 Houses on the Roof of the World is Affected by Climate Crisis

Introduced by MALIK MERCHANT
Publisher/Editor SimergSimergphotos and Barakah

High up in the small town of Bulunkul, one of the most remote areas inhabited by Ismailis (read Pilgrim Journey — the sacred wonders of Pamirs and also How to self-drive the Pamir Highway), the clear view of the Milky Way is unparalleled, and wolves prey on the livestock tended to by semi-nomadic herders like Bulbulov Doniyor. But melting glaciers and increasingly extreme weather patterns are rewriting the rules of play for this village in Tajikistan’s Gorno-Badakhshan where, in winter, the weather temperature can drop down to -60°C. 

Story continues below

Partial map of Tajikistan to illustrate the location of Bulunkul. Distance from Khorog to Bulunkul, 123 km. Map Credit: Indyguide article How to self-drive the Pamir Highway

Last winter, wolves descended from the mountains and went straight for Doniyor, instead of the sheep. In a three part series supported by the Pulitzer Center, Klas Lundström, a staff writer for the Swedish newspaper Tidningen Global, tells the stories of the people living through the climate crisis. Begin reading the series on the website Inverse by clicking on Part 1: In Tajikistan, a deadly new type of climate crisis has already arrived.

Read the remaining two parts of the three part series by clicking on Part 2: 76 degrees below zero: Living through Tajikistan’s climate apocalypse AND Part 3: At the Roof of the World, solar power is a necessary evil — “We are waiting for another way of life”.

Bulbulov Doniyor. In 2020, Covid-19 struck and the herders’ usual trading routes closed. Photo: Fredrik Lerneryd/Inverse. Please click on photo for Part 1 of article.

Date posted: January 30, 2022.

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Before leaving this website please take a moment to visit 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 Hawk at Aga Khan Park: Beautiful Photos from Simerg’s 2021 Collection

Hast thou not seen how that whatsoever is in the heavens and in the earth extols God, and the birds spreading their wings? Each — He knows its prayer and its extolling; and God knows the things they do — Holy Qur’an, 24:41, Sura An-Nur

Hawk at Aga Khan Park
Please click on image for more beautiful photos of the hawk’s visit to Aga Khan Park in August 2021.

Date posted: December 23, 2021.

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Available for Purchase: Very Limited Quantities of “Diving Into Wildlife” Signed by Prince Hussain Aga Khan

Diving into Wildlife by Hussain Aga Khan
Cover Page of Prince Hussain Aga Khan’s Diving Into Wildlife.

Introduced by MALIK MERCHANT
(Publisher-Editor, SimergBarakah, and Simergphotos)

Prince Hussain Aga Khan’s Diving Into Wildlife comprises a collection of extraordinary underwater sea animal photographs taken by the Prince over the past decade. A collection of seven of his sea animal photos were displayed in Lisbon in July 2018 during the Diamond Jubilee of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan.

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SIGNED COPIES ARE MUCH DESIRED

Signed copies are much desired by book lovers and collectors, and, in this particular instance, the signature of Prince Hussain Aga Khan makes his work “Diving Into Wildlife” a truly unique and treasured item for any book collector, or for anyone receiving the book as a gift. Viewers of this website will recall that some 12 years ago, we offered both signed and unsigned copies of Prince Hussain’s book of animal photos entitled Animal Voyage. Prince Hussain had dedicated Animal Voyage to Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan (1933-2003), and the proceeds from the sale of the book went to the Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan Fund for the Environment.

Prince Hussain’s “Diving Into Wildlife” is published under the auspices of his organization called “Focused on Nature” (FON, www.focusedonnature.org), whose mission is to “assist in the conservation and protection of threatened and endangered species, as well as habitat conservation efforts when and where possible.” Simerg is thus delighted to support the work of FON by offering readers signed copies of “Diving Into Wildlife.”

As of the posting of this announcement on December 7, 2021, we have exactly 9 signed copies, and each is being offered at $US125.00 plus $US25.00 to cover expedited shipping and postage across Canada and the USA. The initiative to ask a premium for signed copies and to submit the premium to FON has not been requested by the author or the publisher, but is a Simerg’s. The signed copies are only available for shipping within North America. Each shipment will be trackable via the website of Canada Post.

HOW TO PURCHASE THE BOOK

Payment Methods:

  1. Paypal: Simergbooks has been verified by Paypal. To purchase a copy, please send a request to Simergbooks@aol.com or simerg@aol.com, and an invoice will be generated from Paypal provided we have the book in stock. In view of the limited quantities payment should then be received within 24 hours after the invoice. Canadian orders will be invoiced in Canadian dollars based on an exchange rate of $US 1.00 = $C 1.30.
  2. Email Transfer (for Canadian orders only): Once we have confirmed that a book is available, we will request you to submit a payment via email transfer. In view of the limited quantities payment should then be received within 24 hours after the invoice.

SIMERG’S EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE

My son was delighted with the excellent photography by Prince Hussain. We as a family will cherish this volume (Animal Voyage) for a long time. Once again, thank you http://www.simerg.com  for making this book available in North America and your outstanding customer service and support. Shamim Rajan, Richmond Hill, Ontario

his is a beautiful piece of work!! The service was excellent. Very quick, safe and efficient turnaround and follow up. I recommend everyone to have a copy. Nazir Alibhai, Markham, Ontario.

“Outstanding customer service, superfast delivery, and the book is great addition to any library.” Yaar, Toronto.

Date posted: December 7, 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. Please also visit Simerg’s sister websites  Barakah and Simergphotos.