Simerg is an independent platform that focuses on the dissemination of knowledge about the faith, culture and news pertaining to the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims led by their Hereditary Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, through literary readings as well as artistic and textual expressions. It also brings to its readers news, events and programs that are of interest to all readers, Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Simerg supports 2 more independent initiatives, Barakah.com and Simergphotos.com
In a fascinating 5 part travelogue of his trip to China and Pakistan, Ali Karim dedicated an entire post to the Ismailis of Northern Hunza. His visits to the villages of Passu and Khyber left Ali and his wife Dilshad speechless. They noted, “The experience was overwhelming, as were the sights! The Ismailis of Khyber village and Passu showed us that you can symbolically scale and even climb above the highest of peaks through goodness, warmth and generosity.” Please read Ali’s piece Ismailis of Remote Northern Hunza Rise High Above the Tallest Peaks.
Interestingly, just this past week, the media in Pakistan reported a story about Nyal Mueenuddin, wildlife filmmaker for World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Pakistan and Imtiaz Ahmed, a local photographer, spotting a herd of about 50 Himalayan ibex including females along with their yearlings near Khyber village. We located the beautiful short film on Youtube, which every member of your family, young and old alike, will love watching. The short film follows photos of Khyber Village and Passu from Ali Karim’s must read article.
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We convey Salgirah* Mubarak to all Ismailis and friends of the Ismailis on the occasion of the 81st birthday of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, who is currently visiting Pakistan for his Diamond Jubilee. At the age of 81, His Highness is the oldest serving Imam in Ismaili history, since the time of the first Imam, Hazrat Ali (a.s.). We are pleased to publish on http://www.barakah.com an account of the Darbar of the Aga Khan that took place on Sunday, December 10, 2017, in Aliabad, Hunza. The piece was specially contributed for Barakah by Faqir Ullah Khan of Hunza.
HUNZA’S FAQIR ULLAH KHAN in a special report for Barakah provides a lively update with great photos of the Darbar preparations that are underway in Aliabad, Hunza. Read his wonderful piece and share it with all your friends…..MORE
The excitement for the didar has spilled into every corner of Hunza. There will be more Jamati members participating in this Darbar than ever before. The entire registration process began some months ago and this has proceeded very well. The spirit of the Jamat and volunteers particularly in central Hunza is extremely high. The darbar task force members are active at each of the villages. Transportation, crowd control, accommodation and lodging have become major challenges. Jamats living in remoter areas will start moving to Aliabad at least 4 days before darbar…..MORE
“The dargah of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia is the unquestionable historic, religious, and geographic origin of the neighborhood, the reason it came into existence, and the reason it continues to draw visitors from the world over.” — Michael Snyder, Columbia Undergraduate Journal of South Asian Studies
While walking deeper inside the Nizamuddin basti, the bursting aroma of sandalwood agarbattis (incense) mingle with the smell of the city and the open courtyard of the dargah is gradually filled with men and women. The agarbattis and diyas brightens up the dark closure, with each person lighting up to 20 agarbattis at a particular time in order to get purified of the evil and to clean the air of the surrounding negativity. It is said that the saint’s powers can cure people from all the djinns and negativity surrounding their bodies and hence leave them purified. Photo: Muslim Harji. Copyright. Please click on image for story and photos.
Please click on the following image to zoom on an excellent PDF version of the photo
Please click on image to view PDF file. Copyright Simerg/Abdul M. Ismaily Family Collection.
Simerg was thrilled and privileged to recently publish on its sister photoblog never-before-seen photos of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, which were captured by Abdul M. Ismaily (1926-1981) during Hazar Imam’s visits to Hunza, Uganda and Pakistan in the early 1960’s. The collection was provided for exclusive publication on Simerg by the family of the late “Papa Jaan,” through Muslim Harji of Montreal.
We pay a small tribute to the memory of “Papa Jaan” for his outstanding photos by presenting a PDF image (click image on top) which contains 35 images from more than fifty that appeared in the Hunza, Uganda and Pakistan pieces. First time visitors to this website as well as readers who may have overlooked one or more photo posts are invited to click on the following links:
“When I was 15 there were 21 people living in the house and my friend Hasiet and I had to do all the weekly washing for the whole family, even in winter. It took all day and I got frost bite in my feet several times. My toes would turn black. We’d go down to the river and make a fire to heat the water. We used to burn our socks, trying to warm our toes by the fire” — Hussn Bibi
“….The university recommended the Campbell Institute. When I went to see the Campbell directors they were intrigued by the notion of this woman [Hussn], this mountain farmer from Pakistan, coming to their school which mostly enrolled Korean and Chinese youths. The fees seemed astronomical to me, but my mother’s estate provided collateral, the Campbell Institute awarded a generous scholarship to Hussn, and Lynette, my companion on the first trip to Shimshal, sent one thousand pounds….” — Pam Henson, author of Women of Shimshal
‘‘When I was 15 there were 21 people living in the house and my friend Hasiet and I had to do all the weekly washing for the whole family, even in winter. It took all day and I got frost bite in my feet several times. My toes would turn black. We’d go down to the river and make a fire to heat the water. We used to burn our socks, trying to warm our toes by the fire. It was hard to find enough money to buy new ones with all those people in the house.’’ — Hussn Bibi