“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
“I don’t read or write but I am very interested in animal husbandry and I have always worked hard on the farm. It was my dream for my children to be educated so I worked hard and provided for their education…” — Guljon Bibi
This is a fascinating collection of autobiographical tales told by women from the Ismaili village of Shimshal, in the remote Karakoram mountains. On the eastern border of Pakistan, the women of Shimshal live peaceful lives of extreme hardship and good-humoured tolerance.