3 Endearing and Inspiring Stories of the Aga Khan from His “Toto” Days in Kenya

The three sweet stories were recorded in a diary kept by Kaderali B. Patel, who was responsible for imparting religious training to Prince Karim and Prince Amyn while they were in Kenya during the 2nd World War. They are produced at Barakah, Simerg’s Special Project “His Highness the Aga Khan A Visual and Textual Celebration”

PLEASE CLICK: The Aga Khan –  Sweet stories of his childhood days in Kenya 

Prince Karim Aga Khan on a rocking horse. Please click on photo for stories.

Date posted: March 30, 2017.

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2014 Twelve Piece Collection from Simergphotos: Selected Photos Spanning the Reign of Two Ismaili Imams – Glimpses of 130 Years of Ismaili History

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Photo Essay: The Ismaili Centre – “Peace Through Prayer” and “A Splendid Reality”

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Photos and Videos: Simerg Captures the Spirit of the Jamat on the Opening Day of the Ismaili Centre in Toronto, Canada

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The message appeared in the Diamond Jubilee Yearbook published in Dar-es-Salaam on 10th August 1946. See cover of special issue following message transcript below.

Photographer, Sarfraz Sadaruddin, Releases Two Unique 1957 Portraits of His Highness the Aga Khan Under a Creative Commons License — A First!

 

Editor’s note: Among the photos we recently published of His Highness the Aga Khan’s visit to the Aga Khan Primary School, Nairobi (see link at bottom of this page), was a unique, previously unpublished portrait of the Aga Khan. We are pleased to inform readers that the photographer of that portrait, Sarfraz Sadaruddin of Vancouver, Canada, has approached us and generously provided us not only with permission to publish his photograph, but also a sister portrait taken at the same time (both of which are reproduced below). He has also provided special permission, under a Creative Commons License, for others to use these portraits, subject to the conditions and restrictions laid out below.

Ismaili readers of this website will be particularly happy to see these two unique portraits of their beloved 49th Imam as they prepare to celebrate Eid al-Fitr. Simerg takes this opportunity to offer congratulations to all Ismailis as well as the entire Muslim world on the most auspicious occasion of Eid al-Fitr marking the end of Ramadhan, and wishes everyone barakah (happiness) and success in all walks of life. We pray for peace and unity amongst Muslims everywhere to please Almighty God, and thus gain more from Allah’s continuous and endless wonderful blessings to mankind.

 THE PORTRAITS OF HIS HIGHNESS THE AGA KHAN BY SARFRAZ SADARUDDIN

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By Mohib Ebrahim

During His Highness the Aga Khan’s 1957 visit to East Africa — his first after becoming Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, the Aga Khan hosted a private function at his residence for many dignitaries — including the late Tom Mboya — and Ismaili community leaders. Sarfraz Sadaruddin, then 19, was one of the photographers covering the event and, never one to be shy, requested the Aga Khan if he could take some portraits of him. The Aga Khan graciously agreed, asking Sarfraz to proceed to the rear garden where he could take the pictures he needed while the Aga Khan was engaged with his guests there and this was when and where these two portraits were taken.

Sarfraz Sadaruddin during Expo 1986.

Sarfraz Sadaruddin during Expo 1986.

Sarfraz Sadaruddin, son of the late Rai A.M. Sadaruddin (see Voices: Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III – Eloquent Persian Quatrain by 48th Ismaili Imam Graces a 1923 Invitation For Talk About Imamat), was born in Nairobi, Kenya where he developed a passion for photography in his mid-teens and apprenticed with Kodak Limited for five years before moving to Hamburg, Germany, in 1960 where, on scholarship, he attended Agfa’s training college. Later, he moved to London to continue his photography studies at Ealing Technical College and then worked as a professional, freelance photographer, in the U.K. and continent, for newspapers, advertising firms and Royalty. In 1980, he moved to Vancouver, Canada, where he now resides and continues covering events.

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In Kenya, since the Aga Khan’s coronation in 1957 until he left in the 1960s, Sarfraz was a key, official photographer at the Aga Khan’s functions in Nairobi. He covered the 49th Ismaili Imam’s Nairobi Enthronement (Takhtnashini) Ceremony, the opening ceremony of the Platinum Jubilee Hospital, now the Aga Khan University Hospital, and the entire Kenya leg of the 1959 visit including opening ceremony of the Aga Khan High School. He was also invited to cover the Aga Khan’s visit to the Aga Khan Primary School and many other private events the Aga Khan attended or hosted.

In London, Sarfraz was invited to cover the Foundation Stone ceremony of the Ismaili Centre as well as the Aga Khan’s community visits and functions.

Sarfraz Sadaruddin taking pictures during His Highness the Aga Khan's Vancouver Silver Jubilee visit in 1983.

Sarfraz Sadaruddin taking pictures during His Highness the Aga Khan’s Vancouver Silver Jubilee visit in 1983.

In Vancouver, Sarfraz continued to cover the Ismaili Imam’s visits, including extensive coverage of the opening ceremony of the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby, which took place in the presence of then Prime Minister, Brian Mulroney, then British Columbia Premier, Bill Bennett, and His Highness the Aga Khan.

Also in Vancouver, outside of the community, Sarfraz was an official press photographer for many visits of Royalty as well as the World Expo, 1986. Key Expo events he covered include the opening by His Royal Highness Prince of Wales and the late Princess Diana and twenty “National Days.” He was complimented by the then Lieutenant Governor of BC, The Hon. Robert G. Rogers, for his outstanding work.

Simerg welcomes feedback on this post. Please click on Comment.

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LIMITED PERMISSION TO REUSE THE PORTRAITS 

In order that the Jamat may enjoy and use these two portraits, Sarfraz is releasing them under under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND) — the first time, to my knowledge, photographs of Mawlana Hazar Imam, have been so generously shared for the Jamat to enjoy without fear of copyright infringement. Please note the images are still copyright and not in the public domain, but the license does allow them to be re-used non-commercially, without modification and with credit as embedded in the images and set out as below, including the web-link:

His Highness the Aga Khan portrait, Kenya, 1957 by Sarfraz Sadaruddin, © 1957 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).

Sarfraz kindly requests that all those who have copied and republished his photograph from the original posting on Simerg and its sister photoblog Simergphotos, to please add the above credit and replace their images with the one published here.

Date posted: Saturday, July 26, 2014.

Copyright: Mohib Ebrahim. 2014.

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About the Author: Mohib Ebrahim is Sarfraz’s nephew, grandson of the late Rai A.M. Sadaruddin and founder of the NanoWisdoms Archive (http://www.nanowisdoms.org), a unique website dedicated solely to the Ismaili Imamat’s speeches, interviews and writings launched in 2011 upon receiving special permission from Aiglemont to publish the Aga Khan’s speeches. With over 500 readings and thousands of quotes it is the most comprehensive, public collection of Imamat knowledge available today.

Some of Mohib’s other articles on this website:

1. His Highness the Aga Khan and Canada: A Profound Affinity – But Why Canada?
2. Topan, Paroo and Visram – The Three Kings Without Crowns

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Link to photos taken at the Aga Khan Primary School:

My Late Mother, Jean Kirk, and Her Special Collection of Rare Photos of His Highness the Aga Khan’s Visits to the Aga Khan Primary School in Nairobi by Allison Wallace

An Ode to the Indian Dukawala of East Africa by Kersi Rustomji

This work is a small tribute to the unsung intrepid pioneering Indian traders and very often their families, who braved the unknown hazards of the “Dark Continent”, carried on regardless of disease, lack of comforts, privations, ill-health, and even death, which they knew was their constant and real possibility.

“While the tribute is aimed at all the Indian, later termed Asians traders and shop keepers, we should bear in mind that these intrepid early trading pioneers also included Ismailis, who became prominent merchants and developers in all economic fields in East Africa. The Ismailis left behind an admirable record of their contribution, and this work touches them too.” — Kersi Rustomji

Hitherto the dukawala remain unrecognised nor given a deservedly appropriate place in the annals of these nations. Without record of these traders and other Indians who also played a very prominent and important part in the economic and the political growth of these nations, the histories of these three East African countries would be incomplete.

PLEASE CLICK: Ode to the Indian Dukawala on East African Plains

The image depicts on the rich red soil, a typical Indian duka, a small trading store, in small towns and remote country areas of East Africa. The signage is also typically hand painted work of the duka owners. These put up with any paint at hand, included some spelling errors. The man behind the counter is my paternal uncle Jehangirji Rustomji, who first opened a small watch repair duka in the old Indian Bazaar, now Biashara Street, in early 1906 in Nairobi, Kenya. He later moved to the then Government Road,  now Moi Avenue, in the corner of a chemist shop, Chemitex,  next to the old Alibhai Sherrif hardware shop, going towards the Ismaili jamatkhana, on the corner of Government Road and River Road. Later his youngest son Rati joined him, and after Jehangirji’s death, Rati carried on the little business until 2009, when he retired and closed the little duka after 103 years of its existence. Rati still lives in Nairobi. Copyright> Kersi Rustomji.

The image depicts on the rich red soil, a typical Indian duka, a small trading store, in small towns and remote country areas of East Africa. The signage is also typically hand painted work of the duka owners. These put up with any paint at hand, included some spelling errors. The man behind the counter is my paternal uncle Jehangirji Rustomji, who first opened a small watch repair duka in the old Indian Bazaar, now Biashara Street, in early 1906 in Nairobi, Kenya. He later moved to the then Government Road, now Moi Avenue, in the corner of a chemist shop, Chemitex, next to the old Alibhai Sherrif hardware shop, going towards the Ismaili jamatkhana, on the corner of Government Road and River Road. Later his youngest son Rati joined him, and after Jehangirji’s death, Rati carried on the little business until 2009, when he retired and closed the little duka after 103 years of its existence. Rati still lives in Nairobi. Copyright: Kersi Rustomji, Australia.

 

 

My Late Mother, Jean Kirk, and Her Collection of Rare Photos of His Highness the Aga Khan by Allison Wallace

“[My] mum trained as a teacher in London and was passionate about the importance of education, the communication of knowledge and the enhancement of the individual through such knowledge. During her time in Kenya, she held the position of Principal at the Aga Khan Primary School in Nairobi where His Highness the Aga Khan on at least one occasion, privileged her to host a visit.” — Allison Wallace

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Ismaili Authors: Excerpt from M. H. Velshi’s “Conversation on Three Continents”

Toronto based Ismaili author, M..H. Velshi whose book excerpt can be read by clicking on the image or link below

Toronto based Ismaili author, M..H. Velshi whose book excerpt can be read by clicking on the image or link below

The year is 1936, and the setting for a serious dialogue between a brother and his sister is Mumbai’s famous Chawpati on Marine Drive – with the continent of Africa in the distant horizon, thousands of miles away….

“To Africa,” she said. 

She looked at his startled face and continued, “That’s your future. So many of my friends have gone and bought shops or farms, or found work on the railways…You know for many years our Imam, Mowlana Sultan Mohammed Shah, has been issuing firmans to us Ismailis to migrate to Africa. Now the Ismailis have built large jamatkhanas in Africa where people can pray and meet freely every day. You won’t be alone. When I heard one of his firmans…I knew it was a message meant for you. It’s your way out.”

PLEASE CLICK: “Conversations on Three Continents”

Please click on image for book excerpt.

Please click on image for book excerpt.

To acquire a Kindle version ($9.11) or a paperback copy ($11.66) at Amazon please click on Conversations on Three Continents.

 

Tragedy in Nairobi Brings Grief to Kenyans and People All Around the World: Pictures and Stories from the Denver Post, Al-Jazeera and the Washington Post

A girl is helped by police officers inside the mall. Please click on next image, see below, for a slide show at the Denver Post website. Links are also provided to the websites of Al-Jazeera and the Washington Post.

A girl is helped by police officers inside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi where 59 people are reported killed during Saturday’s terrorist attack. Please click on next image, see below, for a slide show at the Denver Post website. Viewer discretion is advised as some of the images are disturbing. Links are also provided to the websites of Al-Jazeera and the Washington Post.

Editor’s note: Please also click on the Comments link at top left of this post.  They include updates about the dead victims and the injured.

Kenya’s grief is our grief. The unimaginable and unthinkable has happened in Nairobi, where dozens of people, including Canadians, are dead or injured in a brutal attack against civilians in a mall. The victims included children. The latest reports indicate that at least 59 people were killed and 175 injured in Saturday’s incident.

We feel as if humanity has been taken in its entirety. The preceding statement has its basis in the Holy Qur’an, which speaks about the sanctity of life (see quote by His Highness the Aga Khan on the Simerg banner at top of this page).  Lost lives and injuries are even more difficult to bear and accept when they involve children, as in this incident that has wounded the entire world.

At this time, our prayers and thoughts are for the people of Kenya, and especially for the families who are grieving from this senseless and unjustifiable act. We pray for the souls of the deceased, and wish all the injured quick and complete recovery. We ask the Kenyan people to be courageous and vigilant in the wake of these despicable and cowardly acts.

In a written statement released on Saturday evening, Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper said:

“Canada condemns in the strongest possible terms this cowardly, hateful act  that apparently targeted innocent civilians who were simply out shopping. Terrorist attacks like this seek to undermine the very values and way of  life that Canadians cherish….The hearts and prayers of all Canadians go out to the families and friends of  all those affected by this senseless tragedy, and we extend our deepest  condolences to those suffering the loss of Annemarie Desloges, one of our  diplomats who has died in the attack.”

The tragedy is receiving extensive coverage from around the word, and we warn readers that some of the more than 50 images posted at The Denver Post (see link below or click on image) and other websites are quite disturbing and shocking. Readers may express their grief and convey their condolences by clicking on the comments icon at the top left of this page.

IMAGES AT THE DENVER POST

An injured person is brought to the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi after an attack at a mall in the Kenyan capital. Please click for a slide show and photos at the Denver Post.

An injured person is brought to the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi after an attack at a mall in the Kenyan capital. Please click for a slide show and photos at the Denver Post.

Other external website links:

1. Al-Jazeera – Killing Spree in Nairobi
2.
The Washington Post – Attack in Shopping Mall in Nairobi