(Absolutely) Simerg’s Photos of the Day: Ottawa on December 24, 2015

Considered the 5th coldest capital city in the world, with winter temperatures dipping to -25C and below, Ottawa’s honourable spot can be cast aside for a while with Canada’s capital seeing temperatures climbing to an amazing (+)16°C at 1:00 pm on December 24, 2015. Please click Photos of the Day: One of World’s Coldest Capitals, Ottawa eh, on Christmas Eve 2015.

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Please click on image for story and more photos.

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Please see our Ottawa related posts by clicking on the following:

Remembering Alijah Zulfikarali Khoja

By Abdulmalik Merchant

Alijah Zul Khoja: Lifetime Educator

Alijah Zul Khoja: Lifetime Educator and Leader

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of an outstanding educator and leader of the Ismaili Muslim community, (Alijah) Zulfikarali M.A. Velji Khoja, in Ottawa, Canada, on Friday, September 4th, 2015. His funeral and burial ceremonies will take place in Ottawa on Wednesday, September 9.

Born in Pretoria, South Africa, Mr. Khoja was a skilled trainer, facilitator, educational consultant and mediator. His experience and training was diverse: with a post-graduate degree in Radio Chemistry from Carleton University, Ottawa, and professional designations from the Universities of Birmingham, Queens, Ottawa, Windsor and the London School of Economics, he travelled worldwide on many consulting assignments as a Mediator. These included: The Canadian Human Rights Commission, Better Business Bureau, Ottawa-Carleton Dispute Resolution Centre,and the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.

This visit to the Aga Khan School in Dhaka took place during Mawlana Hazar Imam's four day stay in Bangladesh in 1993. During the school visit Hazar Imam was accompanied by a Government Minister, The President of the Council, school board members. In this photo, Zul Khoja, the principal of the school from 1992-1994 is seen showing a curricular activity implemented to introduce creative and critical thinking among the students. Mawlana Hazar Imam took immense pride in this activity, known as the Mind Benders Club, and turned to his guests to explain the accomplishments in his school. Zul notes that when Mawlana Hazar Imam introduced him o the guests, it was done with a

This visit to the Aga Khan School in Dhaka took place during Mawlana Hazar Imam’s four day stay in Bangladesh in 1993. During the school visit Hazar Imam was accompanied by a Government Minister, The President of the Council, school board members. In this photo, Zul Khoja, the principal of the school from 1992-1994 is seen showing a curricular activity implemented to introduce creative and critical thinking among the students. Mawlana Hazar Imam took immense pride in this activity, known as the Mind Benders Club, and turned to his guests to explain the accomplishments in his school. Zul noted that when Mawlana Hazar Imam introduced him to the guests, it was done with a “full bio!” Mr. Khoja said that when he escorted the party into the school, it took the Imam less than 30 seconds to fully understand what was being accomplished in the school. One of the areas that the late Zul Khoja specialised in was the education of bright and gifted children. Please click on photo for Zul’s piece, Ismaili Penmanship. Photo: Zul Khoja Collection.

As an administrator, educator and trainer, Zul worked at the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. He was also headmaster, educator and trainer (Professional Development) to The Aga Khan Development Network, both in Bangladesh and Kenya. Zul’s voluntary service with the Ismaili Community and its institutions included several countries (South Africa, Kenya, Bangladesh and Canada). The services in Canada included training Management Auditors and conducting Management Audits. He also served as a Baitul Ilm teacher and held leadership positions with both the Ismaili Tariqah and Religious Education Board and the Aga Khan Council since his settlement in Ottawa in the 1970’s. Most recently he  served as the Convener for Donor Services for the Aga Khan Foundation committee in Ottawa, where he resided with his wife, Khairunissa. He also leaves behind two children, a son, Sherali, and a daughter, Rozmin.

We pray that Allah may rest Alijah Zul Khoja’s soul in eternal peace, and that He may bless his entire family with courage and fortitude at this difficult time.

The late 48th Ismaili Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, seated on a wheelchair with members of his family with his successor, the present Imam, Prince Karim Aga Khan, standing at extreme right. Others in the photo (l to r), grandson Prince Amyn Muhammad, and the late Imams two sons, the late Prince Sadruddin and Prince Aly Khan, who is seen holding his daughter Princes Yasmin Aga Khan Photo: Zul Khoja Collection, Ottawa.

The late 48th Ismaili Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, seated on a wheelchair with members of his family with his successor, the present Imam, Prince Karim Aga Khan, standing at extreme right. Others in the photo (l to r), grandson Prince Amyn Muhammad, and the late Imams two sons, the late Prince Sadruddin and Prince Aly Khan, who is seen holding his daughter Princes Yasmin Aga Khan. This rare photo was provided to Simerg by Alijah Zul Khoja.

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Mr. Khoja had contributed to this blog in numerous ways including writing a memorable piece  Ismaili Penmanship in 1906 for this website’s special series, I Wish I’d Been There.

Date posted (from Halifax, Nova Scotia): September 8, 2015.

Ottawa Bait ul-Ilm Students Share a Journey Through Encounters with the Jamat

The recent Encounters showcase by Ismaili students of Ottawa generated great feedback from members of the Jamat. One visitor commented:

“Congratulations to every single member of the BUI team. It is wonderful to conceptualize the brand of AKDN and other Imamat Institutions right at the youngest stage of  Ismaili kids. Well done!”

PLEASE CLICK: Sharing a journey through Encounters with the Jamat

Please click to read the Encounters Showcase article.

A section of the exhibit which was held at the beautiful Ottawa jamatkhana. Please click on image to read the  article.

Photo Essay: Autumn Foliage at Gatineau Park, Wakefield and Canada’s Two Prime Ministers, Mackenzie King and Lester B. Pearson by Malik Merchant

PLEASE CLICK: Photo Essay: Two Great Canadian Prime Ministers, Mackenzie King and Lester B. Pearson, Feature in Simerg’s Peep into Gatineau Park’s Autumn Foliage

Gatineau Simerg Post Image

OTTAWA: The New Jamatkhana is 1 Year Old; An Ottawa Architect’s Favourite Building; and Iconic Sussex Drive

1. THE OTTAWA JAMATKHANA

Hundreds of Ismailis come by the busloads and personal automobiles to visit Ottawa during the summer months – for many the primary destinations are the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat Building and the beautiful new Ottawa Jamatkhana which opened exactly a year ago, on July 19, 2013. The visitors marvel at the Ottawa Jamatkhana’s spacious facilities for spiritual practices as well as the space it offers for social interaction and cultural programmes, including religious education classes.

As the Ottawa Jamat marks its first anniversary in the new Jamatkhana we repost on this page a link to Farouk Noormohamed’s statement and photos of the lovely building.

Speaking of Ottawa, local architect Kristopher Benes names his favourite building in the city, and we provide a link to a piece about Ottawa’s iconic Sussex Drive which is home to the Delegation Building.

Check out all the readings below and enjoy your summer in Ottawa, Canada’s Capital!

Please click: Exclusive: Architect’s Statement and Photos of the Fabulous New Ottawa Jamatkhana

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2. MY FAVOURITE OTTAWA BUILDING

By Kristopher Benes

As an architect I often get asked to name my favourite Ottawa building! Being a fan of minimalism I was often hard pressed to find anything non-residential that came immediately to my mind –- until that is, when the Ismaili Imamat Delegation building was completed in 2008.

Modern architecture often draws criticism for being too stark, extreme in its simplicity. However, it is its ability to highlight the world around us that I find to be so beautiful in modernism.

The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat Building.

The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat Building.

The clarity with which the play of shadows for instance may fall upon a crystal white surface allows architecture to behave as an ever-changing canvas, a reflector if one prefers, of what is going on all around. When the sun moves across the sky, the shadows dance along the building’s surfaces and when the sky takes on a different shade, the building glows in a completely different light.

Light can be a wonderful paint brush for those blank walls; it does not need any more complexity than that. And obviously, Fumihiko Maki, the building’s design architect, understands light better than I ever could hope to (after all he has won a Pritzker Prize for his contributions and has enjoyed a career spanning some 50 years).

I think it is this understanding of light and an ability to shape it so beautifully which speaks to me most about the Ismaili Imamat Delegation Building.

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3. ICONIC SUSSEX DRIVE

Please click: Photo Essay: Celebrating Sussex Drive, His Highness the Aga Khan and, Five Years on, the Crystalline Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat Building

Sussex Drive is denoted by the yellow line. Going East, you start at Rideau Street (blue line) where the 700 Sussex Condominium building is located. Between Rideau Street and #35 on the map, you pass the Connaught Building  (550 Sussex) and the US Embassy (490 Sussex). The National Gallery of Art (380 Sussex) and the Basilica (385 Sussex) as well as Reconciliation Monument are located at or around #35. Then just a hundred metres east of #35 are located the Global Centre for Pluralism (330 Sussex), the Royal Canadian Mint (320 Sussex) and the Embassy of Kuwait (333 Sussex). The Saudi Embassy (201 Sussex) and the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat Building (199 Sussex) are at #36, with the Lester Pearson Building (125 Sussex) and the John G. Diefenbacker or the Old City Hall (111 Sussex) approximately 100-200 metres further east. At #37 you reach Rideau Falls Park (50 Sussex) and the French Embassy (42 Sussex).  Finally, Sussex Drive winds down (or starts if you are travelling South!) at #38, the residences of the Prime Minister (24 Sussex) and the Governor General (1 Sussex) as well as the High Commission of South Africa (15 Sussex). One of the pictures of the Delegation Building shown below was taken from Jacques-Cartier Park in Gatineau, which is denoted by #30 on the map. Map credit: The National Capital Commission (with minor edits by Simergphotos to represent Sussex Drive more clearly).

Sussex Drive is denoted by the yellow line. Going East, you start at Rideau Street (blue line) where the 700 Sussex Condominium building is located. Between Rideau Street and #35 on the map, you pass the Connaught Building (550 Sussex) and the US Embassy (490 Sussex). The National Gallery of Art (380 Sussex) and the Basilica (385 Sussex) as well as Reconciliation Monument are located at or around #35. Then just a hundred metres east of #35 are located the Global Centre for Pluralism (330 Sussex), the Royal Canadian Mint (320 Sussex) and the Embassy of Kuwait (333 Sussex). The Saudi Embassy (201 Sussex) and the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat Building (199 Sussex) are at #36, with the Lester Pearson Building (125 Sussex) and the John G. Diefenbacker or the Old City Hall (111 Sussex) approximately 100-200 metres further east. At #37 you reach Rideau Falls Park (50 Sussex) and the French Embassy (42 Sussex). Finally, Sussex Drive winds down (or starts if you are travelling South!) at #38, the residences of the Prime Minister (24 Sussex) and the Governor General (1 Sussex) as well as the High Commission of South Africa (15 Sussex). Map credit: The National Capital Commission (with minor edits by Simergphotos to represent Sussex Drive more clearly).

Date posted: Saturday, July 19, 2014.

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360° Panorama Photos of His Highness the Aga Khan’s Delegation Building

Introduced by Malik Merchant
Publisher-Editor, Simerg and Simergphotos

Born in Woking, United Kingdom, Martin Bloomfield is a designer photographer and an expert in 3D animation. He has travelled the world over, and now lives with his family in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. Before leaving for Africa in 2012, Bloomfield spent some time in Ottawa where he took a series of powerful and stunning panoramic and 360° views of the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat Building.

His set of five panoramic photos of the Delegation Building along with their incredible 360° views are featured at 360cities and we are pleased to offer the links below, with permission from Steve Hercher.

A couple of notes: Once you are taken to 360Cities from below, you may then do the following (4 or 5 being the highlight):

(1) Click on HIDE CONTROLS to view a clear picture;
(2) Click on FULL SCREEN MODE to see your entire screen filled with the photo (ESC to get out);
(3) When all CONTROLS are displayed, use the magnifying feature (+ or -) for close-ups; and MOST IMPORTANT
(4) Use your mouse (or finger as applicable for the device) to rotate the photo in any direction by using the compass above the magnifying option. This outstanding and superb feature will provide you with an enriching experience of the building and its architecture. You may also use the magnifying option in conjunction with the 360° rotating compass ball for yet another perspective OR
(5) As an alternative to (4) you may Left click on your mouse and drag it in the direction you want to move.

The 360Cities website has stunning photographs from all around the world taken by Bloomfield and many others like him. Also during your visit to 360Cities please learn more about panoramic picture-taking by clicking on their informative links such as How to and so on.

An Enthralling Visit to the Ismaili Imamat’s
Delegation Building in Ottawa

(Please click on images for panoramas)
MBloomfield Delegation 01

The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat – Exterior 1

MBloomfield Delegation 02

The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat – Exterior 2

MBloomfield Delegation 03

The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat – Exterior 3

MBloomfield Delegation 04

The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat – Interior 1

MBloomfield Delegation 05

The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat – Interior 2

Date posted: Tuesday, November 26, 2013.

Also click on our most recent post Photo Essay: Celebrating Sussex Drive, His Highness the Aga Khan and, Five Years on, the Crystalline Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat Building

Note: This piece is repeated at www.simergphotos.com

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We welcome feedback/letters from our readers. Please use the LEAVE A REPLY box which appears below or send your letter to simerg@aol.com. Your feedback may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation. We are unable to acknowledge unpublished letters

An Imamat Day Picnic in Canada’s Capital by Nurin Merchant @Simerg

“…when we arrived at the site, freshly made Bhajias were there for the taking along with chai. A lovely day it turned out to be for all those who were at the picnic. Wonderful weather, music and geets, dancing, games, great conversations, friendly farm animals, horse carriage rides, picturesque setting, shaded areas and a place to read my book!”

An Imamat Day Picnic in Canada’s Capital on Father’s Day

Please click for Imamat Day Picnic

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