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
One of the most popular history articles ever published on this bog has been expanded, revised and published as a 40 page dual-language booklet by its author, Toral Pradhan. The article which was first published in October 2013 (please click A Brief History of the Khoja Ismaili Community in Daman, India, from the Portuguese Period to the Present), was highly acclaimed by our readers, who submitted more than 30 comments.
Pradhan passionately set out to explore the history of the origins of the Daman Khoja Ismaili Jamat in order to pay her respects and tribute to the jamat as well as to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the opening of the jamatkhana in Daman in March 2014. She obtained the information for her lively small booklet from primary sources which included visits to the local archives in and around Daman. The town was formerly ruled by the Portuguese, before India took it over in 1961. The fusion of the two cultures and its impact on the small Ismaili community in Daman is strongly emphasized in the book, which includes dozens of small historical illustrations including a center fold of colourful photos of gowns and headgear.
The style and format of Pradhan’s book is like many publications in Canada where books are published in dual languages, English in the first half and French forming the other half (see the two images of the book on this post, which are the front and back of the book).
The benefit of Pradhan’s dual language book is that it can be shared among families with Gujarati and English readers. The 40 page booklet is about 6.5″ x 4.5″ in size.
“Daman Khoja Samaj No Itihas”
Simerg will be making this book available in the near future if there is a sufficient demand for it in North America. The cost including shipping to any North American address will be around US$6.00 – $7.00.
We invite readers interested in acquiring this booklet to send an email to Simerg@aol.com, Subject: Booklet – History of the Daman Jamat. No payment is required at this time. We will advise you when the book reaches us in Canada, and send you an invoice if you are still interested.
“The car door was left open waiting for him to sit in, but Hazar Imam was instead moving around the compound as if unwilling to leave the premises…..This is a sight that is difficult to erase from the mind” — Toral Pradhan
Do we have written accounts or histories of Ismaili settlements and jamatkhanas in little East African towns such as Manyoni, Eldoret, Jinja, or Lushoto? How about remoter areas in Central Asia, the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent or for that matter even bigger cities such as Toronto (Canada), Christchurch (New Zealand), Denver (USA), Regina (Canada) and Stoke-on-Trent (UK)?
A ‘Badge of Honour’ presented to the Ismaili Scout Band in Daman in the 1940s.
For the forthcoming 40th anniversary of the inauguration of the new Ismaili jamatkhana in Daman, a tiny Portuguese enclave for 400 years until it was absorbed into India on December 19, 1961, the town’s resident writer Toral Pradhan made a determined effort to find out more about the two-hundred year history of the Ismaili Jamat living there. Her piece, augmented with images and material from archives, will hopefully stimulate other writers as well as youth to research about the origins of the Ismaili community in small towns they live in or where their parents or forefathers once had their homes.
A Gujarati invitation card for the inauguration of the new Jamatkhana in Daman. Please click for article.