Graeme Morton, Calgary Herald
Published: Saturday, July 05, 2008

Ismaili Muslims host Historic Cities exhibit

Calgarians will get a chance to view the Historic Cities exhibition, an initiative of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, today when Calgary’s Ismaili Muslim community hosts its annual Stampede breakfast.

The dramatic collection of photographs and narrative text chronicles the work spearheaded by the Aga Khan in promoting the conservation and restoration of buildings and public spaces in historic cities throughout the Muslim world.

“It showcases some of the architectural marvels of Muslim civilizations, which are often not that well known in the West,” says Almoonir Dewji of the Calgary Ismaili community.

“And there’s certainly an economic development component, where the local population is involved in the restorations. It’s about bringing back pride in their history,” Dewji adds.

The Historic Cities projects include the Al-Azhar Park in Cairo, the Citadel of Aleppo and Masyaf in Syria, the Djingereyber Mosque in Mali, the Timur Shah Mausoleum in Kabul, Afghanistan, and Humayan’s Tomb in New Delhi, India.

The exhibition will be on display this morning during the breakfast at the Ismaili Jamatkhana and Centre, 4623 11 St. N.E. It will also have public viewing hours from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday.

The Ismaili breakfast has become one of the city’s most popular during Stampede, bridging cultural and faith barriers.

“It is an ideal opportunity for us to reach out to the entire community during one of Calgary’s premiere events,” says Dewji.

Multi-faith group applauds mosque

Calgary’s Muslim-Christian Dialogue group has issued a message of congratulations to the Ahmadiyya Muslim community on this morning’s official dedication of their new, $14-million mosque in Castleridge.

“It is our hope that the Baitun Nur mosque will be a place of prayerful contemplation and search for enlightenment, a place where Calgarians can come together to exchange knowledge and ideas, enabling us all to more fully appreciate one another,” the interfaith group said in a joint statement.

“This search for mutual understanding remains essential to assuring peace and stability among diverse cultures and faiths,” it adds.

The dialogue group includes representations from a number of Muslim organizations, the Arabic Christian Church of Calgary, Calgary Evangelical Ministerial Association and the Anglican, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian and United Church denominations.


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