“In a Knowledge Society, the most productive investments we can make are
investments in education.”

His Highness the Aga Khan, Dhaka, Bangladesh, May 2008

CALGARY, July 2 /CNW Telbec/ – High-achieving students from the Ismaili Muslim Community across Canada will gather at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Calgary on Saturday, July 5th (6.30PM) to learn how participation in today’s Knowledge Society is essential for individual and community progress.

The Honorable Dave Hancock, Minister of Education of Alberta, will be the guest of honour and Dr. Tom Kessinger, Deputy Chairman, Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), will deliver the keynote address.

The occasion is the inaugural Canadian Ismaili Students Total Achievement Recognition (I-STAR) Awards Gala which aims to promote, recognize and celebrate excellence achieved in all areas of endeavor by top calibre Canadian Ismaili Muslim youth at the junior high, secondary, and post-secondary levels. This year’s National awards will recognize the achievements of 150 youth from across Canada who have been selected at regional I-STAR events in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto. This high calibre awards ceremony encourages students from Grade 9 to Post-Secondary to strive for and achieve excellence in academics, community service and leadership, athletics, arts and humanities, and science and technology.

“The theme of this first Canadian I-STAR Awards Gala is The Knowledge Society” said Shaukat Jiwa, Chairperson of the Aga Khan Education Board for Canada. “We recognize that we live in an age where human intellect, imagination and ingenuity have become the currency of choice and one that highlights the necessity of lifelong learning and the search for excellence. We hope that our youth will become contributors in the 21st century Knowledge
Society and will use this knowledge in a manner that is consistent with the ethics and values of our faith.”

The Canadian I-STAR Awards Gala is a national initiative commemorating the Golden Jubilee of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan as the Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims.

The Ismaili Muslims are a community of ethnically and culturally diverse peoples living in over 25 countries around the world, united in their allegiance to the Aga Khan as the 49th hereditary Imam and direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Further information on the Ismaili Muslim Community may be found at www.theismaili.org.

For further information: Ms. Sameera Sereda, (403) 604-2770; Mr. Al-Noor Nenshi Nathoo, (403) 714-7436

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