Sunday
Jul 11,2010

OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – 07/09/10) – The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, issued the following statement recognizing Imamat Day:

“This coming Sunday is Imamat Day and I am pleased to join Ismailis in Canada and around the world in marking the anniversary of the accession of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan as Imam of the Shi’a Ismaili Muslims.

“Canada has greatly benefited from members of the Ismaili community who have made, and continue to make, great contributions to Canada’s heritage, culture and society.

“Just over a month ago, we were honoured to welcome His Highness at a foundation ceremony in Toronto for the Aga Khan Museum – a permanent home for his collection of Islamic art, as well as other artifacts relating to the intellectual, cultural, artistic and religious heritage of Islamic communities.

“Sharing the Museum site will be an Ismaili Centre – which upon completion will be the second such community centre in Canada and one of only a handful in the world.

“This initiative exemplifies the vision of the Aga Khan, who has exerted a profound influence both within and far beyond his community, and has become an extraordinary example of compassion and tolerance.

“At the ceremony in late May, in a moment of great pride for Canadians, His Highness was bestowed with honourary Canadian citizenship by Prime Minister Harper.

“As Prime Minister Harper has said, the Aga Khan’s ‘name has become synonymous with humanitarian aid and development in countries beset by conflict and poverty. Just as importantly, he has worked tirelessly as a bridge-builder between faiths and cultures.’

“For all Canadians, Imamat Day provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about the significant and remarkable contributions of the Aga Khan and the Canadian Ismaili community.

“As Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, I extend sincere congratulations to His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan on the 53rd anniversary of his accession as Imam, and sincere gratitude for his continued commitment to Canada.”

Source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Minister-Kenney-Issues-iw-3498499731.html?x=0&.v=1

Imamat Day Mubarak!

Fifty-three years ago, on the 11th of July 1957, Mawlana Hazar Imam succeeded his grandfather, Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah, as the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims.

In keeping with the 1400-year old tradition of Muslim leadership, covering all interpretations of Islam, Mawlana Hazar Imam has guided his murids in matters of faith and worked tirelessly to improve the quality and security of their lives. This latter concern extends not only to the Ismailis but all those who share their lives – locally, nationally and internationally.

Mawlana Hazar Imam’s vision, global outlook, and insights into the human condition, as well as the Imamat’s institutional capacity to catalyse human development, have been widely recognised by governments, international organisations and civil society institutions. Today, the Imamat’s privileged relationships with many of these enhance its capacity to contribute to human development on a global scale.

Imamat Day is an occasion to reaffirm our allegiance and gratitude to Mawlana Hazar Imam for his benevolence and guidance, and to renew our commitment to the ethics of the faith. On the occasion of the 53rd anniversary of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s accession to the Ismaili Imamat, TheIsmaili.org extends warmest Imamat Day wishes to all Ismaili Muslims around the world.

Source: http://www.theismaili.org/cms/1032/Imamat-Day-Mubarak

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  Posted in         General, Ismaili News
Friday
Jul 9,2010

Zainab Khuwaja might be young but the Houston-based artist has a clear vision for future—using her art to reflect her own identity as an American-Muslim. “Through my style and form of art I believe I have been able portray a greater appreciation of Islamic art and Arabic calligraphy from a historical as well as a modern aspect,” she explains.

In her work, Zainab takes inspiration from Arabic Calligraphy and Islamic art and architecture, such as the historical mosques of Turkey, Spain, and Cairo. She uses traditional elements in her work like ceramic tiles, mirror and glass––materials that were used in the architecture and décor in the Fatimid era as well as in the time periods of Mughal and Ottoman Dynasties. “Developing a unique pattern and style which is uncommon within the art world is a success in its own way,” notes the proud artist.

“I feel that by adapting and practicing my art I have not only been able to expand my skills as an artist but also been able to gain a better understanding of the concepts of my faith, societal beliefs, and extremism of politics in the world.”

Her style does manage to set her pieces apart. Take for instance her breathtaking olive Faiths Girdle piece on canvas that draws you in toward a single focal point with the word “Allah” in the center, encircled by colored mirror pieces or Luminous Glow which almost sails afloat the name of the Creator in a fiery orange. Dragon’s Eye is a slightly different but bolder piece that is done in a haunting palette—the bright reds and the eager greens combined with the subtle blues to soften the overall effect. The elements in that composition show a budding artist wanting to break forth and establish her mark on the art world.


Dragons Eye – Acrylic on Canvas


Faiths Girdle – Glass and Mirror work on Canvas


Luminous Glow – Acrylic on Canvas

Zainab’s creative journey began at the age of three, when she first started dabbling with watercolor and pottery. Over the years, that passion continued but she found herself also getting very interested in politics and law. Zainab, who is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in political science and art from Houston Baptist University, is inspired by some of Houston’s most renowned artists such as Michael Collins and Virgil Grotfield. “At school, I am the only artist generating Middle Eastern concepts and designs of calligraphy in general within the art department,” says Zainab. “By viewing my work, some of my fellow student artists and professors have been able to develop a better understanding and appreciation for Muslim art and architecture in general.”

Zainab’s art has been acquired by many private collections. “I do hope in the near future to showcase my work on greater spectrum,” says the hopeful young artist and we wish her the very best in her journey.

Links to the artist
Contact link to purchase: Galerie.Khuwaja@gmail.com

Source: http://hyphenatedspirit.blogspot.com/2009/06/zainab-khuwaja-american-muslim-with.html

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  Posted in         Islamic Articles, Ismaili Literature, Photos
Friday
May 28,2010

He is a jet-setting billionaire, owner of one of the world’s renowned horse-racing stud farms, and an admired philanthropist who briefly called Rita Hayworth his stepmother.

He is also a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed and the spiritual leader of 15 million Ismaili Muslims around the globe.

The Aga Khan, a beloved figure who is both the spiritual guide and secular role model for Canada’s 100,000 Ismailis, is in Toronto on Friday to lay the foundation for an Islamic museum and cultural centre. The construction on Canadian soil of the largest Islamic museum in the English-speaking world marks a significant milestone for a community that arrived here, nearly destitute, 38 years ago. In the last four decades, Ismailis have emerged as a remarkable success story. Their smooth integration is seen as one of the reasons the Aga Khan, a keen admirer of this country, promotes Canadian-style pluralism as a model for the world.

It was not long before Idi Amin expelled Asians from Uganda in 1972 that the Aga Khan first called prime minister Pierre Trudeau to plan a possible escape route for his people. The two leaders were friendly with one another, and the Aga Khan recognized that the situation for Ismailis in East Africa was growing more precarious by the day. When the axe fell and Mr. Amin began appropriating Ismaili businesses and property, Mr. Trudeau didn’t hesitate to offer safe haven, according to his biographer, John English.

About 5,000 Ismailis came to Canada in that initial phase, and a further 5,000 Ismaili Asians from other East African countries arrived not long after. The community has since grown across Canada as members of the Ismaili diaspora from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and elsewhere have relocated here. In a short time, Ismailis have become leading figures in politics, business and the professions, with prominent people including Rogers CEO Nadir Mohamed and Senator Mobina Jaffer.

Ali Shallwani, who owns a teaching-supply store in Oakville, Ont., came to Canada from Pakistan in 1976. He said one of the most influential moments of his life was when, in the early 1990s, he heard the Aga Khan say to Canadian Ismailis, “Make Canada your home.” Mr. Shallwani had just been granted a U.S. work permit, but returned to Canada within a year.

“His saying played a significant role in my decision to return,” Mr. Shallwani said. “I think [the Aga Khan] finds Canadian society to be more tolerant, which I agree with.”

That command, to make Canada home, is a phrase many other Ismailis describe as resonant, according to Shamir Allibhai, producer of a documentary about the spiritual leader. The Aga Khan encouraged Ismailis to engage with their new society, to emphasize education, integrate into the community and volunteer for the common good. They attribute much of their success in Canada to his leadership, he said.

“His emphasis on Canada is not found anywhere else in the Ismaili world,” Mr. Allibhai said. “The Aga Khan sees Canadian civil society as one that can be exported to other countries.”

The Ismailis belong to a relatively small Shia Muslim sect, one that for the last 150 years has had fairly close ties with the West. The Aga Khan’s grandfather passed the Imamat directly to the current Aga Khan in 1957, when he was just a 20-year-old undergraduate at Harvard University. His father, who had married film star and sex symbol Rita Hayworth a few years before, was bypassed because it was felt that a young leader was needed for the atomic age.

Thrust into the spotlight, the Aga Khan emerged as both a moderate, thoughtful leader and a charismatic figure of some international celebrity. He skied for Iran in the Olympics and, though he devotes most of his attention to his foundation and development projects, he also owns one of horse racing’s most successful breeders. His greatest horse, Shergar, valued at close to $20-million, was kidnapped from a farm in Ireland in 1983 and never seen again.

Shafique Virani, a professor of Islamic studies at the University of Toronto, describes the Aga Khan as “one of the very forward-looking leaders of the Muslim world.”

“He’s very much involved with the concept of pluralism,” Prof. Virani said. He added that the leader’s fascination with Canada stems from the impression that the country, thanks in part to its policy of official multiculturalism, has created a society where people of different backgrounds can get along, and where that ideal is taught, absorbed and passed on.

The tensions of the post-9/11 world, with its often oversimplified and false impressions of Islam, have been an ongoing concern for the Aga Khan. He has also been heavily involved in development projects in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where much of the violent fallout from the Sept. 11 attacks is still unfolding.

“Our world is really torn apart right now, and there’s this concept of the clash of civilizations,” Prof. Virani said. “He’s put forward a thesis that says it’s not really a clash of civilizations that we have, but a clash of ignorance.”

Source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/
muslim-leader-seeks-to-make-canada-a-model-for-the-world/article1583737/

Joe Friesen Demographics Reporter

From Friday’s Globe and Mail
Published on Thursday, May. 27, 2010 11:14PM EDT
Last updated on Friday, May. 28, 2010 8:34AM EDT

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  Posted in         General, Islamic Articles, Ismaili News