The Nizari Ismailis of the Alamut period: Astronomy

The Nizari Ismailis of the Alamut period: Astronomy

Nasir al-Din al-Tusi contributed to the heliocentric model of planetary motion. Researched by Nimira Dewji Nasir al-Din al-Tusi (1201-1274), a renowned Muslim scholar, spent three decades at Alamut writing works on astronomy, theology, philosophy, and other subjects. Historians agree that it is primarily through Al-Tusi’s extant works that they have an understanding of the Nizari…

The Nizari Ismailis of the Alamut period: Engineers

The Nizari Ismailis of the Alamut period: Engineers

The Nizari Ismailis of the Alamut period were highly skilled water engineers. Researched by Nimira Dewji According to modern scholarship, Ismaili castle design in the Alamut period (1090-1256) included water engineering of the highest order. Compared to the designs of the Crusaders, the Ismaili approach to castle architecture was more elaborate: for example, water was…

Power and Passion, by Kay Tejani

Power and Passion, by Kay Tejani

It is a fictional story in which a young woman living in the ultramodern city of Dubai calls on a diverse cast of colleagues, friends, and family to plan the biggest event of her career. This book offers unique insights into diversity and empowerment that will get everyone connecting and talking. Dubai is the setting…

Harijan village, Iran

Mysticism and the Plurality of Meaning: The Case of the Ismailis of Rural Iran

To what extent does mysticism require a withdrawal from the world? Is there a contradiction between the demands of contemplation and those of an active, responsible life? Is the mystical perspective antagonistic to the intellect? Rafique Keshavjee uses as a case study the Ismailis of rural Iran, whose ideas and actions question the notion that…

Dubai Cares in partnership with Aga Khan Foundation funds school projects in Afghanistan

Dubai Cares in partnership with Aga Khan Foundation funds school projects in Afghanistan

Dubai Cares is in the process of completing a second, larger education project in the Afghan districts of Bamyan and Baghlan. The initiative is being carried out in partnership with the Aga Khan Development Network and involves building 45 early childhood development centres, refurbishing 72 existing ones, providing teacher training and buying educational materials. The…

"The enthronement of Hurmuzd,” folio from an early 14th century “CAMA” Shahnama manuscript. On temporary loan to the Shahnama Centre from the collection of the late Dr. Mehdi Gharavi. Image courtesy Ameneh Gharavi and Dean Entekabi

Connections: Shahnama Centre for Persian Studies – Pembroke College (University of Cambridge), Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Sir Isaac Newton Trust, Iran Heritage Foundation, British Academy.

Shahnama or The Book of Kings by Abu’l-Qasim Hasan Firdausi and its crucial role in the formation of the Iranian cultural identity throughout the ages to present day. The text of the Shahnama, based on the ancient Iranian mythology, was completed in 1010 and is the longest poem ever written by a single author in the whole history of humankind. Global philanthropist Bita…

Riza Elahi's Compilation: Castle of Alamut

Riza Elahi’s Compilation: Castle of Alamut

The Alamut valley lies in the Alburz mountain range, in the north of modern-day Iran, half way between Tehran and the Caspian Sea. The castle is built on a narrow ridge on top of a high rock in the heart of the mountains and dominating an enclosed valley, about 25 kilometres in length. More than…

Why Syrian refugees will thrive in Canada - The Globe and Mail

Why Syrian refugees will thrive in Canada – The Globe and Mail

The crisis in Syria is by now a metaphor for uncertainty. Humanitarian corridors, no-fly zones, arming the rebels, air strikes – none of these choices are low-risk. The result? Nothing gets done. Excerpt: They will give back. Howard Adelman, a retired York University professor, tells this story. In June, 1979, he opened his downtown Toronto…

Amid Devastation of Aleppo, Syria, Archaeological Museum Fights to Preserve Heritage

Amid Devastation of Aleppo, Syria, Archaeological Museum Fights to Preserve Heritage

Curators at Aleppo National Museum Struggle to Protect Ancient Heritage From Civil War’s Destruction Excerpt: The old city is a unique collection of ancient temples, mosques, churches, bustling souks, caravansaries, traditional homes and narrow alleyways and streets spanning an area of about 1,000 acres. Nearly 240 structures have been classified as historic buildings by the…

Professor Richard N. Frye dies at 94 | Harvard Gazette

Professor Richard N. Frye dies at 94 | Harvard Gazette

Aga Khan Professor of Iranian Studies Emeritus founded Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies By Beth Giudicessi, Harvard Correspondent In the summer of 1948, Richard N. Frye was nearing the end of a postdoctoral fellowship in the Society of Fellows of Harvard University when he traveled to southern Iran, making his way by mule to…

Unifying Iran & America In Life & In Death: A Tribute to Late Professor Richard N. Frye

Unifying Iran & America In Life & In Death: A Tribute to Late Professor Richard N. Frye

Appropriately referred to as “dean of the world’s Iranists” by other scholars, Richard Nelson Frye established the Harvard Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Aga Khan Professor Emeritus of Iranian Studies at Harvard University, he taught at Harvard from 1948-1990 and wrote more than twenty books and over 150 articles about ancient Iranian culture. Frye’s last…

Surviving Cold and Conflict in Syria

“Amal”[1] fled violence in the countryside outside of Damascus with her husband, father, and five children almost two years ago. The family moved to Salamieh, a Syrian town of approximately 100,000 people 33 kilometers southeast of Hama. Salamieh is still under the control of the government armed forces, and many displaced people, mainly Sunnis from…

The Ismaili Canada & USA publications - Aga Khan Museum dedicated issues.

Connections: Aga Khan Museum

Via Connections, Ismaili Mail introduces a new series specifically highlighting some of the international partnerships and programs of the Aga Khan Museum (AKM). Over the course of the last decade several extensive exhibitions have been commissioned for audiences in Europe and Asia. In addition to that, smaller special but focused international preview exhibitions are now underway in…

Forum hosted by Ismaili Centre Dubai: Opportunity through Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Ethics

Forum hosted by Ismaili Centre Dubai: Opportunity through Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Ethics

The role of leadership in implementing ethical business models that demonstrate benefits to all stakeholders was echoed by speakers at a knowledge forum in Dubai on Saturday. The UAE is the best example of leadership, entrepreneurship and ethics, according to the forum participants. Titled: ‘Opportunity through leadership, entrepreneurship and ethics’ the forum was hosted by…

IIS Scholar Prof. Eric Ormsby receives World Book Award of the Islamic Republic of Iran

IIS Scholar Prof. Eric Ormsby receives World Book Award of the Islamic Republic of Iran

The translator of Nasir Khusraw’s Jami al-Hikmatayn; ‘Between Reason and Revelation’ said: “Political concerns was the major cause his translation has failed to be received well in the Europe. IBNA: Speaking with IBNA here in Tehran hours before receiving his World Book Award of the Islamic Republic of Iran for his grand English translation of…

Aga Khan Network honors National Reconciliation Minister and Grand Mufti - Syria

Aga Khan Network honors National Reconciliation Minister and Grand Mufti – Syria

Damascus, (SANA) –  The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) honored State Minister for National Reconciliation Affairs Ali Haidar and Grand Mufti of the Republic Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun for their efforts in the national reconciliation process. The honoring ceremony took place on Sunday at the AKDN office in Damascus. State Minister Haidar said that this gesture…

SINA Hall of Fame Class of 2013: Dr Seyyed Hossein Nasr

SINA Hall of Fame Class of 2013: Dr Seyyed Hossein Nasr

SINA (Spirit of Iranian Noted Achievers) is an organization founded to formally recognize and honor Iranians who have made outstanding contributions to the fields of the Arts, Business & Leadership, Engineering, Humanities, Medicine, Philanthropy, and Science. Dr. Hossein Nasr was the first Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Studies at the American University of Beirut. More…

Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāma - Millennial Perspectives

Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāma – Millennial Perspectives

Olga M. Davidson, Olga M. Davidson, Marianna Shreve Simpson, Marianna Shreve Simpson | Harvard University Press Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāma: Millennial Perspectives celebrates the ongoing reception, over the last thousand years, of a masterpiece of classical Persian poetry. The epic of the Shāhnāma or Book of Kings glorifies the spectacular achievements of Iranian civilization from its mythologized…