the art, practice and skill of handling affairs in maintaining good relations with all without arousing hostility
Yesterday, I visited the magnificent new Aga Khan educational institution. I was shown enough of its work to convince me that this school compared with the finest in the world.
One event which I witnessed was a boxing match between two Ismaili boys — one African, one Asian. I saw a good fight and at the end I think each of them thought he had won. Perhaps both were right!
To me, this friendly contest reflected something of tremendous importance to our community. It reflected first the qualities of determination and endurance which are demanded by our faith.
These qualities are also necessary to the future leaders of the community and for the country as a whole.
At the end of this sporting event, the two boys shook hands and stood together to be photographed.
To me this symbolised the partnership between different races which I am convinced is the only condition of peace and prosperity.”
– His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, 49th hereditary Imam of the Ismaili Muslims
Takht Nashini (Enthronement) Ceremony, Kampala, Uganda, October 25, 1957
A champion skier, Mawlana Hazar Imam represented Iran in the men’s downhill skiing at the IX Olympic Winter Games at Innsbruck, Austria in 1964 in addition to winning the 1962 Robert of Kandahar Cup at Davos, Switzerland for downhill skiing.
Soccer at Harvard University
“I was born right-handed, I had the good fortune to come into this world left-footed. Soccer players who could kick with their left foot were very rare in the United States in those days. This meant that I was able to make the Freshman Soccer team as the left wing.
We were a distinguished group; we turned in an undefeated season, and also had the distinction of all being on a list in the Dean’s office, not to be confused with the Dean’s list, although we were never troubled to explain that fine distinction very fully to our parents.
To this day I am convinced that I owe my Harvard degree to my left foot.”
– His Highness the Aga Khan, Keynote Address at the Association of American Universities Centenary Celebration
Washington D.C. April 22nd, 2001
Association of American Universities is a nonprofit association of 60 U.S. and 2 Canadian preeminent public and private research universities
Canada & Ice Hockey
“I must also thank you, Prime Minister, for inviting me to become an honorary citizen. May I congratulate you on the gold medals of your remarkable hockey teams in Sochi.
As an ex-player myself I was hoping you would require your honorary citizens to join your team. I am convinced that the Dalai Lama and I would have been a formidable defense.”
– His Highness the Aga Khan, addressing both the Houses of the Canadian Parliament, Ottawa, Canada Thursday, February 27, 2014.
Road to Jubilee Games
The year 2016 heralds to be a banner year for international sports competitions around the world. In the world of soccer, COPA America concluded last week and yesterday, Portugal won the UEFA Euro 2016 in France. Earlier in the year, cricket fans around the world enjoyed Sixth Season of ICC World Twenty20 tournament in India.
Looking ahead, in less than 10 days, Ismailis around the world will be converging in Dubai to celebrate the 2nd Jubilee Games
Later in the summer – the Olympics in Brazil will capture the world’s attention.
All these large sporting events are opportunities for improving human relations through diplomacy in sports – realizing the power of sports to affect change and PEACE building through sports and culture.
Two summers ago, in 2014, Ismailimail prepared a special Sports Diplomacy series with that view in mind, to share inspiring views and actions from around the world, stemming from the encounter of people, places, soccer and everything in between. Here you will read about those stories that bring people together, binding them together in victory or defeat, sharing their moments of joy and sorrow – laughter and tears, strengthening the human fraternity with friendship and service. This dominant impulse of kinship and love for one another is what being human is all about.
We leave you with this incredibly inspiring video from the FIFA World Cup held in South Africa that is sure to touch your heart.
We hope you find these series as inspiring as we did in producing them!
Accelerate your awareness … Learn even more!
Research, Insight & Perspective by A. Maherali