By Sultan Jessa
CALGARY: Alberta – New Democrats appreciate the role of the Ismaili community in our multicultural society, says Thomas Mulcair.
Ismailis, the national leader of the New Democratic Party added have made a valuable contribution to Canada’s diversity over the years.
“Ismaili Muslims continue to enrich our society with their strong beliefs of fostering peace and understanding among all fellow citizens,” said Mulcair. “These ideals, inspired by His Highness the Aga Khan, build on our collective strength to create the Canada of our dreams for today, and for the generations that follow us.”
Mulcair made the comments in a special message to the Arusha Ismailis Reunion to be held in Calgary, Alberta, from July 29 to July 31.
The NDP leader said many will be travelling from places around the world and coming together to celebrate the deep roots and shared heritage they had in northern Tanzania.
He also thanked all the organizers who have been working so hard to make this event a resounding success.
In a new and slightly modified message, Rona Ambrose, the leader of the Official Opposition and the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Rona Ambrose said “Canada is a proud home to an active Ismaili Muslim community.
“I hope this special gathering provides ample opportunity to strengthen the deep bonds of fellowship and commitment to faith that underpins the community’s success in Calgary and around the globe,” said Ambrose.
Alberta’s Premier Rachel Notley said her province’s wealth is not only in land and natural resources.
She emphasized one of Alberta’s greatest assets is the people who live in the province.
“We are fortunate to welcome individuals from around the world whose traditions enhance our lives and whose wisdom enriches our future.”
The premier said it is her hope Ismailis attending the reunion will make new friendships, build on past connections already established and look back at the memories they share.
Notely also thanked organizers and volunteers who have been helping to make the reunion “an amazing success.”
Calgary’s Mayor Naheed Nenshi, in his message, said it is his hope everyone has a wonderful time celebrating and reconnecting with one another.
Nenshi is the first Ismaili mayor of a major Canadian city.
The mayor noted he has a “very personal connection” to Arusha where his parents lived before immigrating to Canada in the 1970s.
“When my parents came to Toronto, they were among a small group of Ismaili families,” Nenshi recalled.
“Only a few months later, there were hundreds who had come as refugees from Uganda. I am sure my family’s story is similar to many of yours.”
Nenshi said the reunion will provide a wonderful opportunity for Arushians who now live around the globe to come together and share stories of a common beginning.
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