Pluralism & civil society focus of Aga Khan’s 60th anniversary celebration

Pluralism & civil society focus of Aga Khan's 60th anniversary celebration
His Highness the Aga Khan (centre) and Prime Minister of Mali Ahmed Mohamed Ag Hamani (at his left) at the 14th century Djingareyber Mosque in Timbuktu, with Mr. Abdramane ben Essayouti, the Imam of the Mosque and local dignitaries. The Aga Khan Trust for Culture initiated comprehensive conservation of the Djingereyber Mosque in Timbuktu at the end of 2006. The mosque, built in the 14th century, is the oldest earth construction building in sub-Saharan Africa. Officially listed as part of the Mali’s cultural heritage, it was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988. Photo : 10 October 2003
Source: DAWNS Digest, by Tom Murphy

Today is an occasion for celebration for the more than 15 million Ismaili Muslims around the world.

It is the 60th anniversary of Prince Karim al-Hussaini assuming leadership of the Shia Ismaili Muslims and the title of Aga Khan IV. He is a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad and well-known as a wealthy horse breeder who helped save the historic French horse racing grounds Hippodrome de Chantilly.

Media often compare the Aga Khan to the Pope because of his role of spiritual leader for Ismailis. The multi-billion dollar development network he founded and still directs is rarely mentioned.

The global development projects under his purview are so vast that the comparison would be more accurate only if the Pope ran the World Bank, led agencies of the United Nations — and was the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway at the same time.

The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), as it is called, spent more than $925 million last year on social programs, making it as big as well known NGOs like World Vision, Save the Children and Oxfam. And then there are the investments in hotels, electricity companies, financial services, media and tourism promotion that bring in $4.1 billion in annual revenue.

The profits from the investments and the millions of dollars donated by Ismaili Muslims each year all go back into paying for AKDN’s work.

“Social ethic is a strong principle in Islam. I think all us Muslims would be well advised to reflect that as a fundamental part of our faith and to live about that,” the Aga Khan said in a rare interview ahead of the Diamond Jubilee celebration marking his 60 years as leader.

Read more – Dated: July 11, 2017

DAWNS Digest is a social enterprise that supports global humanitarian journalism and produces original reporting on global development.


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Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, its achievements and humanitarian works.

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