Aziz Mohammad shares his moving experience during Hazar Imam’s visit to San Antonio

Below Aziz Abdul Mohammad shares his personal experience of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s arrival in Texas for the San Antonio Darbar visit, where he was given the opportunity to represent the youth of Mid-Cities Jamat Khana in welcoming Mawlana Hazar Imam at the Austin Airport.. We thank Aziz Mohammad for sharing his moving experience with our readership. My name is Aziz Abdul Mohammad, and I currently … Continue reading Aziz Mohammad shares his moving experience during Hazar Imam’s visit to San Antonio

Expressions of Love and Devotion: A Golden Jubilee Project In celebrating 50 years of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Imamat, many Ismailis sought to express their feelings creatively. Expressions of Love and Devotion, a Golden Jubilee programme in the United States, received thousands of entries, including works of prose, poetry and visual art. Selected submissions were exhibited to the Jamat at Imamat Day celebrations, and galleries were set up in each Darbar hall during Mawlana … Continue reading Expressions of Love and Devotion: A Golden Jubilee Project

The Harvard Crimson Article: Karim Aga Khan, Imam

By Nini S. Moorhead, Crimson Staff Writer – Published: Sunday, June 01, 2008 The summer before his senior year, Prince Karim Khan ’58 received unexpected news. His grandfather, His Highness Aga Khan III, had died, and his will named Karim—fondly known by his classmates as ‘K’—as his successor, making him Aga Khan IV. And so, at 20 years old, Karim became the leader of the … Continue reading The Harvard Crimson Article: Karim Aga Khan, Imam

Video of the Peterson Lecture given by His Highness the Aga Khan

Update: The video is no longer available at C-SPAN for free; however, you can watch it at AKDN (link provided below). Complete video speech (1 hour, 5 minutes). Once you click on the picture, it will take you to the source and bring a static image, on the right you have two option of players, once you select the player the video will play. The … Continue reading Video of the Peterson Lecture given by His Highness the Aga Khan

Sabre Arch Salute Video

Sabre Salute – Welcoming Ceremony for His Highness the Aga Khan

College Station, TX (PRWEB) May 2, 2008 — One of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor guards, the Texas A&M Aggie Corps Of Cadets Ross Volunteer Company, completed a busy April with numerous performances across the state. The Ross Volunteer Company is the official Honor Guard for the Governor of the state of Texas, and, aside from the Cadet Corps itself, is the oldest student organization in the state of Texas.

April 11 – Sabre Arch Salute-Arrival of the Aga Khan – Austin: (more at PRWeb Release)

Earlier related

Golden Jubilee Visit USA

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The Aga Khan receives applause …

The Aga Khan, head of Ismaili Muslims, receives applause from International Baccalaureate board chairman Monique Seefried, left, and the rest of the auditorium after speaking to students and educators Friday April 18, 2008, in Atlanta. The Aga Khan, one of the world’s richest men is planning to give away nearly one billion dollars to create academies for underprivileged children in fourteen countries. Yahoo/AP Photo/John Amis … Continue reading The Aga Khan receives applause …

Hussein Rashid: Religion Has Been Framed; Covering the Aga Khan’s Visit

Hussein Rashid who is a PhD candidate in Harvard University’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, analyzes the media coverage of His Highness the Aga Khan and the understanding of religion among the journalists in general. An excellent write-up. Visit the source.

Religion Dispatches

Update: Since the initial publication of this blog post several people have written to me to note that CNN did do a short piece on the Aga Khan’s visit, as did some of the cable news channels. Apologies for missing this piece. However, my basic point remains unchallenged. In a largely positive piece on religion a section is inserted stating that some Muslims don’t consider the Isma’ilis Muslim, putting the discussion in the frame of conflict once more.

Even with Pope Benedict’s visit to the US last week, I was pleasantly surprised to see some fairly major coverage of the visit of another religious leader, the Aga Khan. He is the head of a Shi’ah community known as the Isma’ilis, who officially have 15-20 million members worldwide. CNN’s 360º Blog ran two pieces: one by Zarifmo Aslamshoyeva and one by Reza Aslan; OnFaith had a piece by Eboo Patel. There was no other national coverage I could find, although local coverage was fairly good, such as this piece from a Houston Chronicle blog.

Aslamshoyeva’s piece focused on the meaning of the Aga Khan as both religious leader and philanthropist (CNN article, AKDN website). It was a moving piece on nature of hope and belief. Aslan’s post focuses mostly on the charitable work of the Aga Khan and asks the key question that immediately came to my mind when I started looking for coverage of the Aga Khan’s visit: “Americans are interested in hearing a major Muslim leader speak of tolerance and cooperation, so why isn’t the media covering the Aga Khan’s visit?” Patel, with his inter-faith interest, focused on the message of Pluralism the Aga Khan espoused, and the role education plays in generating a sense of pluralism amongst people.

All these messages are accurate and necessary, but of the three writers of this event, all are Shi’ah, and two are Isma’ili, followers of the Aga Khan. Looking at that spread, one would think Shi’ah dominate America’s Muslim population, or at least its intellectual landscape. All of these pieces are blog pieces, not one news report among them. The Sunni community is well aware of the works of the Aga Khan and has a great deal of respect for them. Shahed Amanullah, founder of altmuslim, said in an interview, “There are a lot of non-Ismaili Muslims around the world who wish they had a leader that is as organized and as visionary.”

Complete at Religion Dispatches

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Video: Muslim Spiritual Leader Helps International Baccalaureate Celebrate 40th Anniversary

Source: Global Atlanta

Prince Karim Aga Khan, a billionaire philanthropist and spiritual leader of some 20 million Muslims worldwide, stressed the importance of education in the age of globalization in Atlanta as he helped the International Baccalaureate celebrate its 40th anniversary.

The International Baccalaureate, or IB, has programs for students aged 3-19 at 2,300 participating schools in 126 countries, said Monique Seefried, chair of the IB Board of Governors.

Ms. Seefried, along with IB Director General Jeff Beard, hosted a delegation of educators from around the world April 15-18.  The trip featured visits to local schools and culminated in the annual Peterson Lecture, which this year was delivered by the Aga Khan at North Atlanta High School.

Revered as a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad and the imam of the minority Shi’a sect of Ismaili Muslims, the Aga Khan heads the Aga Khan Development Network, which employs nine interrelated agencies to alleviate poverty in underprivileged countries.

Source: Global Atlanta

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Glenview Illinois Village President greets Ismaili leader

Suntimes News Group Posted April 25, 2008, meeting occurred April 15 Glenview Village President Kerry Cummins shakes hands with the Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslims, during his April 15 visit to Chicago. Glenview Village President Kerry Cummings joined Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley to welcome the Aga Khan, spritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, to Chicago April … Continue reading Glenview Illinois Village President greets Ismaili leader

Eboo Patel: The Aga Khan in America

The Pope and the Dalai Lama got all the headlines last week, but they weren’t the only international religious leaders visiting the United States. The Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the world’s 15 million Ismaili Muslims (the community I belong to; read my piece on the Aga Khan on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his Imamat), was also here. It was the Aga … Continue reading Eboo Patel: The Aga Khan in America

Aga Khan delivers Peterson Lecture 2008

(Picture – left to right Indu Shahani, Monique Seefried and the Aga Khan) The Peterson lectures were inaugurated in 1989 to commemorate the commitment of Alec Peterson to the IB, as its first director general from 1966–77. He had been attracted to the “IB project” because it encompassed so much of his own desire for a broad-based education favouring critical thinking skills, community service and … Continue reading Aga Khan delivers Peterson Lecture 2008

His Highness the Aga Khan concluded his Golden Jubilee visit to the United States

Leaders of the Ismaili Community from across the United States wave goodbye to His Highness the Aga Khan as he leaves the United States of America. Photo: Zahur Ramji Saturday, April 19, 2008 – Having visited the states of Texas, California, Illinois and Georgia, His Highness the Aga Khan departed the United States today, concluding his Golden Jubilee visit to the country. Leaders of the … Continue reading His Highness the Aga Khan concluded his Golden Jubilee visit to the United States

Governor Perdue Welcomes the Aga Khan to Georgia


Friday, April 18, 2008

Luncheon Hosted in Honor of the Aga Khan’s 50th Year as Imam

Photo Album

281336113_AaLmu-M ATLANTA – Governor Sonny Perdue welcomed His Highness the Aga Khan to Georgia today. Governor Perdue hosted a luncheon in honor of the Aga Khan’s Golden Jubilee (50th year as Imam) at the Governor’s Mansion.

“The Aga Khan is not only a spiritual leader to millions but also a champion for causes benefitting the developing countries of the world,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “His devotion to lifting up others through faith and service is an example to us all.”

The Aga Khan is the 49th hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Ismaili Muslims. He is also the founder and Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), a group of private, non-denominational development agencies working to empower communities and individuals to improve living conditions and opportunities, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East.


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Pictures: Aga Khan visit to the Governor’s Mansion

Two pages of super high-quality pictures at the Governor of Georgia’s web-site: Click Slideshow at the website for full screen view All related posts Continue reading Pictures: Aga Khan visit to the Governor’s Mansion

His Highness the Aga Khan ends tour of the US; visits Georgia to promote education program

Imam urges education

The Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of Ismaili Muslims, meets with attendees after his address to international baccalaureate educators and students at North Atlanta High School.

ATLANTA — The Aga Khan, billionaire philanthropist and spiritual leader of 20 million Ismaili Muslims worldwide, ended an eight-day tour of the U.S. stressing the importance of tolerance and education.

He did so as he announced his initiative to establish schools in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

His trip also included stops in Texas, Illinois and California.

It was part of the Shia Ismaili Muslim commemoration of the Golden Jubilee, which marks the Aga Khan’s 50th year as imam of the religious sect.

Aga Khan Visit

The Aga Khan, head of Ismaili Muslims, speaks to students and educators in Atlanta, Georgia, on Friday.

The Canadian PressYahoo Canada NewsCanada East OnlineCanoe.caAugusta ChronicleBrandon SunMcLeans.caPR InsideInternational Herald TribuneAfrica NewsIndia InfoThe Guardian, Prince Edwards IslandJournal PioneerDawn PakistanExaminer.comTaipei

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"The Peterson Lecture" by His Highness the Aga Khan to the Annual Meeting of the International Baccalaureate

Speech by His Highness the Aga Khan

“Global Education and the Developing World” “The Peterson Lecture” by His Highness the Aga Khan to the Annual Meeting of the International Baccalaureate, marking its 40th Anniversary Atlanta, Georgia. April 18, 2008

Dr. Monique Seefried, Chairman of the IB Board of Governors
Members of the Board of Governors
Mr. Jeffrey Beard, Director General of the IB
Educators and Students from the IB Community
Distinguished Guests

What a great privilege it is for me to be with you today – I have looked forward to this gathering for a long time. And I am particularly grateful to Monique Seefried for her generous introduction, and for so beautifully describing both the local and the global context in which we meet.

This is a particularly significant occasion for me, for several reasons.

It is significant of course because it marks the 40th anniversary of what I regard as one of the great seminal institutions of our era – the International Baccalaureate program. I say that because the IB program incarnates a powerful idea, the confidence that education can reshape the way in which the world thinks about itself.

I am deeply honored to be giving this particular Lecture – the Peterson Lecture, as it, too, has a great legacy. It fittingly celebrates the life and work of Alec Peterson, whose intellectual and moral leadership have been central to this organization and to all whom it has influenced.

I was humbled when I was first invited to be the Peterson Lecturer. That sense of deference grew, I must confess, as I began to look at the distinguished list of former Lecturers. And then I took one more step, and looked at what these people have said through the years – and I was even more deeply impressed by the responsibility of this assignment.

The Peterson Lectures – collected together – would make a wonderful reading list, for an excellent University course, on the topic of international education. After looking through them, I wondered if there was anything left to say on the subject! But if anyone should ever incorporate these lectures into a university syllabus, then perhaps my remarks today could appropriately be placed under the heading of “optional additional reading!”

Finally, this occasion has special meaning for me because it comes, as you may know, on my 50th anniversary as spiritual leader, or Imam, of the Shia Ismaili Muslims. We are thus celebrating both a fortieth and a fiftieth anniversary today – and both provide important opportunities to connect our past with our future, our roots with our dreams.

I came upon a rather striking surprise in looking through the texts of earlier Peterson Lectures. Not just one – but two of those addresses in recent years have quoted my grandfather! It was from him, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan, that I inherited my present role in 1957. I also inherited from him a deep concern for the advancement of education – especially in the developing world. These two topics – education and development – have been at the heart of my own work over the past fifty years, and they will form the central theme of my comments today.

Very early after the end of the second world war, my brother and I were sent to school in Switzerland, Le Rosey, and after a few years at that school, a new coach for rowing became part of the school and we were told that he would also coach the ice hockey team during the winter term. His name was Vaclav Rubik, not the one of Rubik’s cube fame but rather, like the famous cube itself, a challenging influence. He was also one of the most talented and intelligent sportsmen that I have ever met. He was in the Czech national ice hockey team which has been one of the best in the world, and he was also in the national Eights and Fours without Coxswain. His wife was in the Czech national field hockey team. So Le Rosey was extremely fortunate to have two exceptional athletes available for coaching. But there was another dimension to Vaclav Rubik. He had a doctorate in Law, and he and his wife were political refugees who had fled on foot all the way from Czechoslovakia to Switzerland. He was a charismatic individual, and after only a couple of years of training he succeeded in putting together an under-18 crew of Fours, which won just about every race it competed in, including the Swiss National Championship for all ages.

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Speech by Dr Monique Seefried, Chairman, IB Board of Governors

Dr Monique Seefried’s Introduction 2008 Peterson Lecture 18 April 2008

Your Highness the Aga Khan;
Members of the Consular Corps;
representatives of the Ismaili community and the government of Georgia;
representatives of universities and IB World Schools worldwide;
attendees of the Global Language Convention viewing this Lecture via simulcast;
teachers and students of North Atlanta High School, the hosts of this special meeting,
members of IB Georgia Schools Association,
IB Board and staff members,
ladies and gentlemen,
friends and colleagues,
my warmest welcome to this 2008 Peterson Lecture.

The fact that this year’s Peterson Lecture is being held in Atlanta, and in an IB World School at that, is of special significance, both to me personally and to the IB.

My adopted city of Atlanta, as many of you know, is where my children were raised and educated, where I have for many years been engaged with Emory University and the Carlos Museum, the Atlanta International School, and where I founded the Center for the Advancement and Study of International Education (CASIE) here to promote multi-language programmes and international understanding in K-12 schools in the United States. Over the years I have been witness to the growth of the IB in Atlanta and Georgia as more and more students of different ages and backgrounds have gained access to the quality and values of IB programmes. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the nearby schools, I invite you to visit the exhibition of student work later on during the reception, and talk to some of the students who have come along.

In previous years of course we have held the Peterson Lecture in some historic locations; including the Château de Coppet and the International Conference Centre in Geneva; but hosting it on this occasion in an IB World School, and an IB World School in Atlanta, is a valuable reminder of what the IB is really all about: IB students and the impact that they are making, the impact they will make, on the world around them.


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Aga Khan Urges Educators to Embrace Pluralism and Diversity in Teaching

He urges intellectual humility and pluralism as essential to a 21st Century education

AKDN Press Release 18 April 2008, Atlanta, Georgia – His Highness the Aga Khan, Imam (Spiritual leader) of the Ismaili Muslims, today said in addition to traditional subjects, schools across the world must teach pluralism – a capacity to see those from different backgrounds as equals.

Delivering the Peterson lecture at the annual meeting of the International Baccalaureate programme in Atlanta, the Aga Khan cautioned that a pluralistic outlook is not an in-born skill and that it must be acquired through education.

“Experience tells us that people are not born with the innate ability nor the wish to see the Other as an equal individual in society,” he said. “Pluralism is a value that must be taught,” he added.

The Spiritual Leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, an ethnically and linguistically diverse community spread across five continents, emphasized the importance of cultural diversity in an increasingly globalized world that at times poses a threat to cultural identities. He also warned that the quest for identity can lead to exclusion. “The quest for identity can become an exclusionary process – so that we define ourselves less by what we are FOR and more by whom we are AGAINST.”


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