Thursday, January 07, 2010

Winning ticket a mistake worth $128.6 million dollars

Zee's Notes: Amazing story of the Powerball Lottery winner in the US. Rob Anderson of Georgetown, Kentucky was buying stocking stuffers before Christmas and asked the store clerk for 3 Powerball tickets and by mistake she gave him one $3 quick pick ticket. He told the clerk that he wanted 3 singles to which the clerk offered to take back the one he had and for some reason he slipped his hand in his pocket and pulled 3 dollar bills and bought three more $1 tickets and kept the $3 one. A few days after Christmas he pulled his $3 ticket and checked the numbers and voila - he won the big $128.6 million jackpot - yes one hundred and twenty eight million USD - incredible !!!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Burj Khalifa opens with fireworks

Uganda - No love lost for a country that expelled her family

TOP OF THE WORLD: The hikers on top of Mt Elgon. Ms Jiwa is fifth from right in the second row. PHOTO ISAAC KASAMANI

She was not even in her mother’s womb when her family – together with at least 60,000 other Indians – was ordered to leave Uganda within 90 days in 1972.
But for Jazzmin Jiwa, now a 30-year-old journalist based in Canada, the historical bond that her family has with Uganda could not be broken even by those circumstances.
Late last year, Ms Jiwa was one of 42 tourists from Europe, USA and Canada who travelled to Uganda for a 10-day mountain climbing expedition dubbed Hike4Life and facilitated by the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).

Read complete article in The Daily Monitor

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Fatimid Glory

Zee's notes: The Fatimid Dynasty that ruled most of the Arab World between the 9th and 11th Century is well recognized for it's achievements and here's a video that shows some of it's glory.

Ismailis in the News - Olympic Flame Sparks Food Drive

Residents of the Don Mills community came together today to actively support the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

Olympic Torch-Bearer Mr. Mohamed Manji, President of the Ismaili Council for Canada, is shown with the Golden Jubilee Athletes as he completes his segment of the Torch Relay. The athletes, who had taken part in international games in Nairobi, Kenya, in June 2008, remarked that seeing the Olympic Torch brought back their many memories of the Games, which resonated with them as both Games were about the pursuit of excellence and unity amongst peoples.

Read complete article here

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ismailis in the News - Firoz Rasul Profile in the Globe and Mail

Zee's Notes: Firoz Rasul, currently the President of AKU, is from Vancouver. I consider him to be in the top 5 Ismaili individuals - Shafik Sachedina being the top - who interact with MHI as he carries out his vision of lifting millions in less fortunate conditions to a better standard of living. Firoz took a struggling fuel cell provider - Ballard Power Systems - and made it into an world class enterprise which at one point was vaued at over $9 billion dollars. I remember when Firoz was the President of the Ismaili Council for BC and how he moved and motivated those who worked for him - he was a master strategist who let people do extraordinary things and gave them the tools and resources to do their jobs. Here's an interesting story from the man himself on how he took on his current role at AKU in Karachi.

His Highness the Aga Khan with President of the Aga Khan University, Firoz Rasul and CEO of the Aga Khan University Hospital Nairobi, Asmita Gillani.
Photo credit: AKDN/Gary Otte

Read the complete article here

Islam in the New World - Changing Demographics

Zee's Notes: Interesting video on the growth of Islam in Europe and North America - this one is going viral - over 11 million views on Youtube.

Ismaili community celebrates the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay in Don Mills

His Highness the Aga Khan Skiing for Great Britain in the Alps -1960

Zee's Notes: Less then 60 days to my home town hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics in February 2010. If you watch the local news daily one gets a sense of the excitement and the chaos Vancouverites are expecting for the 2 weeks when the entire world casts its eye on the city known as Lotusland. The Olympic Torch recently was in Toronto and our own Ismaili National Council President Mohamed Manji was a torch bearer - see the video and article in

MHI competed in the 1964 Winter Olympic Games for Iran in Innsbruck, Austria. MHI qualified for the Mens Downhill, Slalom and Grand Slalom events - here are his numbers


Glossary ▪ CSV ▪ PRE

1964 Winter
Alpine Skiing
Men's Downhill

1964 Winter
Alpine Skiing
Men's Giant Slalom

1964 Winter
Alpine Skiing
Men's Slalom
30 q

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ismailis in the News - Meet Dr. Zahra Jamal - Assistant Professor and Postdoctoral Fellow at James Madison College, Michigan State University.

Zee's Notes: Over the years on Morning Chai we've been introduced to some brilliant individuals from our Ismaili Community. Whether they excel in business, sports, academics, art etc. the theme is common - they give back to the community and Dr. Zahra Jamal is no different, This Harvard PHD has been involved as a volunteer going back 17 years since she was a Vice-Captain at her Binghampton, NY jamatkhana. Yes I was blown away at her achievements since then.

Dr. Zahra N. Jamal is an Assistant Professor and Postdoctoral Fellow at James Madison College, Michigan State University. She was previously on the faculty of Social Anthropology at Harvard and MIT, and was a research consultant for Harvard's Islam in the West Program. She has also lectured at Wells, Emory, and Bridgewater State.

Since 1999, Dr. Jamal has conducted fieldwork in the United States, Canada, Pakistan, India, Russia, and Tajikistan and she aims to build on these endeavors especially among Muslims from South and Central Asia, including those living in diaspora. She has published in the Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East Journal; E-volunteerism; The Pluralism Project; The Encyclopedia of Islam in America; and other venues. Dr. Jamal is currently working on a book manuscript on the cultural phenomenon of voluntarism as a religious and civic practice among Shia Ismaili Muslims, followers of the Aga Khan, in the United States and South Asia. Her next project focuses on aging among poverty-stricken South Asians in Chicago.

She has been awarded the Javits, Mellon, Weatherhead, Hearst, Das, Menezes, and other fellowships, as well as numerous teaching awards and accolades at Harvard. Her research and teaching interests include (trans)nationalism and diaspora, citizenship and civic engagement, religion, gender, ethics, and ethnographic methods.

Dr. Jamal holds a deep passion for bridging academic research and nonprofit work. Outside the Ivory Tower, as an appointee of His Highness the Aga Khan to two national boards, she has done strategic planning and management on initiatives on mental health, special needs, inter-ethnic understanding, and social service acquisition in the US, Australia, and New Zealand. As an ethnographic consultant to the Swiss Development Cooperation, Aspen Institute, Aga Khan Development Network and others, Dr. Jamal has advised or led projects on conflict resolution, gender equity, refugees, and civic engagement in North America, Europe, and Central Asia. In academia, she has been a pedagogical consultant and a research consultant.� As a guest of Roland Arnall, the late U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in 2006, she engaged in dialogues with key American and European leaders on Muslim integration in Western countries through civic participation and voluntarism. In 2005, she designed a project on Muslim Philanthropy in post-9/11 America for the Aspen Institute's Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy Program. This project has since become a major million dollar effort to educate Muslim Americans, civil society actors, and others on safeguarding charitable giving.

Dr. Jamal received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Social Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard, and she holds degrees in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies and Slavic Studies from Rice. In her spare time she enjoys globe trotting, hiking, cultural tourism, music, and spending time with family and friends.

Read her complete CV here 

King of Curry - Vancouver

By Justin Beddall - North Shore Outlook

The food critic was perplexed. Why had she been dispatched to a hole-in-the-wall video store on Pemberton Avenue?
Once inside, she discovered that Bollywood films weren’t the spicy item for sale.
Welcome to Ace Video & Grocery, the original headquarters for the popular line of spice blends Ace Curries to Go, now available in more than 400 retailers across Western Canada.
Of course Virkram Bajaj’s curry empire began slowly, in the back of the video store, with just a coffee grinder, some spices and memories of his mom Balam’s mouth-watering Kheema Masala curry.

His Highness the Aga Khan receives "Prix de l’Entrepreneur philanthropique de l’année 2009"

Prince Amyn, Princess Zahra and Prince Hussain joined Mawlana Hazar Imam at the Le Nouvel Economiste award ceremony, where Hazar Imam received the Prix de l’Entrepreneur philanthropique de l’année 2009 (2009 Philanthropic Entrepreneur of the Year Award). Photo: AKDN/Gary Otte
Prince Amyn, Princess Zahra and Prince Hussain joined Mawlana Hazar Imam at the Le Nouvel Economiste award ceremony, where Hazar Imam received the Prix de l’Entrepreneur philanthropique de l’année 2009 (2009 Philanthropic Entrepreneur of the Year Award). Photo: AKDN/Gary Otte

Video of Ceremony