Friday, November 14, 2008

Canada Prepares For Aga Khan Visit

Street Banner by Vancouver's Convention Center

Canada's Ismaili's prepare for MHI's Golden Jubilee Visit.

Zee's Notes: Today is Friday November 14th, 2008. (D - 4)

If I was to try and tell you of the excitement currently being felt by the Canadian Jamat with MHI set to land in Canada in 4 days - it would be understated but you can see it in the faces of the people in JK tonite. I just got back from Burnaby Lake where the Greater Vancouver Students gathered and there was a buzz like you would not believe. Tonight, the students are having their celebration under the 'Jubilee Dome' - which is a huge semi-permanent tent which serves as the social and entertainment hall. Though the preparations have been underway for months it is now a reality for the Canadian Jamat. I can imagine similar activity occuring throughout the country.

As well, it seems everyone is in meetings being held day and night in the final organizing for Vancouver which is D-10 days. Burnaby Lake was a place to see all the leaders and convenors today in what will be a marathon session but then I suspect the next 10 days will be like this everywhere.

So the big news today was the re-opening of the registration for the International Jamat for the Vancouver and Toronto Deedars. When the website opened 2 days ago the story was that Toronto had it's capacity filled in 15 minutes and in less than 24 hours all Canadian centres were full. So tomorrow November 15th the site will re-open for the International Ismailis again. The Canadian Leadership is getting on with the challenge of reciprocating the incredible hospitality Canadians were blessed to receive this past year in all the Darbars.

Tomorrow there are 3 shows the youth are presenting entitled 'Allah Hu' at Burnaby Lake and Lions Gate Headquarters JK. Inshallah, I'll try to keep you updated on a day-to day basis as to the happenings in Vancouver as we get to the magic day November 25th, 2008.


From the news:

Aga Khan to make jubilee visit to B.C.

The Province

Published: Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Aga Khan will visit Vancouver on Nov. 25 for a Golden Jubilee anniversary meeting with members of B.C.'s Shia Ismaili Muslim community. "The community is very excited about having His Highness visit," said Farid Damji, a volunteer with the Ismaili Council of B.C.
The Aga Khan has been spiritual leader, or Imam, to the ethnically-diverse community of Ismailis for the past 50 years. Many of his 20,000 followers in the province are expected to gather at B.C. Place Stadium for a ceremonial afternoon. "He will deliver a message and meet community leaders," said Damji. The trip is part of a worldwide tour this year. The Canadian portion runs Nov. 18-25 and Dec. 5-6.

Muslim leader to visit Calgary

Graeme Morton, Calgary Herald

Published: Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Aga Khan, spiritual leader to the world's 15 million Ismaili Muslims, will pay a visit to Calgary this month.
The local stop on Nov. 24 -- the Aga Khan's first visit to Calgary in 16 years -- will be part of a weeklong tour of Canada, marking his 50th year at the head of the global Ismaili community. Canada is the 14th country the Aga Khan will visit as part of the celebration, with other stops in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver.
"We've been anticipating the possibility that he might come to Calgary, but to have it confirmed now is very exciting," says Calgary Ismaili community member Sameera Sereda. "There are a whole generation of young Ismailis who have never had the opportunity to see him." Calgarian Mansoor Ladha had the chance to interview the Aga Khan as a young journalist working in Tanzania in 1970. "We've been waiting for months and months for this announcement to come," Ladha said. "There will be Ismailis coming to Calgary from all across the Prairie provinces for this day." Community member Almoonir Dewji said Calgary's Ismaili population has doubled to about 10,000 since the Aga Khan's last visit here. "There's a tremendous feeling of grace and blessing that he's coming again," says Dewji. "He is a great role model to me personally, because he embodies the teaching of the prophet in the current time." Details of the Aga Khan's schedule while in Calgary are still being finalized, but a large communal gathering at Stampede Park is planned. In addition to his spiritual leadership, the Aga Khan has gained widespread attention for his humanitarian and economic development work in a number of Third World nations. He has been a champion of Islamic art and architecture and of the restoration and preservation of ancient Muslim archeological sites. The Aga Khan has developed close ties with Canadian leaders through the years, lauding our country as an example of religious pluralism in a world often torn along racial and spiritual lines.

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