Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Aga Khan Visit to Canada - November 19th, 2008 - Day 2

Zee's Notes: It's now Day 2 of MHI's visit to Canada.

I went to BC Place today to volunteer for preparations for the Darbar on Tuesday Nov. 25th. What's impressing me more and more everyday is the number of youngsters who are making the committment to their faith and to MHI. I come from a time where we almost lost a whole generation of teens. In the early '80's my generation had the benefit of growing up in Africa and when we came to Canada our value systems were firmly entrenched so it was not too hard to retain our culture, faith and heritage - and off course moms stayed home while dads went off to work in their new jobs. For many new families both parents had to work so the kids, in many cases, who really grew up in Canada were heavily influenced by peer pressure and sought different answers to pressures of life. The '90's kids really grew up influenced by their grandparents who babysat them for the most part. The last 20 years have been more stable as the Canadian Ismaili nuclear family (including grandparents) firmly established themselves socially, economically and moreso their committment to their faith.
So when I saw all the teens and youth working and having the time of their life it made me grateful to all the dads, moms, grandmas and grandpas who gave themselves so their kids could have a better life. We really need to say a big thank you to those pioneers who took on the challenge in 1972 - many who arrived at Canadian airports with the clothes on their backs literally - and made it a life - and a good one at that.
So the message here is that when we celebrate the Deedar in the next few days let's spare a moment to shed a tear of joy of gratefulness of the blessings we've been lucky to have received in the almost 40 years of life in Canada - which was only possible due to the vision of one who may have a time horizon of 100 years or possibly more - is that not incredibly mind boggling ?....all we can do is be in total awe...

Some news from the wires today:

Governor General Welcomes His Highness the Aga Khan at Rideau Hall
November 18, 2008
OTTAWA—Her Excellency the Right Honourable MichaĆ«lle Jean, Governor General of Canada, will officially welcome His Highness the Aga Khan, Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Ismaili Muslims and Founder and Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network. His Highness is visiting Canada on the occasion of his Golden Jubilee. The meeting will take place on Wednesday, November 19, 2008, at 4:30 p.m.

Aga Khan on eight-day visit to Canada, Thailand -
Toronto, Nov 20 (IANS) The Aga Khan, the spiritual head of Shia Ismaili Muslims, is on a eight-day official visit to Canada to meet his followers and the ...

BC welcomes the Aga Khan The Asian Pacific Post, Canada
A current of electrified excitement is crackling through British Columbia’s Ismaili community as the arrival in Vancouver of His Highness the Aga Khan fast ...

The Aga Khan builds a better world The Asian Pacific Post, Canada
Celebrating his Golden Jubilee as the spiritual leader of millions of Ismaili Muslims, the Aga Khan brings his message of pluralism, peace and prosperity to ...

Aga Khan to address Ismaili community here Vancouver Sun, Canada
As Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, he will meet and address members of Canada's 75000-strong Ismaili community in special events to mark his Golden ...

Aga Khan kicks off 8-day visit The Province, Canada
The spiritual leader of the world's 15 million Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims will meet with Gov.-Gen. Michaelle Jean, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and BC ...

Aga Khan in Canada to celebrate 50 years of leadership of Ismailis The Gazette (Montreal), Canada - 18 Nov 2008
By Salim Jiwa, Vancouver Province Thousands of Ismaili Muslims have begun a week of celebration to mark the arrival of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan on ...

His Highness the Aga Khan arrives in Canada - Tuesday November 18th, 2008

Upon his arrival in Ottawa, Mawlana Hazar Imam is received by President Mohamed Manji of the Ismaili Council for Canada. The Honourable Ministers John Baird and Jason Kenney welcomed Hazar Imam on behalf of the Canadian Government. Photo: Gary Otte

Zee's Notes: Mubaraki to all on MHI's touchdown on Tuesday November 18th, 2008 at Ottawa's Macdonald-Cartier International Airport. Some interesting notes on watching the video:
Hazar Imam was met by 2 senior Cabinet Ministers from the Canadian Government as he came down the stairs off the Gulfstream jet - the Honourable John Baird, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. Next was Mohamed Manji, President of the Ismaili Council for Canada
Mobina Jaffer, the senator from BC, was the first in line to receive MHI followed by her spouse Mr. Nurullah Jeraj. Yasmin Ratansi, the Liberal member of Parliament for Toronto's Don Valley East riding was next.
The most heart warming welcome was with Justin Trudeau, recently elected as Liberal MP for the Papineau riding in Quebec, who also happens to be the son of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau - a great friend of MHI. Indeed MHI was present at the funeral in October 2000 at Montreal's Notre-Dame Basilica. A cheer ensued from the jamat, watching the video, at Burnaby Lake JK as this exchange took place.
Also in line was BC Judge Sheni Dossa (wearing the red scarf) and her spouse. Next, and receiving a cheer also from the local BC crowd, off course was our very own Darkhana M/K's (Salim and Leila Ahmed and Karim and Shairoz Nathoo) , who also had travelled to Ottawa to receive MHI.
After the Nashid al-Imamah and the Canadian national anthem, MHI's motorcade departed and passed through Lansdowne Park where the Ottawa jamat had gathered to celebrate MHI's arrival. Some great pictures and first hand commentary on this at .

All in all, a great start to MHI's historic visit to Canada on the occasion of his Golden Jubilee.