Thursday, November 19, 2009

MHI in US - November 2009

President Mahmoud Eboo and Vice-President Dr Barkat Fazal of the Ismaili Council for the United States, and President Shaheen Kassim Lakha of the Ismaili Council for the Western United States, bid farewell to Mawlana Hazar Imam as he departs Sacramento. Photo: Zahur Ramji

Read complete story at

Ismailis in the News - Lawyer Jameel Jaffer

Zee's Notes: Jameel Jaffer, 39, was born in London, Ontario, before graduating from Williams College, Cambridge University, and Harvard Law School and serving as a law clerk to Hon. Amalya L. Kearse, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada.

He was co-lead counsel for ACLU v. Department of Defense, which released thousands of documents about prisoner abuse in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantánamo Bay.

One of the key figures behind the cascade of documents detailing torture and abuse within America's global "war on terror" happens to be a Canadian-born graduate of Toronto's Upper Canada College.

Jameel Jaffer, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer born in London, Ont., was instrumental in filing and fighting an unlikely Freedom of Information Act request that eventually unearthed thousands of pages of secret documents which illustrated damning evidence of U.S. government complicity in violations of international humanitarian law.

Read complete article here

Ismailis in the News - Shailaz Dhalla - Top 40 Under 40 - Calgary

After graduating from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Laws in 2006, Shailaz Dhalla articled and practiced with Fraser Milner Casgrain. And just a year and four months after being called to the bar, she accepted a position as counsel with the Alberta Utilities Commission, a significant move considering the role the AUC plays in regulating investor-owned electric, gas and water utilities, as well as some municipal electric utilities.
As counsel, Dhalla represents the AUC at hearings where the tenuous balance between industry and the hearts, minds and wallets of all Albertans is at stake. Her skill at negotiation and understanding complex issues serves her well when the law books get put away and she indulges her other passion: helping her community.
Outside of work, Dhalla contributes as many as 30-plus hours per week to her community. She has recently been named a board member to the Ismaili Regional Muslim Conciliation and Arbitration Board for the Prairies, which mediates family and commercial disputes. In addition to that, she also contributes to literacy and mentorship initiatives through the University of Calgary and the Calgary Bridge Foundation, all with a view to providing support for immigrants. She is also a member of the Ismaili Muslim Volunteer Corps.
Dhalla says her remarkable schedule, commitment to giving back to the community and her ability to achieve balance is proof the sum of her life is greater for the parts that have made it.
“The two things that have enabled me to succeed personally and professionally are my family and the Ismaili Muslim community, of which I am a part,” she says. “Through its philanthropic endeavours and commitment to pluralism, my community inspires me to direct my energy and capacity to those most in need.
“Both of these elements serve to ground me; they also provide the motivation for me to continue to seek greater growth and success despite any challenges along the way.”
Dhalla is quick to point out volunteering is not a one-way street, and she gains as much out of the exchange as does those she aims to help.
“My involvement in the community, particularly with immigrant youth, provides me with a feeling of fulfillment,” she says.
“Interacting with these children and their families, and hearing their amazing stories of struggle and survival, engenders a deep sense of compassion within me.
“It makes me appreciative of my circumstances and compels me to share my time and knowledge with others.”
Why she’s the top: Beyond her professional success, she is a deeply committed volunteer who lives her beliefs and leads by example.
The key to her success: “My parents have always been my foundation; they have made innumerable sacrifices in order to provide me with the greatest of opportunities,” says Dhalla.

Eid in the Square 2009 - Muslims gather to celebrate in Trafalgar Square

Zee's Notes: This event is celebrated at London's Trafalgar Square and this year the Ismaili Community Ensemble participated - here is the highlight video - you can catch the Choir at the 2:31 mark though it's only a few seconds.

Ismaili Community Ensemble in collaboration with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Ismaili Community Ensemble in collaboration with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

The Ismaili Muslim Community in the UK comes from all over the world, resulting in a truly cosmopolitan outlook in its musical and cultural expressions. The Ismaili Community Ensemble, in collaboration with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, aims to encourage, nurture and showcase musical talent in the community. Comprising of semi-professional and amateur musicians, the Ismaili Community Ensemble draws its inspiration from the rich tradition of poetry and literature in Islam to create a unique musical harmony between east and west.

Princess Yasmin Aga Khan in Dallas for Alzheimer Gala

Alan Peppard: Margot Winspear, Phyllis George and Princess Yasmin Aga Kahn attend Alzheimer's benefit

12:00 AM CST on Monday, November 16, 2009

Aga Khan in Kabul for Karzai swearing in ceremony - November 19, 2009

Zee's Notes: MHI joined world leaders such as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Pakistan President Asif Zardari at the swearing in ceremony for Afgan President Hamid Karzai.

World Partnership Golf - Atlanta

Zee's Notes: The WPG which started in Vancouver has morphed into a North American phenomenon and the Atlanta event even had a few Atlanta Falcon professional football players. Great video by Akber Ukani of La Bella Studio.

Canadian PM's excellent day off in India

Opening Ceremony by Prince karim Aga Khan of the Ismaili Centre Dushanbe

Aga Khan in Kenya - July 2009

The Aga Khan Visits Pakistan - 13th October 2009 - Naushad Charania

Must Watch - Qawwali

Zee's Notes: Wow, this one just blew me away so if you got 5 minutes to spare - enjoy !

Ismailis in the News - Haji Manji wins Business Award

Haji Manji, with wife Jenny and son Farouq, won the Business of the Year award for 1-20 employees Wednesday at the Richmond Business Excellence Awards.
Rob Newell photo

Haji Manji and his father Abdul Manji founded Sleep Shop in 1979 in Richmond.
The company started a as specialty mattress, foam and bedroom furniture retailer. Sleep Shop now has six locations and 21 employees serving Greater Vancouver. Sleep Shop is committed to customer satisfaction and offers both a price and comfort guarantee to all their mattresses.
Haji Manji said operating a successful business is more than analyzing the bottom line.
"It is all about how you get there: your supporting cast, your front-line troops, and in my case, my wife and my son. This is what brings success."
The company’s flagship store, head office and warehouse are all located in Richmond.