Lapis Toronto - Protocol BC-IPrince Rahim / Princess Zahra 2022-09-29

Activities of the Imam and the Noorani family.
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Lapis Toronto - Protocol BC-IPrince Rahim / Princess Zahra 2022-09-29

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Protocol BC-Imamate Vancouver Prince Rahim / Princess Zahra 2022-09-29

Prince Amyn Aga Khan, Prince Rahim, Princess Zahra expected in Canada end of September 2022. Tentative dates: Arrival in Toronto, Canada on 24th Sept. Ceremonial naming of Street [Aga Khan Boulevard] on 25th Sept, Lapis Ball at Aga Khan Museum 27th Sept, Receiving Key of the City on behalf of H.H. The Aga Khan on 25th Sept. at ICT - Vancouver: signing of protocol AKDN/BC on 29th Sept.
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Re: Protocol BC-Imamate Vancouver Prince Rahim / Princess Zahra 2022-09-29

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The Signing Ceremony of an Accord of Cooperation between the Government of British Columbia and the Ismaili Imamat.

From generally well informed source:

The Honourable John Horgan, Premier of BC, and the Honourable Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, will represent the Government of British Columbia. Prince Rahim Aga Khan and Princess Zahra Aga Khan will represent the Ismaili Imamat.

Details of the event are as follows:

Date: Thursday, September 29, 2022
Time: 9:30am – 11:30am (guests to be seated by 9:10am)
Location: The Pan Pacific Hotel | 999 Canada Place | Vancouver, BC

A reception will follow the signing ceremony.
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Re: Protocol BC-Imamate Vancouver Prince Rahim / Princess Zahra 2022-09-29

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as received

LIVE on AKM YouTube = Tue, Sep 27, 2022 = 7 pm...Tor Time = Aga Khan Museum: Lapis Digital Benefit
The digital program will feature remarks by Prince Amyn Aga Khan, soulful musical performances, and Inspiring conversations.

Click here to join https://youtu.be/c8xYFywF-U4

https://iicanada.org/events/community-e ... -benefit-1

https://agakhanmuseum.org/lapisbenefit/2022/index.html

*Prince Amyn coming toronto Sept 24. (Sat)*
*Sept 25 afternoon at ict renaming of wynford drive.*
*Sept 27 noon at new multi generation housing foundation opp ont science centre.*


PROGRAM
Join us for the Lapis Ball & Digital Benefit: The Art of Transformation, as we delve into the sights, sounds and stories that bring the Aga Khan Museum’s vision to connect cultures through the arts to life. The digital program will feature remarks by Prince Amyn Aga Khan, soulful musical performances, and Inspiring conversations.
Performer

Zeshan B combines a classic soul sound with music and lyrics that pay tribute to his South Asian roots. Born in Chicago, his musical roots stemmed from Indo-Pakistani music to gospel music and R&B. He studied opera in college and is trained to sing qawwali, an ancient Sufi devotional music, as well as ghazal, a south Asian poetic form that often refracts romantic love through the lens of Islamic mysticism.

His breakout album, Vetted, was released in 2017, peaking at #1 on the iTunes’ World Music chart. He made his American TV debut on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, performing his hit single Cryin' in the Streets, which has garnered praise from The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and the Chicago Tribune.

In May 2020 he released his second album, Melismatic. He has made appearances at the Lincoln Center, Bonnaroo, Electric Forest Festival, House of Blues, Kennedy Center, the Blue Note, Riverside Church and the Canadian National Exhibition.


Lapis Ball and Digital Benefit 2022
On Tuesday, September 27, 2022, the Aga Khan Museum will proudly present the Lapis Ball & Digital Benefit: The Art of Transformation. The event will bring together the best of our in-person and digital offerings to highlight the Museum’s incredible impact on individuals and communities both locally and globally. We look forward to sharing how we have harnessed the power of art to broaden perspectives, foster connections, and change lives.

The funds raised will support the Museum’s ability to continue to adapt to our ever-changing world and create unique and meaningful experiences for our community to connect with art and one another.

While our in-person event is sold out, we invite you to join us for our digital program live from the Museum Auditorium on Tuesday, September 27 at 7 pm ET, streaming on the Aga Khan Museum YouTube page.


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Just heard from a donor Prince Rahim n Princess Zahra are in Canada trip, In Vancouver around end of September, major donors invited to Pan Pacific , some signing agreements with BC Premier.
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Re: Lapis Toronto 2022-09-27 & AK Boulevard.

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City is painting the cross walk with design near Aga Khan Museum.

Preparing for the visit.

Renaming of Wynford drive to AgaKhan Boulevard

Lapis Ball is 27th Sept 2022, Event webcast on Youtube and also on www.ismaili.net

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Aga Khan Boulevard Sept 2022

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As received:

His Worship Mayor John Tory will honour the Aga Khan through the presentation of the Keys to the City of Toronto, and announce the ceremonial naming of the Aga Khan Boulevard in Toronto. Mayor Tory will be joined by Guest of Honour Prince Amyn Aga Khan, representing the Aga Khan.

Details of the event are as follows:

Date: Sunday, September 25, 2022

Time: 1:00pm – 3:00pm (guests to be seated by 12:40pm)

Location: ICT - The Ismaili Centre Toronto | 49 Wynford Drive | Toronto, ON

A reception will follow the ceremony.

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Re: Lapis Toronto - Protocol BC-IPrince Rahim / Princess Zahra 2022-09-29

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Prince Amyn Aga Khan arrived in Toronto today 24h September 2022 at 5pm. Few members of the community lined at the exit of the private airport hanger and Prince Amyn waved at them while leaving for the Ritz Hotel downtown.
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His Highness the Aga Khan honoured with a Key to the City and ceremonial street renaming

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News ReleaseSeptember 25, 2022
Today, Toronto’s Mayor honoured humanitarian His Highness the Aga Khan with a Key to the City, at an event at the Ismaili Centre. Accepting the Key on his behalf was Prince Amyn Aga Khan, His Highness’ brother.

The City of Toronto has also renamed the portion of Wynford Drive, between Don Mills Road and the east side of the Don Valley Parkway overpass, to Aga Khan Boulevard. This is in commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the Aga Khan’s accession as the 49th hereditary Imam of Shia Ismaili Muslims and 50 years since the Ismaili community settled in Canada.

His Highness the Aga Khan has worked to improve the lives of all people, regardless of their birthplace, background or religious beliefs, through global charitable efforts focusing on health care, education, financial inclusion and infrastructure development. The Aga Khan Developmental Network (AKDN) operates in more than 30 countries around the world. It currently contributes to more than 1,000 programs and institutions, employing approximately 96,000 people who are primarily based in developing countries.

A friend and ally of Toronto, the Aga Khan has made generous contributions to celebrate the culture and heritage of the Ismaili community and their deep roots in the city. His Highness has contributed to Toronto’s vibrant diverse communities by opening the Aga Khan Museum in 2014, the only museum in North America dedicated to Islamic arts, housing 1,200 works of art and artifacts. He also opened the Aga Khan Park in Toronto and the adjoining Ismaili Centre, a place of congregation, prayer and friendship for the Ismaili community.

The mayor awards the Key to the City to inspiring individuals from diverse backgrounds who embody the spirit and potential of Toronto and who have contributed significantly to civic life. The Key to the City is the highest honour that the City of Toronto grants to an individual or a group. More information is available on the City’s Key to the City webpage.

Quote:

“His Highness the Aga Khan has made remarkable contributions within our city and within the culture and heritage of Toronto’s Ismaili community. Particularly, the Ismaili Centre at Aga Khan Park has become a landmark in our city for the Ismaili community but for residents and visitors as well. I am proud to present His Highness the Aga Khan with Toronto’s highest honour and unveil a section of Wynford Drive renamed in recognition of his many contributions to Toronto.”
– Mayor of Toronto

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter Opens in new window, Instagram Opens in new windowor Facebook Opens in new window.

https://www.toronto.ca/news/his-highnes ... -renaming/
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Re: Lapis Toronto - Protocol BC-IPrince Rahim / Princess Zahra 2022-09-29

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https://www.toronto.ca/news/his-highnes ... -renaming/

His Highness the Aga Khan honoured with a Key to the City and ceremonial street renaming
News Release
September 25, 2022

Today, Toronto’s Mayor honoured humanitarian His Highness the Aga Khan with a Key to the City, at an event at the Ismaili Centre. Accepting the Key on his behalf was Prince Amyn Aga Khan, His Highness’ brother.

The City of Toronto has also renamed the portion of Wynford Drive, between Don Mills Road and the east side of the Don Valley Parkway overpass, to Aga Khan Boulevard. This is in commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the Aga Khan’s accession as the 49th hereditary Imam of Shia Ismaili Muslims and 50 years since the Ismaili community settled in Canada.

His Highness the Aga Khan has worked to improve the lives of all people, regardless of their birthplace, background or religious beliefs, through global charitable efforts focusing on health care, education, financial inclusion and infrastructure development. The Aga Khan Developmental Network (AKDN) operates in more than 30 countries around the world. It currently contributes to more than 1,000 programs and institutions, employing approximately 96,000 people who are primarily based in developing countries.

A friend and ally of Toronto, the Aga Khan has made generous contributions to celebrate the culture and heritage of the Ismaili community and their deep roots in the city. His Highness has contributed to Toronto’s vibrant diverse communities by opening the Aga Khan Museum in 2014, the only museum in North America dedicated to Islamic arts, housing 1,200 works of art and artifacts. He also opened the Aga Khan Park in Toronto and the adjoining Ismaili Centre, a place of congregation, prayer and friendship for the Ismaili community.

The mayor awards the Key to the City to inspiring individuals from diverse backgrounds who embody the spirit and potential of Toronto and who have contributed significantly to civic life. The Key to the City is the highest honour that the City of Toronto grants to an individual or a group. More information is available on the City’s Key to the City webpage.

Quote:

“His Highness the Aga Khan has made remarkable contributions within our city and within the culture and heritage of Toronto’s Ismaili community. Particularly, the Ismaili Centre at Aga Khan Park has become a landmark in our city for the Ismaili community but for residents and visitors as well. I am proud to present His Highness the Aga Khan with Toronto’s highest honour and unveil a section of Wynford Drive renamed in recognition of his many contributions to Toronto.”
– Mayor of Toronto

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses.
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Toronto gives spiritual leader, the Aga Khan, key to the cityToronto gives spiritual leader, the Aga Khan, key to the ci

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https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/t ... r-AA12ejfr

Toronto gives spiritual leader, the Aga Khan, key to the city
CBC/Radio-Canada

The City of Toronto gave the head of the world's Ismaili Muslim community a key to the city Sunday, in light of years of "remarkable contributions" made to celebrate Ismaili culture and heritage.

In a ceremony at the Ismaili Centre attended by politicians from all levels of government, Toronto Mayor John Tory presented the family of Prince Karim Aga Khan IV the award, which is only given to individuals who "embody the spirit and potential of Toronto and who have contributed significantly to civic life."

"It is the least we can do for His Highness," Tory said at the ceremony.

In Toronto, the Aga Khan opened the Aga Khan Museum, the only museum in North America dedicated to Islamic arts, and the Ismaili Centre, a place of congregation, prayer and friendship for the Ismaili community, in 2014. He also established the cultural landmark Aga Khan Park, which officially opened in 2015.

The city also renamed the portion of Wynford Drive, between Don Mills Road and the east side of the Don Valley Parkway overpass, to Aga Khan Boulevard, to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Aga Khan's accession as the 49th hereditary Imam of Shia Ismaili Muslims and mark 50 years of the Ismaili Muslim community's establishment in Canada.

"The community presence here would not have been possible if not for Toronto and Canada's commitment to embracing and celebrating diversity," said Prince Amyn Aga Khan, the Aga Khan IV's brother, who accepted the award on his behalf.

"For many years now, His Highness has looked to Canada as a model of pluralism, one that is ever more critically, more urgently needed in our increasingly divisive and fragmented world."

According to a press release from the Ismaili Council of Canada, the Sunday award is one of a number of events taking place across the country this week to celebrate the Ismaili community's settlement in Canada.

This includes another appearance in Toronto by Prince Amyn Aga Khan on Monday to the ground breaking of Generations, a not-for-profit community housing initiative to support vulnerable individuals, families, and seniors, the organization states.

Outside of Toronto, the Aga Khan, a billionaire and a believed descendant of the Prophet Mohammed, is known for his philanthropy.

The Aga Khan Developmental Network operates in more than 30 countries around the world, contributing to more than 1,000 programs and institutions and employing almost 100,000 people, who are primarily based in developing countries, the city says.
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Re: Lapis Toronto - Protocol BC-IPrince Rahim / Princess Zahra 2022-09-29

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https://finance.yahoo.com/news/highness ... 00033.html

His Highness the Aga Khan receives Key to the City of Toronto
Sun, September 25, 2022 at 1:00 PM·2 min read

Toronto City Council announces ceremonial name, "Aga Khan Boulevard" for Wynford Drive

TORONTO, Sept. 25, 2022 /CNW/ - His Worship Mayor John Tory today bestowed the Key to the City to His Highness the Aga Khan for his long contributions to the City of Toronto and his lifelong efforts towards the upliftment of humanity. The ceremony also celebrated the ceremonial naming of Wynford Drive to Aga Khan Boulevard on signs adjacent to the Aga Khan Museum, the Aga Khan Park and the Ismaili Centre.

In keeping with the mandate of his role as Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, the Aga Khan has worked to improve the quality of life of all people regardless of their birthplace, background or religious belief. The Aga Khan has brought together residents and visitors from around the world to the Aga Khan Museum, the Aga Khan Park and the Ismaili Centre to learn and celebrate since their opening in 2014.

"We have looked to Canada as a model of pluralism for the world," said Prince Amyn Aga Khan, who delivered remarks and received the honours on behalf of his brother, His Highness the Aga Khan. "The community's presence here would not have been possible were it not for Toronto and Canada's profound commitment to embracing and celebrating diversity."

The honours in Toronto are one of a number of events this week marking 50 years of the significant presence of the Ismaili Muslim community in Canada. Additional events are planned across the country to commemorate important partnerships to improve quality of life, both here in Canada and around the world:

September 25, 2022: Global Ismaili Civic Day fosters local civic engagement in communities across Canada, with a focus on environmental stewardship, including park clean-ups, tree planting, recycling drives and more.

September 26, 2022: In Toronto, Prince Amyn Aga Khan will attend the ground-breaking of Generations, a not-for-profit community-based housing initiative to support vulnerable individuals, families, and seniors within an intergenerational framework.

September 27, 2022: In Edmonton, the University of Alberta will inaugurate the Diwan Pavilion at the Aga Khan Garden, Alberta.

September 29, 2022: The Ismaili Imamat will sign an Agreement of Cooperation with the Province of British Columbia, committing to advance joint efforts for development work in B.C. and around the world.

SOURCE Ismaili Council for Canada

View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/arch ... c7467.html
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Toronto gives spiritual leader, the Aga Khan, key to the city

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Image
Toronto Mayor John Tory awarded Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, the spiritual leader of Ismaili Muslims around the world, a key to the city Sunday. It was accepted by the Aga Khan's brother, Prince Amyn Aga Khan. (Doug Husby/CBC)

The City of Toronto gave the head of the world's Ismaili Muslim community a key to the city Sunday, in light of years of "remarkable contributions" made to celebrate Ismaili culture and heritage.

In a ceremony at the Ismaili Centre attended by politicians from all levels of government, Toronto Mayor John Tory presented the family of Prince Karim Aga Khan IV the award, which is only given to individuals who "embody the spirit and potential of Toronto and who have contributed significantly to civic life."

"It is the least we can do for His Highness," Tory said at the ceremony.

In Toronto, the Aga Khan opened the Aga Khan Museum, the only museum in North America dedicated to Islamic arts, and the Ismaili Centre, a place of congregation, prayer and friendship for the Ismaili community, in 2014. He also established the cultural landmark Aga Khan Park, which officially opened in 2015.

The city also renamed the portion of Wynford Drive, between Don Mills Road and the east side of the Don Valley Parkway overpass, to Aga Khan Boulevard, to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Aga Khan's accession as the 49th hereditary Imam of Shia Ismaili Muslims and mark 50 years of the Ismaili Muslim community's establishment in Canada.

Image
The City of Toronto has renamed a portion of Wynford Drive to Aga Khan Boulevard in recognition of the Aga Khan's contributions to the city. (Doug Husby/CBC)

"The community presence here would not have been possible if not for Toronto and Canada's commitment to embracing and celebrating diversity," said Prince Amyn Aga Khan, the Aga Khan IV's brother, who accepted the award on his behalf.

"For many years now, His Highness has looked to Canada as a model of pluralism, one that is ever more critically, more urgently needed in our increasingly divisive and fragmented world."

According to a press release from the Ismaili Council of Canada, the Sunday award is one of a number of events taking place across the country this week to celebrate the Ismaili community's settlement in Canada.

This includes another appearance in Toronto by Prince Amyn Aga Khan on Monday to the ground breaking of Generations, a not-for-profit community housing initiative to support vulnerable individuals, families, and seniors, the organization states.

Outside of Toronto, the Aga Khan, a billionaire and a believed descendant of the Prophet Mohammed, is known for his philanthropy.

The Aga Khan Developmental Network operates in more than 30 countries around the world, contributing to more than 1,000 programs and institutions and employing almost 100,000 people, who are primarily based in developing countries, the city says.

With files from Doug Husby

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ ... -1.6595348

*************
His Highness the Aga Khan receives Key to the City of Toronto

Toronto City Council announces ceremonial name, "Aga Khan Boulevard" for Wynford Drive

TORONTO, Sept. 25, 2022 /CNW/ - His Worship Mayor John Tory today bestowed the Key to the City to His Highness the Aga Khan for his long contributions to the City of Toronto and his lifelong efforts towards the upliftment of humanity. The ceremony also celebrated the ceremonial naming of Wynford Drive to Aga Khan Boulevard on signs adjacent to the Aga Khan Museum, the Aga Khan Park and the Ismaili Centre.

In keeping with the mandate of his role as Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, the Aga Khan has worked to improve the quality of life of all people regardless of their birthplace, background or religious belief. The Aga Khan has brought together residents and visitors from around the world to the Aga Khan Museum, the Aga Khan Park and the Ismaili Centre to learn and celebrate since their opening in 2014.

"We have looked to Canada as a model of pluralism for the world," said Prince Amyn Aga Khan, who delivered remarks and received the honours on behalf of his brother, His Highness the Aga Khan. "The community's presence here would not have been possible were it not for Toronto and Canada's profound commitment to embracing and celebrating diversity."

The honours in Toronto are one of a number of events this week marking 50 years of the significant presence of the Ismaili Muslim community in Canada. Additional events are planned across the country to commemorate important partnerships to improve quality of life, both here in Canada and around the world:

September 25, 2022: Global Ismaili Civic Day fosters local civic engagement in communities across Canada, with a focus on environmental stewardship, including park clean-ups, tree planting, recycling drives and more.

September 26, 2022: In Toronto, Prince Amyn Aga Khan will attend the ground-breaking of Generations, a not-for-profit community-based housing initiative to support vulnerable individuals, families, and seniors within an intergenerational framework.

September 27, 2022: In Edmonton, the University of Alberta will inaugurate the Diwan Pavilion at the Aga Khan Garden, Alberta.

September 29, 2022: The Ismaili Imamat will sign an Agreement of Cooperation with the Province of British Columbia, committing to advance joint efforts for development work in B.C. and around the world.

SOURCE Ismaili Council for Canada

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/highness ... 00033.html
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Mawlana Hazar Imam awarded Municipal Honours in Toronto

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The Key to the City of Toronto was awarded to Mawlana Hazar Imam at a special ceremony hosted today at the Ismaili Centre in Toronto, during which a segment of Wynford Drive was ceremonially named Aga Khan Boulevard.

Prince Amyn accepted the honours on behalf of Hazar Imam and thanked Mayor John Tory and the City of Toronto for the special gesture.

“His Highness is deeply touched by your kindness and graciousness,” he conveyed to the Mayor and guests at the event.

The award acknowledges the Imam’s work to improve the quality of life of all people, regardless of their origin or background.

“His efforts over six decades have established a wide-range of institutions and projects, including in healthcare, education, culture, habitat, financial inclusion and other areas,” read the citation.

A rare recognition, the Key to the City is bestowed upon distinguished citizens, residents, and honoured guests of the City of Toronto. Previous recipients include the late President Nelson Mandela, the poet and novelist Margaret Atwood, and the cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

“The fundamental set of values that have stood at the foundation of his own life and his own work,” said Mayor Tory about Mawlana Hazar Imam, “happen to match up quite precisely with the values that I think guide this city on a day to day basis.”

Today’s event caps the latest chapter in the evolving story of the Ismaili community’s presence in Canada. The community began settling here in large numbers in the early 1970s; many of them migrated to escape crises and instability in other parts of the world.

“We have looked to Canada as a model of pluralism for the world,” said Prince Amyn in his remarks. “Our community, like so many others, has found in Canada a place to grow, to thrive, and to give back.”

Today’s ceremony coincides with celebrations of an important milestone for the Jamat: 50 years since the significant establishment of roots in the country.

“Many members of the Ismaili community established their first home in Toronto, here in Don Mills,” explained Ameerally Kassim-Lakha, President of the Ismaili Council for Canada. “Over this time span, the city’s commitment to welcoming diversity, reflected in its motto ‘Diversity Our Strength,’ has allowed communities originating from all over the world to prosper in the city.”

Canada is now home to thousands of Ismailis, a significant proportion of which are in Toronto — often described as the most diverse city in the world. The community makes a significant contribution to the civic, economic, and cultural fabric of the city, helping to enhance the areas in which they reside.

In 1972, as members of the Jamat arrived in the country for the first time, each with very little to their name, few could have predicted the ensuing course of events.

“Now, 50 years later, we have in front of us, Aga Khan Boulevard. What a remarkable story,” observed Prince Amyn, “one which I am sure will be a source of immense happiness for so many members of the Ismaili community worldwide.”

The sentiment of the Jamat was expressed by Master of Ceremonies Farah Nasser, who said, “as a first generation Ismaili Canadian, seeing the name of our spiritual leader and honorary Canadian citizen, His Highness the Aga Khan, on a street sign is something my grandparents never would have imagined or dreamed of, and it's a personal point of pride, for not only me but my children and all of the future generations to come.”

More photos:

https://the.ismaili/global/news/imamat- ... rs-toronto
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2022-09-25 Key of the City for Aga Khan

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Prince Amyn received today the Key of the City from Toronto Mayor Torry on behalf of H.H. The Aga Khan in a ceremony held at ICT

I was lucky to have been invited. I am sharing some photos and a small clip taken a the reception following the ceremony.

VIDEO: http://ismaili.net/timeline/2022/2022-09-25-ict.mp4


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Re: Lapis Toronto - Protocol BC-IPrince Rahim / Princess Zahra 2022-09-29

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https://iicanada.org/news/community-eng ... unity-city

More images on link

The Globe and Mail: Toronto Celebrates 50 Years of Ismaili Muslim Community in the City
September 25, 2022 | Canada


The honours for the Ismaili imam was “the least we could do,” Mr. Tory told the gathering, citing the extensive charities, schools and other philanthropic endeavours supported by the Aga Khan. He said he had been travelling in Pakistan in the wake of the 2013 earthquake and found that the Aga Khan’s humanitarian organizations were helping in the most remote villages.

The appreciation for the Aga Khan mirrored the goodwill accrued by the diligent, hard-working way the Ismailis had integrated into Canadian society. In 1972, the message from the imam to his faithfuls was to “make Canada your home and enrich Canada for the benefit of all Canadians,” Karim Thomas, vice-president of the Ismaili Council for Canada, said in an interview.

“We’ve been received by Canada and by Canadians with extraordinary warmth and with openness. … We’re very grateful for the opportunities that Canada has given us.”

PHOTO

Sheherazade Hirji during a ceremony honouring the Aga Khan's contributions to the city, at the Ismaili Centre, on Sept. 25.Cole Burston/The Globe and Mail

She has been a lawyer, a manager of philanthropic foundations and a diplomat in Afghanistan, but Sheherazade Hirji has not forgotten that late afternoon nearly 50 years ago when she was a teenager with her family, making their way through menacing military checkpoints.

“There were lots of checkpoints and people were robbed and they would look into people’s bodies, women’s bodies under their saris, they would look everywhere,” she recalled.

Ms. Hirji and her family were heading for the airport in Kampala, Uganda’s capital. They were among the last to leave, part of the 80,000 residents of South Asian descent in the African country who were suddenly expelled in 1972 by the dictator Idi Amin.

More than 6,000 of them, members of the Ismaili Shia Muslim community, were able to resettle quickly in Canada, after their spiritual leader, the Aga Khan, called on his friend, then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau, to provide them with a haven.

Opinion: Why I’m grateful for the Aga Khan’s extraordinary service to humanity

Half a century later, standing by the landscaped lawn of Toronto’s Ismaili Centre, Ms. Hirji could contemplate the journey that led her community to become one of Canada’s great refugee success stories.

In the early days, she said, having few possessions and no place to practise their faith, newly arrived Ismailis in Canada would gather in basements, bringing sheets, so they could pray together. Later, they were able to rent school halls.

And now, on Sunday, prominent members of the community had been invited to a bright, spacious atrium at the Ismaili Centre, to hear Mayor John Tory announce that he had bestowed a Key to the City to the Aga Khan and renamed the street outside after the Ismaili imam.

Image

Toronto mayor John Tory presents Prince Amyn Muhammad, the younger brother of Aga Khan IV, with a key to the city.Cole Burston/The Globe and Mail

The Ismailis, the mayor said, were part of a lineage of newcomers who had successfully built a new life in Canada, such as the Vietnamese, the Tamils and more recently Ukrainian refugees.

The honours for the Ismaili imam was “the least we could do,” Mr. Tory told the gathering, citing the extensive charities, schools and other philanthropic endeavours supported by the Aga Khan. He said he had been travelling in Pakistan in the wake of the 2013 earthquake and found that the Aga Khan’s humanitarian organizations were helping in the most remote villages.

The appreciation for the Aga Khan mirrored the goodwill accrued by the diligent, hard-working way the Ismailis had integrated into Canadian society. In 1972, the message from the imam to his faithfuls was to “make Canada your home and enrich Canada for the benefit of all Canadians,” Karim Thomas, vice-president of the Ismaili Council for Canada, said in an interview.

“We’ve been received by Canada and by Canadians with extraordinary warmth and with openness. … We’re very grateful for the opportunities that Canada has given us.”

John Tory and Prince Amyn Muhammad unveil a street sign for Aga Khan Blvd.Cole Burston/The Globe and Mail

Behind the success story of the Ismaili refugees lay also the pain of their sudden expropriation and expulsion in Uganda, said Mahmoud Eboo, the Aga Khan Development Network representative to Canada.

“What people don’t appreciate is the shock and trauma that one undergoes when you suddenly hear overnight that all your possessions are gone. The businesses that you may have worked all your life for your family and your children are taken, your home that you’ve lived in is gone. … You have absolutely no idea what tomorrow will bring for you.”

South Asians had settled in Uganda and other British colonies in Africa since the 19th century. Ms. Hirji’s grandparents had moved from India, so she and her parents were born in Uganda. “I was the second generation born in Africa and so for us Uganda had always been home. It was the only home I ever knew.”

But the community’s prosperity also made it a scapegoat after Idi Amin took power in a coup d’état and ordered their expulsion.

Prince Amyn Muhammad looks on during the ceremony.Cole Burston/The Globe and Mail

Bringing only what they could carry in a suitcase, Ms. Hirji’s family landed first in Britain. They moved to social housing in Newcastle and her mother took a job in a factory manufacturing silverware.

She and her husband eventually settled in Canada, appreciating the country’s attitude toward diversity.

Canada’s diversity remains a crucial quality in the current circumstances, said Prince Amyn Aga Khan, the Ismaili’s leader’s younger brother, who represented the imam at the ceremony.

“His highness has looked at Canada as a model of pluralism,” he said, “one that is ever more critically, more urgently needed in our increasingly divisive and fragmented world.”
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Re: Lapis Toronto - Protocol BC-IPrince Rahim / Princess Zahra 2022-09-29

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Toronto honours the Aga Khan with ‘Key to the City’, street renaming
CanIndia News Online Editor-Sabrina


Toronto honoured His Highness the Aga Khan with a Key to the City and ceremonial street renaming.

Prince Amyn Aga Khan, his Highness’ brother, accepted the key on his behalf.

“His Highness the Aga Khan has made remarkable contributions within our city and within the culture and heritage of Toronto’s Ismaili community. Particularly, the Ismaili Centre at Aga Khan Park has become a landmark in our city for the Ismaili community but for residents and visitors as well,” said Mayor John Tory. “I am proud to present His Highness the Aga Khan with Toronto’s highest honour and unveil a section of Wynford Drive renamed in recognition of his many contributions to Toronto.”

The portion of Wynford Drive, between Don Mills Road and the east side of the Don Valley Parkway overpass, was renamed Aga Khan Boulevard. This is in commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the Aga Khan’s accession as the 49th hereditary Imam of Shia Ismaili Muslims and 50 years since the Ismaili community settled in Canada.

The Aga Khan has made generous contributions to celebrate the culture and heritage of the Ismaili community and their deep roots in the city, city officials said. His Highness has contributed to Toronto’s vibrant diverse communities by opening the Aga Khan Museum in 2014, the only museum in North America dedicated to Islamic arts, housing 1,200 works of art and artifacts. He also opened the Aga Khan Park in Toronto and the adjoining Ismaili Centre, a place of congregation, prayer and friendship for the Ismaili community.

The mayor awards the Key to the City to inspiring individuals from diverse backgrounds who embody the spirit and potential of Toronto and who have contributed significantly to civic life. It is the highest honour that the city grants to an individual or a group.
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