Ismailis celebrate Diamond Jubilee of Aga Khan
Aga Khan, 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims and founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).
Dubai - The event will be marked across the world
Members of the Ismaili Muslim community in the UAE are celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of the Aga Khan, marking his 60th year as the 49th hereditary spiritual leader of the community.
The celebrations - which are being held worldwide - will bring together members of the Ismaili community, as well as partners of the Aga Khan Development network and government and religious leaders across 25 countries. The Diamond Jubilee celebrates the occasion on July 11 in which the Aga Khan succeeded his grandfather, Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan, as the Imam of the Ismaili Muslims 60 years ago, at the age of 20.
In Dubai - which also hosts an Ismaili Centre on Oud Metha Road - the Ismaili community has also established the Aga Khan Early Learning Centre, a nursery which takes children between the ages of 12 and 48 months, as well as the Aga Khan Scouts and Guides, which has had a presence in Dubai for over 30 years.
"As a leader of the Aga Khan Scouts and Guides, the spirit of volunteering is central to everything we do. On the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee, we are reminded of that spirit and the lifetime of service which His Highness the Aga Khan has devoted to the community in the UAE and globally around the world," said Raheel Chagani, a Group Scout Leader at the Aga Khan Scouts and Guides. "He once said of volunteers that 'their spirit, generating new ideas, resisting discouragement, and demanding results, animates the heart of ever effective society'."
"I am very happy on this momentous occasion to be part of the celebrations which are a milestone for the Ismaili Muslim Community," he added.
Today, the Aga Khan leaders a community of 15 million Ismaili Muslims spread across South Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe, North America and the Far East.
He's also the Founder and Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), one of the largest development organisations in the world, with 80,000 staff operating in more than 30 countries.
Annually, the AKDN spends $925 million on non-profit social and cultural development activities, and operates over 200 health care institutions, two universities, and 200 schools and school improvement programmes in various parts of the globe. Additionally, the AKDN operates over 90 project companies in post-conflict and transitional economies, ranging from a large-scale hydropower project in Uganda to a mobile phone company in Afghanistan, which collectively generate more than $4.1 billion revenues.
A number of social, cultural and economic projects - designed to alleviate poverty and increase access to finance for education, health, housing, early childhood development and infrastructure in developing countries - are expected to be launched on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee.