Aga Khan gets red carpet welcome

Aga Khan receives a bouquet of flowers from Anne Marie Mirembe as mayor Sebaggala and Martin Aliker look on

From New Vision Uganda

By Carol Natukunda

HUNDREDS of Ismaili Muslims yesterday thronged Entebbe Airport to welcome their spiritual leader, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan.

The Aga Khan arrived at 10:25am aboard a private jet. Among the officials who turned up to receive him were Presidential Adviser Martin Aliker, the Aga Khan resident representative, Mahmood Ahmed and Kampala mayor Nasser Sebaggala.

Unbothered by the morning drizzle, the excited Ismailis burst into a thunderous applause. They had since 7:30am lined up for clearance to the runway.

Chanting and dancing, they waved the Ugandan flag as well as the flag of the Ismaili community.

“I have never seen him face to face,” said a 50-year-old Indian woman stretching her neck to catch a glimpse of him.

Donned in a dark blue suit, the Aga Khan smiled and waved at his supporters as he walked over the red carpet, prompting more shouts of joy.

He was immediately driven off to Kampala in an Audi car, accompanied by a convoy of traffic police, security personnel and some high-profile Ismailis.

The Aga Khan is on the last leg of his 12-day visit to East Africa as part of the celebrations to mark his 50 years of leadership.

He was hosted to a luncheon at State House, Nakasero, by President Yoweri Museveni. The highlight of his five-day visit to Uganda will be to launch the Bujagali hydropower project in Jinja tomorrow.

The Industrial Promotion Services Group of Companies, the economic arm of the Aga Khan Group, is one of the sponsors of the project. He is also expected to lay the foundation stone for the Aga Khan Academy in Munyonyo, Kampala.

The Aga Khan succeeded his grandfather, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan, as the 49th hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Ismaili Muslims.

The Ismaili community comprises of ethnically and culturally diverse people living in over 25 countries around the world.
The Aga Khan is the founder of the Aga Khan Development Network, a group of international and private agencies working to improve the living conditions of the poor.

He was last in Uganda in 2006 to open the Serena Kampala Hotel, one of the investments under his group.

From New Vision Uganda

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

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