Discovering Aga Khan Museum: The Gift Shop

Reporting from Toronto, Ismailimail speaks with Shoheb Gwaduri about the products in the gift shop. Ismailimail is also delighted to share a gallery of dozen images. Shoheb Gwaduri, Aga Khan Museum’s Manager of Business Development travelled across the Muslim world to bring unique products for the museum’s gift shop that were specifically designed using the museum’s collections, its architecture, jali motifs and geometry.

AKM Gift Shop - Shoheb Gwaduri, Aga Khan Museum's Manager of Business Development standing at the entrance of the Gift Shop with products from 15 different countries.
Shoheb Gwaduri, Aga Khan Museum’s Manager of Business Development standing at the entrance of the Gift Shop with products from 15 different countries. [Image: Ismailimail]
“Seventy percent of the products are proprietary and exclusively designed for the Aga Khan Museum (AKM) and only available here,” remarks Gwaduri. “I worked with designers and we took inspiration from His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan’s art collection to create one of a kind pieces” he said proudly showing me beautiful earrings and pins, from Jordan. Brightly colored arabesque patterns on umbrellas, scarfs and ladies bags grab your attention, as one enters the shop.Other beautiful and unique products range from jewelry pieces designed and hand crafted in Jordan incorporating semi-precious stones from Palestine. Colorful Iznik ceramics from Turkey and porcelain products from Spain adorn the shelves in the middle of the store. Scarves from Afghanistan and Jaipur – northern India, populate the walls of the gift shop. Ladies bags from Uzbekistan, pillows from Tajikistan, and more scarves from Kyrgyzstan – all with Central Asian motifs, designed by local crafts people using “generationally passed down” techniques are also featured prominently.

There are toys and books for children. Bamiyan (Afghanistan) bears and donkey hand stitched by women’s collectives fill the top shelf at the back of the shop. Mother of pearl momento boxes, wooden animal toys from Darb al-Ahmar (area adjacent to the Al-Azhar Park in Cairo) fill other shelves. Both the Bamiyan and Cairo products are beneficiaries of AKDN quality of life projects in Afghanistan and Egypt respectively. There are wooden alphabet blocks in Arabic, Farsi, French and Japanese (Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre is next door to AKM).

There are shelves full of books on art, calligraphy, architecture and other topics. Beautifully carved bookends from Afghanistan lend support to colorful art books.

For men, there are Italian silk ties with AKM motifs and beautiful cufflinks.

Many other products remain to be discovered and Ismailimail encourages everyone to visit the gift store to discover more treasures. An on-line store will be coming soon.

All images copyright Ismailimail

All stories from Ismailimail reporting from the ground:

Happy Birthday Princess Zahra

Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 10.51.02 AM

Noorani Family at Ismaili Centre, Toronto and Aga Khan Museum inauguration - Mawlana Hazar Imam, Prince Amyn, Prince Rahim with Princess Salwa, and Prince Hussain

IM Reporting from TO - Discovering Ismaili Centre, Toronto - An Architectural and Engineering Gem

Discovering the Aga Khan Park - Reflections – An Interplay of Nature with the Built Environment

Discovering the Aga Khan Museum - Bellerive Room – Prince and Princess Sadruddin Aga Khan Collection

Aga Khan Museum - Welcomes the World – Doors Open to the Public

Discovering the Aga Khan Museum - Performing Arts Venues – Auditorium, Courtyard, Hallways and the Park

Discovering the Aga Khan Museum - Masterpieces from the Collection


IM Reporting from TO - Humbled and Grateful - Ismailimail invited to momentous occasion

Be the First to Know – Join Ismailimail

Get breaking news related to the Ismaili Imamat, the Noorani Family, the world wide Ismaili Jamat and all their endeavors and successes. Learn how to subscribe and join 14,000 + other amazing people – Subscribe now!

Accelerate your Awareness – Explore, Discover and Learn more about the Aga Khan Projects in Toronto

Aga Khan Museum Series (Perspectives on matters of the Intellect, Knowledge and Wisdom)

Constellations - Aga Khan Museum – Building a Knowledge Epicenter - His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan on the choice of Toronto

Constellations - Aga Khan Museum – Evoking Wisdom - Prince Amyn Aga Khan on Peace

Constellations - Aga Khan Museum – Triggering Intellectual Anxiety - Louis Monreal on the purpose of the Museum

Constellations - Aga Khan Museum – A Symphony of Light, Shadow and Geometry

DYK - Intellectual Perspective - Avicenna - Cannon of Medicine

Ismaili Centres Series (Perspectives on matters of the Soul and Spirit)

Constellations - Ismaili Centres - Foundation Stone and Inauguration Ceremonies – Special Moments and Speeches of Mowlana Hazar Imam

Constellations - Ismaili Centres - Global Centres of Confluence

Constellations - Ismaili Centres - Architecture, Design and a Video Montage

DYK - Spiritual Perspective - Prayer Book

Aga Khan Toronto Park (Perspectives on matters of Felicity, Humanity and Nature)

Constellations - Aga Khan Park, Toronto – Garden of Paradise - Peace and Felicity

Constellations - Aga Khan Park, Toronto – Echoes of Paradise - the Garden and Flora in Islamic Art

DYK - Nature Perspective - Ottoman Gold Leaf

Aga Khan Trust For Culture (Perspectives on matters of Creative Collaborations and Partnerships)

Constellations - Creative Collaborations - Masterpieces of the Aga Khan Museum European and Asian Exhibition Tours

4 thoughts

  1. The products at the gift shop are very very impressive. The Italian ties are awesome, I wonder what are they priced at? I would want to gift them to my son in law. The Turkish plates also are very interesting. I wonder if they have with Allah or Mohammed or Aly on them.


  2. Thank you. Gives a good idea what a gem the Museum and its contents are for those outside Toronto. Look fwd to visiting this great place that unites communities and people.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.