Countdown to Diamond Jubilee – Snapshots of Imamat – 1993 to 1997

“The right to hope is the most powerful human motivation I know. Its importance has been paramount in the history of this nation. It is a reasonable expectation that the next generation will be better equipped to address the challenges of life than the present one.”
Mawlana Hazar Imam
Commencement Ceremony at Brown University

Providence, Rhode Island, USA, May 26, 1996
Speech at AKDN

Brown University 1996
Mawlana Hazar Imam speaking at Brown University. Photo: AKDN / Gary Otte

In 1995, Mawlana Hazar Imam granted a historic first mulaqat to the Jamat of Central Asia, in Russia in January, and in Tajikistan in May.

In 1997, to commemorate 40 years of his Imamat, Mawlana Hazar Imam made grants totalling US$50 million to five institutions founded by him:
Aga Khan University, The Institute of Ismaili Studies, Aga Khan Foundation,  Aga Khan Trust for Culture, and Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development.

Dushanbe Tajikistan
Dushanbe, Tajikistan, 1995. Photo: The Ismaili Canada

1993 to 1997
Mawlana Hzar Imam

presided over

  • Convocation ceremony of the Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan (1994).
  • the award presentation ceremony of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in Solo, Indonesia (1995). Speech at AKDN.
  • Foundation Ceremony of the Centre, Lisbon, Portugal (1996). Speech at The Ismaili.


  • the first Professional Development Centre of AKU’s Institute for Educational Development in Karachi, Pakistan (1993).
  • the restored Baltit Fort in Karimabad, Pakistan (1996).
  • Nation Press building, Nairobi, Kenya (1997).
  • Serena Hotel, Zanzibar (1997).

met with

  • board members and other dignitaries at Aga Khan University, Karachi (1993).
  • senior Russian leaders in Moscow on a five-day state visit at the invitation of the Government of Russia to discuss development initiatives, collaboration between the Institute for Oriental Studies, The Institute of Ismaili Studies, and the Aga Khan University (1995).
  • Government and Jamati leaders in Nairobi, Kampala, Dar-es Salaam, and Zanzibar to review Imamat projects (1997).


  • the World Congress of Architects in Chicago, organised jointly by the International Union of Architects and the American Institute of Architects (1993).
  • guests at the Outreach Dinner held at the Ismaili Centre, London, UK (1994).
  • Commencement ceremony at
    • at MIT Cambridge, Massachusetts (1994). Speech at AKDN.
    • Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, USA, the first Muslim to do so in the University’s   over 200-year history (1996). Speech at AKDN.
  • the biennial conference of the Commonwealth Press Union in Cape Town, South Africa (1996). Speech at AKDN.

signed agreements

  • with the Government of Bangladesh for development work (1993).
  • between AKU and Oxford University, launching a new partnership in teacher education between Oxford University’s Department of Educational Studies and the Aga Khan University’s new Institute for Educational Development in Karachi, Pakistan (1993).
  • between Aga Khan University and Sudbury Memorial Hospital, Ontario, whereby Sudbury’s medical staff trained their counterparts in Karachi, Pakistan (1994).
  • between Aga Khan Foundation Canada and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) for the Social Institution Development Program (SIDP) in Pakistan (1994).
  • with Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto for development between the Government of Pakistan and the Aga Khan Development Network (1994).
  • with the European Commission, who announced its largest ever grant to a single non-governmental organisation, to co-finance, with the Aga Khan Foundation (United Kingdom), an eight-year initiative for community management of natural resources in rural Gujarat, India (1994).

had mulaqats with

  • Jamat of Afghanistan in Islamabad, Pakistan and London, UK (1994).
  • Jamat of Central Asia in Moscow and Dushanbe for the first time (1995).

Other events

  • Fostrian Children Universal Society’s mandate was revised to become a universal emergency humanitarian relief and refugee resettlement, now known as Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS) (1994).
  • The University of British Columbia (UBC) and the Aga Khan University (AKU) announced a joint program to promote academic exchanges and research between the two institutions in the field of respiratory medicine (1996).
  • Princess Zahra visited Ottawa, Canada as Guest of Honour at the launch of the book, Speaking Out: Women’s Economic Empowerment in South Asia (1996).
  • Princess Zahra in Toronto, Canada, to Chair the International Ismaili Women’s Forum under the auspices of the International Social Development and Sports Foundation (1997).

For titles and honours bestowed upon Mawlana Hazar Imam, visit AKDN or view the matrix.

Selected World Events – 1993 to 1997

The Ismaili Canada, various issues
The Ismaili USA, July 1993

Compiled by Nimira Dewji

Countdown to Diamond Jubilee Series


Previously on Ismailimail…

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