Legacy of Jubilees – Legacy of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Golden Jubilee – July 11, 2007 to December 13, 2008

“The Ismaili tradition looks upon a Jubilee anniversary as a good time to launch new projects. It was at the time of my grandfather’s Platinum Jubilee — marking 70 years as Imam — that he opened a new jute mill here — a company which is still called the Platinum Jubilee Jute Mills. Similarly, we have viewed this Golden Jubilee as an auspicious time for new beginnings…..”
Mawlana Hazar Imam
Foundation Ceremony of Dhaka Jamatkhana, Bangladesh, May 21, 2008

Aga Khan IV
Aiglemont, July 11, 2007. Photo: The Ismaili Canada, Golden Jubilee Issue

“As I observe this Jubilee year, I plan to use this occasion to do two things: first, to visit places and people that have been particularly important to the Ismaili community and to me throughout this last half century, and, secondly, to discuss issues which have been particularly important to us, with a special effort to put them into historical perspective, and to build for the future.”
Mawlana Hazar Imam
at the State Banquet, Nairobi, Kenya, August 13, 2007

Golden Jubilee Economic Development Projects

  • A garment factory and the country’s first microfinance bank established in Mozambique.
  • Foundation stone of the Bujagali hydroelectric power plant in Jinja, Uganda.
  • Construction of a new undersea high-speed fibre optic cable to link Southern and Eastern Africa with Mumbai, India and Marseille, France, to serve Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar and Rwanda.
  • In Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, launched the Premiere Agence de Microfinance.
  • In Lisbon, Portugal, signed an agreement of International Cooperation between the Ismaili Imamat and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Portuguese Republic.
  • In Damascus, signed an agreement to
    • mark the launch of the First MicroFinance Institution (FMFI) in Syria. The FMFI was the first entity of its kind in the country.
    • build a five-star hotel in Damascus that involved the restoration of three houses and an adjacent school in Old Damascus.
  • In Paris, signed a partnership agreement to build on a number of AKDN projects to which the French government and French companies contributed. Some of these projects include:
  • Ismaili Economic Forum in Dubai opened by Prince Amyn.
  • The First Microfinance Foundation, a subsidiary of the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance, and the United States Agency for International Development signed an agreement to increase microfinance support to low income families and small businesses in the Aswan Governorate, Egypt.

Golden Jubilee Education and Health Projects

Projects inaugurated during the Golden Jubilee year

Parks announced to be developed by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture

  • Bamako Park, Mali, West Africa
  • Aleppo, Syria – The Park at Bab Qinnesrine
  • Burnaby, Canada
    The Mayor of Burnaby gifted a 15-acre piece of land to Mawlana Hazar Imam on the occasion of his Golden Jubilee. A public park is to be developed on this land in partnership between the Aga Khan Development Network and the City of Burnaby.

Jamatkhanas and Centres

  • Opened the Ismaili Centre Dubai, UAE.
    The site of the Ismaili Centre Dubai was a gift of the Ruling Family of Dubai, presented by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, to His Highness the Aga Khan on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of his accession to the Imamat in 1982. AKDN
  • Laid the foundation stone of
  • Announced the establishment of new Centres in
    • Houston, Texas, USA
    • Paris, France

The Arts & Culture

“At a time when the forces of exclusion, alienation, and separation can often seem so threatening in our world, I am convinced that our ability to honor authentic symbols of pride and identity – and to share their beauty and their power with one another – can be a tremendous force for good.”
Mawlana Hazar Imam, Spirit & Life Exhibition
London, UK, July 12, 2007

  • Splendori a Corte exhibition at the Palazzo della Pilotta in Parma, Italy – March 31 to June 3, 2007.
  • The Path of Princes – Masterpieces of the Aga Khan Museum Collection in Lisbon, Portugal – March 14 to July 6, 2008.
  • Spirit & Life exhibition at the Ismaili Centre, London, UK – July 12 to August 31, 2007.
  • The Masterpieces of Islamic Art from the Aga Khan Museum in Paris
    • at the Louvre – October 5, 2007 to January 7, 2008.
    • at the Museum of Decorative Arts/Le musée des arts décoratifs Paris – October 11, 2007 to January 13, 2008.
  • Rays of Light –  A visual description of the 50 years of Hazar Imam’s Imamat. 
  • Historic Cities Programme – An international initiative, the Historic Cities Programme exhibition featured of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in Egypt, Syria, Mali, India, and Afghanistan.
  • Bridges that Unite – Aga Khan Foundation’s travelling exhibition.


  • A Mystical Journey  Sufi Music and other Expressions of Devotion from the Muslim World, featured artists from Algeria, Bosnia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Syria performing music from various Sufi and other esoteric traditions of Islam.
  • Ali to Karim: A Tribute to the Ismaili Imams recounted the story of the Imams in seven episodes, tracing the unbroken thread of Imamat over 1,400 years of history.

Additional Golden Jubilee Initiatives

  • Heritage Discovery Programme – an international programme to facilitate travel and learning, explore heritage and history, and nurture a frontierless brotherhood and ambassadorial skills among young Ismailis.
  • Golden Jubilee Games a global Ismaili sports festival held in Nairobi, Kenya from June 24-29, 2008.
  • AKDN Speaker Series – an initiative of the Golden Jubilee Nazrana International Task Force, with support from the Ismaili Councils for Canada and the United States, intended to inform the Jamat about volunteer opportunities for those who wishing to offer a nazrana of time and knowledge (TKN).
  • Spark of Knowledge Symposium –  to explore ways in which to advance the frontiers of knowledge in an increasingly pluralistic and interconnected world.
  • CIVIC – Challenging Ismaili Volunteers in Communities – an initiative to engage Jamati youth aged 13 – 25 years.

All links accessed April 2017.

Compiled by Nimira Dewji

Countdown to Diamond Jubilee Series

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