(translated) There are 15 million Ismaili Muslims in the world and when asked what it is to be Ismailis, the verb “to serve” is the first one that appears. There are 8 to 10 thousand in Portugal.
From the Parque das Nações, where the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Aga Khan are being held, a high school where Ilyan, Zahur, Amin and Shenza came to volunteer, “serve” is what one hears most often when one wonders what it is to belong to this minority branch of the Shi’a minority within Islam. The Ismailis with successive waves of emigration, have spread throughout the world.
“All Ismailis have a great service ethic, it’s in our DNA,” says Amin Mawani, 60, living in Portugal for four years. It was this ethic that led him to spend the morning of Friday painting one of the buildings of the school EB 2,3 of the High of Lisbon, with a program of the Aga Khan Foundation. It is the perfect portrait of this community’s recent diaspora.