Special Poem Presentation by Zafeera Kassam in celebration of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan’s 83rd Birthday.
Heaven and Nature Celebrate His 83
On a cold Sunday in picturesque Geneva,
13th December 1936 or the 28th day of Ramadan 1355 AH,
Winter sang a song of fire and ice evince
heralding the birth of a healthy Prince.
Eighty three years forward, the notches of wonder innumerable,
from reciting Namaz at 7 to being a left-footed Soccer miracle;
from skiing in the Olympics to constructing Costa Smeralda ground up,
to rewriting history with Shergar’s win of the Epsom Derby Cup.
Memorable was the way in which he saved Ismailis and Asians alike
evicted unjustly from Uganda like the jews from the Third Reich.
And generous the humanitarian aid from mountainous Tajikistan to war-torn Syria,
from alleviating poverty to nurturing urban gardens complete with Chinese Wisteria.
Yet so much remains untold, unknown of His architecture
of globalization and modernization, civil society and infrastructure;
From Aga Khan Foundation to Aga Khan Trust for Culture,
from Focus to Music, education, health and even agriculture.
He holds the reigns to this world –
secular, religious, ethereal, all intertwined and twirled.
To some a prince, to others a King;
To some a billionaire, to others Khudavind;
To some an enigma, others – love and grace personified:
the very reason the heart beats with pride.
He is whom you believe Him to be
But along with you and me, heaven and nature celebrate His 83.
Zafeera Kassam is an Ismaili murid and teacher by profession, living in Nairobi. She hopes to be continuously inspired to write praises of our beloved Hazar Imam for as long as she can.