In promoting the sanctity of human life, the Qur'an-e Shariff says that good health, like knowledge, is a divine gift. The family unit nurtures the lives of its members, assisting them in their physical and spiritual endeavours. The wellbeing of individuals, in-turn, contributes to the overall health of the family, and that of society at large.
At Maria Shriver’s March on Alzheimer’s held at Long Beach, California in October, two large communal canvases served as creative outlets for those who visited the booth on “Art Therapy and Alzheimer’s” hosted by the Ismaili Council for the USA. The canvases drew patients and family members, some of whom were emotional as they painted messages honouring loved ones suffering from a disease that causes memory loss and confusion.
To better equip the community to deal with emergencies, Focus Humanitarian Assistance has been running “Disaster Preparedness Weeks” in partnership with National Ismaili Councils around the world. During the week, practical tips and resources are shared with families to raise awareness of the regional risks and how to prepare for them.
Women from diverse backgrounds came together to celebrate, identify their strengths and hear about inspirational women. The event was organised by the Women’s Activities Portfolio of the Ismaili Council for the United Kingdom, and was the third consecutive time that the Ismaili community marked the occasion in the UK.
In the United States, November is National Family Caregivers Month in recognition of those who care for aging parents and other family members who are unable to take care of themselves. Geriatric Psychiatrist Dr Sultan Ali Lakhani supports family caregivers with education and counselling, and offers some tips for caregivers.
Statistics show that although longevity today can extend well beyond the life expectancies of the past, quality of life is increasingly compromised with age, posing challenges for the elderly, their children and the community as a whole. But mindful of our obligations to our parents and grandparents, the Jamat is finding new ways to care for seniors with affection and compassion.
In April, the 2009 Unity Games held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania drew Jamati members from all over the country, as well as Kenya, Uganda and even Canada to compete in the spirit of brotherhood. Athletes were joined by spectators who also came to celebrate an enjoyable experience for all.
There is no easy access to Zain Ali’s mind – at the age of two he was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. But his parents decided they would leave no stone unturned in exploring the various programs, therapies and interventions that exist for children like him.
Hopeful of being able to compete in London in 2012 after he narrowly missed out on a place at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing, Boccia World Cup gold medallist Ali Lalani discussed his sport, his inspirations, and his future aspirations with Zahid Lalani.
Good financial planning can help a family prepare for financial and economic changes. The Aga Khan Economic Planning Board for France recently launched a special programme specifically geared to families that promotes financial independence and well-being.
Ismaili athletes from the United Kingdom and other European countries were fêted at a send-off ahead of the Golden Jubilee Games. The dinner event, hosted by the Jamati leadership, provided the players with encouragement and inspiration to prepare them for their journey.
The Golden Jubilee Games in Kenya will provide a platform for Jamati athletes from France, Belgium, Switzerland and Ivory Coast to demonstrate their athletic talent and enthusiasm on a global stage. Seventeen athletes from the French jurisdiction will travel to Nairobi.
In April 2008, Zahira Virani ran the Flora London Marathon, pushing her limits while raising funds for development initiatives of the Aga Khan Foundation. Shaneen Makhani spoke with her to learn what motivated her, and how she managed to juggle her training with her family and work commitments.
The Pakistan Jamat participated in the josh trials for the Golden Jubilee Games at the Aga Khan University Sports and Rehabilitation Centre in Karachi, drawing more than 2 200 athletes from across the country.
Seniors are living longer, are more educated and have witnessed more global changes than their predecessors. Today’s elders are therefore becoming the backbone of our society as well as role models for younger generations.
The old adage that "laughter is the best form of medicine" is behind the growing popularity of Laughter clubs. Zareena Bana, the chairperson and founder of Joo Chiat-East Coast Laughter Club, has been noted in the Singapore Book of Records for conducting the largest laughter session which was attended by approximately 20 000 people.
The transformation of demographic trends in the European Union have led to a reshaping of the economic environment as well. In light of these changes, members of the European Jamat need to re-evaluate their savings strategies and career choices in order to ensure financial security.
Afroza and Alykhan Nanji, a dentist and doctor respectively, are raising their two children in Calgary, Canada. Like many couples with young families, they have struggled with the definition of success as they juggle commitments to their faith, family, careers and community.