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A view of the Tolerance sculptures along Allen Parkway at night time.

In February 2011, a group of seven 10-foot high installations called Tolerance was unveiled at Harmony Walk in Houston near the site of the planned Ismaili Center, Houston. The statues were created by Spanish artist, Jaume Plensa and funded by City of Houston together with Mawlana Hazar Imam and a few private donors.

Jaume Plensa at the Tolerance dedication ceremony held at Harmony Walk, with one of the sculptures visible in the background.

In February 2011, an installation of seven statues titled Tolerance was unveiled at Harmony Walk in Houston, near the site of the planned Ismaili Center, Houston. Sculptor Jaume Plensa describes his vision, inspiration and technique in creating this work of art.

Traditional dance performances were part of the Navroz festivities at the Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe.

Navroz was celebrated for the first time ever at the Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe in March 2011. The event, which was hosted by the Aga Khan Development Network, drew some 300 guests.

A traditional Afghan dance during Navroz celebrations in Vancouver.

Celebrated on 21 March each year, Navroz is an occasion of special significance to millions around the world. Having migrated to Canada from Afghanistan, 35-year-old Ahmad Wali fondly reminisces over the rich traditions and memories of Navroz that he harbours from his childhood.

The Ismaili Jamatkhana Lahore symbolises centuries of the community’s presence in the region.

The new Ismaili Jamatkhana Lahore is the first facility to be purpose-built for the Jamat in that city. Rooted in tradition and heritage, it symbolises centuries of the community’s presence in the region, and its continuity in a land steeped in the many interpretations and practices of Islam.

Saloni Firasta-Vastani, Member of the Ismaili Council for the Southeastern United States, Imam Plemon El-Amin, and Priyanka Sinha, Director of Communications and Marketing at the Michael C. Carlos Museum gather with Dr. Hussein Rashid (second from the rig

Dr Hussein Rashid delivered a lecture titled Everyday Art: An Islamic Impact on American Art on 13 February 2011 at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. In the talk, Dr Rashid highlights Islamic influences on popular art in America – from architecture and popular media to poetry and writing.

Pages from a manuscript of Firdawsi’s “Shanama”.

On 4 November 2010, Dr Francesca Leoni delivered a presentation to mark the millennial anniversary of Firdawsi’s Shahnama. The presentation took place at the University of Texas at Arlington, with support from its Office of the Provost, the University’s College of Liberal Arts, and the Ismaili Council for Northern Texas.

Since 2002, when jamatkhana planning and development efforts got underway in Afghanistan, 20 new jamatkhanas have opened and at least nine more are at various stages of construction.

In Afghanistan, the past year will be remembered for the large number of jamatkhanas that were inaugurated across the country. In Kabul alone, four newly built facilities were opened, while ground was broken for additional jamatkhanas in Badakhshan province and elsewhere.

Panoramic view of ongoing landscape at the Lakkarwala Burj in Sunder Nursery.

Aftab Jalia works with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in Delhi and is part of an initiative to revitalise the area surrounding Humayun’s Tomb and Gardens, and improve the quality of life of the residents in the neighbouring Nizamuddin district. A graduate of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT, he shares some insight on the progress of the project and its impact on the surrounding community.

Children parade into the hall waving the Qatari and Ismaili flags.

As the “Cultural Capital of the Arab World in 2010”, Doha was a fitting venue for the Award Ceremony of the 11th cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, which was held in November. The event was particularly special for members of the Qatar Jamat, who were jubilant over Mawlana Hazar Imam’s visit to their peninsular country.

Members of the Salimahabad Orchestra. From left to right: Amirali Meghani, Naveed Rajput, Sadaf Faiz, Asif Noorani, Rahim Sundrani, Sohail Noorani, and Rafiq Vadivala.

A passionate group of eight individuals makes up the Salimahabad Orchestra in Pakistan. They recently released an album that espouses a vision of life, devotion to faith and respect for humankind through a fusion of contemporary musical genres including hip-hop, Arabic melody and soft rock.

Muharram is a month of remembrance in the Islamic calendar.

Nineteen projects were shortlisted for the 11th cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. The Awrad ceremony will take place in November, 2010 in Doha.

In May 2010, the Aga Khan Award for Architecture announced the shortlist for its 11th award cycle at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Selected from over 400 nominees, the 19 projects, spanning 16 countries, range from a small private residence in India to the conservation of an Ottoman town in Albania.

The RAYS OF LIGHT exhibition in London has been very popular among the youth, many of whom brought their friends from the wider community.

RAYS OF LIGHT: Glimpses into the Ismaili Imamat opened in London on 10 September and has drawn thousands of visitors, many of whose written comments are pinned to large boards just outside the circular structure. The comment cards offer unique perspectives on how the exhibition is being received, both within the Jamat and by the wider public.

Mawlana Hazar Imam and Prime Minister Brian Mulroney shake hands following the unveiling of a plaque commemorating the opening of the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby.

On 23 August 1985, then Prime Minister of Canada, Brian Mulroney, officially opened the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby in the presence of Mawlana Hazar Imam and then Premier of British Columbia, Bill Bennett. The opening of the first Ismaili Centre in North America was a historic moment for the Jamat in Canada and around the world.

Yawm-e Ali 2010 Lecture on Imam Ali and the Power of Compassion by Dr Reza Shah-Kazemi at the Ismaili Centre, London.

The 2010 Yawm-e Ali Lecture at the Ismaili Centre, London was delivered on 14 July by Dr Reza Shah-Kazemi, Reasearch Fellow at The Institute of Ismaili Studies in London. In his lecture titled Imam Ali and the Power of Compassion, Dr Shah-Kazemi explored the role played by Rahma – divine compassion – in the teachings of Hazrat Ali.

Following a presentation at the Houston Principle Ismaili Jamatkhana and Center, audience members listen to a tour guide explain Islamic and Western architectural concepts represented by the Center,

In May and June, the Houston Ismaili community collaborated with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston to organise educational events that explored and celebrated artistic traditions of the Muslim world. It was part of an ongoing outreach effort that has given way to greater dialogue between Muslims and non-Muslims about their respective faiths and cultural heritage.

The four artists describe intricate ties between their art and their Ismaili Muslim faith. Sometimes the Islamic themes are explicitly depicted; elsewhere the influence is more subtle.

Several North American-based Ismaili artists talk about what draws them to create art. They also discuss how Islamic themes and symbols influence their work, and how they use art to give expression to their personal faith interpretations while exploring cultural heritage and celebrating identity.

Youth volunteers take a moment to join in the fun and have their faces painted.

After years of anticipation, the Jamat across Canada came together to celebrate the Foundation Ceremony of the Ismaili Centre, the Aga Khan Museum and their Park in Toronto. They eagerly shared their thoughts and feelings about how the new developments will impact their identity as Ismaili Muslims in Canada.

An aerial view of the Don Mills neighbourhood, looking towards the future site of the Ismaili Centre, the Aga Khan Museum and their park. The Foundation Ceremony for the three projects is due to take place on 28 May.

Over the decades, the Toronto neighbourhood of Don Mills has opened its welcoming arms and helped many new immigrants make Canada their home, including Ismailis and other Muslims. On 28 May, Mawlana Hazar Imam will lay the foundation for three important new projects that will invite Canadians – Muslim and non-Muslim – to explore their connected heritage and celebrate their unique backgrounds.