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Diary of the Ismaili Centre, London
TheIsmaili.org
  • Updated 3 November 2016
  • A compendium of news and events at the Ismaili Centre, London.

  • Professor Patrick Pietroni speaking at the Ismaili Centre, London.
    Professor Patrick Pietroni speaking at the Ismaili Centre, London.
    Ismaili Council for the UK / Riaz Kassam

    London, 7 July 2016 — Professor Patrick Pietroni, director of the Darwin International Institute for the Study of Compassion and his colleague John Ballatt discussed The role of compassion in improving physical and mental health at the Ismaili Centre, London. The talk was presented by the Ismaili Council for the United Kingdom.

    Professor Patrick Pietroni DSc (Hon), FRCP, FRCGP, MFPH, a senior academic with over 40 years of experience in the UK National Health Service, is director of the newly established Darwin International Institute for the Study of Compassion (DIISC) in Shrewsbury, UK. Along with his colleague John Ballatt, Professor Pietroni discussed the centrality and necessity of compassionate action for the maintenance and improvement of physical and mental health.

    This presentation was part of the larger project of DIISC, which aims to support and facilitate collaborative, interdisciplinary exploration and discussion of the nature and role of compassion in our societies. DIISC offers an innovative programme of academic research and will provide Darwin Scholarships to exceptional PhD / MD candidates, hosted by one of the DIISC-affiliated universities around the world.

  • Shamsh Kassim-Lakha delivers a talk on how the University of Central Asia is creating opportunity in the region at the Ismaili Centre, London. Ismaili Council for the UK / Riaz Kassam
    Shamsh Kassim-Lakha delivers a talk on how the University of Central Asia is creating opportunity in the region at the Ismaili Centre, London.
    Ismaili Council for the UK / Riaz Kassam

    London, 20 May 2016 — Shamsh Kassim-Lakha delivered a talk at the Ismaili Centre today, in which he emphasised the strategic importance of the Central Asian region in a globalised world.

    The Executive Chairman of the University of Central Asia Board Executive Committee and Aga Khan Development Network Diplomatic Representative to the Kyrgyz Republic discussed economic opportunities and quality of life issues prevalent among high mountain populations in the region.

    “There is resilience and initiative within mountain communities,” said Kassim-Lakha. “Education bridges the divide,” he said. “We want to give communities the opportunity to reverse this risk of marginalisation through higher education.”

    Titled Creating Opportunity on the Roof of the World, his talk was part of the Aga Khan Foundation UK’s Breaking the Cycle of Poverty lecture series, and presented in conjunction with the Ismaili Council for the United Kingdom.

    His Excellency Robin Ord-Smith, British Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic and past Ambassador to the Republic of Tajikistan, delivered opening remarks before an audience, which included representatives from government, the diplomatic corps, media, and the donor community.

    An open discussion and audience question and answer session followed the talk, led by Gulnara Kasmambetova, Senior Producer with the BBC Kyrgyz Television, Radio and Online services. A BBC news documentary, produced after an earlier visit to the Naryn campus by the BBC Kyrgyz team, was also premiered before the Ismaili Centre audience.

  • Farah Ramzan Golant, CEO of Nike Girl Effect delivers her keynote on lessons from adversity. Shyrose Rahim
    Farah Ramzan Golant, CEO of Nike Girl Effect delivers her keynote on lessons from adversity.
    Shyrose Rahim

    London, 17 April 2016 — International Women’s Day — a global tradition celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women from all walks of life — was marked at the Ismaili Centre, London by the Women’s Activities Portfolio of the Ismaili Council for the United Kingdom.

    Farah Ramzan Golant CBE delivered the keynote at the event, titled Altogether, Making it Happen. She shared her personal journey of success, from her role as CEO of one of the UK’s leading advertising agencies, Abbot Mead Vickers BBDO, through to her current position as CEO of Nike Girl Effect, enabling change in the lives of 250 million girls living under $2 a day. Farah guided the 300-strong audience through anecdotes from three chapters of her life, focusing on moments of adversity that enabled her to learn more about herself and those around her.

    The keynote was followed by an interactive panel session featuring Jane Galvin, Managing Director of Barclays Eastern Region, Karina Govindji, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Vodafone and Amin Mawji, former senior partner at Ernst & Young. Collaborating with the Women’s Activities Portfolio were the Aga Khan Health Board, Aga Khan Economic Planning Board, the Aga Khan Youth and Sports Board, ITREB, Women Empowered and Barclays Digital Eagles who interacted with attendees.

    The audience was treated to a guest appearance by the female athletes representing Team UK at the Jubilee Games in Dubai.

  • Cambridge University Astrophysicist Dr Farzana Meru speaks about her work at a space-related career event held at the Ismaili Centre, London. Salim Mannani
    Cambridge University Astrophysicist Dr Farzana Meru speaks about her work at a space-related career event held at the Ismaili Centre, London.
    Salim Mannani

    London, 10 April 2016 — Far out careers in astrophysics and space travel were brought within the realm of possibility for parents and children at a career event held at the Ismaili Centre, London.

    United States-based Jonathan Firth from Virgin Galactic’s leadership team and astrophysicists Dr Arif Babul of the University of Victoria in Canada and Dr Farzana Meru of Cambridge University in the United Kingdom spoke about their space-related careers. Their insightful presentations, which included discussions on research into the Universe’s evolution and planet formation, were followed by a question and answer session.

    The aim of the event was to provide parents and children with insight into non-traditional careers that are often not considered — fields other than medicine, dentistry and law. Part of the Aga Khan Education Board's Fuel for Thought careers series, the event drew a mix of families from the Ismaili community and the wider public.

  • Nurjehan Mawani and Meena Baktash in conversation at the International Women’s Day talk held at the Ismaili Centre, London. Ismaili Council for the UK / Jahanara Mirzai
    Nurjehan Mawani and Meena Baktash in conversation at the International Women’s Day talk held at the Ismaili Centre, London.
    Ismaili Council for the UK / Jahanara Mirzai

    London, 3 March 2016 — International Women’s Day was marked at the Ismaili Centre, London with a discussion on Women and the future of Afghanistan featuring Nurjehan Mawani, Shireen Rahmani and Meena Baktash.

    Nurjehan Mawani, Aga Khan Development Network Representative for Afghanistan discussed how the AKDN is helping to shape a stronger Afghanistan by placing inclusivity and women's participation at the heart of its endeavours. Shireen Rahmani, Director of Human Resources at Roshan Telecom shared insights about professional life for women in Afghanistan, and how she became a director at one of its leading corporations. Meena Baktash, Head of the BBC Afghan Service further explored the role of women in modern day Afghanistan.

    The event was organised by the Aga Khan Foundation and the Women’s Activities Portfolio of the Ismaili Council for the United Kingdom.

  • Dr Omar Kassam speaking at the Ismaili Centre, London. Ismaili Council for the UK / Aly Punjwani
    Dr Omar Kassam speaking at the Ismaili Centre, London.
    Ismaili Council for the UK / Aly Punjwani

    London, 29 January 2016 — Dr Omar Kassam delivered a lecture at the Ismaili Centre, London, which explored the interconnectedness of din and duniya — faith and world. Using poetry and other literary sources, Dr Kassam demonstrated how the two worlds are inextricably linked.

    Dr Kassam encouraged the Jamat to be more aware of the different ways in which the sacred is part of our daily material lives. He used stories and poetry to help us explore ways to remain God conscious (taqwa) in our everyday lives.

    The lecture explored how we can enhance the balance between our material and spiritual lives through education, prayer, family life and by living ethically.

  • Nick Boles, MP discusses the new National Living Wage initiative at the Ismaili Centre, London. Ismaili Council for the UK / Farhan Suchak and Sarfaraj Khorasi
    Nick Boles, MP discusses the new National Living Wage initiative at the Ismaili Centre, London.
    Ismaili Council for the UK / Farhan Suchak and Sarfaraj Khorasi

    London, 13 January, 2016 — Nick Boles MP, Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, attended a reception and talk at the Ismaili Centre in London to discuss the new National Living Wage and why it is good for business and the economy.

    The discussion addressed a number of key aspects relating to the new policy, including its likely impact on businesses at large but also certain specific sectors relevant to members of the United Kingdom Jamat such as care homes, restaurants, hotels and retail, as well as more generally its impact on the UK economy, inflation, unemployment and immigration.

    Hosted by the Aga Khan Economic Planning Board, the event was attended by business leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals from within and outside the Jamat. Represented in the audience was a broad array of industries such as hospitality, tourism, healthcare, support services and retail.

  • Speaker Dr Burge and the moderator Farid Panjwani in discussion at the Ismaili Centre, London. Ismaili Council for the UK / Sohail Samnani
    Speaker Dr Burge and the moderator Farid Panjwani in discussion at the Ismaili Centre, London.
    Ismaili Council for the UK / Sohail Samnani

    London, 12 January 2016 — The annual Milad-un-Nabi lecture at the Ismaili Centre, London was delivered by Dr Stephen R. Burge today. Titled Angels and Revelations of the Future in the Birth, Life and Death of the Prophet, the lecture explored the aspects of the supernatural in Prophet Muhammad’s life (peace be upon him and his family) using material found in the biographies of the Prophet, and in the hadith literature.

    The evening lecture had a particular focus on the events surrounding the Prophet’s conception and birth, the narrative of the first revelation on Mount Hira, the Prophet’s night journey (isra) and ascension to heaven (the mi’raj) and finally stories about the Prophet’s death. The lecture explored the closeness of the divine and human worlds, seen in the Prophet’s interaction with the angelic world, but also the importance and significance that these supernatural events had throughout the Prophet’s life.

    The lecture was well attended and included members of the Muslim ummah as well as guests from the Metropolitan Police and Embassy of the Republic of Afghanistan.

    As a close to the evening, the guests also enjoyed the conversation between Dr Burge and the moderator, especially on the relevance of this in the context of the modern world. Attendees commented on the warmth and spirituality of the Ismaili Centre and how the lecture provided an insight into the life of the Prophet.

  • Sheila Manji, Michael Kocher and Naguib Kheraj take questions from the audience at the Ismaili Centre, London. Ismaili Council for the UK / Inaara Somani
    Sheila Manji, Michael Kocher and Naguib Kheraj take questions from the audience at the Ismaili Centre, London.
    Ismaili Council for the UK / Inaara Somani

    London, 26 November 2015 — Michael Kocher, General Manager of the Aga Khan Foundation and Sheila Manji, AKF Early Childhood Development specialist, spoke on the Foundation’s work and commitment to Breaking the Cycle of Poverty at a talk at the Ismaili Centre, jointly hosted by Aga Khan Foundation (UK) and the Aga Khan Education Board.

    Michael Kocher provided an overview of the Foundation, its role within the Aga Khan Development Network, and highlighted what makes its contribution to poverty alleviation so unique. Here, Michael emphasised AKDN’s geographic reach; broad economic, social and cultural programmes; its many partnerships; and spirit of volunteerism. He described AKF as “helping spearhead sustainable, integrated, community-driven solutions to poverty.”

    Sheila Manji explained that it was the Foundation's “long term commitment, partnerships and community involvement” that make its programmes so effective. She shared detailed accounts of AKF’s early childhood development work taking place across the world, including in Tajikistan, where efforts have increased access to pre-school from 7 to 49 per cent in five years.

    Following their presentations, Michael and Sheila were joined on stage by AKF (UK) National Committee Chairman Naguib Kheraj, for a question and answer session facilitated by the Aga Khan Education Board’s ECD Member, Sultana Ladhani.

  • His Royal Highness Prince Hassan El Talal speakiing at the Ismaili Centre London. Ismaili Council for the UK
    His Royal Highness Prince Hassan El Talal speakiing at the Ismaili Centre London.
    Ismaili Council for the UK

    London, 2 November 2015 — The Ismaili Centre, London welcomed His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal, a member of the Jordanian Royal family today.

    Prince Hassan delivered an Ismaili Centre International Lecture on Global Muslim Societies in the 21st Century: Opportunities and Challenges in which he addressed the importance of literature, embracing Islam’s intellectual tradition and the importance of the work of the Aga Khan Development Network.

    His Royal Highness is credited with founding several organisations, some of which advance foreign and interfaith relations. In his lecture, he was able to draw on his vast personal experiences in working with different Muslim Societies.

    An on-stage discussion with journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown followed the lecture, together with questions from the audience. The exchange featured topics such as globalisation, and cultural differences between the Middle East and the West. Guests included diplomats and members of the British House of Lords.

  • Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO at the Ismaili Centre, London with leaders of the Jamat. Ismaili Council for the UK
    Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO at the Ismaili Centre, London with leaders of the Jamat.
    Ismaili Council for the UK

    London, 27 October 2015 — UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova spoke at the Ismaili Centre, London today on the challenges of protecting cultural heritage in times of conflict.

    The event was part of the Forum for New Diplomacy, a joint initiative of the Académie Diplomatique Internationale and the International New York Times that engages leading figures in politics, business and civil society in discussion on emerging dynamics and challenges in global affairs.

    Following her address, an on-stage question and answer session was moderated by New York Times Editorial Board Member Serge Schmemann.

  • Dr David Taylor, Director of the AKU Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, thanks Ratish Nanda for his presentation. Ismaili Council for the UK
    Dr David Taylor, Director of the AKU Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, thanks Ratish Nanda for his presentation.
    Ismaili Council for the UK
    London, 25 September 2015 — Ratish Nanda, CEO of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, India spoke on Rethinking Conservation: AKTC Projects in India at the Ismaili Centre, London.

    During the talk — a joint presentation of the Ismaili Centre and the Aga Khan University Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations — Nanda shared his experience leading AKTC India’s work on the Urban Renewal project in the Nizamuddin Conservation area and the Qutb Shahi Heritage Park in Hyderabad. He illustrated the wide-ranging impact of heritage restoration projects like Humayun’s Tomb.

    In addition to rehabilitating cultural assets, he said, these initiatives affect the social fabric of the surrounding area and the local economy. For example, the Urban Renewal project includes the conservation of over 50 monuments, environmental development of over 300 acres in the heart of Delhi and an extensive socio-economic development programme leading to an improvement in quality of life for more than 15 000 residents of Nizamuddin Basti.

    Sharing over 200 photographs together with insight into the challenges of restoration work, Nanda explained that a long term commitment to partnership is a critical factor in the successful delivery of these projects.

    Guests described the work as “mind-blowing” and many were awed to learn not only of the investments of time, knowledge and resources into such efforts, but that the outcome is felt at so many levels — in the lives local people, amongst policy makers and indeed on the public imagination.

  • Life Stories Inc, a musical theatrical production, previewed at The Ismaili Centre, London 20 and 21 July 2015. Ismaili Council for the UK / Shyrose Bhanji
    Life Stories Inc, a musical theatrical production, previewed at The Ismaili Centre, London 20 and 21 July 2015.
    Ismaili Council for the UK / Shyrose Bhanji
    London, 20–21 July 2015 — Life Stories Inc, a musical theatrical production, previewed at The Ismaili Centre, London.

    An allegorical play, it is the fictional tale of a writer who seeks his fortune at "Life Stories Inc" – a company that claims to ‘write’ the scripts for people’s lives. It is here that he meets a diverse and colourful cast that teaches him to see the significance of suffering within the human narrative, to express empathy and to offer hope.

    Echoing story-telling and artistic traditions in Islam, this play engaged with weighty philosophical and ethical issues through the creative use of drama, dance, comedy and song. A large, dynamic production, featuring a cast of over 30 talented actors, singers, dancers and musicians, Life Stories Inc was a sell out event providing both enjoyment and reflection for its audience.

  • HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal together with leaders of AKDN and Jamati institutions at the Ismaili Centre, London. Ismaili Council for the UK
    HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal together with leaders of AKDN and Jamati institutions at the Ismaili Centre, London.
    Ismaili Council for the UK
    HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal together with leaders of AKDN and Jamati institutions at the Ismaili Centre, London. Ismaili Council for the UK

    London, 26 June 2015 — His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan paid a courtesy visit to the Ismaili Centre, London.

    During his visit, Prince El Hassan bin Talal engaged in discussion with a small group of Jamati leaders and AKDN representatives on a broad range of issues including governance structures across the ummah, regional development strategy for the Middle East, water and energy security, and interfaith dialogue.

    His Royal Highness was in London for a series of private meetings and speaking engagements.

  • Secretary of State Greg Clark speaking at the launch of The Big Iftar 2015, which took place at the Ismaili Centre, London. Ismaili Council for the UK
    Secretary of State Greg Clark speaking at the launch of The Big Iftar 2015, which took place at the Ismaili Centre, London.
    Ismaili Council for the UK
    Secretary of State Greg Clark speaking at the launch of The Big Iftar 2015, which took place at the Ismaili Centre, London. Ismaili Council for the UK

    London, 11 June 2015 — The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, together with other invited guests, joined the Ismaili Muslim community for the launch of the Big Iftar 2015 at the Ismaili Centre, London.

    Guests enjoyed a meal together and were treated to a performance by several members of the Ismaili Community Ensemble. The gathering included Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, who serves as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in both the Department for Transport and the Home Office, Commander Mak Chishty, the Metropolitan Police Service Lead for Community Engagement, as well as leaders of other faith communities and civil society organisations.

    The Big Iftar is a national initiative supported by the United Kingdom government that promotes neighbourliness, strengthening of community relations and sharing.

  • Dr Amr Abdalla addressing the audience at the Milad Lecture. Ismaili Council for the UK.
    Dr Amr Abdalla addressing the audience at the Milad Lecture.
    Ismaili Council for the UK.
    Dr Amr Abdalla addressing the audience at the Milad Lecture. Ismaili Council for the UK

    London, 14 January 2015 — Dr Amr Abdalla, Senior Advisor on Policy Analysis and Research at the University of Addis Ababa spoke on Retrieving Islam’s Humanistic Heritage: A role of Muslim Mediatory Practice at the Milad-un-Nabi lecture. His lecture focussed on the role of Muslim mediation within the wider spectrum of Islamic law and how Muslim values can influence its practice.

    During the lecture, Dr Abdalla emphasised the need for compassion and accountability when making legal decisions. He briefly explored the history of shariah and examined the spirit in which it developed. He considered the humanistic nature of law as a set of guiding principles which can be applied in different times and contexts.

    The event was attended by a number of external guests including Stephen Williams MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and members of the academic community. Jamati members in attendance were given the opportunity to learn more about their Muslim heritage.

  • Celebrating the music and dance of Central Asia, the London Uyghur Ensemble was one of the many performers at the Nour Festival of Arts. Sadrudin Verjee
    Celebrating the music and dance of Central Asia, the London Uyghur Ensemble was one of the many performers at the Nour Festival of Arts.
    Sadrudin Verjee
    Celebrating the music and dance of Central Asia, the London Uyghur Ensemble was one of the many performers at the Nour Festival of Arts. Sadrudin Verjee

    London, 26–29 November 2014 — The annual Nour Festival of Arts, which shines a light on contemporary Middle Eastern and North African arts and culture, was held across the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea during October and November 2014.

    As a partner of the Festival, the Ismaili Centre hosted a series of evening events open to members of the public, which included a lecture titled People and Places along the Silk Road: a geographical perspective by Alasdair MacLeod, the Head of Collections at the Royal Geographical Society, an impressive fashion show of contemporary Egyptian garments and performances of dance and music, which collectively reflected the unique vibrancy, colours and sounds of Central Asia, Kurdistan and Iran. Visitors were also treated to an exhibition titled, Across Time and Space, curated by Amin Abdullah Pardhan, which showcased a rare collection of 19th-century photographic albums, maps and daily life portraits along with a vibrant and luxurious display of juxtaposing traditional and modern garments from across the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia.

  • Paul Maynard MP; Mark Harper MP, Minister for Disabled People; Wayne Henderson, Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Disability Group and the Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. Sadrudin Verjee
    Left to right: Paul Maynard MP; Mark Harper MP, Minister for Disabled People; Wayne Henderson, Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Disability Group and the Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
    Sadrudin Verjee
    The the fifth annual Disability Colloquium was held at the Ismaili Centre, London on 18 November. Left to right: Paul Maynard MP; Mark Harper MP, Minister for Disabled People; Wayne Henderson, Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Disability Group and the Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. Sadrudin Verjee

    London, 18 November 2014 — The Right Honourable Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and Mark Harper MP, Minister of State for Disabled People, attended the fifth annual Disability Colloquium at the Ismaili Centre. The forum provided some twenty-eight charities with the opportunity to dialogue on raising disability awareness and fostering ways that can help to create a more inclusive society. Organisations in attendance included SCOPE, MENCAP and Leonard Cheshire Disability.

    In his keynote address, the Right Honourable Iain Duncan Smith highlighted the importance of equality, explaining that social justice is about turning lives around and not leaving anyone behind, whilst living with freedom and independence is the key to ensuring that people are not trapped in an untenable situation. The event — hosted by the Aga Khan Social Welfare Board in collaboration with the Conservative Disability Group — attracted over 130 people from across the United Kingdom.

  • Dr Amyn B. Sajoo in conversation with Innes Bowen at the Ismaili Centre, London. Ismaili Council for the UK
    Dr Amyn B. Sajoo in conversation with Innes Bowen at the Ismaili Centre, London.
    Ismaili Council for the UK
    Dr Amyn B. Sajoo in conversation with Innes Bowen. Ismaili Council for the UK

    London, 13 November 2014 — Dr Amyn B. Sajoo, Scholar-in-Residence at the Centre for Study of Muslim Societies & Cultures at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada and Innes Bowen, Editor at BBC Radio Current Affairs, explored the challenges that arise from the growing sectarianism in the Muslim world. The discussion focused on current conflicts in the Middle East and the misperceptions associated with Islam.

    During the conversation, Dr Sajoo indicated that pluralism and civil society were inextricably linked and that faith and theology can and should play a vital role in the development of civil society.

  • Delegates had the opportunity of an interactive question and answer session with the panel, which included Sir Alan Ward QC and Nazim Kassam. Darren Pullman.
    Delegates had the opportunity of an interactive question and answer session with the panel, which included Sir Alan Ward QC and Nazim Kassam.
    Darren Pullman.

    Delegates had the opportunity of an interactive question and answer session with the panel, which included Sir Alan Ward QC and Nazim Kassam. Darren Pullman

    London, 24 October 2014 — The London Mediator’s Day, a major forum for informed discussion on community mediation, was held at The Ismaili Centre London.

    The London Mediator’s Day is an initiative of the London Community Mediation Council, an organisation that has established itself as a principal voice for community mediation in Greater London.

    Guest speakers included Sir Alan Ward QC, Chairman of the the Civil Mediation Council, who spoke on his vision to bring various UK community mediation service providers together under a single umbrella. Nazmin Kassam, Chairman of the Ismaili National Conciliation and Arbitration Board for the United Kingdom also spoke, focussing on the Shia Ismaili model of faith-based mediation and its benefits to community members.

    Over 140 people attended the event and participated in a range of workshops including Mediating within Families and Mediating within Faith Communities.

    Mediation is a confidential and voluntary process that will only take place if both parties agree. It is a cost effective way of resolving disputes without the need to go to court.

  • Iqbal Dhanji, Outreach Member, Ismaili Council for the United Kingdom, hosting the group at the Ismaili Centre London. Exhibition Road Cultural Group
    Iqbal Dhanji, Outreach Member, Ismaili Council for the United Kingdom, hosting the group at the Ismaili Centre London.
    Exhibition Road Cultural Group
    Iqbal Dhanji, Outreach Member, Ismaili Council for the United Kingdom, hosting the group at the Ismaili Centre London. Exhibition Road Cultural Group

    London, 14 October 2015 — Following the endorsement from Transport for London, the Exhibition Road Cultural Group, a representative body for the local cultural and educational institutions, organised a competition to help improve the South Kensington Pedestrian Tunnel. Students from the Royal College of Art, the Royal College of Music and Imperial College were challenged to produce designs that express the spirit of South Kensington and provide a fitting welcome to the area and its world-leading museums, educational institutions and cultural venues.

    The Ismaili Centre, London hosted the briefing seminar to launch the ideas phase of the competition, which was attended by the student teams, promoters and stakeholder representatives. It provided a forum to discuss the aims and objectives of the competition.

    In December 2014, three schemes were selected to share a £6,000 prize awarded by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851. The judges felt that each offered elements that could be combined to bring positive and exciting improvements to the environment and character of the tunnel.

    South Kensington Station is one of the most visited stations on the London Underground. It provides the primary gateway to the world-class cultural and educational institutions along Exhibition Road which include The Ismaili Centre, London.

  • Nour Festival of Arts events at the Ismaili Centre, London take place between 26 - 29 November 2014. Nour Festival
    Nour Festival of Arts events at the Ismaili Centre, London take place between 26 - 29 November 2014.
    Nour Festival
    The Nour Festival is a celebration of the very best in contemporary Middle Eastern and North African arts and culture. Featuring a highly acclaimed programme of art, film, literature, music and performance, it springs to life each October and November in venues across the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

    The Ismaili Centre is a proud partner of the festival and will host a series of events showcasing the colours, sounds and life of the Silk Route, incorporating Middle East and North Africa and its cultural influence across the regions. Events taking place at the Ismaili Centre during the Nour Festival are listed below.

    Also see:
    » Tickets can be obtained from the box office
    » The RGS lecture is free ‎and can be booked by emailing events@iiuk.org. Places are limited.
    » The exhibition is free and no booking required.
    » For further details, please visit the Nour festival website.

    Threads along the Silk Road: celebrating the music and dance of Central Asia

    An evening performance of dance and music celebrating the culture of Central Asia, reflecting the unique vibrancy, colour and sounds of the people of Central Asia, neighbours and traders along the Silk Road.

    Thursday, 27 November at 8:15 PM. (Doors open at 7:45 PM)
    Ticketed entry: £5.50 (please bring the e-mail / e-ticket confirmation for entry).

    The Colours and Sounds of Kurdistan

    A live performance of Kurdish music and a fashion show by Gulan. Organised by Gulan in collaboration with the Ismaili Centre, celebrated Kurdish fashion designer Della Murad (artistic director for Gulan) will present a Kurdish fashion evening showcasing vibrant and colourful contemporary designs of Kurdish clothes.

    Friday, 28 November at 8:30 PM. (Doors open at 8:00 PM)
    Ticketed entry: £5.50 (please bring the e-mail / e-ticket confirmation for entry).

    Iranian Nights

    An evening performance of Iranian Music and Dance. The Parvaz Ensemble will be performing music inspired by the Kurdish tanbour maqam music from the Kurdish region of Iran — sacred music passed down through the generations and performed only privately, until 2003, when this stunning music was performed publicly for the first time.

    Saturday, 29 November at 8:15 PM. (Doors open at 7:45 PM)
    Ticketed entry: £5.50 (please bring the e-mail / e-ticket confirmation for entry).

  • Lord Coe CH KBE, the Prime Minister’s Olympics and Paralympics Legacy Ambassador, delivered the keynote address.
    Lord Coe CH KBE, the Prime Minister’s Olympics and Paralympics Legacy Ambassador, delivered the keynote address at the third annual Disability Colloquium.
    Jahanara Mirzai
    Ismaili Centre, London, 3 – 19 November 2013 – The Aga Khan Social Welfare Board in collaboration with the Conservative Disability Group hosted the third annual Disability Colloquium, which focused on The Olympics and Paralympics Legacy – A Year On.

    Lord Coe, who masterminded the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was the keynote speaker at the event. Attendees included other Members of Parliament, Chairmen and Chief Executive Officers of charities that provide for people with disabilities and members of the Conservative Disability Group with an interest in contributing to Government policy on disability issues.

  • A number of dignitaries, including ambassadors from Russia and several central asian countries, as well as faith leaders gathered to commemorate 100 years of shared learning between Russia and the Ismaili community.
    A number of dignitaries, including ambassadors from Russia and several central asian countries, as well as faith leaders gathered to commemorate 100 years of shared learning between Russia and the Ismaili community.
    Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for the UK
    Ismaili Centre, London, 6 November 2012 – A commemorative dinner was hosted, together with a photo exhibition titled Russia and the Ismaili Muslims: Over a Century of Learning, marking a century since Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah visited Russia at the invitation of Tsar Nicholas II. The occasion also recalled the accounts of various Russian explorers, ethnographers and historians like Count Aleksey Brobinsky (1861–1938), A.A.Semonov (1873–1958) and W.A.Ivanov (1886–1970).

    The event was attended by the Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, the Russian Ambassador to Ireland, Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh from the Russian Orthodox Church, Ambassadors from several Central Asian Countries and leaders from the Ismaili Community.