Contents of the ‘Remarks (Press)’ category in chronological order.

Signing Ceremony for the agreement between the Republic of Portugal and Ismaili Imamat to establish the Global Seat of the Ismaili Imamat in Portugal (Lisbon, Portugal) ·· incomplete

[This] a uniquely important occasion, where we will have for the first time in our history the opportunity to work with a partner with whom we share so many values, and so many hopes, and so many wishes.

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Province of Ontario and Ismaili Imamat Agreement of Cooperation Signing Ceremony (Toronto, Canada)

Our history, our interpretation of our faith, is anchored in the intellect and we rejoice in investing in the human intellect. It’s part of the ethics of what we believe in and it’s part of what we believe distinguishes us, obviously, from the environment in which we live. So the agreement that we have is giving us new opportunities to widen our exposure to education in the industrialised world, but to widen that education within a context where our values are the same. And that it is very important, because it’s clear with a global community — such as the Ismaili community — we need to invest in global values, in values which can be applied to any society, at any time in any part of the world. [Emphasis original.]

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Aga Khan Trust for Culture and Government of Kenya Agreement to Rehabilitate Nairobi City Park Signing Ceremony (Nairobi, Kenya) ·· incomplete

[S]topping a productive initiative simply because it might go on another six months or it might require additional financing, is extremely short sighted. What is important, is to complete it, to complete it well …

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The Ismaili Imamat and the Province of Alberta ‘Agreement of Co-operation’ Signing Ceremony (Edmonton, Canada)

[I]n the last decades I have come to an important conclusion about governance, about the fragility of governance in the developing world, and what people can do to protect themselves from governance which is not effective. And I think that history is beginning to show that civil society, in its complexity but also in its ability to impact the way people live, is probably the most important, single feature that I know. And building civil society is a complex exercise, needs multiple input and that multiple input, again, I hope we develop with your institutions in Alberta.

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Aga Khan Development Network and State of California ‘Agreement of Co-operation’ Signing Ceremony (Sacramento, USA)

We have seen over the developing world in Africa and Asia, that when politics are fragile, what continues to sustain development is civil society. If you build a strong civil society, then you have a country that continues to progress even if governments are unstable.

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Aga Khan Development Network and State of Texas ‘Agreement of Co-operation’ Signing Ceremony (Austin, USA)

The agreement that we are signing today opens for us the opportunity to build bridges to the best of civil society in Texas and in the United States and in that sense it is a partnership which we want to now translate into effective action in various parts of the world. (akdn.org)

In order to bridge [the gap between the developed and developing world] we come to you in humility and we ask for help. And we ask for that help on the basis that it is good for the improvement of the quality of life of people around the world. (theismaili.org)

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Aga Khan University and McMaster University ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ Signing Ceremony (Toronto, Canada)

I view this as an agreement of a much wider spectrum of importance and outcome than you might think, simply by talking about the profession of nursing. In the past years we have seen a number of countries in the developing world enter into the dimension of what I call failure of competent democratic government. A number of countries have run into difficulty; constitutional management, economic management, the management of pluralist societies. When governments are fragile, it is civil society which comes in and sustains the development process. Professional nursing, educating women, is an absolutely fundamental pillar to the building of society.

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Zarkava’s victory at Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp (Paris, France)

My family has been breeding racehorses for five generations. Two generations in India and three in Europe, and I believe this moment is the apogee of that effort.

This is one of the most important moments in my life. I’m not just a racehorse owner and breeder, I have many other responsibilities, but in the racing world, with all that my family has done, I really feel this is one of the most important times we have lived through.

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Signing Ceremony for three agreements: 1) The First MicroFinance Institution the Central Bank of Portgual. 2) The Aga Khan University and Ministries of Health and Higher Education of the Government of Syria. 3) The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development and City of Damascus (Damascus, Syria)

I believe that Islamic cultures have immense power and immense opportunity. It is up to us Muslims to illustrate those civilisations, those cultures of the past and the present. And one of the ways to do so is to revive the effectiveness of cultural assets in communicating to people. And historic buildings do not need to be thought of only as unproductive buildings.

Cultural assets can and should become contributors to cultural dialogue, cultural understanding, pride in one’s heritage and make an economic contribution to the country. And this is why it is so important to develop the leisure industry not only in terminology of modern buildings, but cultural assets speak to people. And if we want to bridge the gulf of misunderstanding between many countries in the Ummah and other countries outside the Ummah, one of the ways to do so, I believe, is to have our cultural assets speak for our history, speak for our traditions, speak for our values, speak for our ethics.

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Press remarks with an unidentified media outlet (Central Asia) ·· incomplete

In Islam, imams whether they are Shia or Sunni, they have a duty to serve people. That is the nature of imamat and, therefore, in countries where the Ismaili Imamat can bring support and help, it is our duty to do so and we’re very happy to do so in Central Asia, like we are doing so in the Indian sub-continent, we’re doing so in East Africa, in West Africa. So it’s part of the mandate of any Imam. But it’s a big mistake to think that you can do development only for Muslim communities. Many countries have mixed communities and therefore you have to do development for all the people within a given area whether they are Muslim or Christian or Jewish or Hindu or Sikh. You have what I would call a civil responsibility. [Emphasis original]

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Aga Khan Development Network and European Commission (EU) ‘Joint Declaration’ Signing Ceremony (Brussels, Belgium)

Our Joint Declaration represents a commitment to go beyond our common concerns about poverty and the need to improve living conditions in the developing world. We now look to enhancing our two-decade long partnership to contribute towards creating stability, mitigating conflict, fostering greater social inclusion and enabling equitable and sustainable human development.

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Dushanbe Serena Hotel Foundation Stone Ceremony (Dushanbe, Tajikistan)

The Aga Khan spoke of “a long-term commitment to a process of tourism development that can have deep and lasting benefits for Central Asia.” … The Aga Khan also explained the Serena concept as going beyond providing services, creating employment, setting quality benchmarks and generating urban renewal to include “developing human resources, elevating corporate ethics, practising good citizenry and inspiring public confidence.”

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NPR News report of Press Conference in New Dehli, Philip Reeves (New Delhi, India) ·· incomplete

I am talking, please, about basic education. What is the definition of an educated person today? Does that definition include some basic knowledge about the Islamic world or not? If it doesn’t, perhaps that needs to be corrected…. The knowledge of the different civilisations of the Islamic world, the knowledge of the pluralism of that world, the knowledge of the plurality of interpretations of Islam, of the languages of Islam, of the demographies(ph) of Islam is very, very shallow indeed. And I think that is a significant contributor to misunderstanding.

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Visit to Earthquake-Hit Areas of Pakistan (Muzaffarabad, Pakistan)

The Aga Khan expressed his solidarity with the people of Pakistan in this most difficult and challenging period. He commended the relief efforts of the Government of Pakistan and the Pakistan Army for their commitment to reconstruction and rehabilitation. He expressed the need to work in partnership and the need to construct seismic proof housing, adding:

“I hope the experience gathered here and the lessons learnt will be useful in similar efforts in the future, not only in the region but also in countries of Central Asia.” “We are with you during this sad episode in your lives, and will do what we can to help you. Looking ahead, it is important that the structures are rebuilt keeping the seismic nature of the region in mind.”

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AKDN Commitment of $50 million to Pakistan’s Earthquake Appeal (Islamabad, Pakistan)

The AKDN will contribute the extensive experience it has gained in recent decades in the mountain zones of the Hindu Kush, Pamirs, and Tien Shan in Northern Pakistan, Afghanistan and parts of Central Asia. This includes lessons learned about such issues as the special needs of rural and urban planning in mountain habitats, the development of energy and water sanitation infrastructure and resources, seismic-resistant construction, as well as training and capacity building for disaster preparedness, particularly at the community level.

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Aga Khan Development Network, The Ismaili Imamat and Government of Mali ‘Agreement of Co-operation’ Signing Ceremony (Bamako, Mali)

I would like to emphasise that economic initiatives are only one part of the AKDN initiatives in Mali. We firmly believe that our social and cultural activities are just as important, and intend to have them expand substantially in the future.

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Inauguration of First Microfinance Agency – Premiere Agence de Microfinance (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso)

We hope to bring to areas that are amongst the poorest and least served, our experience of strengthening communities living in other high mountain regions with similar economic and ecological environments. As in those other regions, we see this as a long-term initiative whose success will be determined by the commitment of the beneficiary population and the continued collaboration of the government.

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Remarks to TV5 on arrival in Mali (Bamako, Mali)

[Translation] As you know I am coming from Burkina and this trip is a trip so see our activities in West Africa, to assess the situation at a time when Africa is in the process of taking very very important global dimensions, so I have come to look and listen…. the Aga Khan Network in Mali is involved in culture, in civil society, which will overtake the economical aspect. So it is the totality of means of development that we wish to bring to Mali.

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On the purchase of four Agusta AB139 helicopters by the Aga Khan Development Network

Our experience in the northern areas of Pakistan shows that the logistical efficiencies gained from the use of helicopters have had a positive impact on the beneficiaries – the poor in remote, high mountain areas – in terms of the speed, efficiency and quality of development activities.

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Government of Canada announcement to partner in the Global Centre of Pluralism (Ottawa, Canada)

Canada has for many years been a beacon to the rest of the world for its commitment to pluralism and for its support for the multicultural richness and diversity of its peoples. Canada has embraced pluralism as a foundation for strength and growth. Therefore, I am extremely pleased that the Government of Canada under Prime Minister Paul Martin’s leadership has joined us in this important global venture.

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