"There are many, many interpretations of Islam within the wider Islamic community, but I think one on which there is greatest consensus is the fact that we are trustees of God's creation, and we are instructed to seek to leave the world a better place than it was when we came into it. Therefore, the question is: What is a 'better place', in physical terms? And that 'better place', in physical terms, clearly means trying to bring values into environments, buildings and contexts, which make the quality of life better for future generations than it is today."
His Highness the Aga Khan, speaking about the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, which will be presented on 6 November 2001
The Aga Khan Award for Architecture
The Aga Khan Award for Architecture, considered by many to be the world's most important architecture prize, will be awarded by His Highness the Aga Khan on 6 November 2001. Information on the winners, including the recipient of the special Chairman's award, will be revealed on the Awards page on the 6th.
FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance
FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance, an organisation affiliated with the Aga Khan Development Network, has provided food and other assistance to over 450,000 people in Afghanistan this year. By the end of 2001, FOCUS expects to have provided supplementary nutritional rations on a monthly basis to over 30,000 children. In Badakshan, where almost no other relief organisation has been working, FOCUS has distributed over 10,000 tonnes of food, primarily to vulnerable populations. Almost all of this food was used to pay labourers for building over 1,600 km of irrigation channels, 700 km of roads and rehabilitating schools and health clinics. Approximately 13,000 farmers, from 150 villages in Badakshan, have already planted wheat seed obtained through FOCUS's credit programme. For photos and more information, please see the press release on emergency relief efforts in preparation for winter in Afghanistan and the press release on Focus's humanitarian assistance programmes in Afghanistan.
Investing for Development in the Kyrgyz Republic
President Askar Akaev officially inaugurated the Kyrgyz Investment and Credit Bank (KICB). With a fully paid-up share capital of US$ 7 million, KICB became the country's largest commercial bank. The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), the principal shareholder, will oversee management. For more information, please see the press release.
From the Trust for Culture:
The Azhar Park Project in Cairo and the Conservation and Revitalisation of Darb al-Ahmar (PDF, English, 5MB)
A 30-hectare site in the heart of historic Cairo is being transformed by the Trust's Historic Cities Programme from a wasteland into a vast new urban park. The Park is already having positive social, economic and cultural benefits on the surrounding neighbourhoods.
Modernity and Community: Architecture in the Islamic World, which includes full descriptions and illustrations of the nine winning projects of The Aga Khan Award for Architecture, as well as essays by Kenneth Frampton and Charles Correa. (Published by Thames & Hudson, November 2001)
From the Aga Khan Foundation
Information about the Conference on Indigenous Philanthropy is now on-line.
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