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March 2004 Bulletin

His Highness the Aga Khan"Our experience from Aleppo to Zanzibar has taught us that private initiative, properly applied and encouraged, can help revitalise historic cities of the Islamic world, even in resource-poor environments. Through interventions ranging from microfinance, skills development, healthcare and sanitation, to investment in high-end tourism and urban development, we have been able to catalyse a process of change which an empowered local population itself will have the capacity to sustain."

His Highness the Aga Khan, Mali, 10 October 2003

BBC Earth Report Features Al-Azhar Park Project in Cairo

BBC Earth Report Features Al-Azhar Park Project in Cairo The BBC Earth Report will feature a 30-minute programme on the creation of a 30-hectare (74 acre) park in the historic medieval centre of Cairo. The film will be broadcast worldwide five times on BBC World during the week of March 15-21. In the UK, the programme will be broadcast twice on BBC News 24 and once on BBC One.

Al-Azhar Park project, undertaken by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, is not only bringing greenery to a city where green space per inhabitant is roughly the size of a footprint, but it also encompasses excavation and extensive restoration of the 12th Century Ayyubid wall, rehabilitation of important monuments and landmark buildings, and an extensive social development programme, including apprenticeships, housing rehabilitation, micro-credit and health care facilities.

Worldwide (all GMT) on BBC World:

In the United Kingdom (all GMT) on:

Please note: Broadcast times vary in different parts of the world. Please check details for your region on BBC World website. To view a current image of the park, see the Azhar Park Project page. For more information about the work of the park, please see "The Azhar Park Project in Cairo and the Conservation and Revitalisation of Darb al-Ahmar", a brochure in PDF format.

New Video Archive on AKDN.ORG

Recent videos of the activities of the Aga Khan Development Network are now collected in one location. Videos are available in Flash format.

Master Jury for 2004 Aga Khan Award for Architecture Announced

The Aga Khan Award for Architecture, which was established in 1977 by the Aga Khan to enhance the understanding and appreciation of Islamic culture as expressed through architecture, announced the nine members of the Master Jury for the 2004 cycle of the Award. Prizes totalling up to US$ 500,000, the largest architectural award in the world, are presented every three years to projects selected by the Master Juries specially appointed for each cycle. For more information, please see the announcement.

AKFED Shareholding in Habib Bank

On 26 February 2004, Pakistan's Privatisation Commission granted the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) rights to 51 percent of the shareholding in Habib Bank Limited. Habib Bank Limited was incorporated in 1941 in Bombay and moved its headquarters to Karachi in 1947, becoming the first commercial bank to be established in Pakistan. A pioneer in the introduction of new products such as automated teller machines and travellers cheques in the Pakistani market, the Bank today has more than 1,400 branches and is present in 25 countries across five continents. For more information, please see the press release.

Tourism Development in Uganda

Serena Tourism Promotion Services, a subsidiary of the AKFED, has agreed to invest US$ 18 million for extensive refurbishment and upgrading of the former Nile Hotel in Kampala. The hotel will be re-opened in September 2005 as the Kampala Serena Hotel. For more information, please see the press release.

FOCUS and World Bank Agree Natural Hazard and Poverty Reduction Project for High Mountain Areas

The World Bank and FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance, an AKDN affiliate, agreed to implement an innovative project aimed at reducing natural hazards and poverty in high-mountain areas around Lake Sarez. The US$ 2 million project is financed through the Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF) administered by the World Bank. For more information, please see the press release.

Aga Khan and Assad Discuss Syria Development Priorities

The Aga Khan made a three-day official visit to Syria during which he had meetings with President Bashar al-Assad and a series of discussions with Ministers on key development priorities for the country. The Aga Khan’s discussions with President Assad touched on a range of issues but focused on specific areas in which institutions of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) could expand its activities. For more information, please see the press release and related photographs.

New Publication

Short Brief on the Activities of the Aga Khan Development Network (PDF, 119KB), the first in a series of short programme briefs highlighting projects, themes and country activities.

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