“Pluralist societies are not accidents of history. They are products of enlightened education and continuous investment by governments and all of civil society in recognizing and celebrating the diversity of the world’s peoples.”
His Highness the Aga Khan, Ottawa, Canada, 18 April 2005Awards for Baltit Fort and other Conservation Programmes in Pakistan
The restoration of Baltit Fort in the Hunza Valley of Pakistan appeared on the cover of Time Magazine (4 July 2005, Asian edition) in a roundup of the "Best of Asia", winning the "Best Restored Treasure" award. Time said that "seven hundred years' worth of earthquakes, avalanches and neglect had turned it into a rubble-strewn heap, prompting the Mir to turn it over to the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in 1989. The charitable foundation embarked on a restoration, which took six years and more than $3 million - and the results are stunning." In fact, the Baltit Fort and other projects have won several awards, including UNESCO Asian-Pacific Heritage awards. For more information, see recent awards and the Historic Cities Support Programme home page. Please also see the press release on the Shigar Fort restoration.Canadian Government Joins as a Partner in Global Centre for Pluralism
The Government of Canada will contribute CAD$ 30 million to the Global Centre for Pluralism, which was launched 19 May 2004. The initial investment by the Aga Khan Development Network will be CAD$ 40 million. The mission of the Centre will be to promote pluralist values and practices in culturally diverse societies worldwide. It will undertake research, operate programmes, facilitate dialogue, develop pedagogical materials and work with partners to build the capacity of individuals, groups, educational institutions and governments to promote indigenous approaches to pluralism in their own countries and communities. For more information, please see the press release.Central Asian Musicians Begin 2005 Summer at Fez Festival of World Music
Three ensembles from Central Asia sponsored by the Aga Khan Music Initiative began their summer tour with performances at the Fez Festival of World Music on 6 June 2005. Playing in both intimate venues and in larger spaces, the three ensembles showcased distinct elements of the region’s rich and diverse musical heritage. In the afternoon concert, the ensemble Tengir-Too provided a broad sample of the culture of Kyrgyz nomads, including instrumental music, songs, and the much-celebrated epic Manas. For more information about the performances at the Fez Festival, please see the programme in English (PDF), le programme en français (PDF), the photographs, as well as a festival report on the Mondomix website (click under "Reports"). For dates and locations for the summer tour, please see the latest Summer 2005 programme.Partnership Walk in Canada Raises CAD$ 4 Million for Projects in Africa and Asia
In this year's Partnership Walks in Canada, over 35,000 people walked to raise over CAD$ 4 million for Aga Khan Foundation projects in education, healthcare, rural development and civil society. Some 1,000 volunteers and 800 corporations were involved. Since its inception, the Walk has raised more than $27 million. For more information, please see the Partnership Walk sites (see below). There is still a chance to participate in the Walks in the United States (25 September 2005). Please see the respective websites for more information: Canada, United Kingdom (next walk is in 2006) and United States. There are also fund-raising golf tournaments through September in Canada. For more information, please see World Partnership Golf.Mrs. Bush Tours Zanzibar Madrasas
On her tour of Africa following the G8 summit, First Lady Laura Bush of the United States toured schools which are part of the Aga Khan Foundation's education programmes in Zanzibar. Her entourage included senior officials from the White House, education sector specialists and the press. She first visited the Al Rahma Preschool, which is part of the AKF's Zanzibar Madrasa Resource Centre, and then went on to the Teacher Centre at the Kiembe Samaki School, which is supported by the Foundation's Teacher Advancement Project. Mrs. Bush cited Madrasa statistics in East Africa - numbers of teachers trained, number of schools, children impacted - and noted in particular that the United States liked to work with institutions that responded to local needs. For more information about the First Lady's trip, please see the White House website.New Landmark Building for Imamat and AKDN Activities in Canada
A new landmark building housing the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat and AKDN offices will soon be built on Sussex Drive in Ottawa, Canada. The Aga Khan and the Governor General of Canada, Adrienne Clarkson, attended the foundation ceremony. The Delegation will serve a representational role for the Imamat and the agencies that constitute the Aga Khan Development Network. For more information, please see the press release in English and Communiqué de presse.Aga Khan Honoured in Ottawa and Beirut
On 6 June 2005, the Aga Khan was invested as an honorary Companion, the Order of Canada’s highest formal civilian tribute, “in recognition of his life of generosity, of thoughtful stewardship, and of benevolent spiritual direction,” in the words of the Governor General Adrienne Clarkson. The Order of Canada is the centrepiece of Canada’s Honours System and recognises people in all sectors of Canadian society. Other Companions of the Order of Canada include Nelson Mandela, Boutros Boutros-Ghali and Vaclav Hável. For more information, please see the press release. On 25 June 2005, an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters was conferred upon the Aga Khan by the American University of Beirut. For more information, please see press release and speech.New Publications, Web Pages and Videos
AKF Annual Report 2004 - Published June 2005 (PDF, 3.3MB)
Two new videos: The Aga Khan's Investiture as Honorary Companion of the Order of Canada which includes the Initiation of the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat and a 3-D Model of the Delegation building; and the Aga Khan speaking at the International Press Institute World Congress.
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