The 4,8-hectare Aga Khan Garden, which is one of the most comprehensive and first of its kind in the far north-west of the world, goes beyond its natural role as a place of rest and recreation, to act as a unique art gallery that reflects an aspect of the classical Islamic architecture blended in harmony with contemporary Canadian architecture of the Alberta region. Through its charming atmosphere and stunning natural and artistic elements, the Garden seeks to play an important and pivotal role in creating a new and calm social space that brings together people of different nationalities, races, and cultures, in a country known for its cultural and social pluralism. It invites all people to communicate, discuss, reflect, participate, and think together in the future of human civilisation.
With the support of UKAid, the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) is working with the Mountain Society Development Support Programme and local grass roots organisations, the University of Central Asia as well as the Accelerate Prosperity initiative, to tackle the sources of resource instability in the border areas of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The programme, entitled Improving Stability and Natural Resource Management in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, has been working to improve access and management of irrigation water, drinking water and grazing lands by rehabilitating existing infrastructure. The programme has rehabilitated 109 sites to date. More than 300,000 people in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have benefitted from the programme, through improvements to irrigation canals, drinking water systems, access routes to pasture lands, as well as to improved pasture infrastructure for livestock such as veterinary and watering sites.
In Hyderabad, the Qutb Shahi tombs don’t usually find mention. But these tombs are marvels of architecture, design, craftsmanship and engineering. Come 2024, the Qutb Shahi Heritage Park will draw visitors from all over the world to see an outstanding conservation effort which not only puts the tombs back in all their intricacies, but revives around them 106 acres of greenery together with ancient water-harvesting structures. The Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) began the conservation project in Hyderabad in 2013, drawing on its immense success in Delhi with the revival of Humayun’s Tomb and surrounding monuments together with Sunder Nursery, Delhi’s Heritage Park. "When our work is completed in 2023-24, it is going to be a destination that people travel to Hyderabad to visit," said Ratish Nanda, CEO of AKTC in India.
A free outdoor exhibition capturing the world’s oldest trade route, with travel photographer Christopher Wilton-Steer will feature at the Aga Khan Centre from 8 April to 16 June. Comprised of over 160 photographs, The Silk Road: A Living History invites visitors to take the journey, to encounter fascinating people, places and cultures along the way. The Silk Road: A Living History exhibition celebrates the diversity of cultural expression found along the route, highlighting how historical practices, rituals and customs live on today. Created with the Aga Khan Foundation, the show also seeks to engender interest and understanding between distant cultures and challenge perceptions of less well-known and understood parts of the world.
The International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas has announced a joint project with the Afghan government and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) for research and the construction of a vast archeological park at the site of Bala Hissar Citadel in Kabul. "Interventions at Bala Hissar Citadel will ensure that one of the most significant historic sites in the country will be protected for posterity," said Ajmal Maiwandi, CEO of AKTC Afghanistan. The Kabul Bala Hissar is on more than 230 acres of land and has 22 towers.