Asian African Heritage Trust

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» AAHT September 2014 Newsletter

Rays of Light

In May 2014, members of the Asian African Heritage Trust were invited to view the “Rays of Light” Exhibition at the Aga Khan Religious and Cultural Centre (Pavilion) in Parklands.

Rays of Light was a unique experiential exhibit that aimed to inspire and stimulate viewers. The exhibit was organised around four main themes: Hope, Identity, Confluence and Harmony. These “pictures-in-action” showcased the work of His Highness the Aga Khan in increasing global engagement and promoting equitable human advancement and social justice throughout the world - as part of the mandate of the office of the Ismaili Imamat. This exhibition depicted 50 years of His Highness the Aga Khan’s commitment to improving the human condition against the backdrop of the 1400-year history of the Ismaili Imamat.

His Highness the Aga Khan is the 49th hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims. He is also the Founder and Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) which is a contemporary endeavour of the Ismaili Imamat to realise the social conscience of Islam and improve the human condition worldwide through institutional action.

The agencies of the AKDN are private, international, non-denominational development organisations. They work to improve the welfare and prospects of people in the developing world, particularly in Africa and Asia, without regard to faith, origin or gender. AKDN’s programmes are designed to bring a critical mass of economic, social and cultural activities to bear on a given area.

Its projects encompass many of the determinants of the quality of life, including the natural and built environments in both urban and rural areas, food security, health, education, access to financial services and economic opportunity as well as the cultural areas of traditional music, architecture and art.

AKDN agencies operate across over 35 countries employing approximately 80,000 people mainly in developing countries. The AKDN’s annual budget for non-profit development activities in 2010 was approximately US$ 625 million. The project companies of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development generated revenues of US$ 2.3 billion in 2010, with all surpluses reinvested in further development activities.

Rays of Light originally premiered in Paris during His Highness’s Golden Jubilee. The exhibition has since toured North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Photo Captions:
Above: Dr. Yassin, Acting Director General of the National Museums of Kenya was the chief guest at the Exhibition on May 19, 2014.
Below: Guests at the event being addressed by the President of the Aga Khan National Council of Kenya, Nawaz Gulam.
Special thanks to the Asian Weekly for use of the Event photographs.