Sep 26, 2007

Golden Jubilee Imamat Day - Africa

Golden Jubilee Imamat Day

Members of the Aga Khan Band Troupe play at the colourful launch of the Golden Jubilee celebrations in Nairobi. Photo: Zahir Daya11 July 2007 was indeed a historic day for the global Jamat, and to celebrate, Ismailis all over the African continent enjoyed several days of festivities leading up to Imamat day. Across the continent, the day itself began with flag raising ceremonies to launch the Golden Jubilee year, with Jamati leadership participating with Scouts, Guides, volunteers and members of the Jamat. People connected, embraced and smiled. Some stood reading local newspapers which ran headlines to acknowledge the work of the Imam, and many of the national dailies in the region provided comprehensive coverage and pictorials of Hazar Imam’s work over the last 50 years.

Flag raising ceremony held in the courtyard of Kampala Jamatkhana. Photo: Zahir RemtullahOf course, festivities in all regions included dandia and raas, together with a variety of musical and entertainment programmes. The skies of Nairobi and Maputo were lit up with an array of colourful fireworks. Other events included youth and sports activities in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi, as well as a fun fair in Kampala.

In Madagascar, those living in villages far from Jamati centres travelled great distances by bus, boat and other means of transportation, to share the joyous occasion. Khushiali celebrations took place in the three main cities of Antananarivo, Tulear and Majunga. The South African Jamat celebrated the occasion in true African style. Taking over the Shumba Valley Lodge, several hours drive from Johannesburg, they converted their secluded bush resort into a unique venue where the Jamat celebrated the Golden Jubilee over three days.

Golden Jubilee Celebrations at Maputo Jamatkhana. Photo: Ismaili Council for MozambiqueThe highlight of the occasion in all Jamats across the continent was undoubtedly the telecast of the inaugural ceremony held in Aiglemont, France earlier that day, which truly was a unifying moment for Ismailis all over the world.

March past in Tanzania. Photo: Ismaili Council for TanzaniaThe common link for all Ismailis, both globally and regionally, was the chance to pay homage to Mawlana Hazar Imam. Africa now eagerly awaits Hazar Imam’s visit this summer, together with the events of a year that will be remembered forever, and will leave an indelible mark in our lives.

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