Apr 29, 2008

West Africa visit -theismaili.org

Saturday, 26 April 2008
Mawlana Hazar Imam bids farewell to AKDN staff in Mali, upon his departure from Bamako airport. Photo: Gary Otte
Mawlana Hazar Imam continues his Golden Jubilee visit to West Africa as he departs Mali for Burkina Faso today.
While in Mali, Mawlana Hazar Imam was awarded the Grand Cross of the National Order of Mali — the country's highest honour — by Malian President Amadou Toumani Touré at a state dinner held in Hazar Imam’s honour on Wednesday, 23 April.
The next morning, Mawlana Hazar Imam, accompanied by Prince Rahim, Prince Hussain and Princess Khaliya, visited Mopti, where he was welcomed by President Touré. Later in the afternoon, Mawlana Hazar Imam travelled to Timbuktu, before returning to Bamako in the evening. In Mopti, the two leaders officiated over the inauguration of the Komoguel I Mosque (also known as the Great Mosque of Mopti) which had been restored by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. President Touré paid great tribute to Mawlana Hazar Imam and thanked him on behalf of the people of Mali.
In Timbuktu, Mawlana Hazar Imam was awarded an honorary degree Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Sankoré as well as an Honorary Citizenship to the Community of Timbuktu by the Imam of the Djingarey Ber Mosque and other local leaders. The Aga Khan Trust for Culture has plans to restore the mosque.
On Friday, 25 April, Mawlana Hazar Imam and Prince Rahim met with several government ministers during the course of the morning. In the afternoon, President Touré again accompanied Mawlana Hazar Imam to the inauguration ceremony for the Bamako Park — an initiative described by Mawlana Hazar Imam as totally unique and essential. President Touré described the project as one that would not only benefit the people of Bamako, but all of Mali.
In the evening, Mawlana Hazar Imam hosted a Diplomatic Reception for members of the diplomatic corps, international organisations and senior government officials in Mali.
Today, Mawlana Hazar Imam was accompanied by President Touré as he prepared to depart Mali. The ceremonial farewell included a full military guard of honour, renditions of the Malian National Anthem and the Nashid al-Imamah, and a farewell from the Prime Minister and numerous government ministers.

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