The diamond jubilee of the Aga Khan concluded with global gathering in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal on July 11.
Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini Aga Khan IV is the 49th hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Ismaili Muslims.Some 61 years after he first acceded to the Ismaili Imamat.
Portugal, an important and long-standing partner for the Imamat and for the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), served this week as the host of a global celebration of His Highness’ Jubilee.
The celebration included an address to Portuguese members of Parliament, meetings with the President and Prime Minister, the inauguration of a special exhibit of leadership values, and exhibitions highlighting the scope of the work carried out by the AKDN all over the world.
In his address in the Senate Chamber to Portugal’s members of Parliament, the Aga Khan praised Portugal as a leader on the global scene, one that is widely acknowledged as a country of opportunity, and thanked Portugal for a “progressive partnership” with the Ismaili Imamat.
The Aga Khan Foundation, an agency of the AKDN, has been active in Portugal since 1983, working on initiatives related to early childhood education, poverty alleviation, economic inclusion, strengthening of civil society, and care for the elderly.
Following his address in the Senate Chamber, Aga Khan and President of the Assembly of the Republic of Portugal Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues opened a special exhibit of objects on loan from the Toronto-based Aga Khan Museum entitled Ideals of Leadership: Masterpieces from the Aga Khan Museum Collections. The stories depicted in the images and conveyed through the objects, relate to some of the most important and timeless ideals of leadership that rulers have aspired to throughout the ages.The Diamond Jubilee commemoration represents both recognition of the Aga Khan’s work over 60 years and an opportunity to launch wide-ranging new initiatives for improving quality of life.
During this Diamond Jubilee year, the Aga Khan has visited a number of countries around the world including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, India, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, the United States of America, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, and Portugal, at the invitation of their respective governments.