AKIPRESS.COM - His Highness the Aga Khan arrived in Portugal for a visit commemorating his Diamond Jubilee, marking 60 years of leadership as the spiritual leader of the world’s Ismaili Muslim community. This visit, at the invitation of the Portuguese Government, represents the culmination of celebrations that have been undertaken in many parts of the world since 11 July 2017.
While in Portugal, the Aga Khan will meet with various government leaders to discuss ongoing partnerships implemented through the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and areas of further collaboration. A feature of His Highness’ schedule was an address to the Portuguese Parliament on 10th July.
In June 2015, a landmark agreement was signed for the establishment of a Seat of the Ismaili Imamat in Portugal. The agreement, which was unanimously ratified by the Parliament of the Portuguese Republic, will result in intensified cooperation in improving the quality of lives of people within the Republic of Portugal and elsewhere around the world.
Over 40,000 guests from over the world gathered in Lisbon this week to commemorate this special occasion and to celebrate the Aga Khan’s commitment towards uplifting the lives of thousands of vulnerable communities, and promoting the values of peace and pluralism.
As in many other traditions, Jubilees mark important anniversaries. The Diamond Jubilee celebrations therefore represent both a recognition of the Aga Khan’s work over the last 60 years and an opportunity to launch new initiatives for the benefit of the communities where AKDN is present.
Examples of Diamond Jubilee initiatives include the Sunder Nursery in India, the Global Pluralism Award of the Global Centre for Pluralism which goes to individuals who contribute in innovative and high-impact ways to building societies where diversity is respected and valued and the Centre for Innovation in Medical Education (CIME), a state-of-the art facility for technology-based learning for health professionals in Karachi, Pakistan. Most recently, the Aga Khan Centre in London’s Knowledge Quarter was opened and with its institutions, will continue to serve as a knowledge hub and build bridges of understanding about Muslim cultures and societies.
During this Diamond Jubilee year, His Highness has visited a number of countries around the world and met with various leaders of Government, civil society institutions, development organisations and other partner agencies of the AKDN, as well as with project staff, volunteers and beneficiaries. These meetings and visits have enabled His Highness to strengthen and expand a number of AKDN initiatives to improve the quality of life in areas of greatest need.