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First Ismaili centre in Tajikistan-2003-09-01

Monday, 2003, September 1

The foundation stone of The Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe was laid on Monday afternoon by Tajikistan's President Emomali Rahmonov on a 25,500 square-metre site in the centre of the city.

President Rahmonov underlined the commitment of his government to provide enabling conditions for the development of institutions promoting "freedom of conscience, pluralism and faith" as well as "exchange of opinions and national accord in society."

Speaking on the occasion, the Aga Khan said the Centre would "recognize and promote the plurality of traditions and forms of expression to which Central Asia has been a welcoming home and eminent crossroads over the centuries."

The Aga Khan expressed the hope that the centre would "play a role in reminding the world of a fact, alas, too often ignored or misunderstood, that Central Asian traditions of spirituality and learning have had a lasting and positive impact on civilizations far beyond their own."

The Ismaili Centre in Dushanbe, when completed, will be comparable in scope and standing to existing major centres in London, Vancouver and Lisbon, says a press release.

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