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Premier Redford and Aga Khan sign co-operation agreement 2012-10-24

Date: 
Wednesday, 2012, October 24
Location: 

Government House in Edmonton

Source: 
Edmonton Journal
Alberta Premier Alison Redford trades pens with the Aga Khan after both signed an agreement of co-operation Wednesday at Governm
Author: 
Larry Wong

On a day Premier Alison Redford said “she would remember for the rest of (her) life, the premier and His Highness the Aga Khan signed an agreement of co-operation Wednesday at Government House.

The agreement signals a symbolic partnership between the province with the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of Shia Ismaili Muslims. By signing it, the two parties pledged to work together on issues such as health sciences, education, economic development and culture both in Alberta and in countries served by the Aga Khan Development Network, a charitable organization the Aga Khan founded that works to improve the lives of people in the developing world.

“It’s an exciting day because we have the opportunity to sign a memorandum of understanding that is going to allow us to share and learn together, not only for the benefit of people in our province, but more importantly, I believe, for people around the world,” Redford said.

Alberta is the first province to sign such an agreement with the Ismaili Imamat, the office of the Aga Khan.

The Aga Khan said the signing of the partnership made him feel he has another ally in the world.

This day “gives you a sense of hope, a sense of confidence, a sense of not being alone in trying to achieve the goals that one sets oneself as an individual or as an institution.”

Redford acknowledged the Aga Khan’s presence in a city with a large and active Shia Ismaili population.

Around 25 members of the Ismaili community huddled in the cold by the driveway of Government House to catch a glimpse of the spiritual leader.

Farid Damji, a volunteer with the Aga Khan Council for Canada, said he thinks it’s an exciting day, but that this isn’t the first link between the province and the Aga Khan. He cited the University of Alberta’s partnership with Aga Khan University and the organization’s assistance in building a multi-generational housing complex and community centre in Calgary as examples of ongoing work.

“The announcement allows for a framework with which to strengthen partnerships that already exist, and to begin new ones.”

eprestwich@edmontonjournal.com

© Copyright (c) The Edmonton Journal

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