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2008-10-31 Aga Khan arrives in Dushanbe today

Friday, 2008, October 31
Victoria Naumova

Aga Khan arrives in Dushanbe today

31.10.2008 08:20

Author: Victoria Naumova

DUSHANBE, October 31, 2008, Asia-Plus -- His Highness the Aga Khan, Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, and founder and Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), is arriving in Dushanbe today afternoon on a six-day official visit.

The Aga Khan's visit comes at the invitation of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and is one of many being undertaken to commemorate his Golden Jubilee as Imam of the Ismaili Muslims. His Highness succeeded his grandfather, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan, as Imam on 11 July 1957.

Today, the Aga Khan will meet with Foreign Minister Hamrokhon Zarifi and President Emomali Rahmon. Discussions will include topics of mutual interest such as the ongoing partnerships between the Government of Tajikistan and the AKDN in the areas of educational, social, and economic development.

In Dushanbe, His Highness the Aga Khan is also scheduled to visit current AKDN construction projects in the capital of Dushanbe, including the Serena Hotel and the Ismaili Center.

The Aga Khan will continue to Gorno Badakhshan, where he will meet with members of the Ismaili community. He will visit AKDN project sites in the region, including the Khorog Park, which is currently being rehabilitated by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, as well as the School for Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE) of the University of Central Asia (UCA).

The Aga Khan's visit to Tajikistan is part of a 10-day trip to Central Asia, including Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan; all three countries signed an international treaty establishing the UCA in 2000. In Kazakhstan, he will meet with President Nursultan Nazarbayev and other Government ministers as well as visit sites of the UCA main campus and SPCE in Tekeli. In Kyrgyzstan, the Aga Khan will meet with senior government representatives and will travel to Naryn to review the main campus site of the UCA and the construction of the new Town Campus that will house SPCE.

It is to be noted that since Tajikistan's independence, the Aga Khan has poured millions of dollars into the country in aid.

The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) brings together a number of development agencies, institutions, and programs that work primarily in the poorest parts of Asia and Africa. AKDN agencies conduct their programs without regard to the faith, origin or gender. Operating in Tajikistan since 1992, AKDN draws on a strong base of experience in working with mountain societies. It works in all regions of the country and employs approximately 3,000 people through its operations and investments.

AKDN works towards the vision of an economically dynamic, politically stable, intellectually vibrant, and culturally tolerant Tajikistan. This is achieved by supporting the establishment of programs and institutions that allow the government, private sector and civil society to play complementary roles in increasing prosperity and creativity within a pluralistic society. The Network brings together individual agencies that operate in a range of areas – from economic development to education, rural development to cultural revitalization, health care to financial services. Together these agencies collaborate towards a common goal - to build institutions and programs that can respond to the contemporary challenges and opportunities of social, economic and cultural growth in Tajikistan.


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