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Speech by His Highness the Aga Khan at the acceptance of the Asia Game Changers Lifetime Achievement Award

Wednesday, 2017, November 1
His Highness speaks at the Asia Society Game Changers Lifetime Achievement Award 2017-11-01
Aga Khan IV (H.H. Prince Karim)

Speech by His Highness the Aga Khan at the acceptance of the Asia Game Changers Lifetime Achievement Award
At Cipriani, New York City, NY
November 1st 2017

Let me begin by expressing my deep gratitude and my humility in receiving this wonderful award.

When my grandfather died in 1957, I was twenty years old. I was a student at Harvard and I had to make a choice as to how I could combine my continuing education and the institutional responsibility that I had.

It was strange to realize that what appeared like a very difficult decision was an extraordinary opportunity. How many young men and women go through college knowing what they are expected to do in the future with their lives? Not many.

I was fortunate enough to be in that situation where I was a student in one of the great academic institutions of the world knowing what it was that I needed to learn in order to fulfil the responsibilities that were mine.

I audited six courses. Community leaders told me to hurry up and get out of university. So, I had to double up on my courses. I didn’t read all of the reading lists. That was no way possible. But I was able to listen to a remarkable spectrum of knowledge that was available at that time at Harvard University.

So, I want to say this evening that first of all that what I have been able to achieve since that time is largely anchored in the education that I received and I am grateful to that university for that work.

Secondly, I would like to say that any leader of any global community, hopes and prays for one thing – Peace. Peace in every community in every country of the world, so that men and women can live in safety, build their futures with strength and courage and hope and wisdom. And these are the values that the leaders of my community, my institutions and myself are intimately linked with and will continue to work for, for many, many decades ahead.

Lastly, I would like to say again, how grateful I am for the recognition that I have received today. It was unexpected. Very welcome. And I really wish to thank those who made that decision on my behalf.

I wish you all a wonderful evening and I hope you will share in my happiness and in my joy.

Thank you

(The Aga Music Initiative ensemble then was invited to perform for the guests)

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