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quote 476

Like its counterparts elsewhere, the Ismaili Centre in Dushanbe will stand for the ethics that uphold the dignity of man as the noblest of creation. It will bring down walls that divide and build bridges that unite

quote 475

Another lesson that we learn from this great philosopher is that, in the ebb and flow of history, “knowledge is a shield against the blows of time.” It dispels “the torment of ignorance” and nourishes “peace to blossom forth in the soul.”

quote 474

What should be noted is that there is a long history from the earliest courts across the Ummah such as the Abassids in Baghdad in the 8th century, or the Fatimids in Egypt, of seeking out and bringing together the best artists, scientists and scholars, the best creators, of the time, irrespective of their religious, ethnic or political backgrounds

quote 469

In its role to reveal and to stimulate dialogue between different cultures, the Aga Khan Museum will continue a long history of cultural sharing between Islam and the West.

quote 473

In a world of bewildering complexity and a mind-bending pace of change, no institution can succeed without wise leadership—and specialized expertise

quote 472

But I strongly believe that social progress can be greatest when aristocracies of class give way to aristocracies of talent – or to use an even better term – to meritocracies. The well-led society of the future, in my view, will be a meritocracy

quote 471

What the modern world requires, however, is an approach which is the polar opposite of indoctrination. As world affairs have been steadily transformed by the process of globalization, the ability to command and control has become less important than the ability to anticipate

quote 470

We must, I suggest, use every opening available to us to make good the time and learning which we have lost, no matter if we turn to institutions steeped in foreign cultures so long as it is for our own improvement and in the process we do not lose our own identity. Not so long ago, after all, these cultures were turning to us.

quote 469

But what is the point in undergoing untold of misery for political independence if the result is no better than abject dependence intellectually and economically on one’s old political masters

quote 468

I hope that those students who came to this University, and that those students who will leave it for further studies, will approach their work with sharp vengeance – vengeance for the torpor and indifference of the past; vengeance for having temporarily lost their rightful position amongst the intellectual elite of the country

quote 467

During the two Khalifates, the Muslim Universities were producing the best scholars, doctors, astronomers and philosophers. Today where are we? Have we institutions of learning which can compare with the Sorbonne, Harvard, Yale, Cambridge, Oxford, M.I.T.?

quote 466

Generosity is part of our faith. And.so it is an ethical principle for all of us whether you are Shia or Sunni or whatever it may be. So that's intrinsic in the nature of faith for us..... I mean the basic premise for the wealthy is - you use what you need to live in a dignified manner. What you don't need, you share.

quote 465

This coming together of people from many backgrounds has been a central theme in the history of Zanzibar for over a thousand years - since the first Arab traders were blown this way by the monsoon winds in the 8th Century

quote 464

This work has been a great partnership - an example of what can be done when people come together, with a common purpose, and share their knowledge - from the public and the private sector, from the local, national and international level, from civil society and many many different professions.

quote 422

In Cairo, in Damascus and Aleppo, in Delhi and Lahore, in Kabul and Bamako, in Mopti, Djenne and Timbuktu, and along the ancient Silk Route, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, through its Historic Cities Programme, has worked to restore a series of major cultural landmarks

quote 463


Universities are important civil society institutions, and it is essential to focus on their role in the years ahead.  The AKDN has two universities that, like yours, are relatively new. The Aga Khan University, started in 1983, promotes standards for healthcare and education in Pakistan, Afghanistan, the U.K. and across East Africa

quote 462

Ismaili women throughout the world have been encouraged to acquire more education than their peers. Consequently, Ismaili women are, today, relatively well educated. The benefits of this academic policy have been extensive

quote 461

People come together around competence, around ability, around knowledge. They don’t like mediocrity.

quote 460

The so-called Arab Spring has brought special attention to this challenge - illustrating that it is easier to rally people in opposition to a particular government than to forge agreement about new governing processes

Quote 459

I’m old enough to recollect colonial situations where colonial powers on purpose separated the ethnic groups in a given country in order to maintain rule,” he says. “That inherited situation needs to be dealt with

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