For the editors of the Ismaili magazines, the occasion was unique. A seminar, held at Aiglemont from 11th to 13th June, had been organised by the Information Department to discuss ways and means to pursue future development and collaboration, with a view to giving the jamats better and more informative publications in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Western Europe, Portugal, India, Pakistan and Africa.
The highlight of the visit was an audience with Mowlana Hazar Imam. In the midst of his very busy schedule, Hazar Imam graciously granted an audience with the participants whom he commended for their effort and hard work on their publications. Hazar Imam also spoke about the characteristics of a good publication and encouraged the editors to strive for higher standards.
The three-day programme covered a wide spectrum of subjects and was designed to give the editors a brief, yet intensive, introduction to many fields related to publishing a magazine. Among the guest speakers were Mr. Michael Curtis, Executive Aide to Mowlana Hazar Imam and former editor with the Daily Express, who spoke on writing and editing; Mr. Christopher Little, New York photographer associated with Time-Life Inc., who gave an illustrated lecture on photo-journalism; and Ms Hella Pick, Guardian correspondent, who spoke about journalism as an art and a career.
Prince Amyn Mohammed, Director of the Aga Khan Foundation in Geneva, and the Chairman of Tourism Promotion Services (TPS), gave an informative talk on his work with Hazar Imam. Department heads of Hazar Imam's Secretariat and representatives of various projects also addressed the seminar on activities in the various sectors. Among them were Mr. Guillaume de Spoelberch, General Manager of the Aga Khan Foundation in Geneva, and Mr. William Robinson, Head of the Financial Institutions Department at Aiglemont.
The 12 distinguished speakers, during the three-day seminar were all drawn from "in-house talent" within Hazar Imam's numerous organisations and projects. They were, indeed, a tribute to the high calibre of Hazar Imam's work in many different fields.
Workshops were also held over the three days, in which individuals editors presented papers on their respective publications and outlined the history and specifications of their magazines, highlighting points for discussions. Kenya was represented by the editor of Africa Ismaili, Mr. Kutub Kassam.
Common aspirations and concerns were identified, and lively discussions and useful exchanges ensued.
For many, the seminar provided a valuable opportunity to meet others involved in the many facets of Hazar Imam's work. Along with ideas, addresses were exchanged with promises of working together in the future and to share information and work to improve the Ismaili media.
In the final session on Saturday, 13 June, the seminar participants agreed by consensus on a list of future guidelines for Ismaili magazines, as well as agreeing to numerous recommendations resulting from the seminar's deliberations.
A beautiful sunny day crowned the close of the seminar. An outdoor lunch, hosted by Mr.and Mrs. Michael Curtis at their residence in the French countryside on Saturday afternoon, proved a festive finale to a historic and productive seminar.
Source: Africa Ismaili, December 1981
Please use the back arrow to go back to the previous page
Back to timeline 1981