Aiglemont 60270 Gouvieux, France
PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Collonge-Bellerive, Switzerland, 16th May 2003 - In the calm of the quiet Swiss commune at whose heart he lived for nearly half a century, Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan was today laid to rest following traditional Muslim ceremonies, attended, as he had wished, by his most intimate family.
Beneath the arches of the Château de Bellerive, the site of an ancient Cistercian abbey, last respects were paid to the gentle refrain of Quaranic recitation led by Sheikh Ahmed Ahmed Ibrahim who leads the prayers at the late Aga Khan's mausoleum in Aswan, Egypt.
Covered by a simple green cloth edged with subtle filigree design of Fatimid inspiration, the bier was carried to the shaded spot in the local cemetery of Collonge-Bellerive atop the shoulders of male members of Prince Sadruddin's close family. Led by his nephews, His Highness the Aga Khan and Prince Amyn Aga Khan, they included his great-nephews, Prince Rahim Aga Khan, Prince Hussain Aga Khan and his stepsons, Messrs. Alexandre, Marc and Nicolas Sursock.
Princess Catherine Aleya, the widow of Prince Sadruddin, led lady members of the family, including his cousin, Mme Françoise Carron, his niece, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan Embiricos, his great-niece, Princess Zahra Aga Khan and Her Highness Begum Inaara Aga Khan.
Throughout yesterday afternoon and into the early evening, local and international dignitaries and close friends numbering in several hundreds came to pay a last homage at the residence by Lac Leman where he had received so many people of all walks of life.
"The destiny of this family of high Persian nobility, descended from the Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him), is inextricably linked to that of this small European town and to an ambitious project to improve the human condition", read a tribute from the Canton of Geneva.
His Highness the Aga Khan indicated that it was Prince Sadruddin's and Princess Catherine Aleya's wish that their mortal remains ultimately be laid to rest in Muslim soil in Egypt where the Princess was born.
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