Just wanted to inform you that Mowlana Hazar Imam was kind enough to visit the 25th anniversary celebrations of the IIS yesterday. He attended 3 different functions all day on sunday 19th October. In the morning he was at the opening session of the Quranic conference at the Ismaili Center, his speech video is on the IIS website. In the afternoon he attended the graduation ceremony of the IIS students. There were approximately 1600 people present there from all over the world. I was fortunate to be able to go to this celebration and was sitting on the front row, right opposite Hazar Imam. All of you were in my thoughts as I sat there and listened to his speech. It was absolutely wonderful, he was with us for an hour which seemed like five minutes. Again for the first time in history the video of the whole speech is on the IIS website already, there is a 3 sec clip on us as well. I met a lot of people from Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Toronto. It felt like after deedar..... everybody were congralutating each other and had tears in their eyes. After the graduation ceromonies, Hazar Imam met with all the graduates, alumni and senior faculty of the IIS seperately where he met with each and everyone and gave blessings and congratulations. We had afternoon tea with lots of gorgeous pastries and cakes and met up with some more old friends that I had not seen in 20 some years.
The dinner was held at the Natural History Museum and was an absolutely fantastic sight. In the middle of the dinner hall, there was this gigantic dinosaur skeleton and all the tables were set around this humongous creature. There were pink and yellow roses and lots and lots of candles on each table. There were around 550 people attending this function. Again with all of your prayers I had the oppurtunity to be not only at the dinner but also at a private reception held before dinner with around 50 people where Hazar Imam came and shook hands with each and everyone and talked with everyone and seemed really happy. At one point he made a comment that he was really looking forward to having fun this evening and fun he did have and so did all of us. At the dinner Hazar Imam was in an absolutely fantastic mood. Shiraz had the oppurtunity to MC this function.
After Mowlana Hazar Imam had his dinner, he got up to speak he said that he had not planned to speak this evening but wanted to make some comments. He said and I paraphrase here Happiness and humour is part of Islam we should all try and be happy and laugh. He cracked jokes regarding the dinosaur and said that he was wondering why IIS had chosen this venue he said that maybe there was symbolism and that it represented some of the past IIS leadership and he just laughed for a few minutes and he continued in this manner cracking jokes about the different dinosuars etc and comparing them to IIS. It was just hilarious and we all just couldnt stop laughing and Mowlana Hazar Imam was laughing as well. I have never seen Hazar Imam like this, it was just amazing.
Shiraz told me that during the planning of this event they had asked Hazar Imam for his food preference and he said that keep vegetables to minimum. We had layered chicken with roasted grapes for starters and the main course was Sea Bass with saffron mash potatoes. It was delicous and for dessert we had chocolate mousse, and lots of other sweet things.
Mowlana Hazar Imam was presented a gift from everyone. It was a solid natural rock crystal with Allah, Mohammed and Ali engraved on top in arabic calligraphy which when opened illuminated.
It was a wonderful oppurtunity for all of us and all of you were in our thoughts. May Mowlana Hazar Imam continue to shower his choicest blessings on all of us. Ameen.