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Good work by Aga Khan

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    Good work by Aga Khan


    I read the following on Fobes website. Its quite interesting. (Pls note I'm not an
    Ismaili but a sunni). Just wondering if the so call "true muslims" would do the same, to help others with wealth??

    CAMBRIDGE, MASS., 1957. Prince Karim, a 20-year-old Harvard undergraduate majoring
    in Islamic history, receives word that his
    grandfather, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah, Aga
    Khan III, has died. Sir Sultan's will names
    young Prince Karim his successor as spiritual
    head of the world's Ismaili Shia Muslims.
    Millions of Ismailis (and gossip columnists)
    around the world are caught by surprise.
    Not passing the title to Prince Karim's
    father, the dashing and fun-loving Aly Khan,
    divorced from Hollywood's Rita Hayworth, is
    understandable. But could the shy Prince
    Karim possibly lead millions of scattered
    Ismailis into the new millennium?
    Today the doubts have been put to rest,
    and in ways few could imagine. Now 62,
    Prince Karim Aga Khan IV was early to push
    the idea that the dispossessed could find
    hope in private economic enterprise. He
    grasped that government handouts and
    multilaterally funded megaprojects?like
    those from the United Nations or the World
    Bank?can often foster dependence in the
    people they're meant to help.
    Instead, the Aga Khan has become a kind of
    venture capitalist to the Third World.
    Through his economic development
    institutions, he is increasingly taking equity positions in small-scale commercial
    enterprises?about 100 so far. His goal: to
    spur sustainable economic development and
    individual self-reliance at the grassroots
    level in South and Central Asia and Africa.
    Poor countries like Tanzania, Pakistan and
    Tajikistan don't otherwise hold much hope of
    attracting high-profile foreign investors.
    "The era of giveaways is gone," the Aga
    Khan declares in the course of a long
    interview at his secretariat in Gouvieux,
    outside Paris. "This is a time to enhance
    self-reliance, for grassroots groups to
    generate profits and use money for
    promoting social good."
    This is sober talk from a man whose
    glittering lifestyle has long been fodder for
    the world's media?his racehorses, his alpine
    skiing, his yacht on the Costa Smeralda. The
    media hounds especially went to town on his
    divorce in 1995 from his British-born first
    wife, Princess Salma, and subsequent
    remarriage to close friend Gabriele zu
    Leiningen, a 35-year-old German princess.
    His private life, however, is considerably less colorful than this tabloid image. What turns the Aga Khan on is changing lives through entrepreneurial capitalism?adapted to the historical and cultural needs of particular Ismaili communities.
    The Aga Khan Development Network focuses
    largely on health care, early childhood and
    female education, building business
    opportunities, clean water, farming and
    What turns him on is changing lives through
    entrepreneurial capitalism.
    This year it will disburse more than $200
    million. Much of the money will go into direct equity investments, which are under the auspices of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development. (The Aga Khan also makes grants to social development and cultural projects.)
    Of the 100 companies the network has
    financed, 95 are earning profits, the Aga
    Khan says. About a dozen of these ventures
    are now traded publicly on regional stock
    exchanges in East and West Africa, India
    and Pakistan (see table).
    Example: In the former Soviet republic of
    Tajikistan, where a million Ismailis are being exposed to Western ways for the first time, the Aga Khan is focusing on promoting
    agriculture and agribusinesses. Scorning the
    old collectivist communes and cooperatives,
    he gives loans to farmers and agri-entrepreneurs. In the last three years
    he has made more than 600 loans ranging
    from the equivalent of $100 to $5,000?big
    money in the local context. Farmers can
    now take pride in owning their land and not
    slaving for some faceless state bureaucracy.
    Plus, a new entrepreneurial class of
    shoemakers, pharmacists and shopkeepers is
    springing up to cater to the more well-off
    Like a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, he
    looks at the equity stakes as future sources
    of new money that can be reinvested in the
    businesses?and eventually new projects.
    Another source of funding are Ismaili Shia
    Muslims themselves. There are some 15
    million Ismailis scattered across 25 nations,
    with large communities in Bombay, Nairobi,
    Dar es Salaam as well as in North America
    and Europe. Imbued with deep-seated
    notions of charity, Ismaili communities
    regularly give a portion of their wealth to
    the poor, often through their local
    congregations. In one way or another, every
    year many tens of millions of dollars flow
    through the Imamate.

    The Ismailis do not expect their Aga Khan to
    live a monk's life, nor do they begrudge him
    his personal fortune. The Ismailis do,
    however, expect their Imam to choose
    investments wisely.
    Filtisac, located in Abidjan on the Ivory
    Coast, West Africa, is a good example of the
    impact the Aga Khan hopes his investment
    activities will have. The Aga Khan Fund for
    Economic Development set up Filtisac in the
    1960s to provide jute bags for Ivory Coast
    exports such as cocoa and coffee. In the
    last ten years, annual production of such
    bags has risen from 3 million to 18 million.
    The company, which employs 2,000 people
    and expects revenues of $60 million this
    year, has now expanded operations across
    West Africa. The government divested its
    24% participation in Filtisac as part of its
    privatization program, and now everyday
    Ivorians can buy Filtisac stock on the
    Abidjan Stock Exchange.
    The Aga Khan Network has financed everything from banking to tourism. Tourism is another success story for Aga Khan Network, particularly in Kenya, where the Network's Tourism Promotion Services Ltd. is traded on the local stock exchange. Tourism has been the major generator of foreign exchange?in some cases it has overtaken the traditional
    foreign exchange earners of tea and coffee.
    Aga Khan-funded companies have built three
    lodges in Kenyan game parks and reserves,
    and hotels in Nairobi and on the Mombasa
    coast. In 1997-98 the company added three
    new lodges and a luxury tented camp in
    Tanzania's fabled Serengeti game reserve
    and a big hotel on the island of Zanzibar.
    And then there's banking and finance.
    ong-held ventures such as the Jubilee
    Insurance Co. in Kenya have been
    successfully replicated in neighboring
    Uganda and Tanzania. Diamond Trust, a
    banking company, now trades on the Nairobi
    Stock Exchange.
    In India, the Aga Khan Network started the
    Development Cooperative Bank. It was
    originally a grassroots cooperative bank for
    the Ismaili community, but has gone far
    beyond the roots of the community. Three
    years ago, the DCB was the first
    cooperative bank in India to be converted to
    a private sector commercial bank, giving
    shareholder status to its 55,000 customers.
    You don't have to be an Ismaili Muslim to
    participate in the Aga Khan Network. You
    can be a Jew in Syria, or a Hindu in Pakistan
    or a Catholic in Kenya, and be very much
    eligible to participate in his programs. The
    Frigoken Co. offers an example. The Aga
    Khan Network established it with $5 million in 1994 in Kenya?where there's been an
    Ismaili community for a century?to assist
    non-Ismaili local African farmers to grow and
    can beans, and export them to European
    supermarket chains. Frigoken provided seeds
    and fertilizers, as well as crop expertise,
    that enabled the farmers to increase yields
    and also cultivate crops on a year-round

    Good Article,Mohd Ali; did you paste the complete article or abbreviated version. One man quitely & humbly serving the Umma. Where are the others - well! the rich Saudis unload millions of dollars on single gambling trips to Vegas; Please read article posted on this General Forum: LOADED SAUDIS IN LAS VEGAS.
    However, Mr. Edhi and his foundation is worthy of mention here; his effort to aid the Kosavars is "one of the very few muslim organizations operating in Albania."

    KARACHI, May 16: The Edhi Foundation is one of the very few organizations of the Muslim countries that have sent any relief mission to Albania. Abdul Sattar Edhi has left for the US from where he is scheduled to reach next week the troubled lands to provide relief to Kosovar refugees in Albania and Macedonia.
    According to the Edhi Foundation, it is currently involved in relief efforts for rehabilitation of Kosovar refugees and present relief goods are being transported via Rome, Athens, Istanbul etc., to Albania and Macedonia.
    The relief goods sent to these areas are mainly medicines, such as anti-biotics, anti-fungal, anti-diarrhoea and drugs for children.
    The foundation said it was during the second week of NATO bombing in Yugoslavia that the Edhi Trust realized that it owed a moral responsibility towards Kosovar Muslim refugees flooding Albania and Macedonia.
    The trust, therefore, started looking out for the Albanian mission in Pakistan and finally found that none was functioning any more. The trust obtained visas from Istanbul, Turkey, and a three-member team landed in Albania on April 12 carrying US $25,000 cash.
    On May 12, relief goods worth Rs 12million were transported to Tirana on a chartered Boeing 707 aircraft. The foundation paid Rs 2.5million to Pakistan Air Force through Shaheen Air Cargo.
    These goods included medicines, milk powder, tooth paste, biscuits, clothing, blankets, flour and Compaq Pentiums for epidemic disease control and surveillance system for 25 districts of Albania.
    This flight was first of a series of 10 flights which carried 72,421 pounds of relief goods," the foundation said, adding "when the plane landed at NATO-controlled Tirana airport, only a small UAE presence out of all Muslim countries was seen there".
    The foundation said it had details of all the NGOs, CBOs and government organisations (none are Muslim) working in Albania and Macedonia, and added that without public support the foundation cannot establish a medical centre at Lezhe, pay to PAF for the purchase of relief goods which are badly needed for the refugees who were invariably pushed out of Kosovo at a 10-minute notice and were now without any provisions.
    The foundation said the refugees in these areas had been facing a serious problem of water, adding the foundation had plans to set up filtration plants for the treatment of water. Each plant would cost Rs350,000 and there was a need of at least 20 such plants there.


      Hello Mr. Ali!
      Your idea of agha khan philanthropy and the ismailia community in general is astounding to me regarding muslim ummah.
      First of all i have very closely scrutinized the ventures of AKfoundations particularly in Pakistan, i have my extremen reservations when somebody says that AkF stands for Ummah, it is there just for the well being and prosperity of Ismailia community. So please dont call him a muslim ummah leader.

      Secondly MR. AbdulMalick, i wonder you are so ignorent of the saudi contribution to the ummah and Pak. in particular.