A sister website of www.simerg.com and www.barakah.com, this website's emphasis is on expressions in art, culture, faith, travel, sport, food, heritage and exploration of the world in all its aspects through photos and videos taken by Ismaili Muslims as well as friends of the Ismaili community
Photographs: A Beautiful Summer Day in Calgary, Canada, Draws Thousands to the 2022 Ismaili Stampede and Eid al-Adha Breakfast
By MALIK MERCHANT Publisher/Editor of three websites, Simergphotos,Barakah, and Simerg dedicated respectively to Photographs and Videos, His Highness the Aga Khan and Literary Readings (and more)
This was my second Ismaili Muslim stampede breakfast in Calgary, the first one being 14 years ago when I visited Calgary for a special ISTAR presentation to my daughter, Nurin, during the Golden Jubilee of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan. And what an event the second one also turned out to be. Open to the entire public, the annual event this year coincided with Eid al-Adha and that added to the joy and happiness of the crowd that showed up in large numbers. The 2022 version of the Calgary Stampede, which is held in July for ten continuous days began yesterday, Friday, July 8th with a parade in downtown Calgary in which the Ismaili community in conjunction with the Canadian Mental Health Association prepared a thoughtful float with a special theme on mental health. It was brought to the big stampede/Eid al Adha breakfast party, and was a big attraction for the crowd.
On the morning of the breakfast, as I approached the exit ramps for McNight Blvd off Hwy 2 (Deerfoot Trail), I found them to be jammed with cars. When I finally reached McNight, I realized I would have to wait for a long time to make a right turn 200 metres ahead of me that would bring me closer to the Ismaili Headquarters Jamatkhana, where the breakfast was taking place. I opted to move to an open lane on the left, and drove to park my car on a street some 800 metres away. It was hot, and I was not exactly informally dressed. Along the way, I met a beautiful family whose warmth to me on the special blessed day of Eid, made me very happy. I deeply appreciate their spirit of Muslim and Ismaili brotherhood. I am happy I met the family again at the breakfast grounds, and was able to photograph them.
There were multiple long line-ups for the food, a combination of East African, Canadian and Indian delights — bharazi with pancakes, and of course the infamous chai along with jalebi. While my dear friend, Hanif Lalani, who has been instrumental in my settlement in Calgary — always offering excellent advice and courtesies in every manner possible — stood in the queue, I took to the special tent erected for senior citizens. The bharazi and pancake trays were empty, but within 10 minutes fresh ones were brought in. The volunteers, who always do a fantastic job, then filled up the plates and brought them to our chairs. I had my fill and armed with my camera, I set out to take photos of the delightful crowd. After a lot of picture taking, and while walking out of the grounds, I noticed a tray of jalebis! The pieces were stuck to one another. I wanted a full piece and not the broken pieces that were in the tray. As I lifted a piece, I unintentionally ended up with 3 more! The sugar, I said to myself, would have little impact as I had a 800 metre walk to my car!
I am delighted to share photos of a truly beautiful event with readers of Simergphotos. I am in awe of the volunteers, the friendly crowd, and everyone who made the breakfast event a fantastic day for those who came. The float showed the creativity of those involved in its construction. It was great to see it from close and appreciate the theme.
Date posted: July 9, 2022.
Malik Merchant is the founding publisher and editor of Simergphotos (2012) as well as its two sister websites Simerg(2009) and Barakah (2007). An IT consultant for 40 years in the UK, USA and Canada, he now engages in small family related projects and is passionate about his websites. His interest for literature and community publications began in his childhood years through the work of his late parents Jehangir (d. May 2017, aged 89) and Malek Merchant (d. January 2021, also 89), who both devoted their lives to the service of the Ismaili community, its institutions and the Imam-of-the-Time, His Highness the Aga Khan, as missionaries and religious education teachers. In the UK, Malik edited the flagship Ismaili magazine, ILM, with his father. The internet encouraged him to launch his first website, Simerg, in 2009. A resident of Ontario since 1983, he relocated to Alberta in January 2022. He has an animal loving daughter Dr. Nurin Merchant; she is a vet and practices in Ontario. Malik can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can also be reached — and followed — @twitter and @facebook.
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