2nd Session, 41st Parliament,
Volume 149, Issue 87

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker


Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I have risen in this chamber many times and talked about my journey to Canada. I have expressed my sincere gratitude to the Canadian people for welcoming my family, along with thousands of others Ugandan refugees who came to this country with nothing more than the clothes on our backs.

Although I have worked hard to integrate into Canadian society and was extremely grateful for the generosity shown to me by my neighbours, I missed home. I missed my friends, my house and my favourite foods. However, every time I felt homesick, I went to Jamatkhana.


For an Ismaili Muslim, Jamatkhana is a place of worship and socializing. It is a place of contemplation and friendship. It is where we give thanks for everything we have and seek solace. It is where we cleanse our hearts and enlighten our souls.

No matter where I am in the world, no matter how far I am from my loved ones, I always feel right at home in any Jamatkhana around the world.

Senator Ataullahjan and I attended an opening ceremony of a new Jamatkhana in Toronto where His Highness the Aga Khan explained:

One of the ways in which Ismailis have expressed their identity wherever they have lived is through their places of prayer, known today as the Jamatkhana. Other Muslim communities give their religious buildings different names: from ribat and zawiyya to khanaqa. In addition, there are other places where Muslims of all interpretations can come together, such as non-denominational mosques.

What we dedicate today is what we identify as an Ismaili Centre — a building that is focused around our Jamatkhana, but which also includes many secular spaces.

And soaring above it all is the great crystalline dome that you have observed, through which light from the prayer hall will provide a glowing beacon, symbolizing the spirit of enlightenment that will always be at the heart of the Centre’s life.

Honourable senators, being an Ismaili is more than just a religion I follow, and a Jamatkhana is more than just a place of worship. Both are very important pieces of my identity, which I would be lost without.

Canada is the only country in the world where His Highness has built two high-profile Jamatkhanas. I would like to once again thank His Highness the Aga Khan for choosing Canada to build the two Ismaili Centres and the Aga Khan Museum.

Your Highness, you have enriched Canada, and we thank you for your largess.


One Response to October 21 2014 New Jamatkhana in Toronto

  1. […] Click here to read more: http://mobinajaffer.ca – Senator Mobina Jaffer – New Jamatkhana in Toronto […]

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