1st Session, 44th Parliament
Volume 153, Issue 11

Tuesday, December 14, 2021
The Honourable George J. Furey, Speaker

His Highness the Aga Khan

Congratulations on the Occasion of Eighty-Fifth Birthday

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, yesterday Ismaili Muslims residing in 25 countries around the world celebrated His Highness Karim Aga Khan’s eighty-fifth birthday.

Born in 1936 in Geneva, Switzerland, His Highness succeeded his grandfather as the forty-ninth spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslims when he was just 20 years old.

For over three quarters of his life, His Highness has made tremendous personal sacrifices to improve the lives of Ismaili Muslims and continues to work tirelessly to improve the quality of life of all people, especially those living in less developed regions in the world.

Education, specifically for girls, has always informed much of His Highness’s work. In fact, the Aga Khan Development Network works hard to ensure that students of all ages have access to quality learning opportunities.

His Highness has spent much of his life working to improve health outcomes for people living in vulnerable regions in the world.

The Aga Khan hospitals are a network of international hospitals based in Dar es Salaam, Mumbai, Kisumu, Mombasa, Nairobi and Pakistan.

The hospitals are managed by Aga Khan Health Services, one of the most comprehensive non-profit health care systems in the developing world.

Finally, as the world navigated the hardship and difficulties incited by COVID-19, His Highness reminded us to keep our hearts open and to help one another.

The Aga Khan network of agencies adapted their operations to respond to the pandemic, focusing on developing regions which were in particular need. He has been a vocal advocate for vaccination.

Honourable senators, typically on your birthday your loved ones shower you with gifts. I often think about what I could possibly give to someone who has given so much to me.

Without the guidance of His Highness and his grandfather before him, I may not ever have received a high-quality education and certainly would not have become a lawyer or a senator. Without the support of His Highness, I would not have been able to seek refuge in Canada. His constant love and guidance have truly made me who I am today.

On His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan’s eighty-fifth birthday, I would like to reconfirm my commitment to use my time, my knowledge and my position as a Canadian senator to help all those who are most vulnerable in society and to help groom and empower future generations of leaders.

Happy birthday, Your Highness, from the very bottom of my heart. Thank you for everything you do to make the world a peaceful and safer place for all.

Salgirah Mubarak.

Thank you, senators.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.