Prince Shah Karim Al-Husseini Aga Khan, also known as Aga Khan IV, celebrates his 87th birthday on December 13th, 2023. As the hereditary Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, he is renowned for his extensive humanitarian work, primarily through the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). The AKDN, with a strong presence in Asia and Africa, strives to enhance the quality of life for the Ismaili community and people across diverse societies.
The Aga Khan’s leadership and vision have been pivotal in promoting peace, pluralism, and development around the globe. His efforts are not only recognized by his followers but also by international leaders and organizations, highlighting his commitment to fostering a more harmonious and prosperous world.
Globally, the AKDN’s mission extends to improving living conditions and opportunities for the poor, irrespective of faith, origin, or gender. It operates in over 30 countries, employing around 96,000 staff, mostly in developing countries. The network’s cultural arm, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, is known for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture and Historic Cities Programme, and it supports the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard University and MIT.
The Aga Khan’s work continues to inspire millions, transcending geographical and cultural boundaries and reaffirming his role as a global leader in development and philanthropy. On this occasion, communities around the world celebrate not only his birth but also his profound legacy, which continues to shape and improve the lives of millions.
As we reflect on his contributions, we can see how the Aga Khan’s leadership emphasizes unity among Ismailis and promotes broader global development and philanthropy. His lifelong dedication to humanitarian causes and his efforts to enhance the quality of life for people across diverse societies make him a true champion of peace, pluralism, and development.