Music showcases pluralism in the Muslim World

    EDMONTON, Oct. 18 /CNW Telbec/ - A MYSTICAL JOURNEY: Sufi Music and other
Expressions of Devotion from the Muslim World, brought its world premiere tour
to Edmonton last night, in the presence of Prince Hussain and Princess Khaliya
Aga Khan. Over 60 artists and musicians from diverse Muslim countries
including Algeria, Bosnia, Pakistan, Iran, India and Syria, took audiences on
an entertaining and enlightening musical journey of the mind, body and soul.
    The nine groups individually performed qawalli's, ilahis, kalams, dhikr
and contemporary songs, with dance performances by whirling Sufis, all of
which contributed towards a uniquely rich performance. Some 1700 people
attended the sold-out performance at Edmonton's Winspear Theatre.
    During the pre-event gala, City of Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel formally
presented Prince Hussain with a Proclamation recognizing him as an Ambassador
of the city of Edmonton. Mayor Mandel acknowledged Prince Hussain's
involvement with various projects under the Aga Khan Development Network and
said that the institution's work and values are "an example for all
Edmontonians to follow".
    Speaking at the Performance, Mohamed Manji, President of the Aga Khan
Council for Canada, noted the appropriateness of this event making its world
premiere in Canada. "Canada has promoted pluralism among its citizens by
welcoming people and traditions from all parts of the world," he said. "We, as
Canadians, are encouraged to celebrate our culture and tradition as part of
the diverse social fabric of this country. It is this model of diversity, that
His Highness the Aga Khan has called "Canada's gift to the world".
    Kenan Hadzovinc of the Bosnian Choir, Hazreti Hamza, commenting about the
tour said "In current times - Islam has a poor image and these types of
international initiatives expressing the faith through music and dance help to
change stereo-types and show the diversity that exists within the Muslim
    Music and musicians play a vital role throughout the Muslim world. From
Indonesia through South and Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and
Europe, music serves not only as entertainment for various Muslim communities,
but also as a way to express devotion and reinforce common values and
traditions. "A Mystical Journey" focuses on music and devotional expressions,
however this diversity can be found in all aspects of life and thought
throughout the Muslim world.
    "A Mystical Journey" continues its Canadian Tour with additional
performances in Calgary (October 20), Toronto (November 4) and Montreal
(November 5).
    The performance is an international initiative commemorating the Golden
Jubilee of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan as the Imam (spiritual leader)
of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims.
    The Ismaili Muslims are a community of ethnically and culturally diverse
peoples living in over 25 countries around the world, united in their
allegiance to the Aga Khan as the 49th hereditary Imam and direct descendant
of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family).

For further information:

For further information: and photographs of the event, please visit or contact: Dr. Iqbal Ahmed, (604) 218-7864;
Sheherazade Hirji, (416) 560-2447; Amir Karim, (514) 574-3754

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Aga Khan Council for Canada

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