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SENATORS’ STATEMENTS — His Highness the Aga Khan

Congratulations on Eighty-Fourth Birthday

December 15, 2020

Honourable senators, this past Sunday, December 13, Ismaili Muslims around the world celebrated His Highness the Aga Khan’s eighty-fourth birthday. What is normally a grand celebration that includes a large feast, special prayers and lots of dancing was observed a little differently this year. While our community may not have been able to physically gather this year, the joy, hope and sense of happiness that this day brings to all Ismaili Muslims remained the same.

This day also serves as an opportunity to reflect upon His Highness the Aga Khan’s life work. His Highness has devoted over 60 years of his life to the improvement of the quality of life of some of the most vulnerable and marginalized populations around the world. He has also been an advocate for education, specifically the education of girls. He has established schools in some of the poorest areas in the world.

I personally attended Aga Khan kindergarten, Aga Khan elementary school and Aga Khan secondary school. The education I received in those institutions served as a strong foundation for my future studies in law.

At a time when it was assumed that women would pursue roles within the household, His Highness believed that women could be lawyers, doctors, surgeons, nurses and accountants, and encouraged us to pursue further education and fulfill our dreams.

I am forever grateful for His Highness the Aga Khan’s guidance. I know his guidance helped me become a senator.

His Highness the Aga Khan works tirelessly to advance Islam’s core ethics of service to others, compassion, justice and peace. As we navigate a global pandemic that is disproportionately affecting those who are the most vulnerable in our society, these principles are more important now than ever.

Honourable senators, today I would like to invite you to join me in the celebration of His Highness and honorary Canadian citizen for his contributions to humanity, for his unrelenting commitment to a more peaceful, understanding and equitable world, and for offering, in difficult times, a source of hope and inspiration to millions. Happy birthday, Your Highness. Canada salutes you. Salgirah Khushiali Mubarak. Thank you.

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