It is with great pleasure that I extend my best wishes to His Highness Shah Karim al-Hussayni, the fourth Aga Khan and 49th Imam of Ismaili Islam, on the occasion of his 75th birthday. Since becoming the Aga Khan on July 11, 1957, at the age of 20, Prince Karim has been an inspiration to Ismaili Muslims and others around the world. He has worked tirelessly to promote both religious and racial tolerance. His strong belief in education has inspired Ismaili young people around the world to achieve post-secondary educational success.
In 1967, His Highness the Aga Khan founded the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) as a private, not-for-profit international development agency. The Aga Khan Foundation seeks to provide long-term solutions to problems of poverty, hunger, illiteracy and ill health in the poorest parts of South and Central Asia; Eastern and Western Africa; and, the Middle East.The Aga Khan Foundation works in close conjunction with The Aga Khan Development Network , a group of development agencies with mandates that include the environment; health; education; architecture; culture; microfinance; rural development; disaster reduction; the promotion of private-sector enterprise; and, the revitalisation of historic cities. The Aga Khan Foundation and the Aga Khan Development Network agencies conduct their programmes without regard to faith, origin or gender.
In Canada, not only does His Highness reach Ismailis, his work has helped many Canadians through the Canadian Branch of the Aga Khan Development Network. On June 6, 2005, His Highness was invested as an Honorary Companion of the Order of Canada in recognition of a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.
It is an honour and a pleasure to wish His Highness the best of success and many happy returns.