From 1999 to 2007, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) undertook conservation work on the citadels of Aleppo, Salah ad-Din and Masyaf in partnership with the Syrian Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums. Work focused in three main areas: conservation of the Citadels; training of antiquities staff, local craftsmen and building professionals in modern conservation practice (while the conservation projects were carried out); and development of re-utilisation plans for the Citadels, including management guidelines and investments in visitor infrastructure such as visitor centres, pathways, signage, etc.
A musical performance by Anthem of Joy from Pakistan, performed during the Jubilee Arts International Talent Showcase in Lisbon, Portugal on the afternoon of 8 July 2018.
The short documentary "Islamic Gardens: Catalysts for Change" is about the vast network of parks and gardens around the world developed by the Ismaili Imamat, under the leadership of His Highness the Aga Khan.
Gardens bring people of different backgrounds together to enjoy and appreciate nature. They also seek to improve people’s quality of life by providing spaces for reflection, spirituality, education and leisure.
The creation of parks and gardens has been an important part of the AKDN's work, with the objective of using green spaces to catalyse positive economic, social and cultural change. This short documentary "Islamic Gardens: Catalysts for Change" is about the Network’s vast network of parks and gardens. It explores their significance and the reasons for creating and revitalising parks and gardens, including their role as spiritual and communal spaces, in environmental stewardship, their capacity to act as springboards for economic development, and their role as educational spaces to teach about the rich diversity and heritage of Muslim cultures and civilisations.
The film looks at the numerous park and garden projects undertaken by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, as well as those found in the Ismaili Centres and many other spaces globally, with special focus on the three projects opened during the Diamond Jubilee year of the Aga Khan: the Sunder Nursery in India, the Islamic Gardens at Kings Cross found in the Aga Khan Centre in London, and the Aga Khan Garden in Edmonton.
In October 2017, Prince Aly Aga Khan visited the north of Pakistan to learn more about the effects of natural disasters. During his seven day trip to the region, Prince Aly met with numerous families whose quality of life has been enhanced by the Network. This film, written, directed and voiced by Prince Aly, is his personal account of his discussions with the communities in the region and how the Aga Khan Development Network is partnering with them to find solutions to the problems caused by natural disasters.
Al-Khimyah, written and directed by Prince Aly Muhammad Aga Khan, explores the work of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) in the historic city of Cairo, Egypt.
The film shines a spotlight on the 30-hectare Al-Azhar Park — converted from a mound of rubble — and the stories of local residents of the adjacent Darb al-Ahmar neighbourhood. Since opening in 2005 after 20 years of careful excavation and design, Al-Azhar Park has provided much-needed leisure and recreational space to the inhabitants of the city, and is today often referred to as "Cairo's green lung."
Located in the heart of Egypt’s capital, the urban oasis has become a popular destination for both locals and tourists. Landscaping features include walkways, fountains, lawns, and gardens overlooking a lake in the traditional chahar bagh style. Hundreds of young men and women have found work in the park, in horticulture and park maintenance: The park features over 300 different plant species — many native to Egypt — grown in a special nursery, and an orchard provides shade from the sun.
The park has also proven to be a powerful catalyst for urban renewal, evolving beyond the green space itself to include the restoration of monuments and public spaces, and socioeconomic initiatives including housing rehabilitation, microfinance, crafts apprenticeships, and healthcare.
The film is Prince Aly’s account of a city whose foundations were laid over a thousand years ago, which has seen a 500-year-old rubbish dump rebuilt into a lush green oasis, and a poor inner-city district transformed into a thriving community.