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Aga Khan IV

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AgaKhanOrderofCanada.jpg
The Aga Khan Recives the Order of Canada from Governor General Adrienne Clarkson in a ceremony performed at Rideau Hall in 2005.

Aga Khan IV CC (Prince Karim Aga Khan or Prince Karim El Husseni) (born December 13 1936) is the current (49th) Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims since July 11, 1957. He is referred to by members of his flock as Hazar Imam, or "present Imam".

At the age of 20 he succeeded his grandfather, Sultan Mahommed Shah, as Imam. He is a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad through the Prophet's daughter, Fatima, and her husband, Ali, the first Shia Imam.

Aga Khan IV is the son of Prince Ali Solomon Khan, (November 17, 1911 - May 12, 1960), and his first wife, Hon. Joan Yarde-Buller, daughter of the 3rd Baron Churston, renamed Princess Tadjudowlah, (b. 1908). He was born in Geneva. He spent his early childhood in Nairobi, Kenya, and then attended the Institute Le Rosey in Switzerland. He graduated from Harvard University in 1959 with a BA Honors Degree in Islamic history.

Early education included private tutoring, with Prince Sadruddin, by Mustafa Kamil, a scholar from Aligarh Muslim University engaged by his grandfather, Aga Khan III.

He married his first wife, former model Sarah Frances (Sally) Crocker-Poole, titled HH Begum Salima, on 22 October 1969. The marriage, which ended in divorce after 25 years, produced three children.

He married his second wife, Dr. Gabriele zu Leiningen (born in Frankfurt-am-Main on 1 April, 1963), in Aiglemont on 30 May, 1998. From then on, his wife took on the name Begum Inaara. On 8 October, 2004, an announcement was made that the Aga Khan and she were to seek a divorce. They have one son.

Founded and guided by His Highness the Aga Khan, the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) brings together a number of development agencies, institutions, and programmes that work primarily in the poorest parts of Asia and Africa. AKDN is a contemporary endeavour of the Ismaili Imamat to realise the social conscience of Islam through institutional action. AKDN agencies conduct their programmes without regard to the faith, origin or gender.

The Aga Khan is reported to be among the wealthiest people in the world with a net worth in excess of US$6 billion. Among other interests, he is known for his equestrian pursuits and for success in race horse breeding particularly after acquiring the bulk of the breeding stock from the estate of Marcel Boussac in 1980.

He was made an Honorary Companion of the Order of Canada in 2005.

He built the Aga Khan University and Hospital in Karachi, Pakistan in 1983. Also, Aga Khan schools are widely known in third world countries such as Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania.


See also

External links

fr:Karim Aga Khan

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