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Professor Dr. Allamah Nasir Hunzai passes away at the age of 100

Father of Burushaski language, Professor Dr. Allamah Nasir al-Din Nasir Hunzai, famously known as Allamah Nasir Hunzai, has passed away at the age of 100. Just a few weeks back, Barak Obama — the President of United States — had sent him wishes on his 100th birthday.

Imran Ahmed Hunzai

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Allama Naseer Hunzai

Baba-e-Burushaski (father of Burushaski language) Professor Dr. Allamah Nasir al-Din Nasir Hunzai, famously known as Allamah Nasir Hunzai, has passed away at the age of 100. Just a few weeks back, Barak Obama — the President of United States — had sent him wishes on his 100th birthday.

Allamah Nasir was living in the United States where he breathed his last. According to a Facebook status posted by his son, the demised scholar wished to be buried in his hometown of Hyderabad in Hunza valley. His body will be brought to Hunza from Austin, Texas, in a few days followed by his burial according to Ismaili Muslim traditions.

Allamah Nasir was born and raised in Hyderabad, Hunza valley. He was never formally educated but wrote over a hundred books and made earliest contributions towards Burushaski literature. During his youth, he had also served in Gilgit Scouts. He is also the first person to translate the Holy Quran into Burushaski language.

Allama Nasir had an honorary doctoral degree awarded by the University of Montreal in recognition of his extensive work on Burushaski language and other religious writings.

The Government of Pakistan conferred upon him Sitara-e-Imtiaz, the highest civilian award in Pakistan.

Some of his later literature was highly controversial leading to a severe public reaction.

In 2013, his organization Khana-e-Hikmat was banned and accounts were frozen by the government of Pakistan under Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997. Khana-e-Hikmat was among the 7 banned organizations from Gilgit-Baltistan and 59 from entire Pakistan.

Imran Hunzai is a Digital Media Consultant and activist based in Islamabad, Pakistan. When free, he likes to travel, do photography and play Rabab. He also runs a HONY inspired blog called Humans of Hunza. Follow him of Twitter @ihunzai.

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In Pictures: His Highness Aga Khan’s First Visit to Hunza in 1960

Imran Ahmed Hunzai

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Aga Khan in Hunza 1960
Photos: Abdul M. Ismaily

On this day in 1960, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan made his historic first visits to Hunza and laid down the foundation of what we know as a model valley today. Since then, Hunza has come a long way and developed into a model valley for many. Every year on 23rd October, Ismailis of Hunza Valley celebrate this day as “Salgirah” to commemorate Aga Khan’s visit to Hunza for the first time.

During the first visit of His Highness Aga Khan to Hunza, photographer Abdul M. Ismaily took numerous photos that remained unseen for decades. However, in 2016, Simerg Photos released a number of pictures of this historic visit with the permission of Abdul M. Ismaily’s family.

On this happy occasion for the Ismailis of Hunza, GBee is pleased to share some of the photographs from Aga Khan’s first visit to Hunza in 1960.

Attached by pulley to the third cable was a wooden box, five feet square, with sides rising 18 inches. This was the only way to Hunza. The five journalists which included two Americans were horrified, and despite urging from Pir Ali Allana, the Aga Khan’s advance man, none would get into the box. Far across the river, men pulled on a rope, and, swaying and shaking, the box shot out over the swift-flowing stream of Hunza River. Today, the Nasirabad Bridge stands in this place.
Ismaili Volunteers with community leaders during the preparations to receive H.H. The Aga Khan at Baltit Polo Ground in Karimabad, Hunza.
Col. Ayash Khan, the brother of Mir Jamal Khan, the last royal ruler of Hunza, is seen standing in a uniform with members of the royal family of Hunza outside the royal palace in Hunza where His Highness the Aga Khan resided during his visit in 1960.
Aga Khan first visit to Hunza Valley 1960
Aga Khan in Hunza 1960

H.H. Aga Khan in conversation with Mir of Hunza.
Aga Khan in Hunza 1960
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AKAH Celebrates Global Handwashing Day 2019

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A Hunza school girl at Al Murtaza School in Hunza Valley, Gilgit-Baltistan
AKAH in collaboration with other AKDN and government agencies is campaigning for “Clean Hands for All”. Photo: Imran Hunzai / AKDN

Aga Khan Agency of Habitat (AKAH) in close coordination with other Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) agencies, Government Departments, civil bodies and media groups celebrated Global Handwashing Day 2019. 

A number of activities and events were designed and organized at the school level across districts in Gilgit- Baltistan. These activities aimed at campaigning for better hygiene. 

school kids in Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee School Hunza Valley, Gilgit-Baltistan
Global Handwashing Day 2019: Aga Khan Agency for Habitat, through its School Health Improvement Programme (SHIP), is sensitizing school children and management across vulnerable communities for hygienic practices, including handwashing with soap.
A Hunza kid washing hands
AKAH is spreading smiles through providing access to safe drinking water and educating communities for handwashing with soap, under its Water And Sanitation Education Programme (WASEP), to prevent diseases and save lives.
AKESP Global Handwashing Day 2019
Students at AKES, P school in Chatorkhand are demonstrating handwashing in an event organized to campaign for hygienic practices on Global Handwashing Day.
school kids in Al Murtaza School Hunza Valley, Gilgit-Baltistan
The students of AKES, P school in Murtazabad Hunza are learning the steps of Handwashing with the help of health hygiene trainers.
Representatives of AKDN on Global Handwashing Day 2019
Representatives of AKDN agencies emphasized addressing “Handwashing disparities to prevent diseases and save lives”, in events organized to mark Global Handwashing Day, 2019.
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