On an October morning in 2014, I found a community at Critical Creativities: Policy, Performance, Diversity and the Arts in the GTA, a research workshop hosted by the University of Toronto’s Religion in the Public Sphere Initiative.
On the Importance of Civic Space in Islam: The Aga Khan and the Prince of Persia – Suhayla (Leah) Wotherspoon
Last week, on May 28th, the spiritual leader of the world’s Shi’a Ismaili Muslims, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, visited Toronto with members of his family for the foundation ceremony of a new Ismaili Centre (a high profile prayer hall) and the first Aga Khan Museum for Islamic Art and Culture. The plan for the construction of this site in Don Mills, which includes what promises to be an exceptionally beautiful park, has been in the works for a number of years now, and is estimated to be completed in 2013. The Ismaili Imam’s visit to Canada was a doubly special occasion for the nation’s Ismaili Muslims, as the Imam was given by the Government of Canada honourary Canadian Citizenship, in recognition of a lifetime of work as the spiritual leader of the world’s Ismailis that has been in keeping with what were described by Stephen Harper as the very Canadian ideals of “pluralism, peace, and development“.
It’s the end of term and I’ve been overwhelmed with the hectic activities of marking and . . . well, marking. I’ve barely watched the news. There was a volcano or something that erupted, right? For the past few days my whole life has been consumed by marking final exams. With this in mind, I thought that instead of writing something new I would hit two birds with one stone and blog about my final exam.
My students think I’m cooler than I am. Or at least I like to think they do.
On a purely aesthetic level, all symbolism aside, there’s something awfully beautiful about a burning church. Well, about any burning stone structure really, but how often do we see stone these days other than in churches? The fire spills out the windows and eventually out the roof, but the walls stand firm as the glow emerges from within.
I am looking forward to Friday night.
Perhaps I should backtrack; I own a television. That’s right – a television. What’s worse, I have actually been known to watch it at times. Worse still, I have been known to enjoy it. What might be a series of casual admissions for most becomes a loaded one in the eyes of certain academics. I’m a shallow populist. Not only do I not work all the time (which, it would seem, is how often I should be working) but I fritter away my time with mindless drivel. And make no mistake – much of it is mindless drivel. There will be no argument that television content is the best it has ever been here. If I hear of one more show about doctors/nurses/various other forms of hospital staff, or if I see any more permutations of the letter ‘C’, ‘S’ and ‘I’ in a television show title, I will run my eyes through a meat grinder.