Lusbon, April 2024

Timor-Leste President José Ramos-Horta joined heads of state from other Portuguese-speaking nations at a landmark celebration hosted by the Ismaili Imamat in Lisbon on Wednesday, commemorating 50 years since Portugal’s democratic Carnation Revolution.

The high-profile event was held at the Ismaili Muslim community’s global headquarters, the Diwan, in the Portuguese capital’s upscale Palacete Henrique Mendonça.

Upon arriving, Ramos-Horta and the other dignitaries were welcomed by Prince Rahim and Prince Aly Muhammad, members of the leadership family of the Shia Ismaili Muslims headed by the Aga Khan.

Nazim Ahmad, the Imamat’s Diplomatic Representative, spoke about the work of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in promoting pluralism and socioeconomic progress across the world.

Gratitude for Emphasis on Peace & Multilateralism
In his address, President Ramos-Horta expressed gratitude for the Ismaili Imamat’s global philanthropic initiatives and their emphasis on advancing peace and multilateralism on the world stage.

“The Ismaili Imamat is an example of building peace and multilateralism in the world,” affirmed Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who also attended the high-level gathering.

Strengthening Lusophone-Ismaili Community Bonds

The celebration served to further cement the deep historical relationship between the Ismaili community and the Lusophone world, ties dating back to when Ismaili immigrants settled in post-revolution Portugal.

With Timor-Leste and Portugal marking 20 years of bilateral relations in 2024, Ramos-Horta’s presence highlighted the cultural and economic partnerships now spanning these diverse communities globally.

The Aga Khan Foundation, a key AKDN agency, has operated in Portugal since 1983, implementing programs focused on early childhood education, social inclusion and urban poverty alleviation to empower local populations.

The Ismaili Imamat’s Lisbon event showcased the flourishing relationship between the ethical principles of pluralism espoused by the Ismaili community and the shared values of peace, democracy and human development upheld by the Lusophone nations.

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