Members of the IIS Alumni's European Chapter Group in the Atrium of the Aga Khan Centre, London

The European Chapter Group of the IIS Alumni Association recently organised their Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2023 centred on Migration, Refugees and Muslim Diaspora.

Dubbed "Ittisaal" – a term symbolising connection and harmony – The two-day event took place on August 19-20 and was attended by number of alumni from across the UK and EU.

Day one started with a keynote address by Dr Tahir Zaman from University of Sussex, who spoke about the Islamic concept of Jiwar and its relevance to the pressing issues facing asylum seekers and refugees. A session on the response of FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance to refugee settlement in the UK and EU by Rahila Muhibi followed this. The day also featured alumni presentations, allowing IIS graduates, Murid Shah, Ula Zeir, and Fatima Jiwani, to present and share their research with a wider audience.

Day two opened with a keynote address delivered by Dr Mohamad Keshavjee, followed by a panel discussion on "Migration, Refugees and the New Ismaili Diaspora." The panel presented views from diverse sociodemographic contexts and consisted of Dr Taushif Kara, Arafat Jamal, Dr Farhad Mawani, and Dilrabo Khujanazar.

Alumni then had the opportunity to participate in an interactive session with the IIS Board of Governors Habib Motani, Rahim Karim, Karina Govindji, and Dr Nadia Eboo Jamal, followed by a discussion with Dr Shiraz Kabani on the latest developments at the IIS. The day ended with a talk delivered by GPISH graduate Amirali Parpia, on navigating a career in international development.

The AGM concluded with a soulful Qawwali performance by the Raag Qawwal Group. The performance was enjoyed by the IIS staff, students, and members of the Jamaat, marking a fitting end to a successful event. The AGM was a valuable opportunity for IIS alumni to reconnect, network, and learn from each other. It also provided a forum for discussing the critical issues of migration and refugees, exploring how educational institutes like the IIS can play a role in addressing these challenges.

The Raag Qawwal Group performing, cross legged on cushions

The Raag Qawwal Group perform at the end of the European Chapter Group AGM at the Aga Khan Centre.