Multi-billion Arabic academy of Dawoodi Bohra community inaugurated in Nairobi

Updated: Apr 21, 2017, 19:40 IST | Gaurav Sarkar | Mumbai

The fourth multi-billion Arabic institute of the Dawoodi Bohra community in the world, the Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah academy, was inaugurated in Kenya's capital on Thursday

The Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah academy in Nairobi
The Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah academy in Nairobi

On the occasion of the late Syedna Mohammed Burhan-uddin's 100th birthday in 2011, it was announced that the multi-billion Arabic academy in the world of the Bohra community would be established in Nairobi.

Six years later, the the 14 acres campus of the Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah academy (commonly referred to as Aljamea) was formally inaugurated yesterday by the 53rd Dai-al-Mutlaq Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin and the Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The institute will admit 1,000 from over 21 countries, including Egypt, the US, England and Germany.

Around 12,000 people attended the inauguration of the institute, the other three branches of which are located in Gujarat, Mumbai, and Karachi. The institute will offer young Dawoodi Bohra men and women with an education based upon the principles and pillars of the Fatimi Islamic philosophy. The 11-year-programme covers secondary, undergraduate, as well as graduate education in select disciplines, including Biology, Physics, Mathematics and Sociology, and will admit 500 girls and 500 boys — aged 13 years and above.

In spirit, Aljamea represents the education imparted by the Dai-al-Mutlaq centuries ago and, therefore, assumed greater significance to members of the Dawoodi Bohra community. With the establishment of the Nairobi Aljamea campus, the community celebrates its long-standing history in Kenya.

The 53rd Dai-al-Mutlaq Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin and Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta

Fashionably late, not
The inauguration ceremony, which was due to start at 3 pm inside the chamber of Jameah, kicked off almost two hours late, as the President had not arrived yet.

Scores of foreign dignitaries, cabinet ministers, foreign diplomats as well as international members of the Dawoodi Bohra community seated in the inside chamber -- which has good cross ventilation, but no fans or air conditioning — became restless.

The choir, which was supposed to sing only a couple of hymns, tried its best to appease the crowd, but they ran out of hymns after a while. The 12-minute documentary that was to be showcased towards the end of the ceremony was shown during this interim, in an effort to make better use of time. The event finally kicked off around 5.15 pm.

Prez is impressed
In his speech, President Kenyatta said he was extremely impressed by the Dawoodi Bohra's community's dedication towards education. "Islam is not a religion of violence, but peace. For many years, the Bohra community has been involved in the education of young men and women. I admire your commitment. I have no doubt that this complex will fulfill the requirement of being a tourist attraction as well as a centre of excellent education. I want to guarantee you my administration's full support for the same."

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