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23 June 2021 / 13. Zil-Qad 1442

Head of Khoja Heritage Project Featured in 'Conversations with Authors'

For the past few months, the Mulla Asghar Memorial Resource Center (www.marcresource.org) has been holding a series of sessions called ' Conversations with Authors'.

On Saturday, November 21st 2020, Dr Hasnain Walji, Former President of the WF and now Head of The Khoja Heritage Project was in Conversation with Shabbir Jaffer, Director of MARC.

In the lively and insightful dialogue, with the host Shabbir Jaffer and questions from the participants, many relevant issues pertaining to the past and future of the Community emerged.

The core of the discussion was on the Gujarati Memoir of Mulla Qadir Karbalai called Hidayat Prakash. This autobiography provides a glimpse into the early conversion of the Khoja Community. Quoting some historic moments, that led to the Khoja Zawwar led by Dewji Jamal being introduced to Ayatullah Zainul Abedin Mazandarani, Hasnainbhai illustrated how this historic initiative by Mulla Qadir largely resulted in the Khoja Community adopting the school of Ahlul Bait (as). 

Commenting on the Foreword he had written for the book Endangered Species, by Hassan Jaffer, Hasnainbhau elucidated the importance of the Khoja identity and the rationale for keeping it entrenched in our mindset. 

Responding to a question on the Khoja Documentary, produced by him,  Dr Walji acknowledged the role of women in the migration and settlement of the Community, who remain unacknowledged as equal partners in the social and religious endeavours of the community. 

The conversation was an opportunity for the participants to ask questions about the past and future of the Community from someone who has not only studied the trajectory and trends of the Khoja Community but has actively participated in for nearly 40 years of the 175 years of our existence as Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheries. 

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