Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Aga Khan IV
Aga Khan IV (Prince Karim Aga Khan or Prince Karim El Husseni) (born December 13 1936) is the current (49th) Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims since July 11, 1957. He is referred to by members of his flock as Hazar Imam, or "present Imam".
At the age of 20 he succeeded his grandfather, Sultan Mahommed Shah, as Imam. He is a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad through the Prophet's daughter, Fatima, and her husband, Ali, the first Shia Imam.
Aga Khan IV is the son of Prince Ali Solomon Khan, (November 17, 1911 - May 12, 1960), and his first wife, Hon. Joan Yarde-Buller, Daughter of the 3rd Baron Churston, renamed Princess Tadjudowlah, (b. 1908). He was born in Geneva. He spent his early childhood in Nairobi, Kenya, and then attended the Institute Le Rosey in Switzerland. He graduated from Harvard University in 1959 with a BA Honors Degree in Islamic history.
He married his second wife, Dr. Gabriele zu Leiningen (born in Frankfurt-am-Main on 1 April, 1963), in Aiglemont on 30 May, 1998. From then on, his wife took on the name Begum Inaara . On 8 October, 2004, an announcement was made that the Aga Khan and she were to seek a divorce. They have one son.
Founded and guided by His Highness the Aga Khan, the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) brings together a number of development agencies, institutions, and programmes that work primarily in the poorest parts of Asia and Africa. AKDN is a contemporary endeavour of the Ismaili Imamat to realise the social conscience of Islam through institutional action. AKDN agencies conduct their programmes without regard to the faith, origin or gender.
The Aga Khan, who is known as "K" to his European society friends, is reported to be among the wealthiest people in the world with a net worth in excess of US$6 billion. Among other interests, he is known for his equestrian pursuits and for success in race horse breeding.
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