Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Aga Khan Film – Middle East Premiere - Day 2

Aga Khan Film – Middle East Premiere - Beirut, Lebanon

Day 2 – Screening 2 – Oct 6, 2008

I did not make much progress on finding a Nizari Ismaili Muslim in Lebanon. Phone calls and e-mails have not led anywhere. Plus it was a busy day watching films, meeting filmmakers, and doing interviews. (yes, yes, what a hard life ☺ ). The only lead I have is that my friend, Vanessa, (a non-Ismaili – not really relevant but it may be pertinent later as the journey continues), said she has a friend who thinks knows of someone who knows someone who is an Ismaili. This is becoming a slightly convoluted journey.

I did meet Vanessa’s friend (who asked I not reveal her real name b/c she works in a public role), whom we will call …”Maria”. “Maria” (again, not an Ismaili) came to the screening and introduced herself to me, calling the film insightful and then handing me a piece of paper with a bunch of phone numbers…numbers that were not Lebanese. Hmmm….its not looking positive...

Some of the Questions from the Q+A for the last 2 screenings:

Do I see it as a problem that the Ismailis have an unconditional love to their Imam? Do they criticize him?

Who will be the next Imam? Can it be his daughter?

Why does the Aga Khan live in France? Are there Ismailis there? Why does he live so far from his people?

Does the Aga Khan speak Arabic?

Can a leader really be this good?

Inshallah, I will have more time tomorrow to write-up my answers to the above.

(By the way, I am really excited about the Special Screening hosted by the British and Canadian Embassies!)

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