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Aga Khan, Prince Karim

Basic Biographical Information

Born in Geneva on December 13, 1936, Prince Karim Aga Khan, the Aga Khan IV, is the eldest son of Prince Aly Salman (Salomone) Khan. During WWII, his father joined the Allies and Karim, along with his other family members, moved to Nairobi in 1941. By the age of seven, Karim became well-versed in his religion ("Sevener Shi'a Islam") under the private tutorship of a Muslim missionary, and showed the agility for his future religious leadership. Right at the end of the War, Karim entered the Institute le Rosey in Switzerland followed by the Harvard University (earning a bachelor degree in Islamic history in 1959). Karim, at the age of 20 in 1957, being appointed by his grandfather the Aga Khan III as the "Imam" (49th) and "Pir" (spiritual leader) of Shi'a Ismaili followers, became the Aga Khan IV. In 2007, the Ismaili community embarked on a one-year celebration of the golden jubilee of his Imamate (religious leadership).

Major Contributions