It’s been 400 years since the demise of legendary and revered author William Shakespeare. His death anniversary was commemorated at the Ismaili Centre, London on Friday (Sept 16).

The Ismaili Centre in London is has arranged a number of activities over the weekend of 16th – 18th September for the purpose.

Lord Gowrie, former Minister of the Arts and distinguished poet, will be the guest of honour on Saturday (Sept 17), which will include a reading of Shakespeare’s sonnets by the actor Alice Bonifacio, ‘answered’ by poems written and read by Raficq Abdulla, well-known interpreter of poets from Muslim traditions, such as Rumi, Attar and Jami.

Shakespeare’s influence on diverse cultures will be depicted by Swahili poet and writer, Dr Farouk Topan who will speak on the impact Shakespeare has had on Swahili literature, on Friday (Sept 16). This will be followed by readings of poems by young poets from across the world, called ‘Bards without Borders’, whose poems have been inspired by Shakespeare’s plays and poetry. The event will also have a reading from a British-Asian poet, Rachna Chowla, of her poem based on her reading of Shakespeare. The event will be rounded off by songs inspired by Shakespeare sung by an acapella group, Anima.

The Ismaili Centre, London is part of an international group of Ismaili Centres in Lisbon, Toronto, Vancouver, Dubai and Dushanbe, which, in addition to being places of prayer for Ismaili Muslims, also hosts educational, cultural and social activities promoting encounters and dialogue between people of different cultures, faiths and nationalities.

These centres are symbolic markers of the permanent presence and core values of Ismaili communities around the world. Incorporating spaces for social and cultural gatherings, intellectual engagement and reflection, as well as spiritual contemplation, they are bridges of friendship and understanding, and serve to enhance relationships among faith communities, government and civil society. 




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