Tajik students showcased rich
cultural performances at the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa, seen
[from left] Rukhshona Sinavbarova, Abror Alibekov, Alisher
Kukanbekov, Gulbegim Rahimjonova, Alisher Abdumamadov, Muslima
Niyozmamadova, Aminulloh Mamadziyoev, Masrur Rahimjonov,
Fazliddin Orumbekov, Farosat Alamshoeva, Ganjina Vanjova, Zarina
Mamadbekova, Isminoz Jamshedova, Furuzon Atobekova, Sabrina
Turonshoeva, Anzhela Mirzoeva, Shukufa Sultonmamad, Zuhali
Suhrob, Tablina Mavlonazarova, Nekbakht Alibekova and Nafisa
PHOTOS BY RAHIM KARA
Tajik students at the Aga Khan Academy
Mombasa transported their audience to the “Roof of the World” -
as their native region of Pamir Mountains is famously known -
through their rich, cultural performances on 18th
March 2017, writes HAIFA
The event showcased Tajik culture
while focusing on the theme of “Novruz”, which refers to
the Persian New Year that marks the spring equinox and
is one of the major festivals celebrated in Tajikistan.
It is also observed across Iran,
several Central Asian countries, and the Caucasus.
The Tajik students at the Academy,
along with their mentor, teacher, and event organizer
Ms. Rukhshona Sinavbarova, recreated the feel of Novruz
through the traditional music featured in the event and
the food served, which included pilau, fresh fruits,
dried fruits and nuts, and bread.
The traditional costumes and jewellery
worn by the student ushers also added much colour and
authenticity to the celebration.
The student performances showcased
cultural dances, practices such as the traditional style
of courting, marriage ceremonies, and greeting
One of the most appealing themes
featured in the student performances was that of Sufiism,
a mystical interpretation of Islam that is intertwined
with religious and cultural practices across the Middle
East, South Asia, and Central Asia.
Year 12 student Alisher Kukanbekov and
Year 10 student Nekbakht Alibekova took the audience
into a trance with their mesmerizing Sufi dance, and one
of the youngest performers, Isminoz Jamshedova of Year 7
tugged on everyone’s heartstrings by passionately
singing the Persian poet Hafiz Shirazi’s verses.
The intricate details of the
decorations, giveaways, food, music, and powerful
performances required months of planning and
The show was a proud celebration of
Tajik culture, and relayed an important message through
student monologues about the importance of identity and
connection with one’s cultural heritage.
PHOTOS BY RAHIM KARA
Ms. Sinavbarova said, “Through
showcasing the celebration of Novruz, our Tajik students opened
our eyes to the reality that today, humanity greater than ever
before needs an in–depth sense of ethics, love, unity, and of
The verse by Saadi Sherozi, which is
inscribed on the United Nation’s building entrance was
beautifully recited by Zarina Mamadbekova and captured the main
theme of the show: Human beings are members of a whole, in
creation of one essence and soul.”
Moreover, the student performers
encouraged members of the audience to reflect on their own
identity as well.
“In these extremely divisive times,
where identities are in constant crisis, asserting who you
are in context is not just desirable but essential.
“By initiating an event of this
magnitude and grandeur, without losing its core essence
which is a celebration of one’s roots and one’s pride in
cultural identity – is a favour these students have done to
the rest of us more than to themselves,” said Mr. Shouquot
Hussain, Senior School Diploma Programme Coordinator.
“The student engagement was immersive,
and at the same time inclusive. They were saying how you can
retain selfhood while being a part of the main. And they
said it beautifully,” stated Mr. Hussain.
The Aga Khan Strand of Pluralism, one
of the focal points of the curriculum at the Academy, encourages
students to celebrate diversity.
Events such as Pamir: Roof of the
World are not only entertaining and educational but also
showcase the strength that lies in co-existing peacefully and
respectfully by appreciating and learning from cultures
different than our own.