And on the Last Day, Plant a Tree: Photography Exhibition by Prince Hussain Aga Khan
The photography exhibition introduced visitors to the activities of the Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan Fund for the Environment, the environmental program of the Aga Khan Development Network. Prince Hussain Aga Khan's photographs bring vibrant, lively images of nature and animals, drawing focus to the subject rather than the picture's angle or style. His photographs portray the urgent need for environmental stewardship, challenging viewers to pursue global initiatives on biodiversity, deforestation, global warming, pollution and eco-tourism.
The title of the exhibition, "And on the Last Day Plant a Tree," is inspired by a passage from the Hadiths, or traditions, in which the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, "When the last day comes, if someone has a palm shoot in his hand, he should plant it." Environmental stewardship has been an inherent belief in Muslim societies for centuries, and Prince Hussain's exhibit shares this consciousness with audiences.
An avid photographer and environmentalist, Prince Hussain is committed to sharing his concern for protecting the environment. At an early age, Prince Hussain Aga Khan was inspired by the conservation work that his uncle, Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, pursued during his lifetime through the Bellerive Foundation. Today, his uncle's legacy lives on in the work of the Aga Khan Fund for the Environment and the convictions fueling Prince Hussain's photography.
Proceeds from exhibition sales were donated to the Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan Fund for the Environment. With projects primarily in poor areas of Asia and Africa, the Fund works to protect fragile ecosystems while addressing broad development issues, assisting communities to use natural resources in a sustainable, responsible manner.
To accomplish these complex goals, the Fund works in concert with other agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network, such as the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance, the Aga Khan Education Services, the Aga Khan Health Services, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the Tourism Promotion Services of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development.
The Fund's activities highlight the connections between poverty and the penury of natural resources. For example, land reclamation in despoiled or arid areas in Africa and Asia is a part of programs to raise incomes and manage natural resources. The creation of the 30-hectare Azhar Park on a former rubble dump in the heart of Historic Cairo is also a catalyst for social and urban revitalization in the neighboring Darb al-Ahmar district. All of the Fund's projects address existing or emerging issues in the developing world with environmentally friendly solutions.