On Sunday 18 May 2014, over 150 people attended the premier of The Khojas: A Journey of Faith at Century Cinema in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The Khojas: A Journey of Faith is a documentary produced by the Mulla Asgher Memorial Library and Resource Center (MARC) in association with The World Federation of KSIMC. The documentary explores the history of the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri community, produced and directed by Dr Hasnain Walji.
Dr Hasnain is the past president of The World Federation and has been researching into the history of the Khoja community for over 10 years. In producing this 120 minute long film, he has spent a year travelling around the world. In the documentary, he meets individuals from different backgrounds who provide an insight into the journey of the Khoja community.
This is the first-ever documentary film exploring the 700-year history of the Khojas Shia Ithna-Asheri Community. For so long, many of the elders in our community have expressed a wish that the story, of who the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheris are, must be told for future generations to glean an understanding and appreciation of their ancestors’ struggles, trials, tribulations as well as triumphs as they spread across the globe.
The trailer for the documentary can be viewed below:
There are less than 150,000 Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheris in the world. In comparison, there are approximately 200 million Shia Ithna-Asheris worldwide. Yet, the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri community are perceived to have a presence and influence that far exceeds their size.
In this 120 minute documentary, we follow Dr Hasnain Walji on his journey around the world as he meets a distinguished panel of experts, prominent personalities, and historians who appear on camera to explore the journey of the community and where it is today. They encourage viewers to re-examine their own preconceived notions of Khojas and help appreciate the small yet very effective global network the Community has been able to build.
Dr Hasnain Walji comments:
‘ The experience has been humbling as has been an inspiring one. This, I will be the first to admit, is not by any means a complete history, but a mere glimpse into the genesis and evolution of our Community. Much has remained unsaid, many have remained unmentioned, many towns and cities unvisited and many stories untold, in my endeavors to contain 650 years in less than 120 minutes’.
The documentary received fantastic feedback from those who attended.
Shan-E-Abbas Hassam, Secretary General of The World Federation comments:
‘Dr Walji and his team at MARC have been working on this project for well over a year – with filming taking place in India, Africa and Pakistan. With over 130 hours of footage, painstaking effort has been put in by him to cut this into less than two hours. The film gives a great overview of our community’s history and evolution .’
A number of youth attended the premier also.
Fatimah Jessa from Stanmore Jamaat, UK said:
‘I loved every moment of the documentary! It gave me a real insight into the history of the Khoja community and how it has evolved over the years.’
Tehsin Turabali from Dar-es-Salaam Jamaat, Tanzania comments:
‘ The documentary was amazing! It is clear a lot of hard work and effort has gone into producing this film and it has taught everyone something new about the Khoja community. I personally have gained a deeper understanding of what my ancestors went through and how the Khoja community is what it is now.’
For more information, please visit http://www.khojajourneyoffaith.org/