CIRCULAR NO: JMT/029/22 Date: December 12, 2022
The Africa Federation Chairman is pleased to announce the appointment of Alhaj Amir Jafferali Merali of Mombasa as the AFED as head of Restoration Project of the KSI Properties in Lamu, Kenya with immediate effect.
Amir bhai is a well-known Community worker who has been serving Mombasa Jamaat and Africa Federation for the past five decades in different fields, his keen interest is in higher education and economic development of our Community members.
He is currently a Nominated Councillor of Africa Federation and the Trustee of KSI Jamaat of Mombasa.
In recognition and appreciation of his honorary services to the Community, Amir bhai was bestowed the Abbasi Medal in 2016 by the then Chairman of Africa Federation Alhaj Anwarali Dharamsi.
Lamu has a historical significance and also sentimental attachment to our Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Community, the settlement of our community and the formation of the Jamaat in Lamu began following the migration of our Community from India and Zanzibar. The first migration took place in Lamu in about 1870 when Murrabbi Alhaj Dewji Jamaal, a rich Ithna-Asheri merchant of Mumbai and Zanzibar established a branch of his company Dewji Jamal & Co in Lamu which was then the chief port of Kenya. The period 1880-1890 witnessed a large number of Ithnaasheri arrivals in Lamu. Most of the new arrivals came from Kutch or Kathiawad from Gujarat, India but some also came from older Khoja settlements along the East African coast like Bagamoyo, Zanzibar and Kilwa. This was the beginning of our Jamaat in Lamu. (AFED Archives Section will soon issue a News Bulletin with more information about Lamu, our Jamaat and the properties).
Briefly, KSI properties in Lamu is made up of the following:
- The Main Mosque located in the front of the sea-shore in Lamu
- The Imambargha and Madressah including a house for the Imam of the Mosque
- The Cemetery (Kabrastan), well maintained graves of the pioneers and members of the Khoja Shia Ithna Asheri Communities in East Africa.
- Open ground known as Kibaki ground.
The Mosque, Imambargha, Madressah and Imam’s House are in dire need of renovations and refurbishments, Alhaj Amir bhai Merali will make a visit to Lamu with a team of engineers and consultants to survey the works required to restore these historical properties of KSI to a good standard of workmanship and optimization of their usage for Tabligh in Lamu.
More information will be shared with our Community members in Africa and the Diaspora from East Africa in due course, Insha’allah.
We are confident that Alhaj Amir Merali with his zeal and dedication will undertake this noble assignment successfully, we wish to assure him of AFED’s full support and cooperation towards the restoration of the above properties.