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Portugal granted national citizenship to Prince Aga Khan 2019-03-19

Sunday, 2019, March 31
H.H. The Aga Khan was granted citizenship of Portugal by the President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa
Pedro Benevides

Aga Khan, the 49th hereditary Imam and spiritual leader of the Ismaili Shia Muslims, is the most recent Portuguese citizen . The announcement was made by the President of the Republic during the closing ceremony of the Aga Khan Music Awards, which took place in Lisbon this Sunday. The attribution of Portuguese citizenship was approved by the government two weeks ago, but only now announced by Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, and in recognition of the actions undertaken by the Prince in favor of the Portuguese Republic . “I am very proud to have you as a Portuguese citizen, while at the same time being a citizen of the world”, said Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

The relationship between Portugal and the Aga Khan developed more intensely from 2015 onwards, after the signing of the bilateral agreement that stipulates that the world headquarters of the Imamat Isamili , an institution led by Prince Aga Khan, will be located in Lisbon. To install the headquarters, Aga Khan bought the Henrique Mendonça Palace from Universidade Nova de Lisboa — a building from the beginning of the 20th century, classified as a property of public interest since 1982. After the rehabilitation works, it will house the office of the community leader, but also the structure responsible for the Aga Khan Development Network, in particular the Aga Khan Foundation.

The Aga Khan Development Network began its activity in Portugal in 1983, through the Aga Khan Portugal Foundation, and it is since that year that the Imam has had a diplomatic representative in the country. The presence has been reinforced since 2015 and has been visible in the Institution's solidarity component, from helping victims of the fires in Pedrogão to donating works of art .

Lisbon was recently chosen as the venue for the closing ceremony of the Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee celebrations .

The closing ceremony of the Aga Khan Music Awards, worth US$500,000 , took place at the Gulbenkian Foundation. The ceremony ended with a final show that brought together nine winners, from six categories and from 13 countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and North America. The Egyptian Mustafa Said was the big winner in the performance category of this first edition of the awards created by Prince Aga Khan with the aim of promoting artistic and musical creation with Islamic roots.

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