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The Life and Seva of
Mohamedali Amarsi
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Mohamedali Mohan Amarsi

 Born in 1929 in Lamu, Kenya, East Africa. 


Mohamadali sitting on far left next to sister Maherunisa and brother Fazal

Mohamedali's childhood was known as the Dark Days ~ No cars, tv's, electricity, or running water.  Everyone walked to school, sports activities, and Jamatkhana.   This time would later be known as the world famous and historic depression of the 1930's.


"From the young age of 6, Iwas inspired by watching older volunteers performing jamati seva and I hope that my seva has inspired many youngsters to join in any jamati institutional  seva.  My jamati seva began at the age of 7 and I am now 77 years old and still serving the jamat, helping Muki Kamadia Sahebs."

In 1936 Pir Sabzaali, then Msisionary Sabzaali, came to East Africa to arrange for the Golden Jubilee of our 48th Imam Mowlana Sultan Mohamed Shah.  The Golden Jubilee took place in Nairobi, Kenya in 1937.  I was 7 years old and joined the Water Society.


Mohamedali is sitting on the floor in front of  Prince Aly Salman Khan  (Hazar Imam's father)

Ismaili families were given farmans by the 47th Imam Aly Shah and 48th Imam Aga Sultan Mohamed Shah to leave Cutch and Kathiawar for a better life elsewhere.  Thus Ismailis relocated to various parts of Indai, Burma, Zanzibar, and East and South Africa in the later 1800's and early 1900's. 
Our jamat had just come out of depression and wanted to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the 48th Imam Mowlana Sultan Mohamed Shah in India and East Africa. 
Pir Sabzaali (then Missionary Subzaali) came to East Africa from India to make arrangements for the Jubilee by visiting jamats in every town.



The Golden Jubilee celebration in Nairobi, Kenya 1937


In 1937, the second world war started.  Mowlana Hazar Imam and his brother Amyn settled in Nairobi, away from the war in Europe.  In 1941, Prince Aly Shah visited Nairobi to see his sons and during that time he visited Mombasa.


Mohamedali is the 4th boy from left sitting on the floor



The Amarsi family was sending Lamu mangos from Mombasa to Nairobi at Sir Eboo Pirbhai's residence for then Prince Karim and Prince Amyn.  This is one of the letters from Prince Aly Shah to thank the Amarsi family.



In 1942, Mohamedali joined the Boy Scouts and the Band Group.






Here he is sitting on the floor.




The Jamat in India and East Africa decided to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee (60 years) of our 48th Imam Mowlana Sultan Mohamed Shah.  Mohamedali served as a Boyscout and in the Band group in Dar-es-Salaam in 1946.


After the war in 1946, the Jamat in India and Africa celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of Mowlana Sultan Mohamed Shah



For the celebration in Dar-es-Salaam, Ismailis traveled by charter trains and busses to Kilindini Harbor in Mombasa.  Mohamedali was among a group of Ismailis that were there to receive the visitors, give them food, and assisted them on board the steam ship M.V. Vasna to Dar-es-Salaam. 

In Dar-es-Salam, there were no hotel facilities, so temporary camps were built and food was served to the jamat.

In 1948, Mowlana Sultan Mohamed Shah visited East Africa again.  In this picture, Mohamedali is the first boyscout on the left.



Due to ill health, Mowlana Sultan Mohamed Shah passed away and in 1957 his grandson was declared the 49th Imam of the Ismaili Muslims ~ Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussany Hazar Imam


To continue please click on:

 Seva ~ Part 2