Leg 4...Tajikistan! We are in Dushanbe for a wedding, which has provided a surreal opportunity to observe a beautiful blend of Khoja (Indian-African) and Pamiri (Central Asian) Shi’a Ismaili cultures and traditions. ❤️🌏✈️ One of the highlights of the trip was getting to know our faith community in Khorog, which is the capital of the Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous region and +95% Shi’a Ismaili Muslim. Words can’t even begin to describe the experience - from boarding a tiny plane that flew us through the Pamir Mountains (“Roof of the World”, with some of the highest mountains in the world), so close that it felt like I could reach out and touch the snow-covered peaks, gazing across the river into Afghanistan (historically, Gorno-Badakhshan spread across Afghanistan and Tajikistan, until fighting empires divided the land), walking through the second highest botanical garden in the world, touring the first ever Ismaili Centre and Jamatkhana in Khorog, prior to its grand opening later this year, visiting the University of Centra Asia - Khorog campus, and learning so much every second about how the Pamiri live, learn, earn, pray, and more. ❤️🌏 ✈️ I thought this photo was a great way to capture the spirit of this trip. Although they look quite basic, traditional Pamiri houses are one of the most important repositories of Pamiri culture as they are rich in religious and philosophical meaning, and the symbolism of specific structural features goes back over 2.5 thousand years. The skylight in this photo is a typical feature of these houses; it consists of four concentric square box-type layers, which represent the elements of earth, water, air and fire, respectively. ❤️🌏 ✈️ This and other house features are represented prominently in all types of architecture across the country. This skylight was on the stage used by the Aga Khan on his first historic visit to Tajikistan in 1995 (and subsequent visits). The foresight and tireless work of the Aga Khan Development Network in this region is so inspiring, and I look forward to learning more about how I can help support them.