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Welcome to Khoja Wiki

WHAT IS KHOJAWIKI?

A not-for-profit collaborative effort to systematically record living peoples' own experiences and their recollection of the stories of their parents and other ancestors in their own words using the reach of the Internet.

We strongly believe, as many of you also do, that the remarkable 700-year entrepreneurial migratory history of the Khojas of Western Gujarat should not be allowed to be lost just because our elders are passing away.

The Khoja Diaspora

The Khoja are recognized by historians and other scholars as a distinct socio-cultural group with its their own written script- Khojki; with a tradition of preserving spoken and written Kutchi and Gujarati, with strong ability to preserve its own literature, poetry/song(ginans & geets) and dance (Raas) as well as proudly retaining, over centuries, a unique personal naming tradition that recognizes their syncretic subcontinental identity. They have had a long history of mercantilism and migration – progressing from petty traders in Multan and Sind in the 14th & 15th centuries and then as artisans and vendors after migrating with their ruler's in the conquest of Kutch and Kathiawar in the late 1600s;still later as itinerant traders, continental and transcontinental merchants and industrialists into the rest of India, Asia and Africa under the aegis of British imperial domain. That, in turn has to lead to the on-going diaspora to the rest of the world where they thrive as businesspersons and professionals.

This long history of transition is made up of thousands of very rich personal stories of courage, sacrifice, strongly-held family values and a fine tradition of public service or "sewa". And these stories – of each person and each family and the collective peoples history – is a treasure not only for future generations of those families but also for the Khoja as a community but also for general society.

Due to multiple migrations, the traditional way of passing down ancestral information from parent to child has been lost and unfortunately our collective memory currently stands broken. As more of our elders pass away, they take with them important links to our complex identity – the very answers that our children and friends demand – who are we and how did we get here. (we say we have vepar business "in our blood" - how did that happen?). At same time, we all know that feeling &ndash - that time is taking away something that is being lost forever.

Recently a well-known Dutch historian Gijsbert G. Oonk, in explaining how his professor persuaded him to write about Indians in East Africa said:

"He encouraged me to write a history from below or, more specifically, a history of people without history."

These unintended but gravely offensive words have spurred us onto this mission.

Iqbal I. Dewji, Editor

Some statistics

It is Thursday, October 21, 2021 and KhojaWiki.org currently has over 360 personal histories and 27,530 names on our community tree.

See full list here

Featured Content

Some brilliant stories created by our contributors and carefully picked by our editors.

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Personal Histories

Consult the index of over 350 personal histories.

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Volunteers and Supporters

We Wish to Honour Some of Our Dedicated Volunteers & Supporters Every Week. You make Khoja Wiki possible!

Read more

Write Your Story – Make Our History

Check your family member name in our 25,000 plus database. Register as a User and add your family histories!

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Some Remarkable Women in our History

Read their life stories of these strong women! Now translated into Gujarati so you can share with your elders!

ગુજરાતીમાં અનુવાદિત - તેથી તમે વડીલો સાથે શેર કરો

Khojawiki News

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Featured content

FEATURED PROMINENT PERSONALITY
Currimbhoy Photo 2.png

Sir Currimbhoy Ibrahim, 1st Baronet

Among those who contributed to India's present position as a formidable industrial power were the business titans of the nineteenth century, who despite the constraints of British colonial rule, managed to create huge commercial and industrial conglomerates that outdid those of their masters.

These days, we are familiar with the Tatas and Birlas but it was the early textile magnets with their 136 mills between 1856 and 1900, who gave India its export economy. There were at least seven Khoja mill owners among them, of whom the most successful entrepreneur and renowned philanthropist was Sir Currimbhoy Ebrahim, who went on to be made the first and only Khoja Baron (Lord) from India, (the only other being Lord Amir Bhatia of Hampton) with a grant of lands recognized by the British Crown and a hereditary title that has remained in his family since..

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FROM OUR HISTORY

Earliest Portuguese Historical Reference To Khoja Merchants

1543 AD

Check it out here!!! Khoja Shams-ud-din Gillani
FEATURED ESSAY
Quedagh Merchant vessel.jpg

The Quedagh Merchant

17th Century ships built by Indians in Surat"

A wealthy Khoja merchant from Surat, whose ship, the "Quedagh Merchant" was captured by Captain William Kidd, the notorious British pirate and for which Capt. Kidd was hanged 300 years ago!

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Personal Histories

Index of over 350 personal histories.
Each is unique and most contain fascinating stories of migration and settlement of the Khojas.
Person
Aziz Khaki
Abdul Aziz
Abdulali Esmail Somji
Abdulhussein Peera Dewjee
Abdulla Shariff Kanji
Abdullah Hashim Gangji
Abdullah Ibrahim Rahimtoola
Abdullah Jaffer Lakhpati
Abdallah Ratansi
Abdulrasul Alibhai Kassim-Lakha
Abdulrasul Allidina Visram
Abdulrasul Fazal Moloo
Abdulrub Peera Dewjee
Abualy Alibhai Aziz
Adam Adu
Adam Akberali
AG Abdulhussein
Ahmed Devji
Ahmed Ibrahim Rahimtoola
Ahmedali Nizari
Akber Maherali Sorathia
Akberbhai Makhani
Akberali Fazal Ismail
Akberali Merali Jiwa
Akberali Merali Jiwa
Al Noor Kassum
Alarakhia Dossani
Alarakhia Kheraj
Alimohamed Chunara
Ali Sachoo
Ali Visram
Alibhai Gulamhusein Jiwani
Alibhai Hasham Jeraj
Alibhai Hasham Rawji
Alibhai Lalji Kara Abhwani
Alibhai Nanji
Alibhai Thawer
Alidina Asani
Alidina Kanji Ramji
Alidina Kanji Ramji
Alimohomed Jessa Bhaloo
Alladina Giga Patney
Allidina Visram
Allu Visram
Alnashir Hasham
Alnoor Hassanali Karim Abdulla
Alyque Padamsee
Ameerali R Jumabhoy
Amersi Manji Lakhani
Amil Issa Shivji
Amil Issa Shivji
Amin Kassam
Aminbhai Nazerali Abhwani
Amir Habib Jamal
Amir Husein Kheraj
Amirali Bhatia
Amirali Karmali Mukwano
Anverali Aziz Charania
Arif Virani
Assa Danidina
Azim Premji
Aziz Charania
Aziz Hashim
Aziz Tejpar
Badru G. Moosa
Badrudin Hassam Satchu
Bud Sayany
Badrudin P.V. Rajani
Ben Kingsley
Bhanji Jiwa
Bhimji Hamir
Cassum J. Rahimtoola
Currimbhoy Ebrahim
Dahya Punja
Datardina Wandani
Datoo Meru
Dolly Bhanji
Dewjee Parpia
Dewji Jamal
Dhalla Walji
Dhanji Jadavji Bhatia
Dharamshi Hasham
Dharamsi Khatau
Dolatkhanu Alibhai Jiwani
Dossa Thawer
Eboo Pirbhai
Ebrahim HAJI
Ebrahim Jamal Pradhan
Ebrahim Pabaney
Esmail Jetha
Faisal Devji
Fakirmohamed Gaidher
Fatma Peera Dewjee
Fatmabai Kassamali Bhatia
Fazal Ibrahim Rahimtoola
Fazal Master
Fazal Khamis Valli Nathu
Fazalbhoy Currimbhoy Ebrahim
Firoz Goa
Firoz Shroff
Firoze Madatally Manji
GhulamHussain M. Dharas
GhulamHussain M. Jindani
Gulamali Jina Madhavji
Gulamhusein Khamis Valli
Gulamhusein Moloo Hirji
Gulamhusein Rajpar Ladak
Gulamhussein Abdulrasul Dhalla
Gulamhussein Bhaloo Kurji
Gulamhussein Mohamed Meghji
Gulamhussein Moledina Bhimani
Gulamhussein Dedhar
Gulamhussein Remtulla
Gulsaker Dewji
Gulu Ramji
Habib Adat Dewji
Habib Ibrahim Rahimtoola
Habib Mawji Nathani
Habib R.Lalani
Haider Hasham
Haider Pirbhai Jetha
Haji Dada
Haji Dharamsi Khatau
Haji Ladak
Haji Musa Alana
Hasanaly Currimbhoy Ibrahim
Hasham Jamal Pradhan
Hasham Jessa
Hashum J. Rahimtoola
Hassan Bhanji Jiwa
Hassan Kassim Lakha
Hassanali Abdulla CHagpar
Hassanali Gulamhusein Khaki
Hassanali Juma
Hassanali Moloo Alarkhia
Hassanali Nanji Balolia
Hassanali Nanji Giga
Hassanali Nasser Thaver
Hassanali Walji Kanji
Hoosenaly Rahimtoola
Husein Alarakhia Kheraj
Husein Mohamedally Nazarally
Hussein Alibhai Mullani
Hussein Jaffer Bhimji Colombowalla
Hussein Walji Nayani
Ibrahim Hasham
Ibrahim Ladha
Ibrahim Lila
Ibrahim Meru
Ibrahim Nathoo
Sir Ibrahim Rahimtoola
Ibrahim Suleman Haji
Iqbal Gilani
Ismail Bhallo
Ismail Gangji
Ismail H Ebrahim
Ismail Jaffer Somji
Ismail Kassmani
Ismail Mohamed Dewji
Ismail Rahimtulla Walji Hirji
Ismail Ranmal
Issa Gulamhussein Shivji
Issa Gulamhussein Shivji
Issa Kassam Abji
Jadavji Walji Bhatia
Jaffar Ahmed Nizari
Jaffer Bhimji
Jaffer Daya
Jaffer Padamsee
Jaffer Rahimtoola
Jaffer Remtalla
Jaffer Somji
Jaffer Thawer
Jafferali Ali Meghji
Jafferali Dhanji Suleman
Jafferbhoy Gangji
Jamal Bhanji Jiwa
Jamal Pradhan- Kisumu
Janmohamed Hansraj
Janmohammed Bhanji Jiwa
Jeraj Shariff
Jina Madhavji
Jivraj Khatau
Jiwan Lalji Velji
John Shamsudin Karmali
Juma Bhagat Ismail
Juma Haji
Juma Lalji Ladha
Kabir Jivraj
Kabir Merali Jiwa
Kaderbhoy Adam
Kamrudin Hasham Jessa
Kamrudin Jeraj Shariff
Kanji Jetha Lala
Kara Ruda
Kara Samji Abhwani
Karamali Dahya Walji
Karim Jamal
Karim Moledina Pirani
Kassam Abji
Kassam Dewji
Kassam Haji
Kassam Rawji Mullani
Kassamali Hirji Jessani
Kassamali Paroo
Khaki Shivji Karachiwalla
Khamisa Devraj
Khoja Shams-ud-din Gillani
Kulsum Abdulrasul Wazir
Kulsumbai Abdulla Hasham
Kurban Dewji of Kurban & Party
Labai Vellani
Ladha Mawji
Lalji Kara Abhwani|
Lalji Ladha Sumar
Lalji Ladha
Laljibhai Devraj
Madatali Rehmtulla Nanji
Madatally Manji
Madhavjee Jessani
Maherali Gokal Versi
Maheroon Mawji
Mamda Kassam
Manbai Rahimtoola
Manji Ghulamhussian Padamsee
Mansoor Ladha
Maqbool Habib Rahimtoola
Mehboob Dewji
Mehboob Madhavjee Jessani
Mehboob Madhavjee Jessani
Mehdi Bawa
Mithibai Habib Dewji
Mohamed Dewji Bhagat
Mohamed H. Ahamed Sumar
Mohamed Hamir
MohamedJaffer R. Hansraj
Mohamed Khalfan
Mohamed Manek
Mohamed Nanji Nathani
Mohamed Suleman Zanzibar
Mohamed-Jaffer Habib Bhayani
Mohamedali Natha Hirji
Mohamedali Pirbhai
Mohamedali Suleman Meghji
Mohamedally Nazarally
Mohamedally Rattansi
MohamedHussein Karim Gaidher
Mohammad Rahimtoola
Mohammed Gulam Dewji
Muhammad (Mohomedali) Jinnah
Muhammad Husayn Tharia Topan
Muhammad Muradali Juma
Muhammed Hashim Premji
Mumtaz Akberali
Murabbi Shariff Jiwa Surti
Murad Rajabali Velshi
Musa Mzuri Kanji
Mussa Jetha
Mussabhai Ismat
Naaz Bandali
Nadiya Mohemedali Mandani
Naheed Nenshi
Najarali Mohmedali Pattni
Najmudin Kassam Dewji
Nargis Ali Ashgar Hamadanee
Nargis Dhanji Bhatia
Nasser Lila
Nasser Noormohamed
Nasser Virji
Natha Hirji
Naushad Noorali Merali
Nazaralli Remtulla
Nazerali Dewji
Nazerali Lalji Abhwani
Nensi Parpia
Nizar (Nizoo) Ismail Munjee
Noor Nagji
Nooruddin Mohammed Rahimtoola
Nurbanu Gulamhussein Moledina
Nurdin Merali Jiwa
Nurmohamed Jeraj Shariff
P Dossa
Padamsee Viru
Parvez Vira
Peera Dewjee
Pira Khimji
Rahemtulla Walji Virji
Rahim Ajmudin Samnani
Rahimtoola Kaderbhoy
Rahimtulla Walji Hirji
Rajabali Hashm Paroo
Rajabali Jumabhoy
Rajabali Meghji Visram
Mukhi Rajan Nanji
Mukhi Rajan Nanji
Ramji Ladha Mullani
Ramzan Hasham Jamal
Ramzanali Shariff Jamal
Rashid Adat Dewji
Rashid Kassam Nanji
Ratansi Alwani
Razia Gulmohamad
Razia Nathani Suleman
Rehmat Bai Ratansi
Rishad Azim Premji
Rosy Kassam
Rozina Visram
Sachedina Peermohammed Mawji
Sadru Kassam
Sadrudin Hasham Ramji
Sadrudin Rajabali Meghji
Safder Shariff Alladina
Sakar Kassamali Jessani
Saleem Kassum
Salim Bhanji
Samji Kanji Asani
Saukat Dhanani
Sewa Haji Paroo
Shamshu Alidina
Shamshu Bhanji Jiwa
Shariff Jiwa Surti
Sherali Bandali Jaffer
Sherali Jaffer Bhimani
Sherali Thaver
Sherbanu G.Jina Madhavji
Shiraz Sumar
Somji Chaggan
Somji Khakhuani Mawji Bhimani
Sugra Allidina Visram
Suleman J. Rahimtoola
Suleman Versi
Sultan Habib Kassam Dewji
Sultan Kamrudin Jessa
Sir Tharia Topan
U Kan Gyi
Valabhai M Nazarali
Walji Kanji
Yasmeen Azim Premji
Yasmin Ajijbai Mithwani
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown
Yasmin Ratansi
Yusuf A. Karim
Zainub Verjee
Zarina Mohamed Khimji Punjani
Zehra Jaffer Gulamali
Zerakhanu Dhanji Bhatia
Zerakhanu R.F.Alidina
Zubeida Sultan Chinoy
Zulfikar Amirali H.Juma
Moloobhai Alarakhia Dossani
Abdulla Jetha
Abdulla Pirmohamed

Volunteers and Supporters

We Wish to Honour Some of Our Dedicated Volunteers & Supporters Every Week.


1. Farida Giga for being a Khojawiki Centre volunteer for the last 15 months;

2. Shamshtabrez Dhirani of Edmonton for his help in circulating our emails;

3. Naren Valabh Kanji VARAMBHIA of London, UK for his generous help with Gujarati;

4. Zakir Kassam of Mississauga for his help in entering family trees;

5. Mohammed Rahimtoola of Karachi for his continued support;

6. Ali Amlani of Toronto for putting his photographic skills to our use for our events;

7. Zeenat Shariff of Toronto for her effort as a coordinator;

8. Dr. Hasnain Walji of MARC for his encouragement;

9. Dr. Alnoor Abdulla of Vancouver for his hospitality & words of encouragement;

10. Mohamed Mullani of Toronto with his donations of office equipment & generous support;

Our Volunteers Need Your Encouragement

Contact Us Here

Write Your Story – Make Our History

Check Your Family Member Here

Please check various spelling etc. to avoid duplication.


Become a member

To prevent abuse, we request that you contact us if you wish to be registered as a user and to be able to add information about your family.

Request user account

Contribute

Once you receive your username and password and have logged in, please follow this instruction to add content.

How to add content?

Ask for help

Alternatively, just fill this simple Google form and we'll be happy to enter the information about your family to Khojawiki for you!

I prefer to fill a form

Remarkable Women

Click on the photos to read the life stories of these remarkable women!

ગુજરાતીમાં અનુવાદિત - તેથી તમે વડીલો સાથે શેર કરો

Now translated into Gujarati so you can share with your elders!

In the News

KHOJAWIKI IS AN ASSOCIATE PRODUCER OF "TUG OF WAR".

Recently, the Swahili film, "Vuta Nkuvute" or " Tug of War" by renowned Director, Amil Shivji had its Premiere Gala at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) Bell Theatre in Toronto. This full length production is the first Tanzanian film selected for screening at the prestigious TIFF.

Amil's passion for the story of forbidden love between a young African revolutionary and a runaway Khoja bride, as well the art of filmmaking is evident in every frame. Please ask your family and friends to view this sensitive and beautiful film, shot on location in Zanzibar and Dar es salaam.

Khojawiki is a proud Associate Producer of this film - our support arises from our mission to highlight the heritage of the Swahili language, with many Indian loan-words, themselves largely of Kutchi origin. (Read more about Khoja history inZanzibar here.)

KHOJAWIKI SECURES A TREASURE – TROVE OF GERMAN COLONIAL RECORDS OF KHOJAS IN TANZANIA.

During a recent visit to the German National Archives in Koblenz, we discovered some recently digitized records from Tanzania - a couple of very detailed German Colonial Handbooks dated 1903-1904-and 1908.

From those, our volunteers have painstakingly extracted all recorded Khoja family names & details and added them on to the Khojawiki website database.

This is a valuable find- thousands of Khojas from Tanzania can now find confirmation of their family oral history...of their great-grandparents and trace them to various towns and villages of their first settlement, including the Dukas and other businesses they established. We have names and business details from centers like Morogoro, Kilosa, Bagamoyo, Dar es Salaam, Pangani, etc. and also from small “bush” settlements like Magalla, etc.

All the towns and names are listed underneath and the detailed information for each ancestor is up-loaded on the Khojawiki database. Please check your family name on the general search engine above to see if your ancestor has been recorded.

Once again, we at Khojawiki are very proud of our volunteers who are trying to preserve our family heritage so our grandchildren can know their real past.

SEARCH HERE, AND THEN INSERT NAME IN MAIN SEARCH ENGINE ABOVE


KHOJAWIKI AT THE SECOND KHOJA STUDIES CONFERENCE, MUMBAI UNIVERSITY, Jan 2019

Mr. I. I. Dewji, Director of the Khoja Oral Family History Documentation Project was invited to speak to a conference at Mumbai University that included, amongst many other scholars, the Directors of the two very prestigious academic institutions engaged in Khoja Studies-The School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS) of the University of Paris and the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London.

Mr. Dewji's presentation was on the subject of "Crowd-sourcing and Wiki initiatives in history preservation."

We are pleased to provide a video of his talk:

KHOJAWIKI TEAMS UP TO BRING YOU A USEFUL SERVICE.

A constant complaint in the West is that children do not understand grandparents when they speak Kutchi language. Valuable opportunities for transmitting knowledge, history or just family interaction are lost.

Whilst it may be hard to learn a whole new language, Alykhan Kaba has a solution - a web-based translator app that will help you with over several thousand words. It's free and run by a not-for-profit organization.

http://www.kutchilanguageonline.org is an open website where you can translate almost all words that we commonly encounter in Kutchi. It provides English to Kutchi and reverse.

Try it. Surprise Nanimaa. It will be fun and it will heartwarming.

KHOJAWIKI LAUNCHES "DIASPORIC DISTRACTIONS" IN NORTH AMERICA
Mr. Iqbal I. Dewji, Dr Mohamed Keshavjee and Mr. Ali Velshi. Photo credit: Aly Zahur Ramji
Mr. Iqbal I. Dewji, Dr Mohamed Keshavjee and Mr. Ali Velshi. Photo credit: Aly Zahur Ramji

Khojawiki.org was the venue for the launch in Canada of a new book on short stories “Diasporic Distractions” marking the Indian diaspora in Africa with a particular focus on the end of the colonial era.

The book was launched by Iqbal I. Dewji, Director of Khojawiki at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in Toronto on Sunday 6th May 2018.

Mr. Dewji formally launching "Diasporic Distractions". Photo credit: Aly Zahur Ramji
Mr. Dewji formally launching "Diasporic Distractions". Photo credit: Aly Zahur Ramji
KHOJAWIKI TORONTO DROP-IN CENTRE CLOSED DURING THE PANDEMIC:

Sadly, we wish to let you know that the Khojawiki Drop-In Centre is currently closed in order to reduce the risk to our seniors - we continue to receive mail. Please send your written materials at the following address:

Our complete contact:

KHOJAWIKI, c/o 6 Garamond Court, Suite 254, Don Mills, Ontario, Canada, M3C 1Z5

Email: contact@khojawiki.org

PARENTS NOTE: HIGH SCHOOL COMMUNITY SERVICE HOURS

In Canada, high school students must volunteer 40 hours to the community service and as a registered charity, we are qualified to provide the necessary certification. Please contact us if you can get a student in your family to build your family tree and at the same time qualify for these hours. This way, they would likely never forget their ancestral lineage!Contact Us Here

Past News