Pyarali Jiwa

From Khoja Wiki
Pyarali Jiwa
Pyarali jiwa.png
Town of birth
Country of birth
Date of Birth
  • 1931
Date of Death
  • 2nd February 2021
Place of Death
Country of death
Profession or occupation carriedout for the longest period in life
  • Business
Where-City or Country

Born in 1931 Kabale

Born in Kabale, Uganda in 1931, Pyaralibhai was an Khoja Ismaili and a businessman from Uganda.

Pyarali was a local councillor for the town of Fort Portal, Uganda, between 1959 and 1971. During this time, he also served as treasurer for a local primary and secondary school, as well as chairman of the public library. As a member and treasurer of the Asian Education Society, he also played a leading role in establishing the first secondary school in Fort Portal in 1966. Alongside these voluntary commitments, Pyarali played an active role in the family business across Uganda and launched his own business in Fort Portal in 1954.

Within the Ismaili community, he served as chairman of the Aga Khan Education Committee in Fort Portal from 1959 until 1971 and was a district member for the Aga Khan Regional Council for Uganda in 1968-72. He was also instrumental in the setting-up of Jama‘at Khanas in the region and laid the foundation stone for Kasese Jama‘at Khana in 1966.

After being expelled from Uganda due to political unrest, like many other Asians, and moving to the UK in 1972, Pyarali established a business in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1973. Thereafter, he set up the first Scottish Jama‘at Khana and was the appointed as the first Mukhi Saheb of Edinburgh Jama‘at Khana in 1975.

In 1997 he retired from his business commitments to concentrate on establishing his database of ginans. In so doing, he has ensured that this precious heritage continues to be learnt, sung and studied now and into the future.

He has one of the finest collections of books and CDs. He has made numerous presentations to communal Institutions, conferences such as the Khoja Studies Conference at Bombay University, and others.

He has served in various jamati and civic society Institutions in Uganda and latter, the UK and supports the Senior Clubs, Ginan classes and Ginan mehfils world-wide. He is the founder member of the Association for Study of Ginans and was its Chairperson for many years.

He has dedicated years to preserve the Ginan collection electronically for the benefit of present and future generations. He developed the first version of the Ginan database in 2001, and the web-based edition was introduced in 2009 with the support of Mr Zahir Virani. Updates with enhanced features have been added regularly.

The Ginan Library is unique as it comprises all published books, with transliteration, translation, electronic copies and audio recordings -with search facilities. He has also developed the Khojkijiwa computer font.

Access the Ginan Library here

Pyarali Bhai passed away peacefully at his home in London on 2nd February 2021