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Khalili
Foundation

Over the past three decades, the Khalili Foundation has been a global leader in promoting interfaith and intercultural relations. The Foundation has supported and driven a number of internationally recognised projects that use the power of art, culture and education to bring people together. Our partners include UNESCO, the Commonwealth and the Prince’s Trust.

Explore our initiatives

Latest News

Opening speeches, Commonwealth Faith Festival, by Rt Hon Patricia Scotland and Sir David Khalili

Watch the opening speeches, Commonwealth Faith Festival, by Rt Hon Patricia Scotland and Sir David Khalili

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17 Jun, 2024

Chinese scroll with the text of Surat Al-Hajj from our Hajj and the Arts of Pilgrimage Collection is featured picture on the Wikipedia home page

This evening marks the beginning of Hajj and we’re excited to share that this Chinese scroll with the text of Surat Al-Hajj from our Hajj and the Arts of Pilgrimage…

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14 Jun, 2024

Professor Sir David Khalili Hosts Ban Ki-moon for Inaugural Human Rights Lecture at Oxford University’s Kellogg College

On Thursday, 2 May at Kellogg College, Oxford University, Ban Ki-moon, who as UN Secretary General (2007–2016) played a major role in securing the Paris Climate Agreement and promoting the Sustainable Development Goals, was elected as a Kellogg Fellow

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06 Jun, 2024

Sir David delivers landmark keynote at the University of Cambridge

Sir David Khalili delivered a landmark keynote lecture to the Faculty of Divinity at the University of Cambridge on 23rd May.

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28 May, 2024

Save the Date: ‘The Art of Peace’ Keynote Lecture by Professor Sir David Khalili

Discover the profound insights of Professor Sir David Khalili, renowned for his unique synthesis of religious wisdom, as he delivers a keynote lecture on ‘The Art of Peace’ at the University of Cambridge.

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23 Apr, 2024

Announcing the Digital Release of Sir David Khalili’s Autobiography on Kindle – Available Now on Amazon

Available for download now via Amazon, this digital edition makes Sir David Khalili’s inspiring life story and profound insights into the art world accessible at your fingertips. Don’t miss the opportunity to delve into one of the most captivating autobiographies of the year, wherever and whenever you prefer.

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04 Apr, 2024

Commonwealth Secretariat and Khalili Foundation launch youth-led peace ambassadors initiative

The Commonwealth Faith Festival, launched by the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC and Professor Sir Nasser David Khalili, Chairman of the Khalili Foundation, aims to foster collaboration and understanding among youth, peacebuilding, faith, and community groups across the Commonwealth.

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20 Mar, 2024

Khalili Foundation launch the Commonwealth Faith Festival at Marlborough House

On February 2024, amidst esteemed guests including Commonwealth High Commissioners, religious leaders, academics, and youth ambassadors, the 2024 Commonwealth Faith Festival was inaugurated by the Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, alongside our Founder, Sir David Khalili.

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23 Feb, 2024

Bradford Literature Festival’s Pick of the Week- The Art of Peace

We are thrilled to share that “The Art of Peace” by Sir David Khalili has been chosen as the Pick of the Week at the Bradford Literature Festival.

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06 Feb, 2024

Sir David Khalili appointed Honorary Fellow at Cambridge University

Sir David’s exceptional scholarly achievements have been duly recognized, leading to his appointment as an Honorary Fellow at the University of Cambridge via its Centre for Resilience and Sustainable Development (CRSD) in January 2024.

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01 Feb, 2024

Assassin’s Creed Mirage showcases five breathtaking Khalili Collection artworks

In the latest installment of the renowned video game series, Assassins’ Creed Mirage, players are treated to an immersive journey through history, where the rich tapestry of Islamic art comes to life. Among the many treasures featured in the game are five stunning artworks from the esteemed Khalili Foundation collection, each offering a glimpse into the beauty and cultural significance of Islamic civilization.

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26 Dec, 2023

23 Nov, 2023

A group of Ashmolean’s Meiji Cloisonné masterpieces were presented in honour of His Majesty King Charles III

A number of fine Meiji period Japanese Cloisonné masterpieces have been presented to the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford by Sir David and Lady Khalili.

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31 Oct, 2023

The Art of Peace by Sir David Khalili is set to be released on November 2nd

In 1967, Sir David Khalili finished his military service in Iran and travelled to study in the United States with $750 – his remaining royalties from a book he wrote when he was just 14. Over the course of the next five decades he single-handedly, piece by piece, assembled eight of the finest art collections in their field, ultimately becoming one of the world’s greatest collectors, about whom Queen Elizabeth Il once said: ‘It is scary how much this gentleman knows about art.’

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03 Oct, 2023

World Day for Cultural Diversity spotlighted on Wikipedia homepage for the first time ever!

We improved Wikipedia’s article about the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development so that, from now on, it qualifies for being linked on Wikipedia’s home page. The…

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28 Jul, 2023

Beeple Auction

World-renowned artist Beeple, who broke records in 2021 for selling an NFT for $69.3m, donated an NFT for his work “Biological Collectible” (a magnificent digital work accompanied by a physical) that was auctioned for the event – the proceeds going to UNESCO’s efforts to support arts projects in developing countries.

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24 Jul, 2023

A Thousand Colours Trailer

A Khalili Foundation film in Association with UNESCO to mark the World Day for Cultural Diversity for dialogue and development.

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16 Jun, 2023

A special message from Rt Hon Baroness Patricia Scotland KC

A special message from Rt Hon Baroness Patricia Scotland KC, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, on the occasion of the World Festival of Cultural Diversity.

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The Return of the Sámi Drums – The Sámi Museum in Karasjok participates in festival

For the World Day of Cultural Diversity, The Sámi Museum in Karasjok will prepare a 360° virtual tour in RUOKTOT – The Return of the Sámi Drums. RiddoDuottarMuseat – Sámiid Vuorká-Dávvirat,…

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17 May, 2023

European Roma Institute of Arts and Culture joins the festival with two exhibitions

ERIAC Berlin and ERIAC Serbia prepare two exhibition openings to mark the Day of Romani Resistance on the 16th of May, presenting various Roma artists. The Gypsyism, Balkanism – Through a…

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03 May, 2023

The Prince’s Trust joins the festival with Youth Round Table activities on cultural diversity

The Prince’s Trust will host four round tables with a diverse group of young people currently being supported by The Trust. To promote a wealth of experiences and opinions, the…

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20 Apr, 2023

Announcing The Royal Institution as a festival partner with upcoming event

As part of the World Festival of Cultural Diversity,  join us for a discussion with expert speakers offering a global perspective of scientific progress and a radical retelling of the…

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18 Apr, 2023

The National Museum of Australia is participating in the Khalili Foundation and UNESCO festival initiative

We are delighted to be collaborating with the National Museum of Australia as part of the World Festival of Cultural Diversity. Firstly, on Saturday 13 May 2023, there will be…

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Khalili Foundation supports Museo De Arte de Lima in the World Festival of Cultural Diversity celebrations

We are glad to announce that Museo De Arte de Lima is participating with three events in the UNESCO festival initiative. Firstly, a workshop called  “The transformation of territory as…

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11 Apr, 2023

Heritage Malta is participating in the World Festival of Cultural Diversity 2023

We are delighted to announce a special opening of Fort St Elmo and the National War Museum with re-enactors bringing history to life in every corner of the museum. Travel…

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05 Apr, 2023

Announcing MAKAN, the Egyptian Centre for Arts and Culture, as festival partner

Makan, the Egyptian Centre for Culture & Art was founded in 2002 to record and promote traditional music in Egypt, increasingly in danger. The centre documents and presents traditional music…

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01 Apr, 2023

The Vietnam National Museum of History is participating in the World Festival of Cultural Diversity

We will be joined by The Vietnam National Museum of History in our 2023 festival celebrations. The museum will share a short film named “Vietnam’s betel and areca cultural heritage…

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28 Mar, 2023

Introducing Matenadaran, the world’s largest repository of Armenian manuscripts, as festival partner

We are delighted to share the Matenadaran in Yerevan, Armenia as a participant and partner in the World Festival of Cultural Diversity. The project is a 3D tour of the…

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20 Mar, 2023

The Khalili Collections is proud to continue its role in Wikimedia’s Vision

The end of 2022 marked an important milestone in the partnership between the Khalili Collections and Wikimedia UK, with a substantial increase in the number of wiki articles and a

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03 Mar, 2023

SOAS Festival of Ideas participates in the World Festival of Cultural Diversity

The Khalili Foundation is proud to announce the SOAS Festival of Ideas as a partner for the World Festival of Cultural Diversity. Under the theme ‘Thinking Through Music’, the 2022…

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19 Dec, 2022

Sir David Khalili’s investiture presided by HM King Charles III

During the investiture presided by His Majesty King Charles III at Windsor Castle on November 16th 2022, Sir David Khalili was honoured with a Knighthood for his services to interfaith…

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Aspen-Khalili Partnership: Designing for Diversity – Join Session 1, Cities and Communities

18th July 2022, 17:00 BST, Zoom In partnership with the Aspen Institute UK, the Khalili Foundation explores how we can design buildings and public spaces – parks, squares, neighbourhoods – to help people…

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15 Jul, 2022

Collaboration with UK Goverment announced at the Freedom of Religion or Belief Summit

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) announced a special collaboration with the Khalili Foundation at the Freedom of Religion or Belief Summit in London last week. The Foundation’s…

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12 Jul, 2022

Khalili Foundation book given to 54 Heads of Government at CHOGM Rwanda

The UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity 20th anniversary book produced and published by the Khalili Foundation has been distributed to the Presidents and Prime Ministers attending the 2022 Commonwalth…

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27 Jun, 2022

Khalili Foundation launches the World Festival of Cultural Diversity at UNESCO

Sir David Khalili, Chairman of the Khalili Foundation and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, launched the World Festival of Cultural Diversity at a special meeting at the UNESCO HQ in Paris. The…

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Sir David Khalili meets the Rt Hon Nadhim Zahawi, Secretary of State for Education

Sir David Khalili met with the Rt Hon Nadhim Zahawi, Secretary of State for Education to discuss the promotion of cultural diversity through education institutions across the UK.

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19 May, 2022

UN Secretary General’s message on the World Day for Cultural Diversity

We at the Khalili Foundation are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with the United Nations, the Commonwealth and the Prince’s Trust to celebrate the World Day for Cultural Diversity. Please

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21 May, 2021

Khalili Foundation launch Young Global Citizens partnership with Prince’s Trust

The Khalili Foundation and The Prince’s Trust, through the Mosaic Initiative, together launch an exciting new social integration and youth leadership project. The partnership begins with a yearlong pilot programme which will

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24 Nov, 2020

Professor Nasser David Khalili awarded knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list

The Khalili Collections and the Khalili Foundation are proud to announce that our friend and founder, Professor Nasser David Khalili, has been awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours

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12 Oct, 2020

Professor Khalili opens “Faith in the Commonwealth” and “Peace at the Crease”cricket cup match between the Vatican IX and Commonwealth Interfaith XI at Lords.

Together with Rt Hon Baroness Scotland, Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Professor Nasser D. Khalili launched the “Faith in the Commonwealth” and “Peace at the Crease” cricket cup match between

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06 Jul, 2018

Professor Khalili delivers keynote speech as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador at the Arab-Mediterranean Cultural Conference in Palermo, Sicily.

United nations educational, scientific and cultural organization organization des nations unies pour l’éducation, la science et la culture Professor Nasser D. Khalili PhD KSS KCSS Goodwill Ambassador Professor

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27 Jun, 2018

Special Festival section on GA&C spotlighting various technological features and digital exhibits that showcase the world’s cultural expressions​.

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A campaign to tackle the cultural bias on Wikipedia including the engagement of non-Western cultural institutions to digitize and release more content on open access​.

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Six stellar panel discussions (webinars) over 12 months exploring how cross-cultural dialogue can be fostered through communities,

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Special event on the World Day of Cultural Diversity (May 21st 2023) at the UNESCO HQ in Paris. This will include talks, performances, film screenings, a reception and fundraising dinner.

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A Festival of ideas with the theme of “thinking through music” drawing from world music, dnace, film and visual arts.

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Special Festival section on the Europeana platform, bringing together stories of European culture in all its diversity.

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A series of lectures that explore the story and evolution of science throughout history and in different cultural contexts​.

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An architectural design competition for resilient and adaptable houses that advance, adapt and update specific local building traditions to meet 21st century needs​.

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An intercultural research project looking at how deliberate spaces can be created for greater cross-cultural dialogue and peacebuilding

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A short film to show how young people in the UK are using global citizenship to advance their career and learning opportunities​.

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WORLD FESTIVAL OF CULTURAL DIVERSITY

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Videos

Opening speeches, Commonwealth Faith Festival, by Rt Hon Patricia Scotland and Sir David Khalili

Videos

KHALILI FOUNDATION LAUNCH THE COMMONWEALTH FAITH FESTIVAL AT MARLBOROUGH HOUSE

Creating & Sharing Cultural Knowledge

The Khalili Foundation has for many decades engaged in a form of ‘cultural philanthropy’ – the act of giving and sharing not just through conventional financial means, but also via the production and distribution of cultural knowledge. Such knowledge is produced through amassing and conserving culturally significant artefacts and then researching and digitizing them. This knowledge is then shared and distributed via publications, exhibitions and through various digital platforms.

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Global
Partnerships

Faith in the Commonwealth is a joint initiative between the Commonwealth and the Khalili Foundation to deliver Global Citizenship Education (GCED) and religious literacy in an interactive, practical and contemporary way.

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Professor Sir David Khalili, The Khalili Foundation and its initiatives have had the longstanding support and of UNESCO.

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The Khalili Foundation and The Prince’s Trust, through the Mosaic Initiative, together launch an exciting new social integration and youth leadership project.

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The Aspen Institute UK, in partnership with the Khalili Foundation, is launching the ‘Designing for Diversity’ webinar series, in which we explore these pertinent questions. It is part of the wider World Festival of Cultural Diversity which, in association with UNESCO, is bringing together various intellectual and creative initiatives in collective celebration of our world’s cultures.

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Maimonides
Interfaith
Initiative

The Maimonides Interfaith Initiative, a project of the Khalili Foundation and supported by UNESCO, promotes understanding and respect between people from the three Abrahamic faiths through a series of grassroots projects relating to art, culture and education. The initiative is named after the 12th century philosopher Moses Maimonides, whose ideas epitomised Abrahamic unity.

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An audience with His Holiness Pope Francis, December 2013, with whom Professor Khalili discussed the activities of the Maimonides Interfaith Initiative.

Global
Humanitarian
Positions

Professor Khalili speaking at the 2018 Global Hope Coalition Annual Awards Dinner

As Chairman of the Khalili Foundation, Sir David has been honoured with a number of global humanitarian positions. These high-profile platforms allow him to promote the ideals of peace, unity and cultural preservation to audiences at the grassroots and decision-making levels worldwide.

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Gifts &
Grants

Over the last three decades, the Khalili Foundation has given a number of substantial grants and gifts to various international organisations, educational establishments and charities.

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Gifts to the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London

PROMOTING CULTURAL DIVERSITY

The Khalili Foundation has conceived, funded and driven a number of projects that promote cultural diversity worldwide. Among these are a campaign to promote the World Day for Cultural Diversity and the production of a milestone publication to mark the 20th Anniversary of the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity.

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"The biggest weapon of mass destruction is ignorance. And if ignorance is the problem, education must be the solution"
– Professor Sir Nasser D. Khalili