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Norooz named Iranian-American Friendship Day by San Diego

By Badi Badiozamani, Center for East-West Understanding

I am pleased to announce that the city of San Diego through issuing a proclamation, has named March 20, 2004 (Norooz day) as the "Iranian-American Friendship Day".

In response a plaque containing a replica of Cyrus the Great's declaration of Human Rights was presented to the mayor of San Diego. The proclamation is being sent to you as an attachment. And below is the text of thanking remarks for your review.

Text of Badi Badiozamani's address upon receiving the Iranian-American Friendship Day proclamation:

Honorable Mayor Murphy & City Council members,

As you know, President Bush and several state governors have issued proclamations wishing Iranians a happy Norooz. But Iranians all over the world will be very proud, happy and grateful that this city has gone one step further to use the Persian New Year as an occasion to proclaim an Iranian-American Friendship Day.

It will be a distinct honor and privilege for me, as the founder of the Center for East-West Understanding- whose mission is to work to reduce extremism & violence by fostering understanding among and bringing the peoples of the world together- to disseminate your message throughout the world.

For thousands of years, Norooz has brought an occasion for new and renewed friendship to the people of the Middle East as well as central, southern & eastern Asia. Today, I am honored to be accompanied by Mrs. Najat Sadeghi, Hamida Askar, Shadia Mohammad of the Kurdish people of Iraq, Mr. Ashraf Yosofi of Afghanestan, Mr. Nazim Akburak of the Kurdish people of Turkey as unofficial representatives of many countries that celebrate Norooz. Your declaration today formally acknowledges Norooz's more recent role as a spark for strengthening relationships between Americans and the peace loving peoples of the Middle East. It is my hope and dream that our efforts in San Diego will be but one seed in a blossoming field of mutual friendship and tolerance.

I wish to present to the people of San Diego, as a token of appreciation, a replica of the decree on tolerance given by Cyrus the Great. It reads:

The First Declaration of Human Rights

Decree of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Persian Empire, granting national and religious freedom to the peoples of Babylon in 542 B.C.

When I entered Babylon...I did not allow anyone to terrorize the land... I kept in view the needs of Babylon and all its sanctuaries to promote their well-being. The citizens of Babylon... I lifted their unbecoming yoke (slavery). Their dilapidated dwellings I restored. I put an end to their misfortunes.

Thus said the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden...(Isaiah, XLV-1-3)

Presented to the people of San Diego on 3/20/2004

By Badi Badiozamani, Ph.D.

Center for East-West Understanding

Mayor Murphy, Council member Atkins and other distinguished Council members, the House of Iran and the Persian community in the United States seek your blessing and support in placing a plaque containing Cyrus' message of tolerance and freedom in Balboa Park. We are prepared to bear the expenses. We hope you will see this, as we do, as a way of further encouraging both Americans and Iranians to learn more about the history of peace and tolerance in the Middle East and the humanity that brings our two cultures together.

As part of this continued learning, allow me to humbly ask you to please support the Persian Cultural Center, the Iranian School of San Diego, the House of Iran and other non-profit entities in our community that contribute tremendously to the cultural heritage and vitality of this great city in their efforts to educate both Iranians and Americans.

May the new Persian year bring friendship, peace and progress to San Die and the world.

Center for East-West Understanding
9185 Maler Rd. San Diego, CA 92129 USA
Tel.: (858)382-2200, Fax: (858) 484-1472


... Payvand News - 3/23/04 ... --

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