Source: Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), Washington DC
As we close the books on another Nowruz celebration, PAAIA is pleased to provide a glimpse of some of the activities that took place around the country celebrating this ancient tradition.
Nowruz Celebrated by Children Throughout the Country
For the second year, children around the country used the Nowruz materials available on PAAIA's website to educate their fellow students and their parents as well as their teachers about this unique celebration. Over 25 families used the PAAIA materials to educate nearly 800 children and adults, combining the materials with small haftseens, Persian sweets, Persian music, pictures of Iran, and Persian dancing. By all accounts, the presentations were received with much enthusiasm and the presenters fielded numerous questions from the audience. Presenters reported feeling proud of our heritage and accomplishments and pleased that their presentations had opened a door for many into the beauty of Iran and our ancient culture.
For more information on PAAIA's Nowruz Project and available materials, click here.
Nowruz Recognized in Los Angeles
On Friday March 16, 2012, the City of Los Angeles recognized Nowruz during a special presentation at the City Council Chambers. This year's event, followed a City Hall tradition initiated in 2004 to honor the Iranian American community, the Iranian American professionals of the City and all those of Persian decent through the proclamation of the first day of spring in Los Angeles as Persian New Year, Nowruz.
At the presentation many elected officials spoke of the importance of Nowruz and the key contributions of the Iranian American community in academia, business, professional services and philanthropic causes. It was indeed a proud day for all Iranian Americans. In direct contrast to 2004, when only two council members signed the resolution, the 2012 resolution was signed by the full 15 member Council, the Mayor, the City Attorney and the City Controller.
Honorable Councilman Cardenas, soon to be Congressman Cardenas, passionately spoke of the difficulties and obstacles that the Iranian American community had faced and their contribution to the City of Los Angeles and State of Californa. At the conclusion of his remarks, his colleagues committed that upon his departure for the US Congress, they will ensure that the City honors Nowruz with the same elaborate undertaking every year.
Pouria Abbassi, a PAAIA Board member and the CEO and General Manager of the Los Angeles Convention Center accepted the Nowruz resolution on behalf of the Iranian American community and the Nowruz Celebration Foundation (the organization responsible for coordinating and funding the event). Pouria spoke of the core of Nowruz; commitment to compassion, love and peace on Earth and for all humankind. He ended his remarks by wishing all Persians a happy and healthy New Year in Farsi.
The video of the event at the Council Chambers can be viewed at minute 49:42 of the following link:
The 2012 Nowruz Resolution can be seen at Norooz 2012 Resolution.pdf.
Nowruz at the Midnight Mission
This year and on behalf of the Iranian American community, a group of Iranian Americans also organized a Nowruz related event, following the events at City Hall, at the Midnight Mission with distribution of meals and clothing to those in need. Information regarding that event can be found here.
Nowruz Messages Pour In
President Obama's Nowruz message to the people of Iran and the Iranian American community was one of many such messages sent to our community. At the PAAIA Nowruz Reception on Capitol Hill, Congressmen Michael Honda, Congressman Randy Forbes, and Congresswoman Donna Edwards congratulated guests, and by extension, all Iranian Americans on the beginning of the Persian new year and extended their warm wishes to our community in the United States. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney was also among many others who congratulated PAAIA and the Iranian American community on this occasion and commented on the contributions that Iranian Amercians make to the U.S. economy and society.
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