More than four hundred elegantly attired diplomats, dignitaries and guests celebrated the ancient tradition of Nowruz and the Nowruz Commission’s first anniversary at the Library of Congress across from the nation’s Capitol on March 17. Special highlights of the celebration were a message from President Barack Obama delivered by Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett and a letter addressed to President Obama from President Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan expressing support for the Nowruz Commission read by the Kazakh Ambassador to U.S. His Excellency Erlan Idrissov.
Washington, D. C. — On September 8, 2010, in the ornate, historic Members’ Room of the Library of Congress, across the street from the citadel of freedom, the United States Capitol building, liberty’s bell resounded once again – this time in the form of an artist’s personal expression. The “Bird of Freedom”, a drawing by Iranian American artist Kamran Khavarani, was formally presented by the Nowruz Commission to the Library of Congress. Khavarani’s journey from the darkness of tyranny and oppression into the light of freedom of thought and expression, inspired him to create “The Bird of Freedom,” a drawing produced in a time of despair, loneliness and uncertainty in his flight to freedom.
The Persians, Afghans, Kurdish people in Iraq, Kazakhs, Tajiks, Turks, Kyrgyz, Tatars in Russia and even some Ukrainians have celebrated the first day of Spring as the beginning of their new year since ancient times. Never before have they come together to celebrate this significant day together at a single event. Even beyond the event, a Nowruz Commission has been organized by participating cultures to educate the public on the significance of the first day of Spring as the beginning of the new year.