I had the special opportunity on March 19th to join more than 50 Iranian Americans of various faiths from across California gathered to celebrate the Persian New Year of “No Ruz” at an official event held in the state legislature in Sacramento. The event was sponsored by state Assembly member Adrin Nazarian, representing the 46th District (Van Nuys), who received unanimous passage of a bill celebrating No Ruz for the fifth year in a row in the legislature.
No Ruz is the ancient Persian secular holiday marking the beginning of Spring and calls for friendship, peace and tolerance among all mankind. For centuries No Ruz has been celebrated by people of all faiths in Iran, parts of India and some countries in central Asia.
At the event, Susan Azizzadeh, president of the West Hollywood based Iranian American Jewish Federation, presented Nazarian with her organization’s plaque for his efforts in fostering good relations among all Iranian Americans in California. “We wanted to show our appreciation to Mr. Nazarian for promoting the great aspects of Iranian culture in the mainstream and presenting our community of one that embraces one another regardless of our religions,” she said.
Also on hand was acclaimed Los Angeles area Iranian Jewish artist Kamram Khavarani who received a state proclamation from Nazarian for his artist accomplishments.
Nazarian, who is not Jewish, but of Iranian-Armenian background, said he wanted to shed light on the significant contributions of Iranian-Americans to the state of California. He is the first elected member of the California State Assembly who was born in Iran. Nazarian is one of the few elected officials in the U.S. who were born in Iran and today are promoting what is great and positive about Persian culture. He has rightly shed light on this special community which has added much to the success of American life today. Nazarian has embraced his Iranian origins and Iranian-Americans from across the state have embraced him wholeheartedly.
The vast majority of Iranians who live in the U.S. today fled the radical Islamic regime in Iran nearly 40 years and foster great friendships among one another regardless of their religions. The Iranian-American community in California number nearly 1 million and have achieved great successes in academia, hi-tech, business, real estate development, the aerospace sector, fashion, entertainment, medicine and scientific research. Even with their successes, Iranian Americans have never lost their scene of brotherhood and friendship they have for one another even though they may be Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Baha’i or Zoroastrian in faith.
The following is a brief video clip of Iranian musicians playing classic Persian music during the No Ruz reception at the state capital…
Here are some photos of the event I also captured…