Sunday, March 28, 2010

On Becoming Persian Friendly: "Noorooz" recognized by U.S. Congress

"Brian K. Diggs/AMERICAN-STATESMAN - Farzad Kasiri is a Austin shoe salesman and an Iranian refugee. As a member of the Baha'i faith, which is not recognized in Iran, he was arrested and tortured 22 years ago by Islamic government officials, he says. Several Baha'i refugees from Iran live in Austin and many are afraid to tell their stories publicly for fear that their relatives in Iran will be targeted. Behind him is the Baha'i Star. 7.3.05" Uploaded on January 30, 2008 by BetsyBahai on flickr.

A remarkable senate resolution, cited below, received bi-partisan support, with two Republicans (Senators Hatch and McLain) joining 13 Democrats and one Independent in sponsoring it. American Baha'is can certainly testify to the contributions made by Iranian-Americans to society. -gw

From: Northwest BahaiLibrary


"The U.S. Senate unanimously approved the Norooz Resolution (S.Res.463), granting official recognition for Norooz for the first time in Senate history.

In approving the resolution, the Senate joins the House, which passed a similar measure last Monday, in commemorating the Iranian New Year, celebrating Iran's rich cultural traditions, expressing appreciation to Iranian Americans for their contributions to society, and wishing Iranian Americans and the Iranian people a prosperous new year. The Senate Resolution also encourages the peaceful observance of Norooz in Iran and expresses support for the rights of all Iranians to exercise freedom of assembly, expression, and speech.

Congressional recognition of Norooz signifies not only the growing political strength of the Iranian-American community, but also demonstrates the increasingly critical role of Iranian Americans as the unofficial ambassadors of Iranian culture and heritage in the U.S. In honoring Norooz, Congress recognizes that Iran cannot be viewed merely through the prism of conflict with Iran's government, but that we can foster mutual respect and cooperation directly with the Iranian people.

The Norooz Resolution's lead sponsors, Senators Robert Menendez and John Cornyn to ensure the Norooz Resolution had broad, bipartisan support to move through the Senate. The Norooz Resolution was cosponsored by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Jim Webb (D-VA), John McCain (R-AZ), Ted Kaufman (D-DE), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Roland Burris (D-IL), Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Carl Levin (D-MI), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Robert Byrd (D-WV), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Ben Cardin (D-MD).

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

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