March 24, 2015, Los Angeles, CA – On Friday, March 20th, the Los Angeles City Hall celebrated Nowruz alongside the Iranian American community for the eleventh year in a row. Beginning in 2004 with the support of PAAIA Board Member Pouria Abbassi and Congressman Tony Cardenas, the Nowruz celebration at Los Angeles City Hall has become an annual tradition expressing the city’s gratitude for the contributions of their Iranian American residents.
Jose Huizar, Los Angeles City Councilmember representing the 14th district, opened the event by asking all Iranian American city employees in attendance to stand and be recognized for their contributions to Los Angeles.
“A big part of what makes us unique as Angelinos is that we embrace our diversity, we celebrate the beauty of our communities and our many cultures,” said Huizar. “Through the Nowruz celebration, the Persian American community brings hundreds of years of culture, history, and rich tradition to the city of Los Angeles. Nowruz proclaims spring as a time of rejuvenation of nature, rekindling of friendships, and bringing about hope for a brighter future for all. It is truly a timeless celebration and strengthening of our common resolve to be better and do better.”
Special guest speaker, Susan Aramesh Price, Orange County Deputy District Attorney and Long Beach city councilmember, attested to the work ethic of the Iranian American community and recounted her experiences growing up in an Iranian immigrant household in the San Fernando Valley.
“My grandmother who passed away several years ago loved this holiday,” said Price. “When I would have a bad day she would always remind me that the world is made up of two different kinds of days. Just because one day is bad doesn’t mean that the next will also be bad. As you know Nowruz means a new day. The first day of spring is perhaps the greatest symbol of celebrating all that is good, bright, new and happy…This celebration brings reconciliations and a sense of community.”
PAAIA Board Member Pouria Abbassi closed the event by thanking sponsors and wishing the audience a new year in Farsi.
“This year Nowruz is being celebrated in more city halls and state capitals than ever before,” said Abbassi. “The U.S. Congress and the White House both celebrated Nowruz with genuine energy and hope for a spring that will bring about harmony love and peace across our nation and throughout the world. While we enjoy all the celebrations, one is always reminded, and we will not forget, that the acknowledgement of Nowruz and its official celebration started here in these chambers.”
Others who spoke at the celebration included Larry Adamson, Chief Executive of the Midnight Mission, Bob Blumenfield, Los Angeles City Councilmember representing the 3rd district, Mike Fuer, Los Angeles City Attorney, Ron Galperin, Los Angeles City Controller, Tom LaBonge, Los Angeles City Councilmember representing the 4th district, Paul Koretz, Los Angeles City Councilmember representing the 5th district, and Paul Krekorian, Los Angeles City Councilmember representing the 2nd district.