April 17, 2012, New York City – On Sunday April 15, PAAIA joined numerous other Iranian-American not-for-profit organizations in walking in the 9th Annual Persian Parade in celebration of Nowruz, the Persian new year. The Parade attracted a record crowd estimated by New York City police at 100,000. The crowd cheered on multiple participants who walked down 12 blocks of Madison Avenue in New York, culminating at Madison Square Park where post-Parade festivities including music and dancing continued.
Kambiz Mofrad, President of Persian Parade, a non-profit organization, commented: “The Parade showcases our great culture, traditions, history and contribution to the global civilization. It also uses the celebration of Nowruz as a platform to discuss our great Persian identity and gives us a sense of pride, especially for those that were born in United States.”
PAAIA Chapter Leaders Iman Bacodori and Shaheen Ensanyat led the Tri-State chapter’s walking brigade. Bacodori was thrilled to “witness thousands of Iranian-Americans from all over the East coast coming to New York” for the Parade. He spoke with several non-Iranian observers of the Parade as well who “were so happy to see Iranian-Americans in this light, much different than what is portrayed in the mass media in the US.”
Ensanyat, a PAAIA Nexgen Leader, who greeted participants at Madison Square Park added, “The unprecedented turnout just demonstrates how grateful and supportive our community is for the Persian Parade’s efforts to promote our diverse culture and unite the community, especially during this time of intense debate.”
Other NY area non-profits that walked in the Parade alongside PAAIA included the Iranian American Bar Association, Iranian Alliances Across Borders, and the Iranian-American Society of New York.
To view pictures of the parade and the PAAIA team that participated in the parade, click here.