PAAIA Celebrates 2024 Nowruz Reception on Capitol Hill

PAAIA Hosted 2024 Nowruz Reception on Capitol Hill 

Washington, DC — Last Tuesday, the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) and Civic Leadership Program’s Sarram Service Initiative (SSI) hosted its 2024 Nowruz reception on Capitol Hill, drawing over 120 Members of Congress, congressional staffers, and distinguished guests.  Among them were Representatives Jim Baird (R-IN4), André Carson (D-IN7), Virginia Foxx (R-NC5), Jim Himes (D-CT4), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA18), Burgess Owens (R-UT4), and Michael Waltz (R-FL6). 

Guests were treated to Persian cuisine and a traditional haftseen table while learning about Nowruz, the Persian New Year, and its significance.  This year’s celebration honored Iranian American women in public service and the Woman, Life, Freedom movement in Iran.  As we recognized the brave women and girls of Iran who continue the fight for justice, we also honored the Iranian American women uplifting their communities here in the States.  

Our two keynote speakers, The Honorable Ashley Tabaddor and Virginia State Delegate Atoosa Reaser, shared their personal journeys to the U.S. and into public service careers. Both paid homage to the courageous changemakers that forged the paths that led these women to the callings they fulfill today. 

Held each year on the vernal equinox, Nowruz is celebrated by over 300 million people worldwide. This transition to Spring signifies a return to the ‘light’ after leaving behind the darkness of winter. Echoing the Nowruz symbolism of hope and renewal, we hope the new year brings about positive changes. As such, PAAIA not only highlighted the power of Woman, Life, Freedom and the importance of the MAHSA Act during our reception, but also emphasized our goals here at home in the U.S. 

PAAIA’s top goals include passage of the Temporary Family Visitation Act (TFVA). Important to so many Iranian Americans, the TFVA creates a new nonimmigrant visa category that would allow family members of U.S. citizens and permanent residents to temporarily visit their relatives in the U.S. Passage of the TFVA would contribute to the American economy, prevent visa overstays, and alleviate backlog. For these and other reasons, 22 national organizations endorse the legislation. It was even recommended as a policy solution in a recent Congressional Research Service Report.  

Lastly, PAAIA highlighted the Nowruz Resolution, which was introduced by the main congressional sponsor of our 2024 Nowruz reception, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren.  In addition to acknowledging the significance of the holiday, the Resolution also proclaims Congressional support for the people of Iran and their right to freedom of speech and expression as embodied in the spirit of Nowruz. 

You can ask your elected officials to support these pieces legislation by visiting our action center.   

PAAIA thanks the many SSI volunteers who made the 2024 Nowruz reception a success and the Members of Congress and their staff who joined us for the event.   

The 2024 Nowruz reception was hosted in collaboration with Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA18), and Representatives Gerry Connolly (D-VA11), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA1), Virginia Foxx (R-NC5), Jim Himes (D-CT4), Scott Peters (D-CA50), Jamie Raskin (D-MD8), and Michael Waltz (R-FL6).   

Check out photos from the event on our Facebook Album!

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