At the urging of PAAIA, Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA/33rd) and Peter Roskam (R-IL/6th) introduced a bipartisan resolution (H.Res.130) in the U.S. Congress on Wednesday, March 20, 2013, recognizing the Iranian New Year (Nowruz) and acknowledging that the Cyrus Cylinder has, over the centuries, come to symbolize one of mankind’s first documents on human rights.
On loan from the British Museum, the cylinder has been on display since March 9th at the Smithsonian Institution’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C., and will travel afterwards to Houston, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
In addition to commemorating the tour of the cylinder throughout the U.S., the resolution recognizes the cultural and historical significance of Nowruz and acknowledges the hopes and aspirations of all people, including the people of Iran, for human rights and religious tolerance as embodied by the cylinder.
“I wish the Iranian American community and the people of Iran a joyous and peaceful Nowruz,” said Representative Waxman in apress release. “I hope that this resolution sends a message of respect to the Iranian people and all who are celebrating the Persian New Year. I stand with the people of Iran as they aspire to a world of human rights and tolerance, embodied by the Cyrus Cylinder. Nowruz Pirooz!”
PAAIA has urged the introduction of the Nowruz and Cyrus Cylinder resolution as part of its broader efforts to celebrate and foster greater understanding of Iranian culture, and to project an accurate and positive image of the Iranian American community. The resolution will mark the first time that members of Congress have introduced a measure recognizing the achievements of Cyrus the Great and his impact on civilization.
Original cosponsors include Representatives Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI/11th), Tony Cardenas (D-CA/29th), Andre Carson (D-IN/7th), Yvette Clarke (D-NY/9th), Gerald Connolly (D-VA/11th), John Delaney (D-MD/6th), Donna Edwards (D-MD/4th), Michael Honda (D-CA/17th), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY/12th), John Mica (R-FL/7th), Brad Sherman (D-CA/30th), and Jackie Speier (D-CA/14th).
Previously, PAAIA worked with Congressman Michael Honda (D-CA/17th) to help draft and build bipartisan support for legislation in recognition of Nowruz.