March 15, 2010, Washington, D.C. – We are very pleased to report that the House of Representatives passed the Nowruz resolution (H.Res.267) today by a vote of 384 to 2.
PAAIA first approached Congressman Michael Honda (CA-15th) in February 2009, urging him to introduce a resolution in honor of Nowruz in the House of Representatives.
“The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans has given instrumental support towards this resolution. Their initiative to work with me on the Nowruz resolution has fostered a greater understanding of the Iranian American community, and I look forward to continuing my work with them,” stated Congressman Honda.
Throughout the course of the year, PAAIA worked closely with Congressman Honda’s office to promote the resolution. “We contacted every member of Congress and met with numerous Representatives and their staff throughout the course of the year to educate them about Nowruz and ensure that the resolution would have enough bipartisan support to proceed through the legislative process,” said Morad Ghorban, PAAIA’s Legislative Director. At the time of its passage, the resolution had 56 cosponsors.
PAAIA would like to extend its deep appreciation to Congressman Honda for his leadership, and to the thousands of Iranian Americans around the country who contacted their elected officials to express their support for the resolution throughout this past year.
The resolution recognizes the cultural and historical significance of Nowruz, expresses appreciation to Iranian Americans for their contributions to American society, and wishes Iranian Americans, the people of Iran, and all those who celebrate the holiday a prosperous new year. The passage of the resolution marks the first time that the U.S. Congress has officially recognized the Iranian New Year.
The Nowruz resolution is part of PAAIA’s broader efforts to foster greater understanding of Iranian culture and heritage as well as to project an accurate and positive image of the Iranian American community that reflects our true values and achievements.