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Embassy and Permanent Mission of Afghanistan in Vienna Participates in UN Nowruz Celebration Event

Vienna, 24.03.2016

On March 24, 2016, the Embassy and Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan participated in a Nowruz Celebration Event at the United Nations in Vienna. The event gave an opportunity for countries that celebrate Nowruz to demonstrate the richness of their cultures through displaying handicrafts, traditional clothing and by serving a variety of traditional food. During the event, two Afghan musicians, Mr. Sobeir Bachtiar and Mr. Karimi, played traditional Robab and Tabla. The Embassy and Permanent Mission of Afghanistan displayed handicrafts including rugs, traditional clothing, and jewelry amongst other items to demonstrate the richness of the art and culture of Afghanistan. In addition to this, several popular Afghan food dishes were served, such as Qabuli Palaw, which received much praise from those attending the event.

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The Embassy and Permanent Mission of Afghanistan introduces Nowruz in Vienna as an International Day for the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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Vienna, 21.03.2015

Following the successful celebration of the International Day of Nowruz at the United Nations Office in Vienna, on Saturday 21 March, the Embassy and Permanent Mission of Afghanistan celebrated Nowruz as one of the main festive seasons of Afghanistan. At the Nowruz reception held in the Embassy and Permanent Mission, representatives from the Afghan community in Austria, as well as officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, joined together to welcome the new year 1394.

The reception was opened by traditional Afghan music, with a performance on the rubab by Mr. Sobeir Bakhtiar and a welcoming speech by H.E. Ambassador Ayoob Erfani, who also paid tribute to the 27-year-old Farkhunda, a woman killed by a mob in Kabul last Thursday. Wishing everyone a very happy Nowruz, Ambassador Erfani went on to elaborate on the current situation in Afghanistan, the important events of the year 1393, and the hopes of the Afghan people for 1394. He then referred to the progress of the National Unity Government of Afghanistan at the beginning of the country’s Decade of Transformation 2015-2024. He thanked the Afghan community in Austria and the host country who had all stood with Afghanistan through the last decade, and he called on all Afghans here to be united and to contribute to the democratization and stabilization process in the country. He also mentioned the history and philosophy of Nowruz as a historic, 3000 year-old tradition, and as the chance for fresh and new momentum to use every opportunity to do more for a better future through understanding and coexistence among each other and with the natural surroundings.

Ambassador Erfani also took the opportunity to express his gratitude to the Austrian government as a host for the Afghan community and refugees, underscoring the importance of strengthening integrations efforts towards incorporating Afghans into Austrian society, and he called on Afghans to observe their obligations and responsibilities to be healthy members of Austrian society.

The Ambassador then opened a buffet of a variety of Afghan foods and sweets.

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On the occasion of Nowruz

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Welcoming statement by H.E. Ambassador Ayoob Erfani on the occasion of Nowruz at the United Nations Office in Vienna

Excellences’,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Welcome, everyone. I have the honor to speak on behalf of my dear colleagues from the participating and organizing Missions of this event present here today. In 2015, for the second time ever, we come together to celebrate Nowruz, the spring Festival; to ring in the New Year and to celebrate peace, harmony, respect and love for all of our families, friends and the nature surrounding us. I would like to thank all of the Ambassadors and colleagues who made this event possible and the Vienna International Centre for being the gracious host of such an important event. It is a pleasure to see friends from all cultures and from all over the globe joining us today for the official ceremony marking the International Day of Nowruz.

The United Nations General Assembly, by adopting a resolution on March 10, 2010, recognized the 21st of March as the International Day of Nowruz, and on that day the Secretary General stated at the UNGA that: “Nowruz reminds us of the values and aspirations we all share for peace through tolerance, respect and mutual understanding.” I warmly welcome you to our celebration and on behalf of all dear ambassadors sponsoring today’s event I extend our best wishes to all of you on this special occasion.

Nowruz is a complex tapestry, reminding us of the most important things in life. People from all countries here today can draw on and gain something from the universal message of Nowruz: To be good to each other and to celebrate the gifts life has given us, with our family, friends, loved ones and communities. As with every spring, we are reminded of the potential for change and rebirth, and we realize that all things in the world can be renewed, that we all have a better chance and a new start to do better and to celebrate peace and harmony.

Nowruz is also the time of year when we reflect on our hopes for the year ahead. Here today, those of us who celebrate Nowruz come from different countries, speak different languages, and are geographically separated, but our culture and history remains a strong connecting bridge among us. This personal connection that we have to the celebration is the secret of its longevity. Over 300 million throughout the world celebrate this day in different forms, however, we all call it Nowruz.

The historical heritage of Nowruz, and the philosophies which are built around it, have not only united us in the past, but also present a great opportunity to strengthen our existing co-operation, to build confidence and to expand partnerships that can help us to seize the rich potential of our region and beyond, for our future generations. It creates a cross-cultural linkage through which we can advocate for shared human values.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The cultural heritage of Nowruz, which we share, is treasured by all of us here, as a uniting foundation of our societies. Let’s all welcome spring together, and decide to carry the spirit of Nowruz, not just for the holiday, but with us for the rest of the year.

Nowruz Mubarak to all of you.

 

H.E. Ambassador Erfani opens Nowruz celebrations at the United Nations

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Vienna, 18.03.2015

Today, H.E. Ambassador Ayoob Erfani opened celebrations on the occasion of Nowruz at the Rotunda of the United Nations. For the second time only – Nowruz was celebrated at the UN at Vienna last year for the first time – a number of Permanent Missions teamed up to host this event at the Vienna International Centre. Afghanistan was joined by colleagues from Azerbaijan, Iran I.R., Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan.

Martin Nesirky, Director of the UN Information Service, moderated the event and introduced Ambassador Ayoob Erfani, as chair of the organizing committee, who first welcomed the large audience, among them many Permanent Representatives, high-ranking UN officials including the heads of the Vienna-based UN organizations, and friends from local communities. Mr. Ambassador, on behalf of the Nowruz countries, then delivered opening remarks explaining the historic background and significance of Nowruz in our region and beyond, in the spirit of solidarity, unity and regional cooperation. He thanked everyone who helped to make this event possible, the UN for providing premises, and all guests for coming. He concluded his remarks by stating: “The cultural heritage of Nowruz, which we share, is treasured by all of us here, as a uniting foundation of our societies. Let’s all welcome spring together and carry the spirit of Nowruz, not just for the holiday, but with us for the rest of the year – Nowruzetan Mubarak!

Mr. Dennis Thatchaichawalit, Deputy Director-General of the UN Office at Vienna, in his address highlighted the fact that as of 2009 Nowruz is on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list and, as of 2010, following a decision by the United Nations General Assembly, is recognized as “International Nowruz Day”.

Following performances from artists from Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Turkey, the buffet was opened with country-specific specialties offered by the nine hosting countries, which also had artefacts, jewelry and costumes on display at their stalls.

Nowruz marks the first day of spring or Equinox and the beginning of the year in the Solar Hijri calendar. More than 300 million people, in Central Asia, the Middle East, the Caucasus and the Balkans observe this important day. On March 21, the New Year 1394 starts.

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