President Obama and the Arab American Community

Nowruz: Welcoming a New Day and the Coming of Spring

As the President stated in his Nowruz message earlier this month, this holiday is a chance to give gratitude for and reflect on your blessings. “I want to extend my best wishes on this new spring and New Year. As always, this holiday is a chance to give gratitude for your blessings and to reflect on our hopes for the year ahead,” said the President.

Nowruz means “new day” and celebrates the beginning of spring. It represents a time meant for renewal and rejuvenation in preparation for another year. More than 300 million people celebrate this day worldwide.

Recently, the White House Office of Public Engagement was pleased to host its first Nowruz celebration at the White House. We hosted the celebration with guests that represented the many different ethnicities and faiths who celebrate Nowruz across the U.S. and across the world, including Iranians, Afghans, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Iraqis, Azeris and others. Guests included White House and government staffers, local and exchange students, lawyers, business leaders and academic and community leaders.

From traditional dancers to musicians and poetry, to the haft-seen table and Persian food, guests enjoyed a taste of the New Year at the White House Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Event attendees also took part in an East Wing tour and a policy briefing.

Many White House staffers joined the festivities, including Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett, who delivered remarks. This celebration brought together individuals of various backgrounds as we welcomed spring together.

To a new beginning, a healthy life and prosperous year ahead!

Silk Road Dance Company at Nowruz Celebration

The Silk Road Dance Company- representing some of the different ethnicities around the world that celebrate Nowruz- dances at the White House, March 21, 2014. (by the Office of Public Engagement)

Silk Road Dance Company Dances at the White House Nowruz Celebration 2

The Silk Road Dance Company- representing some of the different ethnicities around the world that celebrate Nowruz- dances at the White House, March 21, 2014. (by the Office of Public Engagement)

Silk Road Dance Company at Nowruz Celebration 3

The Silk Road Dance Company- representing some of the different ethnicities around the world that celebrate Nowruz- dances at the White House, March 21, 2014. (by the Office of Public Engagement)

Haft-Seen Table for Nowruz Celebrations

A haft-seen table decorated for the Nowruz celebration at the White House, March 21, 2014. (by the Office of Public Engagement)

Rumana Ahmed leads Arab American and Muslim American outreach and is the Executive Assistant to the Director of the Office of Public Engagement.

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