March 7, 2018
You know, on occasions such as this, it is customary when you begin to speak to say it is a pleasure to be here. It’s sort of a standard opening. But to come to the Nowruz celebration of the Organization of Iranian American Communities is truly a pleasure. It’s a pleasure because it hearkens back on many pleasant occasions in homes of Iranian Americans around the country where I’ve seen settings as—well, maybe not as grand as this—but in the spirit of what we see here. And that spirit is one of community, of family, of values. I’m sorry that my friend [1:19:12] cannot be here, she, the Dr. Fereshteh to be with her husband Alborz, over here, Alborz] thank you darling. I thank (Donya) and Ramesh for their invitation and their hospitality.
But I want to convey to you, and I support what in the introduction was said, we have bipartisan support for the Iranian-American community in the Congress. And you know why? Because we have support in the Iranian American communities in the country. The people in Iran, America, and around the world, Nowruz represents the joy and hope of new beginnings. This new year we celebrate the wonderful enrichment and diversity of our communities and our nation. In California, we are especially proud, because I’ve been told—you tell me if this is so—that half of the Iranian-American community lives in California.
We take great pride in that. In the Bay Area, we feel very enriched. I say there, the beauty is in the mix. My experience with the Iranian-American community there is wonderful occasions of family and hearing the joys of children and the successes and the professionalism that you all bring to everything. And some very, very delicious and late dinners. Late dinners. [laughter] I just want you to know I’ve been there. The diversity of ideas and beliefs you have brought to our shores have strengthened and enriched our nation.
This Nowruz, in the spirit of hope and new beginnings, let’s pray for the rebirth of freedom and democracy in Iran. Let us commit ourselves to an ongoing fight for peace and justice in our communities around the world. I know the Iranian community is a blessing here, but you’re a blessing other places as well. What we want in Iran is a secular, nonnuclear, democratic Iran. And at the time of New Year, let us make that wish something that will come true soon. It is again, a joy, a pleasure, to be with all of you and to say that Nowruz has become as American as any holiday you can think of. We all look forward to it, celebrate it. You have made it just another cause for celebration in our country, the contribution that Iranian-Americans make to America. You make America more American with your commitment to family, to faith, commitment with your work ethic, the pride you take in your heritage, and the patriotism you demonstrate to America. So thank you so much, thank you.