This week, I would like to send my best wishes to all those around the world celebrating the wonderful ancient holiday of Nowruz. Many millions of people of Iranian, Iraqi, Turkish, South Asian, and Central Asian heritage will come together with their families during this time to commemorate the arrival of spring.
Nowruz means "new day" in Persian. It is an occasion to celebrate new beginnings, a sentiment that is particularly meaningful for so many Iranians who have come to our country in recent decades to make a new start in a free land.
For many years, I have greatly enjoyed wonderful friendships with Iranian-Americans, one of the most successful immigrant groups in our country's contemporary history. They come from diverse religious backgrounds--including Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Zoroastrian, and Baha'i--but all share an affection for their ancestral heritage.
Cyrus the Great, a leader of the ancient Persian Empire, famously said that "[f]reedom, dignity, and wealth together constitute the greatest happiness of humanity. If you bequeath all three to your people, their love for you will never die."
To the Iranian people and all those around the world celebrating Nowruz: On behalf of the American people, I wish you freedom, dignity, and wealth. Nowruz Pirouz (Happy Nowruz).