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VOA Marks Nowruz Holiday

Voice of America is celebrating the Persian New Year with 14 hours of special Nowruz programing, including a holiday message from President Barack Obama, live musical performances and a screening of the film, America So Beautiful.

VOA Persian Service coverage began Tuesday with a live televised broadcast from Stockholm, Sweden, the site of the largest Fire Festival (Charshambah Soori) held outside of Iran. The festival brought family and friends together from around Europe to welcome spring.

In his Nowruz message to the people of Iran, President Obama called for, “a serious and sustained effort to resolve the many differences between Iran and the United States.” The president said finding an enduring, long-term settlement of the nuclear issue, “will be no easy task.” But he said, “As a new spring begins, I remain hopeful that our two countries can move beyond tension.”

Seven members of the U.S. Congress, including Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and John Boozman (R-AR), along with Representatives Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Henry Waxman (D-CA), Judi Chu (D-CA), and Mike Honda (D-CA), also sent Nowruz messages, along with VOA Director David Ensor and Executive Editor Steve Redisch.

“From here at VOA we want to wish our many friends in the global Persian community a warm congratulations on the New Year, Nowruz Mubarak,” Ensor said.

Throughout the day, VOA Nowruz programs will feature performances by well know Iranian musicians, including Shajarian, who recorded a special holiday greeting. Also featured, Faramarz Aslani, a guitarist, songwriter, and singer, who has had major musical impact since the 1977 release of his hit song, Age Ye Rooz (If One Day). Regional Persian artists from Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, and Kurdish regions will also be featured in a 90-minute music program.

Movie fans will be able to see the 2001 film, America So Beautiful, which follows a group of Iranian immigrants who make their way to Los Angeles, following the 1979 Hostage Crisis. The film highlights the struggle that Iranian immigrants sometimes faced as they try to adjust to the American lifestyle.

The VOA Nowruz broadcasts will also feature childrens programs, including the beloved Babak and Friends cartoon and a host of other shows, including a special year in review by the producers of the program OnTen.

VOA is one of the most popular international broadcasters in Iran. Persian Service TV programs can be seen on direct-to-home satellite, streaming sites, and a host of social media programs.

For more information about this release contact Kyle King at the VOA Public Relations office in Washington at (202) 203-4959, or write For more information about VOA visit our Public Relations website at, or the main VOA news site at