Speech of Ambassador Waissi on the Occasion of Nowruz 1403

Ambassador Waissi with the Community at the Australian Parliament||

21 March 2024 - Parliament of Australia, Canberra

I begin today by acknowledging the Ngunnawal people, Traditional Custodians of the land on which we gather today, and pay my respects to their Elders past and present. I extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples here today.

Ladies and Gentlemen, distinguished guests, fellow members of the Afghan community, and my esteemed colleagues from the Parliament,

As we celebrate Nowruz today, we not only herald the change of the year but also honor a tradition that has been cherished and preserved for over three millennia.

Nowruz is fundamentally about the traditions of our ancestors, a testament to the enduring power of culture and people's deep attachment to the rituals and practices passed down through generations.

It symbolizes our collective respect for the traditions of the past, serving as a bridge that connects us to our history and guides us towards the future.

This celebration reminds us of the resilience of human culture and its capacity to sustain hope, unity, and identity across the ages.

Moreover, it is poignant to reflect on another significant tradition tied to Nowruz in Afghanistan—the celebration of National Education Day, which falls on the day after Nowruz, marking the commencement of a new year with a renewed emphasis on learning and enlightenment.

Yet, it is with a profound sense of sorrow that we acknowledge the current situation in Afghanistan, where nearly 2.4 million girls are denied their basic right to education.

Today, on the 916th day of their exclusion, Afghanistan stands as the only country in the world imposing such a ban—a stark contradiction to the spirit of renewal and enlightenment that Nowruz embodies.

Amidst these challenges, it is essential to recognize the unwavering support extended by the Australian government, the Australian people, and friends of Afghanistan.

The assistance provided for evacuation and resettlement efforts underscores a global commitment to humanitarian values, reflecting a profound sense of solidarity and compassion.

This support exemplifies the spirit of global citizenship, demonstrating how collective action can make a significant difference in the lives of those in dire need.

I should also express my gratitude towards the Australian government for maintaining a value-based stance against the Taliban.

Celebrating Nowruz within the walls of the Australian Parliament is a powerful manifestation of our commitment to cultural preservation, resilience, and unity.

It is a statement of our collective defiance against attempts to suppress cultural identity and an affirmation of our support for fundamental human rights, including the right to education.

I thank the Afghan Peace Foundation and its team, particularly, Tahera Jahanbeen and Dr Nader Saikal, for bringing this 3500 yrs old tradition in the heart of Australia. Congratulations!

This celebration is not just a cultural event; it is a beacon of hope, a call to action, and a reminder of the values we hold dear—diversity, inclusion, and the inalienable right to education and freedom.

As we look forward to the year ahead, let us draw inspiration from the enduring spirit of Nowruz, renewing our commitment to these values and to supporting those who strive to reclaim their rights and freedoms. May this New Year bring hope, joy, and prosperity to all. May it herald a new era of peace, understanding, and the fulfillment of human rights for everyone, everywhere.

Nowruz Mubarak to you all.

Thank you.

Last modified on Tuesday, 23/04/2024

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