The beautiful valley of Paghman in Kabul province for the first time will have the honour of hosting the international Nawroz festival, marking the beginning of the Afghan New Year: 1393.
For centuries, the tradition has been individually observed by Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and other parts of the Nawroz region. In 2010, however, Nawroz was officially recognised as an international festival by the United Nations. Since then one of these countries hosts a grand ceremony to welcome the Nawroz.
Last year, considering the improved security and development in Afghanistan, the Nawroz-celebrating countries chose the beautiful valley of Paghman – a befitting venue for such a grand cultural event.
Dr Farooq Wardak, Minister for Education and head of the Nawroz Commission, told Radio Azadi: “We would like to show the world that Afghanistan is not the country where there is always fighting, but it is a country which has contributed a lot in science and culture to the world.”
The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has tasked different ministries and line departments to make the necessary arrangements for the high profile event, expected to be attended by the regional heads of states and international dignitaries.
Eleven heads of states will be in Kabul for the celebrations, said Nabi Farahi, the deputy of the Ministry of Information and Culture. “The activities will comprise seminars, film shows, exhibitions, concerts, horse-riding, buzkashi and other games. A special Nawroz emblem and anthem will also be prepared,” Farahi said.
Afghanistan’s Minister for Urban Development Affairs, Dr Hassan Abdullahi, is satisfied wit the arrangements at the venue, sprawling over 335 acres. “Our objective is the restoration of the historic buildings for health, the swimming pool, the artificial waterfalls, parks, greenhouses, and the buzkashi field.”
The Kabul Police Headquarters, National Directorate of Security and ANA 111 Division are tasked with the security arrangements. “We would like to see the people enjoy a good Nawroz without any security concerns; and I urge the people to cooperate with security personnel to make it happen,” General Mohammad Ayub Salangi, the deputy of the Ministry of Interior and in charge of the Nawroz security committee to Sada-e Azadi.