Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, October 18th, 2018

International Nowruz Day: Reconciliation and Intercultural Dialogue

International Nowruz Day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution A/RES/64/253 of 2010, at the initiative of several countries that share this holiday (Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey and Turkmenistan.
Inscribed in 2009 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as a cultural tradition observed by numerous peoples, Nowruz is an ancestral festivity marking the first day of spring and the renewal of nature. It promotes values of peace and solidarity between generations and within families as well as reconciliation and neighborliness, thus contributing to cultural diversity and friendship among peoples and different communities.
Our time is a time when the living traditions of local communities are under increasing pressure, Nowruz is as an invitation to strengthen the roots of reconciliation and intercultural dialogue. Such unique characteristic shows the timelessness of Nowruz values, rich traditions and abilities that can reunite people beyond the borders which have been established to keep them separate from each other. As the former Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon has stated: “Nowruz transcends national borders, religious divides and other differences to unite communities with bonds of goodwill. Such common purpose can help humanity rise to this moment in history.”Nowruz is an opportunity for humanity to overcome the current religious divides and differences. Such divides anddifferences is threatening the coexistence of the followers of different religions in all over the world. And such divides are increasingly reaching new areas and affecting different people in different regions. The new waves of violent religious fundamentalism and violent ethnic conflicts call for new initiatives to encounter them and Nowruz is one of such mechanisms that can all the nations benefit from its rich potentials.
Afghanistan as a country member of the Nowruz region can benefit from the universal culture and values of Nowruz in order to bring peace and stability in the country and close the religious and ethnic disparities among the Afghan citizens. Unfortunately, some elements not only have acted against the preservation and diversification of Nowruz values and traditions to reduce and eliminate the religious and ethnic disparities but have used every means to sideline the values and traditions of Nowruz and replace them with some alien values and traditions that are the sources of ethnic and religious difference in all over the region. 
The rich variety of ways in which we celebrate the arrival of spring equinox reminds us of the responsibility we share towards our planet. Nowruz carries a message of renewal in a world of change, and leads us to reflect on the imperative of humanity standing together to protect biodiversity and eco-systems as well.
On this International Day of Nowruz, The Daily Outlook Afghanistan Weekly expresses its best wishes to everyone celebrating, in the hope that we will all be inspired by this message of solidarity and peace.