On the occasion of Newroz, the Kurdish new year, the KRG Representation in Austria welcomed the Austrian and Kurdish diplomatic communities for a reception at the Hotel Marriott in Vienna.
A festival of peace, freedom and new beginnings, Newroz is the most significant celebration for Kurds. It marks both the Kurdish New Year and the beginning of spring. The event was attended by various Ambassadors and diplomats, Austrian ministry officials and politicians, as well as members of the Austrian Kurdish and Arab communities. It began with a cover of Hasan Zirak’s ballad “Newroz” by the children of the Kurdish School in Vienna and was followed with welcoming remarks by the KRG Representative to Austria, Dr. Mustafa Ramazan, as well as the Iraqi Ambassador to Austria, H.E. Dr. Surood Najib.
Upon thanking the guests for joining in the celebration of the 2713th Newroz, Dr. Ramazan talked about the particular importance of this year’s ceremonies with regards to the past struggles of the Kurdish people. “March is a difficult month for us Kurds. Sorrow and joy lie very close together. A few days ago, we commemorated the 25th Anniversary of the poison gas attack on the Kurdish town of Halabja, honouring the memories of the victims. Halabja was the sad culmination of the Anfal campaign against the Kurds of Iraq, where more than 182,000 people lost their lives.
“However, today we have come together to celebrate a joyful day, Newroz. A celebration of international understanding of peace and freedom. The Kurdistan Region has developed rapidly. The economy is booming, new schools, roads and homes have been built. The people in the region are much better off today than they were 10 years ago. This shows the amount of potential there is in Iraq. Together we have left the dark chapter of our history behind us and are moving toward a bright and prosperous future in which dialogue, democracy and the respect for human rights prevail.”
The event also included musical performances by Kurdish harpist Tara Jaff, Tambur musician Asmad Omari and his associates Vindar Husni and Rafat al-Schimali as well as a dinner banquet.