In mid-March CMEC held its second “Norouz” reception to celebrate the Iranian new year. The new year which fell on Saturday 20th March this year marks the beginning of the Spring Equinox and is celebrated by over 300 million people worldwide.
The Hon. Nicholas Soames MP, Honorary President of CMEC and former Minister of State for the Armed Forces, was guest speaker at the reception. Nicholas spoke of the symbolism of Norouz, which means ‘new day’, and the hope, peace and prosperity that it is believed to bring. He also looked at what CMEC’s Iran Programme have covered over the last year including meetings with the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA), the British Ambassador to Iran HE Simon Gass and Nobel Prize winner, Dr Shirin Ebadi.
CMEC’s acting Honorary Secretary, Baroness Morris of Bolton, was also welcomed by Mr Soames. After the event she said:
The CMEC Norouz reception was delightful. As someone new to this important cultural celebration I was able to learn more about its history and importance to Iranians and the many other people worldwide who celebrate it. I look forward to learning more about Iran in my new role of Hon Secretary at CMEC and meeting the many supporters and community members who are also involved.
The reception was held at Parliament and a traditional haft-sin table with flowers, sweets and other traditional items was displayed with the kind help of CMEC’s supporters. Members of Parliament, including David Lidington MP, Dominic Grieve MP, and David Amess MP were all able to learn more about the traditions of Norouz and to celebrate with members of the British-Iranian community who attended. Iranian canapés and champagne cocktails were served to the guests.