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Persian New Year

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

This weekend marks the start of the Persian New Year and New York's Iranian community is getting ready to celebrate. It's made up of Iranian Muslims, Iranian Jews, people who came here because of the Islamic revolution in 1979, and young people who grew up in the United States.

Mona Kayhan runs the Persian Arts Festival, which puts on arts events around the city. She says that U.S.-Iranian relations and differences within the Iranian community itself shouldn't get in the way of celebrating the culture.

KAYHAN: We decided that the way to expose the beauty behind the culture is to stay away from politics and to really highlight the artistic value behind these different genres of art.

They include Iranian cinema, and old and new takes on classical Persian music and poetry. A performance taking place this evening features singer Rana Farhan's jazz and blues arrangements of works by the famous poet Rumi.

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