Photo: The Telegraph, U.K.
A conversation with a newly immigrated Afghan – Hassan Etemadi
This is my first Nowroz (Afghan New Year) celebration outside Afghanistan, without my larger family and the members of my village. Perhaps my wife and I will have to make our own traditions in the United States but I would like to share what we did in Afghanistan.
In my village, in the province of Ghazni, we celebrated the New Year for three days. Women wore new clothes, they put on henna on their hands, and they cooked special dishes to welcome the New Year.
Children donned their best outfits and played competitive games of marble, boiled egg fighting and hopscotch with their cousins and neighbors. During Nowroz, I got three days leave from my work in the U.S. base, which I spent with my family.
Men gathered at the mosque for prayer where they were encouraged to settle old disputes and start the New Year with a fresh start. I wonder what another year in the United States will bring for me and my family.
Hassan & his best friend Stetson Sanders in the F.O.B in Ghazni
Hassan was a Country Advisor and Linguist for the highest-ranking State Department Representative in the Forward Operating Base of Ghazni. He and his wife immigrated to the United States under the Special Immigration Visa program. Their daughter Sara was born 6 weeks ago, she is the first and only member of the family with U.S. citizenship. They too are making a fresh start in the United States.
Nowroz celebration in Kabul - Photos AP