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Newroz pîroz be!

Today marks the first day of spring—which the Kurdish people celebrate as Newroz, the new year. On the traditional calendar, it is now the year 1389.

For those who don’t know, the term Newroz derives from two Kurdish words: new, meaning new; and roz, meaning day—and represents the single most important holiday for Kurds.

Legend has it that Kowa, the son of a blacksmith, killed a child-eating giant and then after slaying the monster lit a fire to signal to his terrorized people that they no longer need live in fear.

Kurds, which are considered to be the descendants of Kowa, light fires during Newroz as a symbol survival in the face of tyranny. And each year of the post-Saddam era, it is most appropriate for us to celebrate in this fashion. We are now free from that tyranny.

With the departure of one monster, however, we must remain vigilant in staving off others. We live in a place that is prone to giving rise corruptive powers.

Fortunately, Iraq has as its institutional basis a constitution that provides us with this type of security. It was the spark which gave rise to a country. And it will be the fire that keeps away the darkness of evil and oppression.

As the electoral process continues and votes are counted, we must be patient in forming the next government—for it will be the one responsible for implementing core aspects of the constitution. Its mandate will be to ensure the long-term stability and security of the country for all people. And if it does, we will all be free from tyranny and look forward to every day as a new day.

Bijî Newroz!


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