Source: Contra Costa Times
On March 30, 2003 the Contra Costa Times reported that "from Mustafa Hakimi's perspective, the Afghan new year celebration comes at just the right time... 'This is perfect," said the 18-year-old San Leandro [CA] resident and Afghan native. 'We want everybody to realize we are a friendly people, a peaceful people. Right now, people see an Arab and think the worst. They shouldn't...' Hakimi was one of about 50 merchants hawking their wares at the eighth annual Afghan New Year presented by Afghan Center/Nafisa Rouhani at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton... By noon Saturday, more than 1,000 people were milling about the fairgrounds, listening to Afghan music, tasting ethnic treats and buying rugs, jewelry and other trinkets... The new year's holiday is Afghanistan's biggest celebration, with children receiving gifts and families congregating for dinners. The holiday, which officially is March 21, marks the beginning of spring and was founded by the Zoroastrian prophet Spenta Zarathustra."