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By virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution of Virginia in the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, there is hereby officially recognized:

Persian Heritage Month

WHEREAS, the Persian civilization, the largest ethnic group of Iran, is one of the oldest civilizations on earth having existed for over 5,000 years; and

WHEREAS, Virginia is home to nearly 20,000 people of Persian descent, the 4th highest population of Iranians in the United States; and

WHEREAS, Iranians contribute to the business and economic landscape of the Commonwealth of Virginia; and

WHEREAS, as educated, successful, and dignified members of the community, hold professional and managerial occupations, the highest percentage of any ethnic group; and

WHEREAS, a study of the Small Business Administration concluded that Iranian immigrants are among the top 20 immigrant groups with the highest rate of business ownership, contributing to the American economy with a 21.5% business ownership rate; and

WHEREAS, as business owners, doctors, lawyers, engineers, and educators, Iranian Americans support the infrastructure of the United States by generating a total national net business income of $2.56 billion a year; and

WHEREAS, as immigrants and refugees, most Iranians hold stories of hardship and perseverance having endured dictatorship and religious prosecution in their homeland; and

WHEREAS, Iranian Americans have turned hardship into success in their new home, enriching and stabilizing this great nation to leave it a better place than they found it and have contributed to strengthening the Spirit of Virginia; and

WHEREAS, in the month of March, individuals of Persian heritage celebrate Nowruz, the beginning of their new year and the beginning of spring, a celebration of the harmony between nature and life; and

WHEREAS, citizens are encouraged to participate in activities designed to bring recognition, understanding, and appreciation to the contributions made by Iranian Americans;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Glenn Youngkin, do hereby recognize March 2024, as PERSIAN HERITAGE MONTH in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.