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Afghan community celebrates Nowruz, creation of community center

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Afghan community celebrated Nowruz Sunday at Indy’s Global Village. Organizers used the day to announce the creation of the Afghan American Community Center.

Many refugees have been in the United States for over a year and a half. Organizers say it’s really important for this community to have a place to celebrate and come together, showcase their culture, and celebrate what they’ve accomplished.

This celebration has been a year and a half in the making.

“This is a great way for them to connect as a united community here in Indiana,” said organizer Najia Sherzad Hosmand.

Despite the journey to get here, there’s plenty of joy in this room. A welcome relief for families still trying to resettle into a new country.

“I think this is a great opportunity for the Afghan community to come together, to celebrate the new year’s day as well as connect, collaborate and socialize,” she said.

Hundreds came together at the Global Village for the Nowruz Celebration. It marks the new year on the afghan calendar and the start of spring. There’s symbolism in the event, as it’s kicking off the start of something new. The Afghan American Community Center.

“There was a need to have an organization, an address where people could reach and come for their problems and contact as their community center. Not only that but to celebrate their culture but most importantly to come and ask for help,” Sherzad Hoshmand said.

Sherzad Hoshmand, like so many others, escaped Afghanistan when the Taliban took back over in 2021. Since then, she’s been working to settle her family and help others find their way. On average, resettling families receive 90 days of support.

“I believe that the families need more assistance and more help throughout their journey,” she said.

She says staying connected to community and culture is important for young and old. The focus will always be on uplifting and empowering the Afghan community.

Currently, the Afghan American Community Center doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar location. But organizers say they are accepting monetary donations and donations for household items.