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Photos + Video: Tri-Cities Iranian community celebrated through music, dancing

Aligning with Nowruz, a pair of Coquitlam politicians co-hosted a gathering in support of the "Women - Life - Freedom" movement.

Iranian musicians and dancers from across Metro Vancouver performed in Coquitlam last night (April 5) to mark the advent of Persian New Year.

And it gave the Tri-Cities a chance to embrace the region's multiculturalism.

More than 250 people, including members of Coquitlam's Iranian-Canadian community, attended the celebration event on Wednesday at the Evergreen Cultural Centre.

As well, it was organized as a beacon of support for those suffering current human rights issues in the Middle East.

The "Women - Life - Freedom" movement sparked following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini (Persian: مهسا امینی) who was in the custody of Iran's morality police, allegedly for not wearing her hijab properly.

Massive protests have been held around the world since her death to show solidarity with the demonstrators in Iran and to protest the Islamic republic.

Port Moody-Coquitlam MP Bonita Zarrillo said it's important to stand behind the brave Iranians who continue to protest, at risk of their own personal safety, for women's equality and national liberation.

"The Iranian Cultural Evening was a testament to the strong Persian community in the Tri-Cities, and the event was a wonderful opportunity for a cultural exchange and friendship-building," said Zarrillo in a release.

She co-hosted the event alongside the Iranian Seniors Club and Coquitlam-Burke Mountain MLA Fin Donnelly.

The cultural event was also held in alignment with Norwuz.

Singers, musicians and dancers — traditional and contemporary — graced the stage to showcase their talent and expressed hope for an equal future for their home country.

Organizer Mojgan Towhid was also presented a "certificate of appreciation" from Zarrillo for her efforts to unite and celebrate Coquitlam's diversity.

A similar event was held in November at Evergreen Cultural Centre in an early stand of solidarity for the Persian community and the "Women - Life - Freedom" movement.

According to Census 2021, roughly 7,585 residents of Coquitlam identified as born in Iran before immigrating to Canada.

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