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Afghanistan To Host Economic Cooperation Organization Cultural Week

KABUL -- Cultural week at Afghanistan's Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) will kick off on March 21 on Norouz, the celebration of the first day of spring in Muslim communities, in the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif.

Deputy Cultural and Information Minister Najibullah Manalai told RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan that the Iranian and Tajik foreign ministers, representatives from the 10 ECO member states, and thousands of Afghans will join in the celebrations.

Norouz brings in the New Year for Afghanistan, Iran, and many Central Asian countries.

It is traditionally observed in Afghanistan by performing national dances, making special sweets, and putting up a pillar covered with green cloth as a good omen.

The ECO groups Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.