On 30 March 2008, the Aga Khan Development Network hosted a Navroz reception in Dushanbe, Tajikistan with over 600 attendees including Jamati members and invited government and diplomatic guests.
The event featured an exhibition of children's artwork on the theme of Navroz. The art pieces were created by children at specially organized master-class workshops led by eminent Tajik artists. Bonu Saidova, a 9-year-old participant in the exhibition, remarked “I liked the art classes and especially the artist, who has shared with us his personal secrets about art, and I am very happy that on this Navroz my painting was shown at such a big exhibition.”
The main event commenced with a showing of video selections of Mawlana Hazar Imam's Golden Jubilee visit to East Africa, translated into Russian. It was followed by a ceremony recognizing the 2006 Grammy nomination of the Academy of Maqâm, a music group based in Dushanbe and sponsored by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, for their album Invisible Faces of the Beloved. The programme concluded with cultural performances by Tajik and Indian dance groups in celebration of the holiday.
Volunteers from across the Tajik Jamat – especially the youth – played a pivotal role in organizing the displays in the days leading up to the event as well as coordinating the flow of activities during the reception. Adiba Karimi, a volunteer on the catering team, noted that it was her first volunteer experience of this kind. “I managed a team of 15 volunteers and the dedication I could see both in them and in myself was just incredible. With my participation I wanted to put my own contribution towards a tradition of volunteerism in Tajikistan.”