On 21 March 2019, the Dushanbe city government organised a street carnival, involving up to 25,000 people, to begin nationwide celebrations of Nowruz, the Central Asian traditional new year. The carnival, the first held in Tajikistan, was planned by Rustam Emomali, the president's eldest son and Dushanbe mayor since 2017. During the Nowruz events, he attended various public functions with his father, Emomali Rahmon, who has been Tajikistan's president since 1994. In recent months, Rustam Emomali has enjoyed a growing public profile, with frequent public events, including openings of new schools, parks or hospitals, being televised nationwide in prime time.
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