My Journey to the “Galaxy of Liberty“, Free Iran Gathering
I was one of the lucky hundred and so thousand people who were able to travel to Paris, this July. You may think I was lucky to take a nice little vacation to France, see the attraction of Paris, take a nice trip to the country side and taste some good wine, or go to the Saint-Denis stadium and see the UEFA Euro Cup 2016 soccer match between the teams of France and Portugal.
Actually no! I believe I was very lucky to be able to attend the most spectacular event of my life ever, the annual gathering of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) supporters in Paris. I went to Le Bourget to protest against the cruelties conducted by the Mullahs fascist regime in the Middle East and support regime change in Iran with the leadership of Maryam Rajavi.
As an Iranian human rights activist, I am very familiar with the history of Khomeini’s oppressive regime. Every day, I read the news about illegitimate arrests, imprisonments, torture of prisoners, executions, and other brutalities conducted by the regime in Iran. I also come across to the images of the people who live in absolute poverty, the homeless kids who sleep on the streets at night, and young people who committed suicide due to poverty, and many other sad images on the web that manifest mass oppression sponsored by this regime.
Further, I am well aware of how Khomeini, the godfather of ISIS and his fascist successor Khamenei have been oppressing my people for 37 years, and how the regime has been trying to build an Islamic Empire through creating disability and destructive wars in the Middle East. Then, I realized that as a conscious human being and an exiled Iranian I must avoid ignoring the cruelties of the regime and must attend the Free Iran gathering in Paris and be the voice of the oppressed people inside of Iran.
In August, as soon as I learned about the time and location of the grand Iranian gathering, I took time off from work, booked my flights, and with so much excitement became prepared to attend the gathering. On Thursday July the 7th, I flew to France with several of my relatives and friends and joined many others in morning of the 9th, in the massive parking lot of Le Bourget convention center.
What a spectacular gathering this was! Colorful lights, the Iranian sun and lion flags, Maryam Rajavi’s images, various symbols of the Iranian resistance, and other items decorated Le Bourget Grand Convention Center. The large white and shiny stage was nicely designed and the wall behind it was, in fact, a massive multi-dimensional flat screen, which was broadcasting the event in the convention center. There were also large flat screen televisions in all four upper corners of the convention center, which made it easy for the crowd to see what was happening on the stage. On each side of the stage there was a very large sitting section, which was designated for the delegates of invited countries with each representative’s name and his/her country’s flag on the desk in front of him/her.
The event officially started at 10:30 AM, but the convention center became almost filled with people by 9:00 o’clock. I noticed the presence of thousands of men, women, and children, in various age groups and with different cultures, ethnicities, and languages in the place. A lot of people were waving the Iranian sun and lion, Syrian, Iraqi, Yamani, Palestinian, Kurdish flags, and the flags that had the image of Mrs. Rajavi printed on them. Many were also holding signs and symbols of the Iranian resistance and the People’s Mojahedin’s of Iran Organization (PMOI) flags. Some others were just shouting the slogans of the resistance such as “we will build 1000 Ashrafs.” Yellow was the chosen color of this year’s event, which symbolized protest. Some people were wearing yellow T-shirts or hats while holding the images of political prisoners in Iran.
The convention center was very massive in size and it would take five-six minutes to walk from front to the back of it. In the back of the convention center I saw a very large crowd of men, women, and children who were waving the Iraqi, Syrian, Yamani, Palestinian, and Kurdish flags, and also the images of Mrs Rajavi while shouting slogans against the Iranian regime and the Syrian dictator in Arabic and English. They were also singing revolutionary songs while clapping their hands. The presence of representatives of various Iranian ethnic and ideological groups including Kurds and Lores, Marxists, and Christians were noticeable.
The participants of the event were exhibiting a lot of energy, which was manifested through their constant flag waving and shouting supporting slogans for Mrs. Rajavi. The active participation of people at the event helped me understand that as a popular revolutionary organization, the PMOI has carried out one of its main responsibilities, and that is empowering the oppressed peoples to fight for their own rights and liberate themselves from the hands of dictators. In July 9th, thousands of exiled Iranian dissidents and oppressed Middle Easterners gathered together in Le Bourget and exhibited their unity under the leadership of Maryam Rajavi. They all showed that they are united together regardless of their ideological, political, and religious differences and are ready to bring down all forms of dictatorships in the Middle East.
During the event, which lasted for 12 hours, nobody appeared tired and bored as evidenced by their active participations and loud slogans, which they were shouting in support of the Iranian resistance and their loud clapping to admire the speakers. One of the feature, which helped me increase my energy and participation during the long event were the powerful speech of Mrs. Rajavi, in which she said “even if freedom is in the mouth of a dragon, we will take it out,” or when she gave a massage of hope for a free and modern Iran, which will be empty of any forms of dictatorship and injustice.
Though there were a plenty of food and beverages being passed around, another thing, which helped me enjoy my time at the event and increase my energy were the live musical performances, and the revolutionary songs and video clips being played. The performance of the Albanian National Orchestras with the leadership of Mr. Mohammad Shams was especially great!
During the event, representatives of the international delegates one after the other made a speech in witch he/she declared his/her support for regime change in Iran and endorsed the PMOI’s struggle for freedom and democracy. Though Mrs. Rajavi’a great speech was the hallmark of the Iran Freedom gathering, the surprise of the even in my opinion was the powerful speech made by Prince Turki al-Faisal, the representative from Saudi Arabia. During his speech, Mr. Faisal endorsed the PMOI’s struggle for freedom by stating “Your legitimate struggle against the regime will achieve its goal, sooner or later… I, too, want the fall of the regime.” He also described Khomeini’s regime as a cancer that has spread throughout the region. Additionally, Mr. Faisal declared that the Iranian people are the first victims of the Iranian regime.
If Mr. Faisal’s presence at the Free Iran gathering was a very large surprise for us, the exiled Iranian dissidents, his speech, in fact, was a powerful hammer that strongly hit Khomeini’s fascist regime. Prince Faisal’s presence and speech, on the other hand, were very comforting to the Arab guests at the event. As he was speaking, the entire convention center was silent and when he paused the Arabs were saluting and admiring him through their slogans. As an exiled Iranian and a victim of the regime, I admire Mr. Faisal’s awareness and understating that we the people of Iran are the first victims of Khomeini’s religious dictatorship.
Another surprise of the event, in my opinion, was the presence of Mr. Saeed Abedini, the Iranian pastor who spent over three years of his life in the regime’s prisons for his Christian faith. During his speech, Mr. Abedini predicted that “the resurrection of the Iranian people shall arrive very soon.” I became very impressed with Mr. Abedini’s charisma, his stance against injustice in Iran, and support for Mrs. Rajavi’s cause.
Noticing thousands of people attending the event from around the world in spite of their own issues to deal with, I learned that there are still conscious beings in the world who care about their fellow humans. For instance, without any expectations for compensation, individuals like Mr. Patrick and Mrs. Kerry Kennedy left their families and work in the United States and traveled to Paris to attend the Free Iran event and support the Iranian peoples struggle for freedom. The high level of devotion and participation, which I noticed at the event helped me regain my hope for justice and improvement of human condition in my own country and elsewhere in the world.
As an exiled Iranian, I believe that my people are the most fortunate folks in the world for having one of the most powerful resistance movements in the history. A movement, which is as immortal as the Persian civilization, culture, and language! During its 51- years of existence, even the most powerful forces in the world have not been able to destroy the People’s Mojahedin’s Organization including the massacres of 120,000 of its supporters by Khomeini’s regime and massive and “continues” bombardments of its members by the regime’s fascist brigades in Iraq.
I also believe a movement that is completely relied on its people, has been able to survive many conspiracies orchestrated by the regime and its international allies, and yet has been able to gather over 100,000 of its supporters under the same roof in Paris will definitely destroy Khomeini’s fascist regime and will bring peace, freedom, and happiness to Iran and the Middle East. If the Mojahedin movement has been able to survive all the ups and downs of struggle with the most tyrannical regime in the Iranian history, it is due to having very conscious and dedicated leaders like Masoud and Maryam Rajavi.