By Armin Baldwin
Fereshteh Akhlaghi, a member of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK) 70 years of, has spent almost half her life in the Iranian Resistance fighting for a Free Iran, with the type of endurance and patience that is needed to overthrow dictators.
Akhlaghi, whose four children are also in the MEK, has recounted how her family became involved in the resistance when she was just a child, explaining that her father was arrested when she was just five years old and her grandfather lost his life during the uprising of the forest.
She said: “After that, I became acquainted with the MEK through one of our close relatives, Ghassem Bagherzadeh, who was a MEK member of a political prisoner at the time of the Shah. During my weekly visits to Ghassem in Qasr Prison, for the first time, I saw Massoud Rajavi, the leader of the MEK, behind prison bars. Ever since the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MKE) became my primary goal and wish because in them I saw human values and all that I believed and was hopeful about.”
Akhlaghi explained that the happiest moment of her life when a friend told her, while on a visit to Paris in 1985, she could join the MEK because until then she thought that she’d be excluded due to her age and her young children. Now she works in Research Unit on Martyrs, which involves completing and updating the memoirs of each martyr, through historical references and stories from those who knew them; some who have been looking for loved ones for 30 years or more.
Fereshteh Akhlaghi, member of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK)
She said: “My work here in the Iranian Resistance is one that is truly valuable to me and holds a special and dear place in my heart. I document and follow up on the status of martyrs and families of those heroes who have sacrificed their lives in this Resistance. This has been my job for the past 25 years; keeping a record of thousands of moments and memories of the selfless youth, women, and men of the Iranian Resistance who have sacrificed their lives.”
Akhlaghi explained that she has no doubt that Iran will be free in just a short time and able to heal from the pain inflicted on it by the Regime.
Then, she praised the women of the Resistance.
She said: “In the ranks of the Iranian Resistance, there are women from various classes of society each with their own views, perspectives, education, family history, and different ages and generations. We have all come here from different walks of life and places. Sometimes there are assumptions about some women’s experiences, age, and social status that may portray them as more experienced and competent than others… My answer lies in human values which have attracted me and everyone else in the Resistance to this organization. We have seen and learned that in the Mojahedin Organization (PMOI/MEK), the relations between members of this movement are made of love, kindness, and unity, which surpasses any difference in sex, age, experience, and personal characteristics.”