by Azadeh A

I had gone to see one of my friends by the name of Ali Salari. The resident Iraqi physician in a small clinic of Camp Liberty, home to several thousand Iranian dissidents adjacent to Baghdad International Airport, did not allow me into his room and asked me to wait a few more minutes… I had brought some pastries to see him while he was sick. It was a very long time since I had last seen him and I couldn’t wait any longer. I had heard he was diagnosed with cancer, but I hadn’t the slightest clue until just a few months ago. You see, this is how Iranian freedom fighters in Camp Liberty are, meaning despite all their pains and illnesses, they try not show it to cause less worry amongst their colleagues.

I was still waiting outside his room when I couldn’t tolerate it any longer and knocked on the door for the second time. The doctor once again asked me to please, wait a few more minutes… all my memories of Ali were passing right before my eyes. He was truly a very energetic freedom fighter from the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas, and he had gone through much hardship and major challenges in life. He had fought against all the odds like a hero, because he wanted his country to be free and be rid of the ayatollahs ruling as dictators. I was lost in these memories when the doctor came out of his room and said: “I am sorry, but Ali…”

I became dizzy and couldn’t hear a thing. I replied, “What do you mean? Did he pass away? Why didn’t you let me to see him one last time, doctor?”

There was a long, deep silence that meant only pain! The doctor answered kindly, “I didn’t want you to see him struggling for his last breaths…” It was probably the hardest few minutes of my life. I thought I could have seen him one last time, this freedom fighter that had endured the blockade imposed on us in this camp in the outskirts of Baghdad. It took a lot of courage to endure what he went through…

As much as he loved to live, the siege and prison-like conditions brought on to this camp robbed him of this opportunity. He went through much pain and tolerated an inhumane siege on the camp imposed by Iraqi forces associated to the Iranian regime. This blockade is the result of behind-the-curtain deals of a filthy and inhumane plot aimed at silencing the only hope of establishing democracy and freedom in Iran. This was a conspiracy aimed at stopping the winds of change in the ‘Iran Spring’.

Ali had truly witnessed the harsh conditions that his people inside Iran are enduring. Our generation is willing to sacrifice it’s all for freedom. Ali’s sacrifice, and that of his colleagues in Camp Liberty, has become an inspiration for millions of Iranians inside the country and abroad. More than 100,000 Iranians and hundreds of prominent political, legal, parliamentary and religious dignitaries from four corners of the globe including the Middle East, will be gathering in Paris on June 13th to express their support for these Iranian dissidents in Camp Liberty and hear from their leader, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, a charismatic Muslim women and democrat. Iranians consider these freedom fighters as the answer to the challenges we face today against Iran Mullahs Islamic extremism and its nuclear threat.

Without a doubt and despite all the hardships, there is a light at the end of tunnel for Iranian and other nations in the Middle East.