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Where’s the world’s largest nursing home?

The first-hand account of an Albanian citizen on the MEK camp

MEK Camp Ashraf 3 in Tirana

An Albanian citizen who, on the condition of anonymity, wrote a brief description of his several-hours visit from the camp of the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO/ MEK/ PMOI/ the Cult of Rajavi) in Tirana, Albania:
I quickly wore my suit and my shoes and walked; we had to visit the camp of an opposition group of the Iranian government. Some people inside this city came to accompany us. They spoke English fairly well, but sometimes because of their age, they forgot some words and phrases.

However, we went with them and after leaving the city we reached a pretty farmland on the edge of Tirana. The cars stopped at the entrance door of a new camp, and an obese woman, who was wearing magnifying glasses and her face was full of wrinkles, came to us. The cars crossed a few niches and a new building and stopped at a meeting hall. Our group was welcomed by some of the Iranian group officials and we were led into the hall. I got into the hall behind them.

When I looked at the audience, I was a little surprised. The current population was men and women dressed in tidy clothes, but the average age was 60-70years.I could clearly see facial wrinkles, hairless heads, fallen shoulders, humpy waists, hearing aids in the ears and glasses on their eyes. Particularly when they laughed, spilled teeth of some of them drew my attention. In order to escape this old man’s space, I spoke slowly in the ears of the group’s head: “As you talk, I’m going to look around”. I went outside the hall to visit the complex.

MEK Camp Ashraf 3 in Tirana

One of the Iranians who was younger than the rest of them, came to accompany me. The construction was still underway, but as I turned my eyes, I saw no child, nor a teenager nor a girl nor a boy. I asked my companion who really was watching me, “Where are the little ones and the beautiful girls”? He told me: “we do not have children and we are all single here”. We decided to separate women from men and not to reproduce to fight better! I looked at him with amazement and I went to a hall where they were dormant and I looked at it from the window. Large photos of Massoud and Maryam Rajavi were installed in the wall. Wheelchairs, walkers, canes, pills and medications, diapers and … were things that at first glance drew attention. Some were sleeping on the beds, and some were sitting on their wheelchairs; several people were watching the television set on the wall. The man gently took my hand to the other side of the field. A little car crossed us, while a white-haired man was crying in the back seat. I asked him about the cause, He laughed and showed his head with his hand, and said, “It is a forgetful one …he had Alzheimer. He usually loses many times throughout the day. In Iraq he was a tank driver, but now …”

MEK Camp Ashraf 3 in Tirana

It was really getting interesting.

A little bit farther, several middle-aged women wearing head scarves were sitting on a bench under the sun light. Several of elderly people were walking and exercising near them. We walked toward them. My companion said something in Farsi to them and they all laughed. Their facial wrinkles were very noticeable. I asked one of these old women: where are your families? He answered with a loud voice: “My husband and I, 40 years ago, sent my only son to my father’s house in Tehran, saying that we were going to Iraq and returning soon. But the fight was long. My parents died, my husband died in Iraq and we buried him in the pearl cemetery. One of my relatives in Baghdad, died in Liberty, and I was recently discharged from the American Hospital in Tirana. I’ve been hospitalized for 3 months, and several parts of my body have been under surgery, I’ll probably die here as well. With saying that, tears flowed from her eyes.

MEK Camp Ashraf 3 in Tirana

Another lady sitting there stared at an unidentified point, and during my coming and going, there was no change in her condition. I asked again: Are you in contact with your family? Do you have a telephone connection? Will they come to visit you? She shook her head and said with the same loud voice that “we have nothing to do with anyone and anywhere at all”. The third woman with a rough voice said: “But I do not like it here, it’s like sadness of the world is all here, I was very much alive, but this last stroke…” And with her hand, she also pointed to her swollen leg and continued: “My brother’s son was with us in Iraq, but when we arrived, he fled with his friend and went to the UN refugee camp in Tirana.”

I got off of them and with using my phone’s internet I searched for the American Hospital inTirana, which she had told me. I found interesting things and it turned out that a large number of their patients are members of the same group who carry a lot of physical and psychological problems.

During the time that was left, I visited the area and several buildings. There was no sign of laugh and hope in the faces. All the people were mournful, depressed like they are waiting for their death. After about an hour I returned to the group. The tour was almost over. The people around the visitors were slightly different from the members I saw; they were a bit younger than people I’ve seen.

Of course, this was sort of a show that the organization had arranged for us. Then they took us to the hall, where almost 100 people attended. Some of the exciting musicals that they called revolutionaries were played, so that everyone in the hall was even excited. Even a few elderly people were very emotional. This condition reminded me of the survivors and veterans of World War II camp.

On the way back, I said my own impression of what I had seen at Camp Tirana and the plight of 2,500 people living with them, and I also said that in my opinion there is only one description for that place and that is a “nursing home”, perhaps the largest nursing home in the world. I would certainly be sending a Guinness Representative here for the global registration if I can. One of my companions listened to me and asked: “Is making the hearts of these old men and women happy a bad thing??You think that the money spent on them, is for them to fight? no, it’s just to keep them alive. Behold! Here is a faraway exile.”

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