Home » The cult of Rajavi » Atefeh Sebdani: May Day, Child Labor in the MEK

Atefeh Sebdani: May Day, Child Labor in the MEK

May Day, Child Labor in the MEK

A picture that reveals many details… read on.

What is May Day for you?

For me, pure pain. That meant jobs, child labor. When everyone else was free, cozying up and enjoying the warm rays of spring, we were up early accompanied by orders and tasks until it was evening again. And if the sun came out, which it usually did on May 1st, we came home exhausted with burnt noses.

The picture is not from the first of May but another demonstration, in Oslo if I remember correctly. A demonstration I describe in my book as one of the worst of the thousands we had during our childhood. That little boy of 10 or so years finally started crying from the double-digit freezing temperatures that bit into our marrow and we no longer felt our body parts.
In the picture you also see the drum orchestra I am talking about. I’m the one with the fake fur on the hood. No, it wasn’t easy, even incredibly painful to drum with frozen fingers. Inside, I was crying from the pain but was not allowed to show it outwardly. Those who passed by didn’t get to see how tormented we really were.

Of everyone I can identify in the picture, all but three have dropped out. Two of those who remain were my friends who today take every opportunity to assassinate me.
This was one of the first times our drum orchestra played and made a noticeable (audible) impression. If you look closely you will also notice the Mujahedin symbol of the military/resistance/cult on the drums. Do you understand these details that no one questioned that we children openly displayed? My little brother Mosa, who is on the left in the picture, has a “sign necklace” with a photo of a martyr on it. That was no oddity.

So there we were, on every single day off or skipping school quite often and pretending to be sick. Week after week. Year after year. In minus thirty to plus thirty. Rain, storm, scorching sun, freezing cold. The weather never mattered. Not even if a man like me suffers from chronic pain that the adults knew was made worse by the cold.
May Day was one of the most important working days for the children of the Mujahedin.

Today, however, I will have a party for my boy. My activism should inspire him, but never impose on him. He is not free labor. He is a child who should be allowed to be a child before the rest of his life is about everything else.
What is May 1st for you?

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