In cover of family trip

Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan

2023-08-08


The [Arak] Machine Sazi Factory went on strike in the winter of 1357 (1979), and because of this strike, the workers were not paid. Ayatollah Jannati, who had come to Arak to give a speech at this time, suggested that we issue bills to provide financial resources for the strikers, and he also said: "I will prepare the bills and you come to Qom, take them from me and distribute them to the people." At the house of Ayatollah Mohammad Emami located on Mokhaberat Street, I [Ahmed Masoumi], Mr. Mirjafari, Seyyed Reza Salehi, Ali Motamedi, Engineer Hosseini, Hossein Momeni and another employees of the Machine Sazi factory gathered to arrange the financial preparations of the strikers. In the meeting, Mr. Jannati's proposal was accepted and I was assigned to receive the bills from him. I went to Qom to collect bills, and in order not to be doubted, I went to Qom by my own car in the cover of family trip with my wife, my one-and-a-half-year-old son, and my sister's two daughters, one three-year-old and one five-year-old. To get the bills, I went to Mr. Shar'ee's house located on Chahar Mardan Street, which Mr. Jannati had already arranged with him by phone. Mr. Shar'ee had left five stacks of bills and many leaflets ready at home. I took the bills and leaflets from him and immediately left for Arak. My car broke down on the way. I quickly put the bills and some leaflets inside my shirt and hid the rest of the leaflets inside the car. Then, with the help of a car passing by, I towed my car to a nearby coffee shop. It was dark; I, my wife and children were waving for cars on the side of the road. A car with four passengers stopped for us. Four passengers sat together on the back seat and I, the lady, the son and the two loaned children sat on the front seat with difficulty until we reached Arak. When we arrived, no matter how much I urged them to come home, they refused and said that we were the drivers and had to go. They were drivers and wanted to go to Ahvaz.

The next morning, I went and towed the car and brought it to Arak. I handed over the bills to Ayatollah Emami. He divided some of the bills between me, Haj Rafiei and Haj Mansouri and said: "Distribute the bills in the market. You are allowed to sign their receipts instead of me." We gave the bills to the shopkeepers and took money from them. Each person paid as much as he could. Haj Ebrahim Hosseinjani, who was a carpet merchant and traveled between Iran and Germany, was the first person who gave a lot of money. He even gave a carpet for this purpose. I was a friend of him since almost high school. He recited eulogies and poems in Mr. Rafiei's meetings at Haj Mohammad Ebrahim Mosque. Haj Mansoori Govari and Mr. Abdul Hossein Kashani, who were well-known carpet merchants in Arak Bazaar, helped a lot in this regard.

To the credit of Ayatollah Emami and Ayatollah Mirjafari, we made a fund from the financial contributions that were collected. Then, with the help of activists such as Morteza Seyed Salehi, the head of Account Department of the Aluminum Company, and Mr. Karimi, an employee of this company, and other people, we identified the strikers and their homes. Then we would put the money in the envelope and take it to the addresses. Most of the time, we gave the collected money to the trustees of the workers of the industrial units to divide and distribute among them. For example, we gave the money of the Machine Sazi workers to Engineer Hosseini and his friends.

 

Source: Islamic Revolution in Arak as narrated by people, V. 2, interview and edition by Maryam Hajizadeh and Sareh Mashadi Miqani, Qom, Andisheh Sadeq, 1397 (2018), pp. 71-73.

 



 
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