A mosque of Tehran converted into a workshop produces masks

Une mosquée de Téhéran convertie en atelier produit des masques

Tehran | The mosque has been transformed into a tailoring shop. Lined up like school girls, each in front of a small table surmounted by a sewing machine, a dozen Iranian are busy making masks and sheets.

Here the chador black because these little hands are members of the Basij, this movement of “mobilization” popular backed the countless mosques that dot the territory of the islamic Republic.

And in these times of pandemic of novel coronavirus, almost all also wear a mask.

“Our group [of forty women] came each year on the battlefields of the Iran-Iraq war to serve the visitors”, explains to the AFP Fatemeh Saïdi, a young woman of 27 years engaged in the Basij with her husband.

More than thirty years after the end of the conflict (1980-1988), the group tours in these areas of the west facade of the country are a point of passage for the civic education of a good part of the iranian youth during the holiday of Persian New Year (end of march-beginning of April).

“This year, due to the spread of the coronavirus, travel between the cities have been banned and we have not been able to go there. Then we came here to serve our countrymen. We are working on this for over a month,” says Mrs Saïdi.

This contributes to the national effort to combat the pandemic of Covid-19, which particularly affects Iran.

“Our situation is doubly difficult,” said Monday the iranian president Hassan Rohani, “because we are faced with both sanctions [by the united states against Tehran, restored and intensified by president Donald Trump since may 2018] and the sars coronavirus”.

The domestic and foreign press has been invited to the mosque, Emamzadeh-Massoum, where work on these women in an area south-west of the iranian capital, on the occasion of the site visit by a senior member of the Guardians of the Revolution, the ideological army of the islamic Republic.

While the seamstresses sting, a team is responsible for cutting the strings of the masks thus produced, sorts and masks to the unit, placed in buckets. Other women bend and arrange the sheets printed fabric as their production.

In another room of the place of worship, the men sat on prayer mats have been making plastic gloves with mussels fusible rudimentary.

“We distribute these products in the hospitals and less-favoured areas of Tehran and several other cities,” says Ms Saïdi.

One of the volunteers does not cover the religious reasons of his presence: for it is neither more nor less than to “make happy the heart of Imam Zaman”, another name of the Mahdi, the last of the twelve holy imams revered in shiite islam in iran, overshadowed in his lifetime, and whose return is expected by the believers is to announce the end of time and the beginning of an era of justice and peace.

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