Honoring Innocent Lives Lost: A Tribute on Family Day

Every year on May 15th, the world celebrates International Day of Families. This day recognizes the importance of families as the fundamental unit of society and highlights the critical role they play in our lives. Families provide love, support, and a sense of belonging. They are the cornerstone of a healthy and prosperous society.

However, for countless families in Iran, the reality of International Day of Families is a stark contrast to the joyous celebrations depicted around the world. Iran has endured decades of terrorism, leaving a devastating trail of shattered families and orphaned children. Brutal terrorist attacks have ripped apart homes, leaving behind unspeakable grief and a yearning for a life that could have been.

Here, we pay tribute to one of the countless Iranian families who have been tragically impacted by terrorism.

The Arjmand Ziarati Family

The Arjmand Ziarati family, residing in the city of Abadan, Iran, was a testament to resilience and dedication. Ismail Arjmand Ziarati, born in 1931 in the village of Ziarat, and Ezzat Bakhashi, born in 1950 in Borazjan, built their lives around faith, hard work, and family values. They instilled these principles in their four children: Alireza, Masha, Matin, and Mehrdokht.

Their story began in the vibrant city of Abadan, where Ismail and Ezzat started their life together in 1970. As the family grew, so did their commitment to each other and their community. Ismail, with his strong belief in justice, actively engaged in resolving disputes and contributing to charitable activities. Ezzat, a dedicated mother, ensured her children received a proper education while supporting her husband in his endeavors. Their daughter, Masha, was born in 1976, followed by Alireza in 1979. Both children grew up in Abadan.

However, tragedy struck the Arjmand Ziarati family on a fateful day in 1986. In pursuit of fulfilling a vow, the family embarked on a journey to the holy shrine of Imam Reza (AS) in Mashhad. Little did they know that their trip would end in devastation. On the 19th of August, while purchasing plane tickets in Ferdowsi Square, Tehran, an explosion orchestrated by heartless terrorists ripped through the bustling square.

The brutal blast, orchestrated by the notorious Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) terrorist group, claimed the lives of Ismail and Ezzat, along with their children Alireza and Masha, leaving behind their other children, Matin and Mehrdokht, as orphans. The family's dreams and aspirations were shattered in an instant, leaving a void that could never be filled.

Alireza, at the tender age of seven, and Masha, at ten, joined the ranks of countless innocent victims of terrorism in Iran and their promising futures were cut short. The Arjmand Ziarati family's story serves as a poignant reminder of the human cost of terrorism and the resilience of those left behind. However, there is a glimmer of hope. Legal proceedings against the perpetrators, the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) terrorist group, are currently underway in Iran, with 12 court sessions already held. This marks a positive step forward, albeit only the beginning.

As we commemorate the International Day of Families, let us remember the Arjmand Ziarati family and countless others like them who have been torn apart by acts of terrorism. Let us honor their memory by standing united against terrorism in all its forms and ensuring that such tragedies never happen again.