Basij is a Farsi word meaning to rally together, to mobilize. But in today's Iran Basij is also the name of a club.
It has several functions all aimed at helping the nation prosper and develop. Its members are volunteers, who help the government with wide scale projects like vaccinations and the reconstruction of homes in village all in the name of community spirit.
The Basij is principally a youth club that works to give members an active and positive role in their society. Active Basij members can get training in numerous fields free of charge. From athletics, plumbing and construction work, to archery and firearms training.
In some villages you can even take beekeeping courses. But what we've just described is not the image many people have of the Basij. The reason for that is the sacred defense aspect of Basij activities, which goes back to Iran's 8 year war with Iraq.
Some say that without the Basij, Iran would have lost the war. Back then members of the Basij became a force to be reckoned with; an army of volunteers spurred on by nothing but patriotism.
And today still, the Basij has an active role in sacred defense, and upholding the values of the 1979 Islamic revolution. In this edition of the show we will be learning more about the Basij and its millions strong members.
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