Mahatma Gandhi said, “Poverty is the worst form of violence. “This well-known saying is as valid today as then. Sadly, little has been done to curb or extinguish the spread of poverty.
To understand the extent and seriousness of poverty, it is necessary to examine and correct the notion that poverty manifests itself only as material destitution. The full dimensions and manifestations of poverty can be understood as it relates to the Ahwazi people and their homeland.Despite the bounteous natural wealth and mineral wealth in Ahwaz, stretching from its north to its south and its east to its west, with over 90 percent of the oil and gas wealth claimed by Iran located in the region, crushing medieval poverty is rampant. Ahwazis are victims of institutionalized widespread destitution and deprivation, such as, for example, the lack of equal employment opportunities, decent education, health care, housing, clothing, clean drinking water, as well as the denial of access to social, political and economic rights. The scourge of poverty is rampant in Ahwazi areas and like malignant fatal disease hits and shatters and displaces Ahwazis.
The leading cause behind the spreading poverty in Ahwaz can, in part, be attributed to the unequal employment opportunities and stifling unemployment deliberately imposed on Ahwazis. These policies are an integral part of the Iranian regimes discriminatory policies directed against Ahwazis, who continue to demand their basic rights. The Iranian regime holds the Ahwazis as inferior due to their Arab ethnicity and propagates the mythology of Persians as a superior race. As such, Persians are accorded all rights and privileges.
After years of discriminatory policies of the regime, Ahwazi people lives turned into a museum of poverty and misery.
In this video , a young Ahwazi man, with an associate’s degree, addicted to drugs, tells his painful story and how poverty driven him to drug addiction. He says, “Inside this [Iranian] regime, everyone is a thief and no one thinks or cares about each other. For the regime apparatchiks, the only things that matter are collecting money and robbing the population in any way possible”. He continues, “In order to find any job you must have some connections and if you fail to find something by the time you are 30, no one will hire you, and you die”. “If you go apply for a job as a guard somewhere, the officials there will treat you like a worthless dog, as if you are a murderer”.
“I sit among the ruins and use drugs for long hours, spending time in sadness and misery, melting down like a candle until eventually I will die and will be buried under ground”.
Another guy sitting across from the speaker asks: Have you tried to quit and stop drug abuse? He responds: “Yes, I did many times, but each time I face a deadlock.” He continued “When you know that nobody cares about you, and when you have nowhere to go, you have no other options but to sit abusing drugs until you die.” The guy asked the drug addict directly: “Do you have any expectations from this regime?” He says: “Yes, I do; I have many expectations, but one simple thing would be to have them provide clean drinking water for people. Hahaha, they are fooling people.” He continued: “A bunch of incompetent thieving officials are taking over everything; all they care about is robbing us of money. Also, they are the ones distributing drugs, and then they arrest people.”
Ahwazis continue to live in such extreme poverty and deprivation that many of them have no alternative but to consider leaving their homeland as the only viable option available to them. The heinous act of forcible displacement and homelessness is strongly encouraged and fueled by the Iranian regime which facilitates the process of changing the demography of the Ahwaz region. The Iranian regime uses and exploits poverty as a cruel weapon against Ahwazis with the sole purpose of forcing them to leave their lands.