"Cultural Center director Hamid Sadeghi: "The City of Games for Revolutionary Children [park was opened] at Mashhad's Kooh Sangi Park by the Child and the Future Cultural Center organization. It will be open September 18 to September 28, and children aged eight to 13 will be admitted free. At the City of Games, we are trying to convey to the children messages about fighting, the Holy Defense [i.e. Iran-Iraq War] and current global issues, through games, amusements, and group activities.
"After registering, the children enter the City of Games compound and split up into groups of eight to 10. They don uniforms and go through 12 [activity] stations.
"One of [our] cultural experts guides the children at the City of Games. First they are brought into the stations of the Ghadir [Shi'ite holiday honoring Imam 'Ali's succession to the Prophet Muhammad] and of the Lovers of Ahl Al-Bayt [the family of the Prophet Muhammad descended from 'Ali], and [the guide] explains to them about the Mahdi [the Shi'ite messiah]. Then they reach the station of the Rule of the Jurisprudent [Velayat-e Faqih], and then the station of the Revolution, where the guide explains about the Islamic Revolution and how the Iranian nation vanquished the [Shah's] dictatorship. An explanation is also provided about the directives of the Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah] Khomeini and [Supreme] Leader Khamenei. Each group of children is assigned a commander who must be obeyed.
"Next, the children enter the first station of the Holy Defense, which houses the dome of the Tomb of Imam Reza [the eighth imam]. Like the fighters during the eight years of the Holy Defense, the children take leave of the Imam Reza and set out for the [battle]fronts.
"The children follow various paths simulating fighting the enemy, and at some places, the children learn about simple [combat] methods such as firing plastic artillery shells at a simulated enemy as well as aiming and firing a rifle with plastic bullets at [an effigy] of Netanyahu and at U.S. and Israeli flags. Here the guide tells the children a story about some of the operations that were carried out during the eight years of the Holy Defense.
"[After] the children are victorious in the war, they enter the station of the defense of the Shrine of Zaynab [the granddaughter of Muhammad and the daughter of 'Ali, who according to Shi'ite tradition is buried in Damascus] and learn about defending the holy places, about the fighting in Syria against ISIS, and about anti-ISIS thought. At this stage, the children are tasked with finding bullets, each of which have a single letter written on it, and then play a game to complete sentences according to the guide's instructions. That is, the guide asks a question and the children have to find letters and make words and sentences out of them to answer his question.
"After that, the children have a contest throwing balls at effigies of ISIS and the Saudi royal family, and finish the station [activity] in triumph. Next they enter an area simulating the Shrine of Zaynab, and watch a video on the defense of the shrine. Finally, they receive a cultural souvenir gift, and then they enter the final stage.
"At the final station, the children learn that the most important element[s] for attaining victory are wisdom and intelligence for fighting the enemy.
"At this station, the children are blindfolded and asked to throw a ball at an Israeli flag in the form of a puzzle and knock it down, and then to assemble a puzzle of an Iranian flag.
"For each group, this [entire activity] path should take 30-45 minutes, and then the children are handed back to their families.
"So far, this City of Games has been in great demand... if the demand continues, we will extend it to October 1, if the Mashhad municipality's Culture and Leisure Department supports it... The exhibit hours are 4-11 pm. "