Two hundred and ninety-eighth night of reminiscences

Shrine Defenders like Sacred Defense Warriors

Maryam Rajabi
Translated By: Fazel Shirzad

2019-01-15


Note: According to Iranian oral history website, Two hundred and ninety eighth night of reminiscences of sacred defense was held at Art Center’s Andisheh Hall on Thursday, December 27th 2019. Masoud Nouri, Abbas Boostani, Hassan Arabi and Mohsen Safa’i spoke about their memories of shrine and sacred defense’s defenders.

 

These martyrs...

The first narrator of this night was Masoud Nouri, who entered the sacred defense’s Front at age 19. It means he was in war for 51 months- more than four years. He was also in the position of Dispensary Assistant of the 27th Division of Mohammad Prophet (PBUH), and after the end of the war, he continued his mission at Tehran’s Baqiyatallah Hospital as an administrator. And now he is retired and engaged in cultural affairs. One of his honors is that he was the comrade of martyr Mohammad Ebrahim Hemmat in the war. Masoud Nouri said: "Early in the war and at the height of tragedy of country, Imam Khomeini said that if there was only one city in this country, there was a neighborhood in that city, there was one house in that neighborhood, and there was one person remained in that house, he was responsible for defending this country. In the war, Imam identified a responsibility for all to defend Islam. We had a full-armed enemy in front of us.

 

 

We were being prepared for operations in the western part of the country; highlands named Bamo and Sheikh Saleh area were in the dominance of cities Qarmal, Seyed Sadegh and Halabcheh, and these dominance continued to Sulaimaniyah of Iraq. After operation Valfajr 1 which we failed in, we planned to design additional operations to succeed. For more than five to six months, some intelligence works along with preparation for the operation took place in this areas. All units were ready.

In the area between Islamabad and Kermanshah, we had camps on the highlands of Qaljieh. The 27th Division of Mohammad Prophet (PBUH) was stationed there. Warriors was preparing themselves for their heavy mountainous operations. At a stage of this operation and its operational plan, it was supposed that if our warriors captured the areas, part of Iraqi dam Darband Yakhan would be broken down and a large area would be covered by water in order to make us sure there was no enemy’s attacks and recaptures. We asked Imam Khomeini for doing this strategy and he asked: "would it damage people if the dam is broken and damage the area?" We said:" yes." It would takes the water of villages and we couldn’t do anything. Imam said that you should change this part of your operational plan. We said that if we did this, 90% of our plan would be lost. Imam said that there was no problem, but you should not hurt people. This was a religious perspective vs. secular thinking of Saddam’s regime. Imam then canceled that operations and the operations, Valfajr 10 of Year 1983 took place in years 1988-1987 in the same area and we entered into Khormal, Sayed Sadeq and Halabsheh. When our warriors entered Halabcheh, people behead a sheep as a sacrifice to the God for our warriors and were happy that we entered into their cities. Why this welcome was happened? In fact, this is religious thought and, on the contrary, the regime of people of the same region attacked it. More than 5,000 people were killed in Halabcheh. Look at the perspective of Imam and the enemy. How could we fight against this enemy? A fight that our young people and our fighters did. The operation was canceled; another way was opened on the highlands of Kanimanga, and Valfajr 4 operations took place.

For those operations, warriors had been training for more than three to four months to prepare themselves. It was late August. The fighters came and said: "We had arrived here for three months and now operation has not been done for four months. We want to go back to take our school exams." Martyr Hemmat called the units and battalion’s authorities, and asked them to speak with the comrades and satisfy them to stay. They should stay not to encounter with the lack of force in the next operation. We and other battalion authorities talked to the comrades. Eventually, if some of them insisted on going back, we would gave permission them very calmly and nightly to go back so that they would not affect the rest. A day before the afternoon’s prayer, three young people came and had the first grade of high school textbooks under their arms. They said we wanted to take permission go back; we asked them what you wanted to go back. "We came for the operation, and now that there is not any operation, we want to go back" they said. We talked with them that we did not come here for the operation, but for an assignment, and asked if you had come here for operation or assignment. They replied:" We come here for the assignment, but when there is not operation, it is better for us to go our school and take exams." I said: "Don’t go and stay. Maybe the assignment is to stay and take the exams in the next year." One of them asked: "will the operation take place, if we stay?" I said: "I do not promise that operation take place, but assignment is to stay and stop the enemy if want to enter from somewhere else. We have a duty to defend and stay on the fronts, and we should not empty the fronts. "They demanded a permission to go. I said that if I gave you permission and you go, you would be regret. They said: "Does it mean that an operation will be taken place that we want to be regret?" I said: "I do not know whether the operation will be taken place or not." I gave them permission forms and said: "Go and wash your face and hand and get ready for prayers, and then we will talk to each other." We washed face and hands and sat in the line prayers of congregation. Martyr Mohammad Khani was from Damavand County, Guilawand that he was sitting beside me in prayer line. He was young and even there wasn’t any hair on his face. He was very fearless and brave. He told me that I couldn’t cry even in prayer or other places; everyone cried, but I couldn’t. When the prayers were completed, the warriors did the last prostration and read the prayers of Imam Ali (AS): "Oh lord, my heart is covered in the veils of darkness, and my soul has been weakened and ..." When the prostration ended, we saw that Mohammad Khani was tearing a lot. I shook his shoulder and said: "Brother! Pray for me! Are you crying? "He replied:" stop joking me! "I asked what was going on you. He replied that I would tell you later. After the prayers, we returned to our position in the tent. I asked the three persons:" what do you want to do?" if you want to go, you can go, but if you regret that why you don’t stay and why you don’t carry out your responsibility and assignment, what will you do?" They said:" brother! Don’t engage us in assignment!" I said them the operation will be hopefully taken place. They said that they needed to talk together for a few minutes. Those three people spoke together and when they returned, they gave back the sheets of permission and said that they gave up and wanted to return the battalion. They returned to the battalion, and two of them were martyred, that their bodies also remained at the highlands of Kanimanga. Then, I asked Mohammad Khani why he was crying for. He said that one of the three person prayed in Persian in prostration and said: "God! I love you and I know that you love me too, now that I love you and you love me too, why do not you make me martyr and bring me to you?" This is the peak of spirituality. I can say surely the young man’s may not have heard the prayers of Imam Ali (AS), but why did his words become similar to the words of the Imam? Imam Ali (AS) says: "God! You are like one who I love him, so make me one who you like him." He spoke this words and martyred and reached his real ascension.

Martyr Ismail Moinian was a chemistry teacher of high school. Our camp was in a region where feudists and Komala[1] came there and ambushed and caused problems; that’s why we stood guard at nights. That night, I was guarding with someone else when we suddenly heard a rustle. We looked and found that a person was circling around our tents. We approached him and saw that he was the martyr Ismail Moinian. I asked him what he was doing. There are the scorpions and spiders and go inside the tents and harass the comrades." He made out a small room and turned on a lantern so that if a spider or scorpion wants to go inside the tents, I would take and prevent them. It was cold weather and I saw that he walked in the tent and covered the blankets on them. I told him to go to sleep, and he replied that these guys are young and old and throw blankets with their feet they would get sick. This was a magnificent and moral behavior of a warrior. I approached Ishmael gradually. In addition paying attention to the comrade, he did all works of tent. The comrades would say that she woke up at midnight and polished our boots.

We were preparing for operation Valfajr 4 in Kanimanga area, which overlapped the city of Mawoot; we were in war footing and all the battalions went there. All permission of vacations were canceled so that the comrade went to the operation. The battalion had been evacuated and we were doing our work as well. At the same time, a person came and called me. I came back and saw Seyed Farajollah Alyan who was a medical officer and responsible for the dispensary of Bilal battalion. Each of our battalions had 18 rescuers, a medical officer and a deputy. He told me whether you leave me for 48 hours to go to Tehran or not. He was worried about information affairs. I asked him if he had told the officer. He replied: "no." I said: "Go and talk to the officer and if he allowed, you can go." He said that the officer might not allow him. I said if the officer could not give permission to you, I couldn’t give you permission to leave too. He told me to let him to go. I asked what the reason of so many insistences was. He said tomorrow was the first day of school. I wished for many years to see my child going school. I want to take him to school and go back. I said him:" go and come back soon!" We were in Marivan[2] and it was dark. Suddenly one came behind and said:" hello brother! I looked and saw that he was Seyed Aliyan. I asked him:" did you want to go?" he replied: "yes" I asked:" how was it?" He said: "I had fun, it was very enjoyable". The Valfajr 4 operation began, and Aliyan was martyred at the highlands of Kanimanga. When the operation Fath-ol-Mobinwas carried out, Imam Khomeini said that what a great work you fighters did. Our great operation is these young selfless people who neglected his all wishes and worldly desires to do divine assignments. These young people were great operation.

We were deployed for operation Valfajr 4 in Marivan. The operation had begun and the battalions had been on the frontline; it was the turn of Habibben Mozaher battalion to go frontline. Near evening prayers and, martyr Ahmad Yavari summoned me. I asked him:" what are you doing here? Has your battalion gone to frontline?" He replied:" yes, but I was in sleep and when I wake up, I saw that all the battalions had gone. I dreamed that the comrades were bathing bank of a river. I went ahead and asked them what they were doing. They said that they are getting ready for martyrdom. I put off my clothes in my dream so that I bathed and be ready for martyrdom but I wake up. I got up and saw no one in the tent. The responsible for the logistics was an old man saying that the comrades have gone for three hours. I went by the river and, although the water was cold, I bathed and did ablution in it. We were supposed to join the comrade early in the morning. We spent the night together and talked a lot, and we took a boat with some other comrades. She was worried that night, and she kept telling me that I was scared to be left behind. The next day, we said goodbye to martyr Yavari, and he joined Habib battalion at Kaimangah heights. She was martyred there and his body was returned 1995. Why was the world valueless in their eyes? "

 

 

Fatehin Battalion

Abbas Boostani was the second narrator of two hundred and ninety- eighth night of reminiscences. He was born on November 9, 1969, but he manipulated his birth certificate, he went to sacred defense forces. He participated in operations like Valfajr 8, Bait al-Maqdis2 and Mersad. Abbas Boustani said: "I was cooperating in the battalion in 2015. I was in Syria for Moharam in 2015, but for some reason we could not stay in operation. We understood Tasu’a [3] day and defeated enemy in the one of the villages in Syria and returned to Tehran. For Syrian deployments, volunteers participated in military camps and frequent trainings and deployments were not easy to do. It was hardly possible; Mr. Azizi was succeed to be one of shrine’s defenders team. When we came back, we were looking for finding a way and go back till we were informed that guys of Islamshahar’s battalion Fatehin want to go. The property of Islamshahar’s battalion Fatehin was that the fighters were not from same region. Several people gathered together. We only had a garrison and collective work in capital (Tehran), which confirmed our deployment, and it was also the attendance of garrison that military units would show their operational status there to be accepted to go. Thank God, our comrades were attended at that garrison and spent two hard and cold nights, and that was the introduction for the work we had in Shamat and Hallab and Khantoman. Before that, our kids had a more compact work but hard; they had conquered the smaller area called Qaljieh, which was like an arrow in the enemy’s heart. The area was in the hands of enemy and this point was in front of the silos of Khan Toman. The presence of warriors in there was another dimension of the specificity of this battalion. When they were there, they did not make any military moves and did not fire the enemy. The enemy’s fears have been increased because they thought why we couldn’t do any movement.

After getting permission, we were going to send the forces the fronts. Those, who were going to be chosen to send, were selected initially. Some of comrades, who were from the beginning of war, removed and along and the ones who were not at all, were chosen to send. These names should be approved by the mercy of Zainab (SA). When the cameraman showed the same dispatch line, wanted to interview with someone, all of them pointed Mehdi Qazi Khani, and Mahdi was the first one who was going to send from the battalion. He and three of comrades abandoned for all mundane demands. One of the feature of Mr. Mehdi was that he was happy and cheerful and used to change the climate especially when the comrades were in garrison, and because they had received several training courses; the affairs of  training courses and working in garrison was very hard for them. The twenty-sixth of November 2015, the anniversary of establishment of Basij, was the dispatching day. It was Friday and the day of dispatching those, who were romantically waiting for the sacred shrine of Zainab (SA). The comrades said that Amir Siavashi picked up a sour orange and in Zainab Shrine, and went to the shrine of Hazrat Roghayeh (SA). We left there and went to Aleppo , where our mission was to be there. Some people asked why we chose Aleppo , there wasn’t any shrine, but whenever blood is poured out to defend is respectful, but the comrades didn’t pretend to defend a special place. The first night after the arrival of Damascus, warriors spent their time at the garrison around Aleppo. There was a sacred defense warriors like the Dukhu Garrison. After that, we were in the Khanate area and then the city of Al-Hazar, it was an important point for the Syrian army and units that were deployed in there, and was vital for future moves towards the Khantoman or Al-Eis or the international highways of Damascus and Aleppo.

One of the guys in our room, who was martyred, was Ghazi Khani. Martyr Ghazi Khani also performed the same services in Syria as he did in Tehran. Ishmael Karimi was most blissful one among us, but he was insightful. He was also attended in the war of Iraq against Takfiri[4] group. He was along with Famous worries called Fatemiyoun. He gave them his extra clothes at night before his martyrdom. One night, we were given a little meat for making Kabob. Ishmael offered to eat it with the Fatemiyoun warriors. We went them and sat in the fire. Food was eaten. After dinner, we read poetry the martyr Karimi was very interested and wrote their poems in his notebook.

The night when we were announced to go to Khantoman, it was the night of attack. The guys of sacred defense have a lot of memory from that night. Ismail and I were in room and we were eating dinner. Ismail was happy for the operation. Amir Lotfi, from out troop, was very very restless. Hamid Reza Asadollahi was the most determined. Mohsen Faramarzi, the most waited and Abbas Ali Alizadeh was the most in need of martyrdom. Davood Javanmard was the most eager and Martyr Amir Siavashi was our best lover of martyrdom. The last of our farewells was where we arranged a homily meeting with the warriors for Abay Abdullah (Imam Hussein (AS)). "

 

 

Rasool, 28, Mojtaba...

The third narrator was Hassan Arabi. He said: "We were not the defender of shrine Hazrat Zainab (SA), it was our defender, and we took the Qaljieh area. We were at a point where they shot us every night in all directions. It was the seventh night that told us that a new force had arrived, and those in the area would go back to get a new force. In this situation, one of our friends, Hassan Farmani, who called my surname "Sherafat", called: "Sherafat Sherafat! Sajjad?" I replied him yes. He said that someone named Morteza wants to come the frontline. Morteza was a good and really nice warrior. I told him that he couldn’t come; he should stay back. He said again that Morteza insisted again. I did not accept. Hasan Farmani finally gave the wireless to Morteza and went. Morteza said loudly:" When the comrades are in the frontline, how can I stay back? I have come to defend the holy shrine of Zainab (SA). "

I got bored for his insist, but did not accept. He told me in the wireless that he would come the frontline and hang it up. An hour later, Morteza, came with a Hassan Farmani sitting behind a Toyota. I got angry and asked him why he come here about. He replied the comrades were defending here, how he could stay back. At that night, the enemy attacked us. It was a bad situation. 13 people had be captured in the city of Qaljieh. Our commander, Mohammad Bahmani, said:" could you keep your attention to affairs and I go to manage the situation? I courageously said:" yes. You go." Muhammad went and after about two minutes, I hear the sound of feet. I sang song timidly One came from behind and took me. I shouted and asked who that was. He said: "I am Morteza!"

Mohammad returned and said that tonight was 28 Safar[5] and it was the night of death of Mohammad Prophet (PBUH) and the martyrdom of Imam Hasan Mujtaba (AS), you should choose a watchword until the comrade were guarding. I said that the watchword of night was "Prophet, 28, Mojtaba". Mohammad went out at midnight and our guard did not see him. When he returned, the guard cried out and said: "Put your hands on your head and do not move! And if you are own force, tell the watchword." The guard called out to say watchword of night and he replied:" Guy! I do not know what the watchword was. Tonight is 28th of Safar; The anniversary of death of Prophet (PBUH) and the martyrdom of Imam Hassan (AS)." He shouted and said I did not know what the watchword was, I am Muhammad Bahmani, your commander. Eventually the guard recognized him. When he came ahead, he punished the guard by doing sitting–to- standing exercise. "

In the continuation of two hundred and ninety-eighth night of reminiscences, Arabi said:" I was above the head of martyr Mehdi Ghazi Khani. It was a very cold day. If someone ask me: which day was your worst day?  I will say that it was the sunset of Khantoman. We took Mahdi on a tricycle and kept him far from the enemy’s gunshot. We were besieged for 12 hours in Khantoman. The body of our martyrs had been on the ground for two days. I was along with Amir Hossein Hajinsari and Ali Etefaghi. We closed the ropes to each martyr’s feet, so we could pull them back. The first martyr we stepped back was Amir Siavashi. The second was the martyr Ismail Karimi; then a Syrian martyr and an Iraqi martyr. Martyr Assadullahi was on our right side and had fallen into a pit that could not bring him. I finally went into the pit along with another person. The enemy was firing toward us. I hugged and kissed Hamid Asadullah and said:" "do not forget. We promised each of us that if everyone became martyr sooner, he will intercede on another with God. "I regreted that my share of that operation was not really a shotgun? At the same time, we tied the ropes on Hamid’s feet to pull and take him to a safe place, but suddenly a bullet injured my side. My comrade asked me if you can stand up. I said yes. As soon as I lifted Hamid, I got another shot. He called another comrade to get help; Hamid’s body was taken to a safe place. I had fallen on the ground. I thought my spinal cord was injured. Martyr Mohsen Faramarzi said I will take Hassan back. Mohsen, along with one another, carried me on their shoulders to get back. They were not 10 meter away that I was shot in my hand. As soon as Mohsen asked what was happened to me, He fell down on his face with face. It was a very difficult day. Mohsen called Imam Reza (AS) and said: "Did not you say that you come three times above us?" Come and take me with you. There was blood of us on the floor of asphalt. He said that I want to go to Imam Reza (AS) and I am very happy. Then Mohsen also became a guest of Imam Reza (AS). Shrine defenders like the sacred defense’s warriors are some chivalrous and efficient. "

 

 

Last prayer

Hojatoleslam Mohsen Safa’i was the last narrator of the night of reminiscences. he said:" I met the martyr Assadullahi in conquering Qaljieh,". Unlike his education and his orderly appearance, he had a strong heart. For this reason, she was one of the Information and Identification Team and was also an interpreter due to her proficiency in Arabic. Operation was on Saturday night. That night, we opened the Qur’an, and we read randomly the verse 82 of Surah Hood which was about a torment of one of the tribes, and we knew that the news would be happened. Our work was canceled that night. While we were taking rest in the morning, we heard that that some of the comrades were involved and the verse was occurred. 30 to 40 people of stronghold fortress of Khantoman were martyred in resistance front in a simplest possible way. There were conflicts behind the silos, and Karimi, Siavash and several Syrian and Iraqi worriers were martyred. We came to the back of a wall. It was near the prayer at noon, and I stood toward to qiblah[6] to do ablution with earth or sand and pray. Hamid Reza Asadollah was sitting beside me. All of us squatted there and were being fired. It was the bulwark of Hamid Reza. When stood toward qiblah for my team, mortars feel down next to me and its quivers injured the artery of Hamid Reza. We lay Hamid Reza on the ground, and I put off his boots and someone read a Qur’an. I said to Hamid Reza, "You do ablution with and are ready, murmur the name of God and the households of Mohammad prophet and it will be counted as your timely prayer!" He was choking and I did not understand what he was murmuring and then he was martyred."

Two hundred and ninety-eighth night of reminiscences of sacred defense was held under efforts of Center for Cultural Research and Studies of Culture and Literature Stability, and Office of Literature and Art of Resistance at Art Center’s Andisheh Hall on Thursday, December 27th 2019.  The next night of reminiscences will be held in 24th January 2019.

 


[1] They are armed communist ethnic party of kurds in Iran

[2] It is a county in Kurdistan province

[3] Tasu'a is the ninth day of Muharram and the day before Ashura. Several events occurred on this day, including: Shemr's entrance to Karbala, the granting of safe conduct for the children of Umm ul-Banin, preparation for war; and Hussein ibn Ali and his companions were besieged by the enemy.

[4] A takfiri is a Muslim who accuses another Muslim of apostasy. The accusation itself is called takfir, derived from the word kafir, and is described as when "one who is a Muslim is declared impure."

[5] Ṣafar is the second month of the Islamic calendar.

[6] The direction towards which Muslims turns when they prey



 
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