The first night of memory in New Year (1399) was held online

The Story of a Warrior and Physician from the War

Interviewed by: Maryam Asadi Jafari
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad

2020-05-05


Note: Three hundred and twelfth Night of Memory and first assembly of narrative memories of war in 2020, by recounting memories of a soldier and author of "The Songs of a Juggler" and one of the doctors was held during the holy defense.

According to the website of oral history, the Three hundred and twelfth Night of Memory's program was held online on April 23, 2020 on Aparat website. In this program, Abdolreza Tarazi and Dr. Saeed Marzban Rad recounted memories of holy defense era.

In this program, Mehdi Salehi was present as the administrator and shared the questions related to the Night of Memory with the guests. The first guest was "Abdolreza Tarazi", author of "The Songs of a Juggler" and fighter for the sacred defense.

 

* It was very interesting for us to see a fighter of sacred defense in the form of a Juggler and artist. Would you explain to us please?

I was not a juggler at the time of war, I had an interest in other fields of art, which I expanded after the war. I happened to be into magic and jugglery, and I do my job professionally.

 

* So you did not have magic and jugglery during the sacred defense. Your memoir has been published under the title "The Songs of a Juggler". When the name of a juggler mentioned in this book, a question arises: what happened during your adolescence that the book became known as "The Songs of a Juggler"?

Contrary to many beliefs, this book is not about jugglery. Rather, it is part of my memoirs about western, southern and Kurdish warfronts, which were written over a period of 6 years with the support of Art Center's Office of Resistance Literature and Art, and the reason for this naming is that a young person, who has not yet reached to legal age, was sent to the warfront with a strange mistake made by the military station, instead of being sent to barracks to take training courses. I was 14 years old at the time, and I happened to encounter one of the greatest operations of the war; that is, Fatah al-Mubin. Now anyone who has not received any military training and has not yet taken gun in hand or even touched a weapon, attended in this great operation. Because of his inexperience, one hundred percent of very dangerous events happen to him that can be funny even for readers, but these events can be compared to black comedy. As this unexperienced young man takes part in such a large-scale operation, there are many dangers for him, and in the end, without incident, he overcomes all these dangers, more like a jugglery.

 

* Do you like to tell us an interesting memory from your adolescence and from that operation so that we can hear each other?

All the years of my presence on the warfront are memories. That is same for all worriers, but we had significant victories during the eight years of the imposed war. We had conquests and joys. But that's not all. We also had failures and unsuccessful activities, both in commanded retreats and arbitrary retreats. The book "The Songs of a Juggler" has a simple, clear and unambiguous expression, and the narrator has no hesitation in saying that I was scared on the night of operation. In all the operations he has carried out in the West, South and Kurdistan, he has spoken of his fear. But he has always been able to overcome this fear, and he has never let fear stop him from doing his works. Even the author was sometimes in such a difficult and unbearable situation in the operations that he blames himself for coming to the warfront and when he talk to him, the reader can be informed of the author's inner states.

"Wasn't it enough for you to stay in the warfront for some years? ... Why did you come here again? This time you will not survive. This is the end of world for you."… Even the forces that pass by and come back, may say, "Well done!" What courage are you! They no longer know that I wish I was a force like you and could come back. Along the way, they recounted memories of events and operations. I had nothing to say. Now as I'm a talkative person, and if I wanted to play the role of a talkative and a little fun person among these people, It would be very difficult for me to be in a double personality, but I could to keep  myself in warfront, and nobody knew that I was there. One of guys said: "Mr.Tarazi, tell a memoir to us!" I said: "I have already been in Do-kuheh." He said:" Do-kuheh is located behind. Tell about operation!" to escape from the discussion, I went out of train's compartment not to speak with them and to be revealed. It was first time for me to take train. After some minutes, I decided to come into the compartment. But I forget the number of it. I took my time for one hour to find my room. my friends said where I was and why I came back late. They said that I probably went to restaurant to have dinner.  It was the time that I found trains have a restaurant. I said that I was late because I saw one of my old comrade in war, and we were speaking out in runway of train. In this way I save myself. Finally, it was the time to take gun and get in operation.

 

* When you were 14 years old, you were sent to warfront wrongly, and then you endured some difficulties, you came back from war but you went there again. Didn't you?

Yes, when I went to military station to enroll, they want to send me to a garrison to take a training course. But, because a strange mistake from the military station, I was sent to warfront along with another forces. When I came out, I asked that person, who had come out after me:" can I see that paper that you have?" I found that his paper's size was same as my paper. I said him:" which garrison will you be sent to take training course?" He replied:" we won't take training course, we have already taken it". Here, I found that I was sent to warfront, without training course. On the one hand, I was happy because I didn't pass hard training courses, and on the other hand, I got stressed and anxiety because I didn’t take any training course, and how can I help the forces in war. The stress and anxiety made me worried a lot. At the time of first dispatching, we were asked for taking gun in a garden. It was first times of war. The guns were being kept in a small boat. The guys were unpacking guns, and cleaning grease and putting on each other again. Sometime they shot too. I took a gun, but I was not able to use it, and separate its pieces well. One of the guys who was watching me, came and said: "what are you doing on your gun?" I replied:" I think, this gun doesn’t work, and I can separate and close the pieces." As soon as he took my gun in his hand, I distanced myself from him and standing behind two trees away and watched him. When I fixed the gun’s pieces, I came back and said him:" is gun okay?" he replied:" it was okay." I said him:" oh, I came here to help you!" It was one of those tricks where I could save myself and no one would know I was not trained. Let me say another example. After receiving the weapons, we were on the front line for a month. The first day we arrived at the line, I was injured. Due to the movement of troops, the enemy noticed and fired the line. A quiver entered into my right wrist and came out from the other side. They took us back by ambulance. I said to myself, "O unfortunate one! So far, you've saved yourself. Now you have to go back." I was all worried that now I am going to Tehran and the friends of the mosque are blaming me and saying, come on! This is the result of the lack of training. Until they said in the field hospital that the quiver had come out and he there was no problem. They dressed me and I went back to the line. Two or three days later, I saw the children put up a loudspeaker on the bulwark and calling to prayer. I said I wanted to call to prayer. I went and called comrades for prayer and came back. I saw that the comrades were throwing stones toward me because. I said what they were doing. They replied that I forget one of the senesces in my calling to prayer and caused them to be shameful.  One night we were going to a ambush. The comrades were digging a canal to move forward. They told me: "Now you should go ahead, and if you are captured, the Iraqis will have nothing to do with you, because they say this is one who made us laugh with his calling to prayer."  I was young, and they were make me fun a lot. Let me tell you another thing about Haj Agha Kowsari [General Ismail Kowsari]. First of all, let me say that the enemy was confused that the commander of army had come to the front. The commander of the army in in the world does not go so far in the heart of enemy. Haj Agha Kowsari was in the front line. They heard from the radio wave and found that it was from division's command, and that they could detect the location through navigation devices. However, that area was more under enemy fire than the front line. Operation Valfajr 8, in the Faw area[1], when the commander wanted to retreat from military station, I would go earlier to check the car for any problems, and when he got on, I would quickly drive away from the area to get out from under the fire. Now that the road of the area also had a lot of potholes. One day, I was with one of friends. When the commander got off the car near Arvand River, the friend said, "How bad you are driving? The commander's leg is in pain! ” I said: "I didn't know he feel pain in his leg." Haji Kowsari returned and got on car. I said: "I'm sorry, sir, I didn't know about your leg's pain." He replied: “it is okay, I knew you were the third-class driver.” At that time, the 3rd grade certificate was common. At that time, there was only one and two grades. Let me tell you another thing about the sincerity between comrades. In the region, if you didn't know the commander's face, you could never distinguish whether he is a simple Basij (volunteer) force and a division's commander. After the martyrdom of Hajj Abbas Karimi in Operation Badr, Haji Kowsari came to the army and he had not had a chance to speak. A friend and I were guarding the telecommunications building at the Du-kooheh garrison, and Haji Kowsari was at the headquarters of army near our building. It was midnight. He came and enter the telecommunications building.

The Basiji forces' clothes, at the time, was sweater and wearing Kurdish pants and no socks. We were sitting on the steps of the building like this. We were talking. I saw Haji Kowsari was coming from a distance; I knew him, I stood up. Haji arrived. He greeted us. He saw our situation and clothes and said: "Are you guard?" my friend didn't know him and said: "maybe!" Haji said again: "Are you guard?" I quickly said: "Yes, sir! We are guard." Haji said nothing more and left. I later told my friend: "Why did you answer that?" He said: "Who was that?" I said: "he was Haji Kowsari, the commander of the army." Indeed, at a time when comrades were eating food under a roof, in bulwarks, in tents, in the cold and heat at a relatively empty table, in a bowl of food, and gathered together, they were able to end war with a clear, unassuming and arrogant purpose.

 

* Mr. Tarazi, you were a radioman for martyr Dastvareh. If you have memories of those days, tell tell them!

Martyr Dastvareh was a very funny man. I was with him for a long time during the operation. Suddenly, something happened to me and I decided to come from Faw to Arvand on our own soil. When I got to other side of water, I entered the telecommunications burrow. I saw a group of telecommunications forces gathered around the radio, and the password sheet was in front of them, and they were discovering the password. They were very happy to see me. I help them to send code and receive bullets and guns. They said: "Haj Reza sent a message, he asked for many things, we took every codes out and discovered them." It's just a message we don't understand at all." I said: "What?"

"He emphasizes that to send one by one. We can't understand what does "one by one" mean? It's not in our codes at all." I replied that "It's not a secret". It is name of Chocolate. Reza Dastavareh loves chocolate "one by one", he has ordered you to send to him the chocolate.

 

* Thank you, Mr. Tarazi. If there is anything else to tell, I like to listen1

Mr. Salehi, these are words from hearts, not a memory. I would like to say that sometimes we heard from some memories that as soon as we started to say Allah-Akbar (Takbir) on the night of operation, Iraqis force used to run way. But, it is false. It is true that we used to go as far as the enemy's positions and start saying Takbir, and the Iraqis, hearing the sound of our Takbir, should leave their weapons and leave the bulwark and run away. It wasn't like that at all. Sometimes, even an Iraqi soldier tried to stand in front of our battalion, and I gave you an example of it at the top of mountain named "1904". Of course, it is not about saying Takbir on the night of the operation. We used to say Takbir on the night of operation. It was an order, and telling Takbir on the night of operation had become an operational tactic. But the enemy did not escape. Why? Just for one reason. The same Iraqi soldier was standing in front of one of our battalions with a machine gun, he just wanted to be survived. Now, some might say, if he wanted to be survived, why didn't he run away? The Iraqi frontline forces had formed execution squads. The soldiers, who had escaped, was captured by the Iraqi forces and would be executed absolutely. But if they stayed there, they could be probably survived, and that's why he preferred to stay. Did they run away again? So, if that is true, why did the war last 8 years? How did these persons become martyred? All the areas liberated from the enemy, the best servants of God and the best young people of this country fell on the ground. Every steps of that areas liberated from the enemy and became colored with the blood of the martyrs. When we express our memories in this way, we deliberately and unintentionally hand over the history of the resistance and history of a nation to future in a distorted way. In my opinion, by expressing such memories, we are wasting the comrades’ efforts and diminishing the blood of the martyrs. The comrades worked hard until these areas were liberated. Our public forces went to training barracks in the form of volunteer forces and trained for a month, forty days or 45 days, and sent to the front and were placed in front of an army that had been a trained army. It was an old, organized and trained army. The armor of the Ba'athist army during the war was the strongest armor in the Middle East. The United States and Israel provided military advice for it. Germany provided chemical weapons. France and Britain provided satellite information for Iraq. We could defeat such a powerful army, which was supported by all the superpowers and armies, only because of the selfless forces we had, because of great men who really fought as men; they sacrificed their lives for the preservation of dear Iran. In the end, I want, God willing, the intelligent and conscientious people of dear Iran to always be grateful for the courage and self-sacrifice of veterans. To be subject to the intercession of the martyrs in the hereafter, we should be grateful for self-sacrifice of martyrs and be grateful for pure blood that was poured on the ground for the dear Islam.

At the end of these memoirs, a volume of the book "The Songs of a Juggler" signed by Abdolreza Tarazi was donated to the library of the Night of Memory.

 


[1] Al-Fāw is a port town on Al-Faw Peninsula in Iraq near the Shatt al-Arab and the Persian Gulf. The Al Faw Peninsula is part of the Basra Governorate.



 
Number of Visits: 127


Comments

 
Full Name:
Email:
Comment:
 
The News of Month; April 2020

"Oral history in cyberspace"

According to Iranian Oral History website, "The News of Month" is the title of a series of reports on this website. These reports take a look at news related to the subject of site in the written and cyber media. In the following, you will read the news about April 2020.

Corona and "Corona Daily Notes"

In these days, it has been seen and heard that some groups and institutions have invited the victims of Corona Virus (including patients, patients’ observers and self- quarantined people) to write a memoir about this event. This invitation and the attempt to fulfill it, of course, includes the benefits and effects that we preferably don’t mention them here. However, it is worth noting that everything now being written in the face of this ...

Oral History Requires Alignment with Documents

Even in oral history, it is not uncommon for scholars to view oral history as a complement to document-based research. That is to say, oral history has been based on oral evidence, and it is true about memories too. Dr. Nurai said:" Oral history only fulfills part of the expectation for showing past". See the book The Aspects of Historical Islamic Revolution. Here we have to refer to a few references to ...
Research Method Workshop in Oral History-1

Oral History: A Resource for Collecting Historical Information Through Interview

"Research Method Workshop of Oral History", lectured by Soheila Safari was held in National Archives Building, NLAI Dr. Parham Hall on Monday, February 17, 2020. Soheila Safari has a PhD in contemporary history from Al-Zahra University. The subject of his thesis is "Social Insecurities in Reza Shah Period in Terms of Research in Oral History ". He has been working with NLAI in Oral History Department for more than 10 years.