Proximity in a Strange Land-3

Amin Kiani
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad

2020-12-01


Note: On March/April 2019, a precipitation system in two waves from 25 to 29 March and also from 31 March to 2 April, caused floods and damage in the cities of Lorestan. In these rainfalls, tolls such as landslide and submerging parts of Dorud, Khorramabad, Mamolan, and Pol-e Dokhtar cities were reported. Following the flood in these areas, in addition to the Housing Foundation of Islamic Revolution, Iranian Army (Artesh), and IRGC, some people also in the form of jihadi groups were sent to Lorestan to help the victims. What you read below is the second part of the narration of one of the jihadi forces who were present and active in this area for a few days.

5.

The city was very crowded. The jihadists were active and present everywhere. There was a high bustle and active commotion in the downtown of the city. I stared at the statue of a man who has a tall hand clinging to the sky. He had firmly taken a heap of wheat in hand and raised it as tall as his height. Perhaps he wanted to shout at the hearts of farmers and wheat farmers; Farmers whose crops had been flooded. I wished the municipality of Pol-e Dokhtar city would install the narration of the kissing of a farmer's and worker's hand by the great Prophet of Islam (PBUH) like this statue that is so large and impressive, in the hope that someone's heart will tremble and someone's hand untie this problem.

Amir came with a juice in hand. I got up and we walked together. Amir showed me his swollen hand in the middle of the way. It was black and hardened. We were returning to the hall. After passing the central library of the city and drinking a glass of tea, we reached the tents of the army field hospital. We showed Amir's hand to a staff of the hospital. The young man who was sitting on the table said: 

-Come and take your turn and stand in line!

We took turns and stood in line. There were three tables stood on four legs under a large tarpaulin tent. Behind each table, there was a young man in a white robe who was probably a doctor or nurse. We stood in the line of the middle table, which was the shorter of all. I looked outside the tent. There were a few other camps that, considering the labels they had, I think they belonged to photography and things like that.

After the visit, we said goodbye to the doctor and walked to the hall. Bank Melli emergency medical services were stationed with several men and women on the street leading to the Government Martyrs' Bridge, right at the end of Imam Khomeini's hussainiya[1]. The IRGC ground forces had equipped the hospital with knowledge. The NAJA[2] Deputy for Health also worked in the city. The army had set up a large field hospital. Everyone was attended in there. Even in that crowd and disorders, Seyyed Bahman Alvaro told Amir to put dough and salt on his hand to treat it.

This flood began and ended. Naturally, it caused damage. It was a disaster and the crisis was ended. The main crisis and catastrophe, even bigger than the flood, are managers who have received their wealth and legitimacy through the same people, but they are not present here to help people. Compared to floods, they do not go and stay for years and leave destruction. During these few days, the sound of the helicopters of the Air Force did not go out. Part of the power of the helicopters was spent to the authorities and taking photos, reporting and returning without dust settling on their clothes. A large portion of the flights was spent rescuing and transferring patients.

6.

I woke up to the sound of the phone ringing. The kids had a good breakfast. Sugar bread and breakfast chocolate were on the table. I saw Reza Mogoei. He said:

 - Today we want to take items to Morani village, do you come with us?

I said "yes" with a mouth of food and shook my head. Hussein also said:

-Yes, today we are going to distribute items, and it is an entertainment and also good work!

 After lunch, we were supposed to take two car Nissan full of items to Morani village. We went with the comrades to the area for removing muds in village paths. We were in the alleys of Resalat until noon. Jihad Construction's comrades were active in the city. While we were crossing the bridge of the government martyrs, Amir said:

- Amin, all these cars are crossing this bridge, if it breaks, a human catastrophe will occur.

I looked at the wall by the river, which was broken at the waist and was well rested in the arms of the river, and nodded in approval. Due to the destruction of most of the Haft Tir Martyrs' Bridge, the traffic on the Government Martyrs' Bridge was very high. These two bridges connected the two parts of Pol-e Dokhtar in parallel. A group of comrades from the army was working day and night to repair and build the destroyed parts of the Haft Tir Martyrs' Bridge. I heard that 2nd Brigadier General Moradi, Commander of Boroujerd Engineering Center, said that we would repair it in forty-eight hours. The forces of the army were working hard. The repair and reconstruction of the Haft Tir Martyrs Bridge were very important. the horrific traffic of was reduced on the Government Martyrs' Bridge and made it easier and faster for providing relief and crossing heavy cars.

We crossed the bridge. After the bridge to the left, there was a swimming pool, a hall, and a lawn. The lower part was known as the area of organizations’ staff. There was a lot of destruction in these areas. The Imam Hussein' Corps had organized it. Mehrdad Lak used to say that Sardar Hassanzadeh had said that we would not leave until we repair it completely. From the colonel to the soldier and Basij, all were working in muds. Loaders, shovels, and barges were working harder than they could power. I said to myself:

-Where is this General Hassanzadeh who exaggerated to repair it completely?

Everything joined with each other to destroy me. The whispers had not yet completely left my head when general Hassanzadeh rode a motorcycle with muddy cloth and boots and passed us. An old man who wore a keffiyeh[3]was sitting on his motorcycle. I was ashamed of my judgment and ashamed.

***

We returned from the area near noon and earlier than ever. We had lunch, prayed, and went to Morani village with the comrades. We passed the exit of the city. A few tens of meters left to the last relic of the Sassanid era and the only foundation of the historic bridge Pol-e Dokhtar of the camp. The Red Crescent's forces had set up its tents on both sides of the street and facing each other. It rained gradually and after some seconds it rained heavily, and the sun stared at the sky even more wonderfully than I did not have time to hide. It is both sunny and rainy. And again the camp was exposed in the rain! At that time, I remembered the words Saman Sepahvand's words. After the Bridge of the Martyrs of the Government, he stared at a gymnasium sitting in the mud and said:

 

- Everyone believes that they are made illegally. Well, why did the government departments build construction and halls here that they fell into muds? If this was a safe place and did not fall in the mud, like the top of the city flood did not damage the construction, now it would be the best camp for the flood victims. Now that is a huge problem and many forces are removing the muds.

 

The high-pressure water flowed from the unpaved and pristine mountains at the exit of Poldakhtar city, and after crossing the rocky path, it spread on the asphalt road, and after crossing the road, it threw itself into the river. Many people had brought their furniture and carpets and were sitting there. We entered the village and stood in the mosque. The same Seyyed was welcomed last night with his friends. After Reza Mogoei's explanation, Seyed stared at us carefully from behind his glasses, and after a few moments, he pointed to one of his friends and said:

 

- Guys, the list I promised you is in the hands of this nobleman. We need the list of names and therefore we cannot give it to you. However, you can also write down these names in your list.

 

I got up and went inside the mosque looking for Asghar, who had the list in his hand. Asghar unbuttoned two of his clothes and pulled out a forty-page notebook from his side. Before handing over the notebook to me, he swore for me not to tell anyone, and the villagers did not understand where I got the names from! I reassured Asghar and took the notebook, pen, and two sheets.

 

I sat on the floor mosaics of the warehouse and put two boxes of the bottle of water under my hand and started writing the names. I wrote the letters fast. There were two lists. The first list is the names of those whose house was destroyed and the second list is the names of those who were damaged by the flood. I got up, put the list in my pants pocket, and walked out of the warehouse. I turned my head and rolled my eyes, I saw Asghar. I handed him the notebook and left the mosque after saying goodbye.

 

Reza Mogavi had parked the Nissan in the yard of a house. The landlord closed the door behind him. With the help of three comrades from the village, we down load the items from the Nissan and put them all in the house. A few of us had to stay and distribute the items. Distributing items takes two to three hours. Amir, Amir Hussein, Abdullah and Reza and I stayed there. Seventeen families whose homes were destroyed were given priority. We put their packages aside and distributed their share according to the list and the rest of the items among the locals. At sunset, five of us got in Reza’s car. After a warm farewell, we left Morani village to the Imam Reza camp.

***

Saman Ahmadi came to me in his car. We went to Valiasr village. I met and greeted with comrades warmly. We drank tea and shared our memories. Saman began his speech and spoke warmly. The tea was cold in his hand. He said in detail:

 

- The first days, we had rice and lentils. It was full of love and empty of content! After a while, we collected some money and we were able to mix soy with our food as well. One of my comrades from Azena, who was also very kind and honorable...

 

Here, I disrupted his words and said:

-Well, isn't he kind now?

 

He laughed and replied:

- Yes. He is still kind and honorable now? But, as he is not here now and he has returned from Azena, that is why I used the past tense!  His wife was about to give birth and he went to stay with her, her baby was born. He told me to stay one day or two days with her and I would come back. We all fell silent. Saman said:

 

-Oh, no! I can't remember what I was telling about.

 

I laughed. Saman put his tea glass on the ground and continued:

 

-Yes, this friend called his wife and told her to send him all the money, because the comrade cook food and he want to make a vow to Imam Hussein so that their baby would be safe and healthy. His wife had sent the money. Then, he went and bought a sheep in Pol-e Dokhtar. None of the comrades knew how to slaughter a sheep. We found one of the inhabitants to slaughter the sheep. He said he would cut off its head, but I also have a condition. We asked him about his condition, and he said that he wanted to receive its head, feet, and liver instead. Finally, we agreed to share the sheep's head, trotters, and liver with him. The butcher was slaughtering. After the slaughter, he told me to go and get a pot for the liver. The comrades called out to me. By the time I returned, the butcher had returned with pot. Instantly, I found that there was no news of a head or a liver! I stared in amazement at the headless sheep, without feet and liver, looking around for possible ways in which the thief of the head and liver took them. Finally, we didn't find him, and we feel wistful for the sheep's head, trotters, and liver

 

To be continued…

 

Proximity in a Strange Land-1

Proximity in a Strange Land-2

 


[1] It is a multitude hall for the mourning of Muharram and other commemoration rituals of Shia (cited in Wikipedia; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hussainiya

[2] The Law Enforcement Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran 

[3]It is a traditional Arabian headdress and is now worn throughout the Middle-East region.( cited in Wikipedia; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keffiyeh)



 
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