The 351st Night of Memory

My brother is still present

Leyla Rostami
Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan


The 351st show of Night of Memory was held on 4th of Aban 1402 (October 26, 2023) in Sooreh Hall of the Art Centre of the Islamic Revolution. The narrators of the show, Brigadier General Ali Asghar Keshavarz, Nasser Sharifian and Mr. Navidi recounted their memoirs about martyr Abbas Rostami who was a wrestler and the person in charge of the camp of Iraqi captives. Also, the book "My brother is still present" authored by Miss Mansoureh Qanadian was unveiled. The book deals with the memoirs of the life of martyr Abbas Rostami. The show was hosted by Davood Salehi.




The first narrator of the Night of Memory was Brigadier General Ali Asghar Keshavarz, born on 10th of Dey, 1339 (December 31, 1960), a close and oldest friend of martyr Abbas Rostami in Jeihoon and Salsabil neighborhoods of Tehran. At the beginning of his speech, he said: I met martyr Abbas Rostami almost 10 years before the revolution. Our activity and interest in the mosque and wrestling caused us to become closer together. There was another martyr named Mahmoud Nikbakht. My experience in wrestling was more than theirs; But they succeeded to be martyred and I did not.

Abbas was a pious and dignified person. If he had no money and wanted to go to Karaj, he would not tell anyone and would walk to Karaj. His daily on-time prayers were never missed. His prayer had priority over everything. He was very kind and honest. He had almost no income, but if he had some or his father gave him something, he would take the local guys to the club and swimming pool. He had great perseverance both on the front and outside the front. He did whatever he wanted and was very strict about doing his job. If Abbas was alive, he would surely be among the great people of the country, because he knew what he was doing. We had a mentor named Mahmoud Razi; He was also very pious and we were his disciples. Almost most of them were martyred. Mahmoud Riazi himself was also martyred. I have never seen anyone like Abbas except Mahmoud Riazi.

He continued by saying: I went to the war fronts in 1360 (1981). My going to the front made the distance and separation from Abbas a little more bearable for me. But in the same separation and distance, I called him twice a day from the region. I reduced this 2 times a day to 2 times a week. Then 1 time a week, finally I could bear it. Abbas's military service had not yet ended when he used his leave and went to Basij for training. After Basij, he came to the cities of Saqqez and Bookan in Kurdistan. The wrestling match was held in Urumia, known as "Zone 11" at that time.

I went to Bookan to take Abbas to Urumia for the wrestling match. He was an excellent 52 kg wrestler. When I went there, Abbas had gone for the military operation. Suddenly, I was worried. I called Bookan several times from Urumia and asked if the operation was over?! Is Abbas back?! They kept saying no! In short, the tournament was over in three days and we returned. I said, no matter what, I have to see Abbas. I went to Bookan and Jondollah Company. I looked for him when I saw that the sanatorium was a bit messy. I asked: Did you return from Marivan operation? They said: Yes. In short, I asked about Abbas. They said: "Abbas Rostami was martyred."

The world ruined on my head. The wrestlers were in the car. We went to Saqqez. I did not wait. That night, I called the children. I called the house of Shahid Mahmoud Nikbakht. I told his father, martyr Haj Agha Nikbakht: "I am dealing with Mahmoud." Haji said: "Tell me, what happened?!" Haji Nikbakht was martyred, of course. I said: "Abbas has been martyred." Tell Mahmoud to come talk to him." I said to Mahmoud: "Mahmoud! Abbas was martyred. Mahmoud had a high morale. He said: "Really...?! I had written that if he goes to the front, he won't come back!" It really happened like that. We were at the front for seven years, but not a single bullet hit me, but Abbas Rostami came for three months and left in the same three months. Abbas was in Bookan. I went after him to take him to me in Saqqez. Although I insisted a lot, he did not come. He said: "I have come with these guys and friends. It would be cowardice if I let them go. I will stay here."


To be continued...


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