Ahmad Ahmad Memoirs (1)

Edited by Mohsen Kazemi

Ahmad Ahmad Memoirs (I)
Edited by Mohsen Kazemi
Soureh Mehr Publishing Company
(Original Text in Persian, 2000)
Translated by Mohammad Karimi

This book narrates known and unknown events and memoirs by people who sought the light and paid heavily for it; and also talks about the ones who lost the way and went astray and reached to a mirage.
This narrative contains the sweet and sour memoirs by “Ahmad Ahmad” who has been interviewed for more than 70 hours in two years. He was patient with our repeated calls and meetings and answered our fair and unfair questions.
For the old Ahmad it was hard to narrate the memoirs of more 40 years ago. However, it happened by referring to different and outnumbered interviews and also some historical books. He admits that interviews remind him of interrogation sessions in prison. What a hard and long interview was the first hour of interview with him to penetrate into his mind and memory! We do not know if the sweat on his forehead was from the heat of 1997 summer or his unwillingness to review his memoirs?

The Bureau for the Islamic Revolution Literature

10th Reprint Introduction
Seven years ago when the print of this book was published, written memoirs of fighters against the Pahlavi Regime were not outnumbered like today. As “Islamic Revolution Documents Center” website admitted then in introducing the book of Hussein Ahmadi (handwritten memoirs): “Publication of Ahmad Ahmad Memoirs is a new opening in researches about MKO(Mujahedin Khalq Organization)”, and in other words it created a new approach to reach parts of historical events and knowing political movements in 1960s and 70s. Since then the memoirs of Mohsen Nejat Husseini, Lotfullah Mesami, Seyyed Kazem Bojnourdi, Marziyyeh Dabagh, Tahereh Sajjadi, Ezzat Shahi and … have been published. The researches about MKO were so expanded that Political Studies and Researches Institute published the three volumes of Mujahedin Khalq Organization from Beginning to the End.
In such an atmosphere Ahmad Ahmad has a special status and is still being read by many. It can be proved by reviewing the big number of book reviews and received letters published in the press, the book review meetings, book reading competitions and the big number of audience in websites and weblogs on internet.
During the years after the publication of the book many people have asked me to have a chance for meeting the main character of the book. Ahmad accepted them at his home as much as he could or participated in their sessions and meeting in different cultural or academic programs in Tehran and other cities by the help of cane and tolerating the hardships of walking. During all this period Ahmad has had no days without a call or a request for meeting. The big number of letters welcoming this book has been archived in "Oral History Office of The Bureau for the Islamic Revolution Literature".
Iranian society acceptance of this book had a rival on the other side and that was the angriness of Islamic Republic opponents particularly MKO members who angrily attacked the book; e.g. Nadereh Afshari, ex-member of National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), who wrote the raging text "That National Self-burning Pity!!" on internet and Hadi Shams Ha'eri, ex-member of MKO in recent years who also wrote a detailed criticizing review.
The artists also paid attention to this book and in February 2006 two episodes of documented series of "The Silent Many" were dedicated to the life and fights of Ahmad.
One of the most attractive and beautiful consequences of publishing this book was find the old friends and comrades. The ones who had been fall apart for years; e.g. Dr. Yunes Mohammadi, the famous champion of javelin who was also champion of resisting the tortures. Ahmad could not remember his name but narrated a beautiful memoir about him and there was nothing referring to him in previous prints. However, now his name is there in the book.
When in 2000 this book was published for the first time, I never had thought of receiving such feedbacks. I added some received letters in the 3rd print but avoided to bring other feedbacks for three reasons; first the volume of the book that would not let me to do so. Second, the next letters were similar to the previous ones, and at last I did not like to thicken the margins more than the main text.
When I was told to edit the book again for the 10th print, firstly under the effects of that time conditions I decided to change the books prose in order to answer more needs of the audience. After ten pages I though why I should change the prose of the memoirs? This book is the outcome of the conditions in 1990s and for knowing these conditions it is necessary to keep the same prose; even though, today, I may not agree with some words and the literature of some sentences. However, it does not let me to deface the signs of that decade. So, I tore all those pages and decided to keep the same text. I just corrected some misprints in the footnotes such as the title of General Taheri or the name of torturer Husseini and adding the new found information about the javelin champion in the footnotes.

January 2008
Mohsen Kazemi

The First Teachings
Birth and Family

I was born in a warm spring day in 1939 in Irin, a village near to Islam-Shahr in Tehran province, in a religious family. I was the 3rd child of the family. My mother was a kind and believer woman named Tooba Haji Tehrani. My father, Hussein Ahmad, was a modest hard working man.
My father was working in the same village as a farmer and breeder. He was not well-educated but was more intelligent than other villagers in Irin. He would help others to solve their problems and sometimes would play the role of headman. So our home was a place for solving the problems of many other villagers and fixing their affairs.
My mother like my father was not educated but she could read Quran so well. She knew many chapters of Quran and Gulistan of Saadi by heart. She would participate in religious and mourning sessions and was devoted believer of Shia Imams. Whenever she would hear the names of Shia Imams, she would weep for them unintentionally. As she would say, "The milk I breast-fed you was mixed up with these tears."
My elder brother, Mahdi, was a religious believer who tolerated many hardships during Imam Khomeini Movement. He was respected by all the family and was my model in religious and revolutionary ideas. I may briefly explain more about his activities.
Another brother of mine, Mahmood, was born imbecile and in young ages died despite all the nursing of the family.
My sisters, Khadijah and Fatimah, are both good believers. My elder sister, Khadijah, was a big support for my parents when my brother and I were fleeing from SAVAK agents or being hidden. She would really calm my parents when we were not at home or in prison. Even when married she did a lot for my parents. When I was in prison, she would try hard to free me or find and meet me there.

When I was about to go to school our village was suffering from drought conditions and it would make villagers to fight with each other for river water. The landowner of our village was lady named Mrs. Bakhtiari; I think she was the wife of Samsam Bakhtiari. She was not able to fulfill the water needed for the village and was only concerned about her own farms and gardens. So many villagers lost what they had and sold their properties and emigrated to the neighboring towns.
My father's living became awfully bad. To flee this condition, he left farming, sold his properties and gathered small amount of money and left the village toward city with his family.
My father bought a house in Abbassi-Khaki Quarter (Abbassi crossroads- Helal Ahmar Ave.) in southwestern suburbs of Tehran. This building had two floors and four rooms. When rented a floor (two rooms) to others. We would make our living by the income of this floor's rent and the little money coming out selling the milk of few cows that we had brought from village. Later my father was employed in NIOC (National Iranian Oil Company) as a low-paid worker and could manage to earn a monthly little money for his family.

Abbassi and Robat Karim Quarters in Tehran
Abbassi-Khaki Quarter culturally was not something new for us, since most of its inhabitants were immigrants from other villages and had the same simple village culture that we had. Men would work in factories, workshops or in suburb farms. Women despite their way of life in village would just play the role of mothers and housekeeping.(1)
Our quarter did not have healthful water pipe. So, the girls and women with those simple veils would go to runnels leading to reservoirs to wash the dishes or bringing water home.
Most of the people in Abbassi and Robat Karim Quarters were Turks and Persians. They would celebrate religious feasts and ceremonies in their own customs. In some occasion these ceremonies would change to a chance for competing between these two. I remember during Muharram mourning ceremonies they would try to gather more and more people to make their own ceremony more splendid and greater. Sometime they would have local fights. Inhabitants of each corner of the quarter or village would support each other in front of the rival corner or village.
A quarter near to Abbassi quarter was Qal’eh Morghi where there was an airport. Those days I would stand on the roof of our 2-floor building for hours and watch the fly and landing of propeller airplanes. It was one the most beautiful and interesting scenes that I had ever watched in my life. With each fly of an airplane, my childish mind would fly in the sky of imagination, and it was only the poorness and mischief of the people that would bring me back to real world life.
What I understood as a child from the poorness and mischief of people was suffering for me. I was looking for the answer to this question that why some were so poor and ill-fated and some were happy and living in luxury.

(1) Women in village would work beside their men and children on the farms or breeding activities and were effective in the family economy. When village families emigrated to the cities, women lost their role.

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