Book Review:

Ash-e Posht-e Jebhe

Memories of Nurture Teachers in the 1360s (1980s)

Fereydoon Heidari Molk-Mian
Translated by Ruhollah Golmoradi


On the beautiful cover and appropriate to the title of the book, an expressive image on a mustard-colored background is a clear example of cooperation of the hardworking women of this country, who gather round and are cleaning vegetables, and one or two big pots and baskets are also in front of them or next to them; An image that shows the role of sisters and mothers for various help behind the front; the patient women whose loved ones, their brothers and their husbands and children, were engaged in the holy defense against the imposed war.

Also, on the back cover of the book “Ash-e Posht-e Jebhe”, we read: “A car full of dirty and bloody blankets was emptied in the yard of Ommat School. After the class, the guy put the blankets under their arms and took them home. They took the blankets to wash at home! With the help of some guys, we took the remaining blankets to the corner of the yard, to the house of naneh (grandma) Emami, the school janitor. We prepared the hose and basin, and attacked the blankets with all our power. It took several hours to wash and spread them on the school wall. We were still tired when our hands and feet turned red and started to itch. The next day, when the school opened and the guys came, the same ones who took the blankets to houses were in our situation! None of us knew why. We went to the doctor. After the examination, he said: “it is due to harmful effects of Chemicalization. It is because of the same blankets you washed.”

The guy and I sympathized with the frontline fighters; In the class and school front.

The book begins with a foreword from the publisher. After that, the editor’s introduction is presented, which gives a sufficient explanation of why and how to produce this work. Then, the memories are arranged in seven chapters. After that, the colored and high-quality pictures are presented. In addition, it includes the manuscript of a one-act play written by one of the nurture teachers and is placed before the photographs of Ahvaz’s martyrs of educational affairs.

As it is mentioned in the book’s introduction, “Ash-e Posht-e Jebhe” is the memories of a number of nurture teachers of Ahvaz in the 1980s. At the time of victory of the revolution, they were twenty-two to three-year-old youths. Passionate and idealistic revolutionaries who established a room called "educational affairs" in gathering together in the mosque and they were titled “nurture and educational teacher”. At first, their activities were limited to the school and dealing with groups who considered themselves owners of the revolution and were looking for a base in schools. But when the first Iraqi aircraft broke the sound barrier of Ahvaz, the emergency population warning was transmitted and the educational and nurture instructors wore the IRGC and Basiji’s overcoat.

 In the meantime, the last nurture teachers of Ahvaz and today's Basij forces of Iran compassionately sacrificed their lives in the front. Male teachers had to defend both the fronts and take care of intellectual and belief boundaries. The female teachers also tied their Chadors to their waists and all with the pots in their hands, motherly packed luggage of their fathers, brothers, and children. They packed everything they could, including nuts and canned foods, for the front. The war continued and the urgent need for blankets and clean clothes for the fighters forced the Ahvazi women teachers to wash and repair the clothes that were brought back from the front. On the other hand, most schools in Ahvaz were either front and war support headquarters or accommodation centers for war victims. By involving the students and their families, the nurture instructors made the war public and turned the fronts into a place for education of students whose defense of the country was the first priority in their lives.

What is contained in this collection of memories is categorized into seven general headings. In each category, which actually constitue the chapters of the book, there are a number of memories, each with a distinct title along with the name of the nurture teacher (narrator of the memory). Everyone learns from these educator’s memories, who humbly and spontaneously tried to educate the students of this country, and also from the ups and downs of their work until dissolution of educational affairs after the war. A brief reference to these seven chapters shows the role of these brave and unassuming fighters in the military and cultural battlefield, which cannot be ignored; Because, hand in hand, they held a radiant track record in both fields.

1. Show, Competition, Excitement

As the title suggests, the first-hand memories, are narrated around “entertainment”, which for many means a few moments or minutes to get away from the problems and hardships of the real world and society; but entertainment has a different definition in the lexicon of the nurture reformers of the 1980s. Because that entertainment, which was founded by nurture teachers, is not going to take children away from the society and the real world. On the contrary, it makes children aware about the society and clarify its realities for them; Realities that either they touch them now or will touch them in the not-too-distant future.

2. Noon Wal Qalam (By the Pen)

The second group of memories, which borrows its title from one of the late writer Jalal Al-Ahmad's works, but here it clearly refers to the topic under discussion: the nurture teachers didn’t care why a certain official, ministry, or institution did not do anything or did not do much to introduce the children to books. They would take the same books that they knew would be useful for the children and come among the children. Because they had to feed the children's souls.

3. Film and Cultural Tour

The third category of memories discusses the function of films and presenting them in the pre- and post-revolutionary Iran. Apparently, the Pahlavi government wanted to show American movies and scenes of beautiful American nature and buildings in the remote villages of Iran, which meant you are from the third world and we are civilized! But the revolution soon upset Yankees and their clique’s apple-carts, and disarmed them. It was intended that the teachers would broadcast films for the children and the villagers and the city dwellers; Movies with a religious identity and smelled Iran.


4. Ministry of Culture and Education

In the title of the fourth category, the words "education" and "culture" are intentionally replaced to present a new notion. The nurture teacher was the student’s light of the way and showed them the path, and if their path deviated somewhere, he would gently bring them back to the path. The nurture teacher sought to discover the talent of each child, help them to develop it and enrich their family and society with that talent. The priority of the nurture teacher was first nurture and then education; Now whether the name of the ministry she worked was a ministry or in which she worked to be education or any other name.

5. Doubt, Hypocrisy, Terror

Addressing the martyrs of the nurture teachers is specific to the fifth category of the memories. What is clear is that it takes a lot of time to name the 17,000 terror martyrs, let alone consider each one of them as human beings who breathed, were hope of a family, and were supposed to be the future builders of the country. The nurture teachers struggled with the puppets and supporters of Monafeghin (the hypocrites) in the school. Of course, they paid its price too and very soon they joined to the list of the holy defense’s nurture teacher martyrs, which became colorful with the addition of the terror’s martyrs.

6. The Vow of Jihad

This group of memories mention the jihadist role of the nurture teachers behind the front. The man of the Jihad field should be supported, and one of the heating elements of the war support oven are the nurture teachers. Buying an ambulance for the front, selling food to help the front, sewing clothes for field hospital nurses, and inviting students and families to help the front were only a small part of the activities of the nurture teachers in supporting the war; The teachers who had dedicated many loved ones to the system and the revolution in the front line also supported the rear.


7. War until Victory

And finally, the last group of memories is dedicated to the presence of nurture teachers in the front. On September 22, 2022, Iraq started the war. Saddam wanted to capture Khuzestan in three days; But he only stayed for six days behind the gates of the city of blood (Khorramshahr), whose youths stood empty-handed in front of its army. The nurture teachers presented both in the front line and behind the front. The teachers' talk about the brave men of Iran and the soldiers of Ruhollah (Imam Khomeini) for the students prepared them one by one to go to the front and not be left behind by rest of the battlefield’s fighters.

The research work of “Ash-e Posht-e Jebhe” was jointly carried out by Seyyed Mohammad Al-Imran, Zainab Babaei and Zahra Karacheh, and was edited by Asieh Tafi. The first edition of the book was published by Rah-e Yar Publications for the oral history department of the Cultural Front of the Islamic Revolution in 200 pages and 1,000 copies, in medium octavo, at a price of 45,000 Tomans in the year 2021 (1400 SH).

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