The 325th Night of Memory -2

Memories of a Mourning Ceremony at the Mirjavah Border Regiment

Compiled by: Iranian Oral History Website
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad

2021-10-12


Note: The 325th Night of Memory program was held in person on the Thursday of 23rd July 2021, in the open space of the Arts Center, with the performance of Davood Salehi. In this program, some recounted their memories with the subject of border guards of the police force, such as the 2nd Brigadier General of the Revolutionary Guards, Jalal Setareh who is Deputy Commander of the Naja[i] Border Command, Colonel Abolghasem Khatami who is Deputy Minister of Culture and Social Affairs of the Naja Border Command, and Ali Kazem Hassani Raigani who is the cultural advisor to the Naja border commander.

In the second part of the Night of Memory program, Davood Salehi, the presenter of the program, after broadcasting photos to introduce the second narrator, said: "When I was a soldier in the village named Kasegaran in Gilan-e-Gharb and I was guarding, this sentence of the Mohammad Prophet (PBUH)  was written on a wall: "One night guarding in the way of God is better than a thousand days and nights, spending in worship and fasting." The sentences we read make us fall in asleep. After this introduction, the presenter invited the second narrator of the Night of Memory, Colonel Abolghasem Khatami, the social deputy of the Naja Border Command, to share his memories.

Colonel Khatami began said: "given my specialization in the cultural and social fields of border guarding, I offer you my first memory so that we do not take a distance from the Decade of Dignity. When I was serving in Khorasan Razavi, I sometimes found that although soldiers who serving in this province (like Taybad and the regiments there), were not allowed to visit the shrine of Imam Reza(PBUH). After talking to the provincial border command, we decided to identify the soldiers who have not yet been able to visit the shrine. Later in the week, we would gather these friends and send them by car from the border areas to Mashhad to visit the shrine of Imam Reza (PBUH).

On one of the trips when these friends were sent to Mashhad by minibus from the Taybad Border Regiment, we accompanied them. We also coordinated with Astan Quds Razavi[[ii]] for a multifaceted cultural program for these people, which included visiting the museum, introducing holy places, a training class, the Prophet's food, and gifts for these soldiers. During this trip, when we were talking to our colleagues in one of the museums wearing border guards, the soldiers were visiting when a man seemed was he was not Iranian came to us. At first, I thought he had a question, but I was surprised when he gave his baby to us. We hugged and kissed the baby and returned it to the father. Then, we asked him why he did it. he said in Arabic, "I am Lebanese and I have come for pilgrimage, and when I saw your clothes, I found that you may be one of Imam Khamenei's soldiers, I was proud to be in a country where there are soldiers who follow the Supreme Leader and work the Islamic world. I wanted to bless my child with your clothes and my child to be insured. In our country, one of our honors is that there are still those who are serving the Islamic world, and it was very interesting to me that we only see ourselves, but  I realized that the whole world is looking at us and we are the hope of the Islamic countries in the world, and this is an honorary medal for all those who live in this country.

The second case of the narrator's memoirs was about the ones that are sometimes spread as rumors in cyberspace and the attacks that are formed against the armed forces, especially the border guards in this space. In 1998, when coronary heart disease was manifesting itself, a rumor spread in cyberspace that some citizens of neighboring countries had been thrown into the river by Iranian border guards. These words were being severely spread until we investigated, and as usual in cyberspace, responded and performed a series of necessary psychological operations. After the investigations, it was found that in addition to the faithful aid we provide inside the country, such faithful aid is also provided to the neighboring countries, and in these cases, its documents and pictures are also being distributed.

The narrator continued: "In the border area of Taybad’s Dogharun border at 1 a.m., a man referred to our border guard in the Taybad border regiment and said that my son had suffered 70% burns. I do not have the possibility of a doctor in my country to treat my child and seek refuge in your country; I did not have a passport or any other document and I just beg them to do whatever they can for my child. With the help from his friends and the coordination they made, he was transported by ambulance to a medical center in the city of Taybad at night and treated. On another night, the mother of one of the Afghan’s Mujahideen, without any identification documents, came to our country with the guarantee of the border guards and was treated for free and returned to her country. This shows that our country has Islamic compassion and we should be proud of ourselves that we work and live in such a country and the whole world sees it. Immediately after this incident, we sent a team of people from the radio and television and our colleagues there to film, document, and broadcast from the media, to create pride and positive actions that our colleagues did. After a while, the presenter, who also happened to be one of the prominent presenters in the province, told me that something strange happened to me after this incident.

From now on, let me quote from Ms. Ziarati, the wife of Moin Reza Farkhondeh, a TV presenter. Mr. Farkhondeh tells his wife, "I want to go to one of the border towns and make a TV report, and I will return in the afternoon." When this lady called him in the afternoon and sees that there was not enough network to call; she called others; she was worried. "I was worried and came to my father's house at night, and, interestingly, it was not more than a few months after their marriage," she said. she said that she was very upset why she did not call me at the beginning of her life. She has narrated: "I was very upset, I read the Quran and I fell asleep. In the middle of the night, I dreamed of a very bright man in a green garden. Who are you? I said. "I am a martyr of the police force." Oh, sister, do not worry. There is no problem for your spouse, my prayers and the prayers of the Imams are behind you and your spouse," he said, "Nothing happens to him. He went for something that, God willing, will be a good foundation for the future of your life. She has said that in her dream she was very worried that something might happen to my husband and he would be martyred." Then she found that the martyr was leaving and she said that I also wanted to come with him. I found that I was not able to go. This martyr said that he cannot come the way he was going, just remember to send my greetings to Imam Reza (PBUH)."

She has recounted: "When I woke up in the morning, my mother wanted to know why I was crying in my sleep last night. I did not say anything to him. My husband came back and said that our work had taken a long time. Sometime after this incident, one night my husband said that the program that is being broadcast is the same report that we received from the martyr in the border area of Taybad. When I saw the photo of the martyr, I remembered that I had seen this martyr in a dream a few nights ago. I told my husband about it and my wife cried a lot and was affected. I made an appointment with the wife of this martyr in the shrine of Imam Reza (PBUH) so that we could see each other there. We went to the shrine of Imam Reza (PBUH) together. I looked at the shrine of Reza and said, "Oh Imam, this wanted me to say peace upon Imam Reza; I am obliged to say you." When she showed her husband's photos, I said that I saw him in a dream whereas she had never seen the face of this martyr."

It is one of the strange things that if a person can realize; it is an honor. I have repeated several times that that Imam Sajjad’s (PBUH) words and prayers for the border guards were true. I offered such words to the family of the border guards to be proud of their spouses; they also have an important role and even share in their spouse's reward. They should know their worth; because many things that want to happen in their life do not happen because of these issues and they do not realize themselves, they go through many disasters, these rewards cause many of those disasters to be prevented.

Khatami's last recollection was about the Mirjavah Border Regiment. He said: "In 1996, we served in the Mirjavah Border Regiment of the 123rd Seyyed Al-Shohada Battalion. Mirjavah Border Regiment was at the same time with the police force and the border had not been separated yet. In this border regiment, there was a mosque for Shiites and other mosques were mostly for Sunnis. According to our plan, in the first decade of Muharram, we held mourning with the friends of the 123rd Seyyed al-Shohada Battalion and the Mirjavah Border Regiment. We had an Imam Hussain Congregation, we took vows, and after collecting expenses from friends, we also had lunch when the mourning was over. According to the routine that takes place in such ceremonies. I also filmed documentaries there. What was interesting to us was that the traditional people who lived in Mirjavah and were mostly from the Rigi tribe, told us when your Imam Hussain ceremony is. They called our mourning ceremony as Hussain ceremony. These people did not come themselves but sent their children to the mourning Congregation.

In this mourning, we had a speaker that was tied to a stick to indicate the voice of the praiser. Their children would come and try to take and keep the bases of our speakers. I recorded these images. They also brought their patients and placed them on the path of our mourning Congregation for healing and put a black tent over their heads so that their faces would not be visible. You see, the Sunnis, also in the Mirjavah region, brought their patients and placed them on our mourning paths to be healed, and we, the Shiites and Muslims, should be proud of this mourning for Imam Hussein. Especially we border guards who claim to continue the path of the martyrs of eight years of sacred defense. I tell the dear border guards to be proud of themselves and tell your family to continue this work because your children will continue this way in the future."

 


i The Law Enforcement Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran or Iranian Police Force.

ii It is the administrative organization that manages the Imam Reza shrine and various institutions which belong to the organization.



 
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