It Was Stated in an Interview with Eghlimeh Jahedi

Memoirs of Crusading behind the Front

Faezeh Sasanikhah
Translated by Ruhollah Golmoradi

2018-05-29


During eight years of the sacred defense, when men fought at the frontline, women gathered in homes, mosques, and religious and cultural centers to provide supplies, cloths, and other needs of warriors. Eghlimeh Jahedi is one of ladies who during eight years of the sacred defense, tried in providing equipment needed by the warriors and attracted many women in Alborz. Iranian Oral History Website interviewed with him in order to talk from those years.

 

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When did you start activity for logistics and support from the front?

I was a member of Jahād-e Sāzandegī when I lived in Tehran. Early in the revolution, when Jahad had been established by command of Imam Khomeini, a day in Tehran, I saw it had been written on the wall "here is central jihad". I went there and started my co-operation with them. We first tent in street of Revolution and were working there. We were four people. Later, a mosque gave us a room where we worked there. I taught beadwork householder ladies that their husbands were unemployed. They did beadwork on clothes and I took the clothes to the market. I took my money monthly and gave it to them. Two years after starting the imposed war, we migrated to Karaj (now capital of Alborz province). Tehran Jahad introduced me to Jahad of Karaj, which was on Taleghani Street.

 

What did you do in Jahād-e Sāzandegī for the fronts?

I had gathered women and we were working in a big house. We wove clothes for fighters, and made jams and Torshi. We washed bloody clothes of the wounded were brought from the front by truck.

 

Did you sew cloths for the fighters too?

Yes. About 15 women had brought their sewing machine. They sewed trousers and underclothes, or sewed tore clothes.

 

How many women did you work with?

About two or three hundred people. In addition, I mobilized my relatives to help the front. Among my family members, my sister participated. Even some of Tehranian women who knew me came to help one to two days in a week. I had advertised much for collecting forces. Of course, in addition to help Jahād-e Sāzandegī we worked with IRGC.

 

How would you encourage women to work behind the front?
I went to women's religious and Rawda Khwani meetings and told ladies: "We are working for the front, you also help us please."
 

What was age range of the women who worked with you?
Young, middle-aged and old-women; some were financially weak and were poor but they tried to help the holy defense. One woman had a bad financial situation. I said him: "Nobody expects you. It's better to try to resolve your problems." He said:" No, I also want to help prevent the country and the revolution from being harmed."

 

Did you also gather money to help the front?
Not at all; Jahād or IRGC brought jam and Torshi. We made jam with the sugar that Jahad sent.
 

Had your group a special name?
No. We only worked for Jahad and IRGC. IRGC asked me to abandon Jahad and work for them. They wanted to hire me and pay salaries, but my wife did not allow me and said, "It must be a service for the sake of God." I told IRGC: "I am a Jahadgar (crusader) and I do not want to being hired by a special organization."

 

How many days did you work in a week?
Every day we worked from morning to night.
 

Do you perform your activities in house of the group members?
No, we were in house of several people whom I do not remember name of all of them. One of houses we went in Hoseinabad, Mehrshahr in Karaj was Mrs. Torabi's house. Apart from works such as sewing clothes and preparing Torshi and making jam, after a while, we made a ground baking tandoor to provide bread of the warriors. I went to neighborhoods one by one and asked ladies: "Who knows to cook bread?" About thirty said: "We know."

 

How did you build tandoor?
Some rural women knew how to make a tandoor with mud. We provided soil for them and they did it.
 

How many tandoors were made?
The tandoors were sixteen. In sum, we made the tandoors in three or four villages. There was a street in Hoseinabad called Agh Tapeh which is now called Valiasr (Aj) Street, we made tandoor there. In eight days the tandoor mud was dried. Mardabad and Hashtgerd were other villages in which we built tandoor. We went to gardens for supplying firewood. We tied our Chadors at our necks and collected dry branches. After morning prayers, I went to a place where we were going to cook bread, and after me the ladies came one by one. I was responsible of these groups. I divided the women among the tandoors. They mashed flour. One worked with rolling pin, one put in tandoor, one gathered, and then we dried breads....

 

When did you send breads?
Every two days, and sometimes every day we sent bread to the war zones. Trucks were brought from Jahad and IRGC, received breads and took to the front. We wrote letters to warriors and placed in bread bags. We gave them hope and say that we are your supporters, you would win. They also answered the letters. Sometime later they told us: "they told us the enemy fired chemical bombs at the front and fighters were infected chemical". They gave us some material and said, "Pour this into clothes." I established a place in which we only made anti-chemical clothes. After we sewed clothes, we poured the material into uniforms so that the fighters did not afflicted chem. One day, Haj Agha Sa'adati, representative of Imam, came to visit our work and thanked us so much. I said to them: "I do not need any thanks; I work for the sake of God, the homeland and the young people who are dying a martyr." I wished martyrdom. I said: "Haj Agha, I wish I would die a martyr too." Haj Agha said: "we couldn't all die a martyr miss, could we?" some must also survive in order to help the fronts."

 

Were your activities limited to these during years of Sacred Defense?
No. Another of my tasks was to ask to see which farmer had gone to the front and it is time of harvesting his crop? They said: "That woman's husband is in the front." Farmers had planted pea, lentil, barley and wheat in their fields, and gone to the front. The fields were large and crops were destroyed if weren't harvested. I would say to the ladies: "Let's go to harvest their corps before wasting." I took the ladies to wilderness. We wore gloves, collected corps and gave them to their wives. Of course, this was not related to Jahad or IRGC, and it was personal. My spouse donated and we went to intended villages. I myself bought a lot of bread and watermelon and gave it to my companions.

 

How long does it take to collect corps?
Very much; we harvested almost corps of 30 fields. Harvesting each field lasted from morning to night. Harvesting took about two months. We went to Nazarabad which was near. We went around Karaj and even Qazvin by a car.


Was your spouse disagree with your activity?
No. My husband, Mr. Karim Kafi, was very accompanied me in these activities.
 

Did he also work in this field?
No, he helped us financially and paid my traffic cost.
 

How Did You Manage Your Personal Life despite all the measures?

I have seven children. At that time my eldest son was fourteen years old. I slept very little in a 24 hours. I woke up at midnight and did home works. I cooked lunch upon kerosene lamp. I told my children not to touch kerosene lamp until I arrived. I went home during day. Even though most of my time was spent for helping the front, now my kids are all successful and educated.

 

Was your activity just behind the front?

Once in the middle of the war, I went to Sarpol-e Zahab. We had woven clothes for the warriors and made unleavened bread as much as a truck wagon. On the part of Jahad I went with five or six women there to see that area and fighters closely. Combatants were very high-spirited. When they saw they cried tears of joy. I asked a soldier, who had done Noha for soldiers, to lament for me too. He lamented poems about Imam Hussein (AS) and Imam Khomeini. Then the warriors sat down and I spoke to them.

 

What was purpose of all this effort and help to the front?

Firstly for the sake of God; then, to save the country, prevent martyr's blood to be trampled, and it was for the sake of Islamic Revolution and Imam Khomeini. We loved Imam so much. Before victory of Islamic Revolution in, I hold mourning ceremony during Muharram days and I did TashtGozari[1] in Ardebilian style of the Ardabilites, and I loved the ceremony very much. Because I was born in a village of Ardebil and I am original from there. After unfair division of lands through the land reform of Shah, my father, who was a landowner, lost his lands. After that, we migrated to Tehran and settled in Galobandak Street, near Bāzār e Bozorg (grand market). At that time, I was two years old. After marriage our house was in Khorasan Square of Tehran. In mourning ceremonies, I advertised for the revolution and Imam and distributed announcement. They said: "Iraq government had expelled Imam from Iraq, and he went to France, Neauphle-le-Château." Some of clergymen who are now in political posts came to our house for speeches and Rawda Khwani. On the part of Imperial government, they realized that it was advertised in our house for revolution. They came from police and summoned me and my wife. I told my wife, "Haj Agha, I am embarrassed to go to Shahrbani, you go." When he had gone, they asked: "you should tell us who are speakers come to your house?" My spouse had replied: "We have Rawda Khwani for Imam Hussein (PBUH) and we do not have anything to do with anyone. These also come for Rawda Khwani and do not have anything to do with anyone."

 

Did not you have cultural or incentive programs for women who collaborated with you?

Yes, we had; I asked Jahad to take the ladies who work with us to Mashhad as an encouragement. Jahad accepted. Five to six days, we went to Mashhad by minibus. Two times, I took about thirty women to meet Imam in Jamaran.

 

Number of people who collaborated with you was about 200 people. Why did you take just the number to visit Imam?

This number of people co-operated every day. In addition, some of the women who collaborated with us, through their husbands or other people, could visit Imam, but these women, whom I took to Jamaran, did not have access to Imam. Once I myself took the ladies, and one time on the part of Jahad. In the day I went to Jamaran to get a time to visit, I saw a car was going to the same place. I looked inside it and saw Haj Ahmad Agha [Khomeini] was driving. I said hello, he shook his head. Then I went inside the office, and he was there too. Other than us, some other people had come to meet Imam. Men were on the first floor and the ladies on the second.

 

How long did last your activities?
I kept troops for a year after the war. I said to the women who working with us, "Saddam is crazy. He may come back; then I cannot collect you again." When the war was ended, our work also ended.
 

Thank you for giving your time to Iranian Oral History Website.

 


[1]It is a special ceremony of Muharram in Ardebil. In this ceremony, which is held with sigh and tear, groups of people who beat their shoulders and chest by chain and hands pour water in water-skin for remembering Karbala thirsty people.



 
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