The Narration of a Teenager in Book "The Soldiers of Niar"

Akram Dashtban
Translated by Fazel Shirzad


The book "The Soldiers of Niar[1]" includes a narration of the memoirs of a teenager (aged 15), named Kalamolah Akbarzadeh during the eight years of holy defense. He was born in the village of Niar, the environs of Ardabil province. This book was published by Sassan Nategh in 1396(2017).

In the introduction of the book, Nategh has short notes on how to get acquainted with Kalamolah Akbarzadeh. As he is mentioned about it: "In the afternoon of the third day of Mehr 1391(October 2012), he came to my workplace; I had not seen him as yet and I did not know him. He sat down and said his words before drinking tea: "I was looking for someone to write my memoirs; I want you to do that." His interest, precision and simplicity caused me give him a positive response." The book "The Soldiers of Nari", in fifteen chapters, reviews the life of a teenager who entered into war from 1360(1981) and grew up during the adventures of that era. The book, in the form of memoirs, descrbes the events in three parts of the life of the Kalamolah, and accordingly, the readers of the book gets acquainted with the family, parts of the events of the first years after the victory of the Islamic Revolution and the social events of that era, and the days and months of presence of narrator in holy defense fronts.

Using the narrator's memoirs, Sassan Nategh has influenced a style of narration on the book in which he avoids retelling events in a linear narration. The book begins with the narrator's narration to reach a hill named Muddy Buffoon and injuring one of the Kurdish soldiers by Komalah[2], and the author, in a short cut, is trying to point out how 15-year-old boy named Kalamolah was absorbed into war by Basij[3].

In the meantime, only the presence of Kalamaleh and how he was sent to war are discussed, and no words from his family can be found except for the short paragraph mentioned at the end of page 11 as follows: "A few days ago, in the morning of July 1360, when I opened my eyes, I saw my mother sitting above my head and caressing my hair. I was afraid to sleep; so I had told my mom to wake me up. When I've closed my leopard shirt's buttons, she looked and cheeked my appearance, and said in Turkish:" now, you are a young man."

The presence of teen volunteer forces in the war was so acceptable issue at that tim that many books have been published about them. But it is unbelievable, strange and questionable for readers today, perhaps that is why author highlights the age of Kalamolah in the early chapters of the book, and talked about the surprise and admiration of a teen who was in the war, and it also mentioned the sense of pride and growing of a teenager. As it was written on page 39: "The next day, when I was passing through the street, people showed me to each other and said that I had come from the frontage of war. The adults and neighbors came to me with fruits and sweets. Elderly people asked me about the status of the war and said: "You really did Jihad[4] as a young!" I was extremely happy and excited when I found that others were behaving toward me like adults."

The curiosity and braveness of a teenager about the dangers of the war is another matter that the author has extracted it from the mentioned dangers of narrator and wrote it in his own style. In this era, Kalamolah has been experienced by attending in f Basij's Military Station and Islamabad's garrison named Allah Hakrar for military training and Constructive Jihad; he describes the social atmosphere of and his activities in that era well, but during the memories we read that he was not paid attention seriously because of his age and weak body. As stated in page 133 of the book: "Next man!" gunman looked at me and said. "Brother! Give me a gun!" Said I. he replied me allusively:

  • Do not stay here! Go away! You are a boy, I cannot give you a gun.

I gulped and stared at my brother. I expected Bayram to catch his collar and tell him what was the problem of brother with the rest, but he said coolly:

  • "There is no problem, let's wait what will be happened!"

From the sixth chapter, the presence of townsmen in the book and the efforts of the warriors of Ardabil city is being discussed. This book tries to highlight the efforts of the Niar's people during the holy defense Years, but in the meantime, Kalamaleh’s behavior as a teenager is narrated in a fascinating style, and accompanies readers to read other adventures. Looking at the issues around the war in the eyes of a teenager, and the sections that the issues are seen as a common problem in the eyes of other combatants, are narrated by Kalamolah in detail and more precise expression. At the end of book, his documents and photos of holy defense are included.

The book "The Soldiers of Niar" is the result of a 77- hour interview between author and narrator that printed in 550 pages by Office of Literature and Art of Resistance and Publication of Surah Mehr in two thousand and 500 copies in a clipping cut. This is the six hundred and fifty-ninth book produced in Office of Literature and the Art of Resistance, and it is two hundred and twentieth book centered around the memories of Iraq's imposed war against Iran.


[1] a village in Ardabil Province

[2] It (Revolutionary Workers' Society of Iranian Kurdistan) is an armed communist ethnic party of Kurds in Iran, exiled in northern Iraq. Komalah has been engaged in guerrilla warfare against Iranian government, notably during the 1979 Kurdish rebellion and Iran–Iraq War.

[3][3] The volunteer forces of Iran

[4] It is an Arabic word which literally means striving or struggling, especially with a praiseworthy aim. It can have many shades of meaning in an Islamic context, such as struggle against one's evil inclinations, an exertion to convert unbelievers, or efforts toward the moral betterment of society, though it is most frequently associated with war.

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