Memoirs of Marzieh Hadidchi (Dabbagh) (Part 57)


Memoirs of Marzieh Hadidchi (Dabbagh) (Part 57)

Edited by: Mohsen Kazemi

Tehran, Sooreh Mehr Publications Company

‎2002 (Persian Version)‎

Translated by: Zahra Hosseinian


Performing prayer at Moscow airport

After getting into car, we moved toward airport without killing time. It was noon when we arrived at the airport, so we decided to perform pray right there.

There was plenty of coming and goings in the booth; therefore, I spread a newspaper under my foot in a corner to perform my prayer. Finishing my prayer, I saw people stopped and looked at me in surprise. They looked questioningly at what I was doing. They marveled more when saw that the men of our delegation did the same in another corner. It seems that they had not seen such a thing yet.

A number of state authorities had come to see us off. We boarded the plane after saying goodbye. On the plane, I felt comfort. It seemed the rest of the delegation had the same feeling. We were pleased with the mission we had accomplished, and I was still thinking of confronting Gorbachev and also shaking his hand. Many staffs of the embassy of our country complained that why they had not anticipated such a problem and had not informed us. After this trip, Mr. Javadi Amoli told me, ‘at that moment when Gorbachev stretched his hand to shake you, we were afraid that you lost your nerve, but thank God, you did very well.’

In the airplane of our country, we felt comfortable and ate lunch in relaxation, and then, at the rest of the way, we were busy putting down some points about our travel and the visit.



As soon as we arrived in Iran, at first we visited Imam to report what we had seen and heard. Imam himself also had asked to see the members of the delegation.

Visiting Imam, Ayatollah Javadi Amoli, the head of delegation, reported what he had said, seen, and heard. "Which one of you could see his face?" Imam asked. He meant that which one of us observed Gorbachev's reactions. I answered, ‘I kept looking at him, he reacted against two parts of the letter and his faced changed but he was silent and thoughtful about the remaining; first, where in the letter you had asked them to send their experts to Qom, and next, where you had said that we are involved in the destiny of Muslims around the world; and he brought both of them into question.’ Imam pointed out that Mr. Javadi Amoli responded well to his questions. Imam Khomeini was satisfied of the rest and smiled.

In less than two months, Gorbachev fulfilled his promise and sent a letter to Imam by his Foreign Minister, Eduard Shevardnadze. When Shevardnadze came to Tehran and Jamaran, I was not in Tehran, but Mr. Javadi Amoli and Larijani were present at the meeting. Apparently, Eduard Shevardnadze was influenced by simple life of Imam Khomeini[1].


Reasons for Selecting Us

Writing and communicating a message for one of the two poles of the world which was on the onset of great political and ideological changes, was a great and historic task for Imam, and the passage of time proved the correctness of Imam’s predictions; when he warned about false promises of the west world and said that he could hear the sound of breaking the bones of communism, and hereafter, it could be looked for in the museums of political history of the world.

Now, why Mr. Javadi Amoli and Larijani and I were selected to communicate such an important and historic message, was in question. In particular, it was in question why I, as a woman, was one of representatives of Imam, and had the honor of going to such a great travel, in which there was any kind of danger; and as Mr. Ahmad Khomeini asked us to write or renew our will, it was feared that we did not return to the country again.

When I came back home, I asked Ahmad Khomeini about the will. ‘We felt that we are at risk.’ he answered very clearly, ‘It was possible that the Americans aimed the plane in the sky or even the government of Soviet Union arrested you and not let you go back again, and so many other possibilities.’

Imam Khomeini’s action was reminder of the Prophet in the early years of Islam, when he sent his messengers and harbingers to all parts of the world without any fear, because he wanted the divine message and the call for justice and freedom to be sent to the hearts of the entire world, especially the Roman Empire and Iran. It was a movement which had a great blessing for Islam and Muslims, and now it was repeated by deputy of the Prophet's child.

In my opinion, Mr. Javadi Amoli was outstanding in terms of religious science and Islamic knowledge, especially in cognition of the Qur'an and Quranic science, as well as philosophy and mysticism, and he enjoyed a special status among religious scholars. In addition, he did not enclose himself only in seminary and was sensitive to the governmental issues and had a deep interest in executing the commands of God and in implementing the laws of Islam. He could easily comment about all philosophical problems of the world, from west to east, and defended Islam.

His voice, calmness, and firm behaviors impressed each of audience; and Imam was aware of all the characteristics of Mr. Javadi Amoli more than anyone else, and such a good choice could be for these reasons.

Mr. Larijani was also a well-educated man with a Ph.D. degree in philosophy and mathematics, who came from a religious family. In today politics, he was an expert, learned and thoughtful figure with astute views, and he also was reliable. In my opinion, the other reasons for selecting him could be being Deputy of Foreign Minister and having perfect command of a number of foreign languages.

And about selecting me, as far as I was concerned, I did not find any reason except that Imam intended to send a woman along with men to the Soviet Union and declared that Iranian women also participate in the important and governmental affairs and they are pioneer. And also he wanted to send an oral message, beside a written one, that we practically value (semantic but not instrumental value) the true position of the women more than any other school. By sending a woman along with his representatives, Imam wanted to end all the propaganda of the West and the East based on the constraint of the woman in the Islamic society; while in the West the media regularly wrote in detail about constraint of women in the Islamic republic of Iran.

Imam intents to send a letter to Gorbachev and it is not needed to send a woman along with the delegation. But he sends a woman along with them to Moscow. In fact, what was the necessity of sending a woman? What would happen if Mr. Javadi Amoli delivered Imam Khomeini’s letter alone to Mr. Gorbachev and then returned? I am sure no problem had arisen, but why did Imam Khomeini select a woman to accompany the delegation for delivering the letter?! He wanted to say that the presence of women is necessary anywhere. Women should enter the arena [...] I think that in addition to declaring the presence and appearance of women in different roles, Imam Khomeini also wants to solve an international issue here and say, "The presence of women in international issues is a must, and when I, as your leader, want to send a message to the international community[2], for the first and last time, I select from both strata of women and men."

Perhaps many years of my participation in the field of fighting, and separation and being away from my home, as well as several months of working in Neauphle-le-Château as a servant of Imam, and even my responsibilities after victory of the Islamic Revolution (such as commanding Hamadan IRGC, being representative of Islamic Consultative Assembly several times, being in charge of women’s Basij, and ...) were not ineffective in this selection.

Imam Khomeini wanted from his heart that his representatives appeared firm and strong at the heart of the East Empire and the great house of communism, and they were able to make a decisive decision in necessary and critical times and did well.

I recall that in a part of his speech in Mashhad about the power of Islam, Mr. Javadi Amoli had said, after referring to the mission of delegation in Moscow: "this was our women’s appearance in front of a superpower: our women, at first, push back his hand courageously and then bring him to his knees, because he says we stretch our unarmed hands toward your men.


To be continued…


[1]. To find out Mr. Gorbachev's answer to Imam Khomeini, see attachment No. 4.

[2].  The Keihan newspaper, No. 17023 (February 13, 2001), interview with Mrs. Dabbagh.

Number of Visits: 641


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