We Get Oral History from Memory

Mohammadali Fatemi
Translated by: Shizrad


Another sacred defense week came; after 38 years when the Iraqi war imposed against the Islamic Republic of Iran, by Saddam Hussein, and when 30 years the year in which the war ended.

Another sacred defense week came to remind us of how the eight-year war and defense was, and how the warriors of the Islamic Republic of Iran had passed that days.

Another sacred defense week came to review and reconsider the political, military, economic, social and cultural history of that year for this occasion. The lifetime of these historical aspects is as long as the years after war began; for eight years we were directly facing the war and defense, it was our first and final words, and for 30 years we wanted to keep the inherit of eight years for every day and for our future.

It is natural that as we keep the years distance, the events of that period become more historical. The obvious reason of this is that we get to oral history from memory; although we still tell and write memories, we ask the memory tellers for oral history. We believe that they should tell more accurately to be written more accurate. We look for historical information to test their story. So, willingly or unwillingly, we have reached to a time when the development of various aspects of sacred defense become a main issue. Several centers have been involved in this issue and commitment and, and their experts are doing interview for hours and days, and their researchers are reading and writing to get accurate and lasting results.

Few of them got to this conclusion that the history of sacred defense is rooted in roles that have remained from the eight-year war. These roles certainly had results, both during the war and years after the war.  Do we have figures, summaries and analyzes of these roles? You can either answer yes or no! Yes, because the process and results of the events have been recorded. And no, because these available results still needs to be completed, and because the description of those days deserved to the questions of generations which come after each other is not provided timely deservedly. That is why the memory of sacred defense and war, as it continues, is also in the way of oral history. Although the collection of memoirs are reminders and guardians of the days we have left behind, but all these memories are history makers, provided that researchers think about overlapping and matching by using  scientific methods.

As it has been said and written repeatedly, writing memoir has become widespread. Despite all the issues and problems that have been included in reading and publishing book in Iran, the memoir movement has been created with the support of government and semi-private sectors. The continuation of this movement is evident because, as far as the number of those who witnessed the days of war and defense and even somehow affected on their families and their geography, their days and their role and effect could be written. But in general, this movement is completed by summarizing memories in the form of historiography.

If the use of the oral history method is taken in its correct and complete form, it will be a step forward in this regard, but it seems that there is a consensus that this has not happened. Therefore, on the one hand, the right steps to enter into the use of the oral history and is discussable and we need to find out the results. On the other hand, there is the hope of entering the scholars, who are experienced in the scientific domination, in this field to explore and summarize the roles of war and defense, and as the historiography of those days are being developed, the can also make analyzes according to the needs of the same development.

The thirty eighth sacred defense week was an opportunity to remind us that the course of this discussion and research to be provided and done so that we will have new discussions in the coming weeks of sacred defense.

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