The 300th Night of Memory-2

The Story of Noori and Maftooni

Maryam Rajabi
Translated by Ruhollah Golmoradi


As reported by Iranian Oral History Website, the 300th memory night of the sacred defense was held in Sooreh Hall of Hozeh Honari on Thursday, February 21, 2019. In this session, Massoud Qandi, Hossein Noori and his wife Nadia Maftooni, Abdol Hossein Mokhtabad and Abdol Hamid Ghadirian expressed their memories of the Iraqi imposed war against Iran. In the first part of this report, you read memories of Massoud Qandi.
Another narrator of the 300th Sacred Defense's night of memory has different dimensions in his life. He was born in Mashhad, and spent his adolescence and beginning of his passion for painting in the city. Then he went to Tehran and linked to the pre-revolutionary political situation. Other dimension of his life is related to the era of participating in political activity. His political activities were linked to culture and art. One of other dimension of his life is for the time he went to Sharif University of Technology, where he met a lady. Another dimension of his abilities in areas of painting, writing, playwriting, television and film directing, documenting etc. but an activity that made him a global figure is response to that Danish cartoonist who insulted sacred realm of kindliness prophet, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). In February 2006, the second narrator of the 300th night of memory turned into a world-famous figure, and TVs inside and outside the country constantly showed image of a veteran that, despite the fact that his hands did not have the ability to draw, took pen by his mouth and painted a picture of Mary in front of embassy of Denmark in Tehran. In this way, he announced his protest to the world.
Davood Salehi who was presenter, asked Hossein Noori, "Why did you catch up by SAVAK? Noori answered, "This is a historical story. I wrote political comic playwright on human rights in the former Farah Conservatory which was under supervision of Ashraf Pahlavi and SAVAK. Officers of Police College and officers of Shahrbani (law enforcement) governed there and taught us for Empire celebrations. Shahrbani Guard and Imperial Guard presented in the celebrations before the king and his guests, collective sports, dramatic movements and karate as a martial art and acts like these. We endured pressure and trashing for four months. Sometimes they treated us worse than military forces, and easily had called it forced sports. We became like gladiators for presenting performance for five minutes before the king and his guests. So many hands and feet were broken and there were so many problems that I had to write that playwright, and because of that I was arrested and tortured. There was a second lieutenant who was cruel and violent and had come to the same sports. He was very aggressive from the very beginning and put pressure on the guy. He was Karateka and Judoka, and applied mass tortures. The guys jangled and ran away. I was one of majors. Some people under pressure squealed on me that I was one of the main people and that I stimulated the rest. They arrested me and some others. Torture was first there (in the conservatory). That second lieutenant with a sergeant major from Shahrbani, who had a muscular body, forced us to keep while wearing in panties, in a sunny air on asphalt and without water from morning to night. As we swooned, they hit us with cable and wood. They racked us. As we swooned, we heard sound of their footsteps from around and suddenly they kicked our head and neck. They passed near us again, and we tightened our muscles and thought that they were going to kick, but they did not hit, and when they returned, as we thought they would not kick, hit us. Even if bee bit us, we were not allowed to move. Some of the guys, who couldn't endure, swooned due to lacking water and hot sun and fell on their faces and their teeth were broken into pieces. We were as much as in shun state that our hands had been benumbed and we could not keep ourselves when we fell. The second stage was more terrible. They put our heads in a paint bucket and forced us to sleep in a paint warehouse, where smelt paint and thinner. They trashed terribly. They give me up, otherwise, I was prisoned.



These events are for the year 1971 and more in 1972. I painted from childhood. Before these events, I practiced gymnastics and I was very strong in this field. I did acrobatic movements. After numbing my two hands, I did not set aside art of painting. I painted with help of my knee. I tried hard to draw something any way. Once I was drawing on a very big board. I would raise my hand constantly and it fell. Whatever I did, I could not hold my hand up. I always said to myself: "will, will ..." In drawing, you first design the design by pencil and if it is loved you start painting, but if I get a pencil in your mouth, my eyes get annoyed, that's why from the beginning, I start with oil paint, and no longer does it matter if I go from general to particular or from particular to general. Early I could design on heights and wheelchair, but gradually my balance reduced and suddenly I had vertigo and fell. Always there was someone with me so that when I missed my balance, keep me. Also sometimes they came to me late, I fell down and some of my body was hurt. The professors know that when you draw a painting, after a few times of using paintbrush, you should go back to see how its color combination is and how different parts fit together? In painting, I sometimes reverse the board so that I can easily access to all parts. Some of my painter friends ask how do you do this? Everything to be disarrange? It shows that I have not chosen art, but art have chosen me. Art have make me busy all the night and day, and do not leave me free. I do not know how to give up it! After drawing the big board, I backed and looked at the board. I saw that everything was ok, but suddenly I realized that I had severe jaw pain. I opened my mouth to exercise my jaw that I heard a voice. I looked and saw something fell on my feet. At that moment, I realized that I had taken the pen by my teeth unconsciously, just like when I worked with my hands. I finished the board and this way I started working with my mouth. Now my finger and toe tips are numbed, and this numbness has spread to my body; a few things to be felt. The most part of my body that sense is around my right eye. The left side of my brain is always painful, and if it wouldn’t be painful, I wonder as if this pain is a symptom of healthiness of my body."

The presenter asked Nadia Maftooni, "Did you really propose Hossein Noori?" Noori said, "I had fallen in love with her in my heart and had proposed her in my heart ...," Maftooni also told, "I did not know what had happened in his heart." She added, "I went there in the second course of school of exceptional talents. I was accepted in 1977. In 1979, when the revolution occurred, I was an eighth grade student. I got my diploma in 1983 and entered Sharif University of Technology and studied physics. In 1984, I accidently saw Mr. Noori in a meeting who was speaking. From the very day I fell in love. My family was Hezbollahi (religious people who believing in Islamic Republic of Iran) and were interested in the revolution. I was very eager to continue my education and become a physicist; therefore, I did not want to marry such a way, but I became so interested in him that the second time I saw him, I proposed him in Sharif University, if he regard me deserved, accept me to accompany in life. I did not even know that he was single or married, and told myself that if he was married, he would tell me. I embarrassed to ask students of the university who were active in cultural activities whether he was married or single, and I preferred ask himself. I told him my request and he kowtowed as thanksgiving. I'll cut rest of the story and arrive at now that we have two grandchildren ..."
Hossein Noori said about how he was acquainted with Nadia Maftooni, "As I came to Tehran, I worked with education, universities, Hozeh Honari and other places. I had been invited to college from cultural department of Sharif University. I analyzed artwork of students; continuity, playwriting, painting, and wrote for all a notes, sometimes I spoke with them and mentioned strengths and weaknesses of their work. I did not see my wife from the beginning; he had written a playwriting. When I read the playwriting I felt how close my soul and soul of author of the play were. I felt I wrote it myself. As she said, she proposed me and I kowtowed as thanksgiving. Then I said to myself: "Who are you? What are you who are going to captivate yourself a pure and innocent girl with these terrible circumstances? You do not have voice, during the week you have breathing problems several times, and return with artificial ventilation from that world and have internal bleeding. What is this action do you want to do with this girl?" I told myself that I had to go back to the province so that this would not happen. The guys of cultural group said tell the lady strengths and weaknesses of her work, I steadily avoid and I liked she didn't come there. They told at least write a line for her and say whether her work is good or bad? I told I want to go to my city and they find out that it smell a bit of loving and good news. I was in Mashhad till age of 15, and two to three years after being tortured I went to my mother. My mother was a nurse and had been transmitted to Torbat-e Jam. I said I want to go back to the province (Torbat-e Jam) and the guy said that at least come and say goodbye. They decided bring us face to face. I understood their plan and said it will come Thursday because the university was closed on Thursday. They said come on Wednesday, the kids also will gather together. I said, I will come on Thursday. They accepted, but they informed her that I was going to say goodbye. As soon as I arrived, the beloved face appeared to me. I said myself what should I do? She was poet too. I said I had composed six hemistich of poem and I have not found the second hemistich, can you find them for me? In that poem, I had told her both about my interest, and that my life was terrible and she should be ignored."[1]

The presenter asked Nadia Maftooni what is your Mehrieh? She replied, "My Mehrieh[2]  is a Turbah of karblat." Hossein Noori also said, "What I proposed for Mehrieh, she did not accept, she did not even accept trip of Syria and Karbala. It has been nearly 35 years that neither friends and acquaintances nor our children have ever seen she even tell me an insulting "you". She wakes up many times during the night and gives me water due to my kidneys and my condition. She still loves me and respects me. No one has seen a weakness in our lives. Everywhere that we are invited to speak, we do not advise anyone. We narrate our lives and memories. We did not even say anything to our own children. We said from everywhere in the world you like choose your partner, we are your parents, you wanted to be like us and you did not want, not to be, it is your life and your own destiny. I'm writing a novel that includes before my mother birth to my life. Writing adventures up to my six year age has lasted about three years."

The 300th Night of Memory -1: Toward Frontline

[1] The poetry of Hossein Noori's propose for Nadia Maftooni was as follows: Noori: "My damaged boat of my body is attached to your soul," Maftooni says, "My soul sail is held up by your faith," Noori: "why are my companion in this painful sea?" Maftooni, "pain is poetry of lovers and love is your remedy," Noori: "There are hundreds of disasters in this path, have a doubt again," Maftooni: "Karbala was my Mehrieh, I am your ally," Noori: "if perdition wave take you in whirlpool atrociously?" Maftooni: "In perdition for the sake of god is your merciful lap" Noori: "Because I'm an artist, you are becoming my partner in the journey?" Maftoony: "From among the 100 arts your faith is praisable," Noori: "How do you know what I want in secret?" Maftooni, "Who says my secret tells of your inner?"

[2] A mandatory payment in form of money or possessions paid by the groom to the bride at the time of marriage.

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