Rainy Travel Log. (IV)

Mohammad Hussein Ghadami
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad


Do not be surprised! This is not a customary comity statement, it is a traditional hospitality custom of Iranian warm-blooded villagers and nomads.

We hardly get rid of them. We take a farewell photo and man gives his bottle of a drink from his package. At the same time, a phone rings. He is "Mehdi" from the office of the night of reminiscence.

-Hello…hello…where are you, guys? Saghafi calls us repeatedly from Mashahad city and says that North Khorasan[1] is flooded. Where are the staffs of your office?

-Tell him we stick in the water of Pol-e Dokhtar; coordinate with someone who is responsible for related unit!

We like to visit tents of Red Crescent, but we do not have much time, it is no possible to move boats at night.

We go around the village, we take photo and films...There is a house with only a door remained stand, the walls are powdered, the roof is lowered, the trees are broken, the wandering man and woman who are still looking for their lost family and etc.

A new team come and listen to the sad words of the leader of "Chammehr" village.

We get back to beach. We ride the boat in line and the boat move fast and bravely; we get on a white car and go to the place of residence.

The comrades come back from the mud and water; sit together and speak about the works they have done during the day.



A software is designed to gather the information of the numbers of family and the needs of the residents of Pol-e Dokhtar village.  

A young, passionate and energetic specialist is explaining a new phone software that is a repository of all information. 

- We are accurately recognizing the statistics of the home, schools facility and the needs of flooded people...skillful engineers come from the Imam Khomeini Airport and working for the children and teenagers.

-Where do you come from?

We have come from Qom city since a week ago with a team of a specialists and Jihadist, we are doing controlling and observing now; women are working in the city, and men in the villages, Mr. Bagherzadeh also called in the evening, and said that you should come Khuzestan; we will send a team tomorrow there, and all of us will go there until the end of the week…

I ask the name of sympathetic revolutionary young man from somebody is standing next:

-He is Mr. Vahedi.


-First of all, we need to get the exact statistics to go ahead with the plan. Let's see ... For example, a truck come with dowry for girls, so if we do not know who has married and who hasn't, we won't be able to divide it. We also identify the capacity of cultural works.

-There are many problem; people also come from other cities, and say that we are flooded! And they believe that robbery is taken place in this situation. Now, If have an accurate statistics for the numbers of family, such the worst situation won't be taken place. 

I am going to see Keyvan speaking with a young theologian; they are taking sun in the neighborhood of mosque, in which big rugs are hang all over its high wall.

- Where did you come from here and for what?

He responds reverentially:

I am a theologian come from Qom to help or to do something probably. Of course, friends are pioneer, people attend here remarkably; along with the ruins, there is a manifestation of empathy and sincerity.

- How were the flooded people?

- Of course, there was a lot of nerve pressure in the early days, because their entire life was underwater. Agricultural lands, livestock and poultry, home furnishings, and some of their children were not in suitable clothes; in that emergency situation, they could only save their body; naturally it was difficult for them the presence of the strangers but when the they found the comrade's candidly works, familiarity and fondness was gained. Insofar as, I went to shop to buy something a day, but the salesperson did not take money, but I give it him forcibly. We have visited man in a place who had nothing in life, but he take a kettle out of the mud and made a tea for us! ... There are everyone from different countries such as Iraqi, Pakistani, Afghani ... the forces of resistance, all, are helping people.

- Tell us a memoir!

- We were not in sacred defense, but we heard, we watched its movie, in which a boy got on the bus forcibly to go war. A boy also come from Karaj, saying that I was left behind my friends and did not have enough money to take bus; he took a risk and forced to come war on foot. Another person also didn’t have enough money; He borrowed money and arrived in war. I said my comrades that God want choose his servants in as training course; I didn’t know what was happening.

Zarabi comes and says:

- Where are you? It's too late, there are some places we should to visit them! Hurry up, it's too late!

Again, we speak together on the way. Zarabi remembered his last trip to Bosnia:

-Go Bosnia surly! Attend in its yearly walking. Bosnia's graveyards are like Behesht-e Zahra[2] once a year.

Zarabi’s phone ringes:

-We are coming…all right…all right…you bet…oh no!

-Who was that?

- He was Mr.Tabatabai from the Art Center of Ahvaz. He said when you would arrive here, Khuzestan was in worst condition; he was going to plan.

-It is written in newspaper that flood is running towards Basra.

-Which flood?

- The flood of Khuzestan.

Oh no…if the oil industries and storages is destroyed, a huge accident will be taken place.

-Let's go to visit the area "Mamolan", and then let's go Ahvaz.

We passed the village "Babazid"; the flood have destroyed roads as well. The road is narrowed in some places, and it is hard to drive; driver lose the ways of Andimeshk[3], saman try to guide him; he finds he is in wrong road.

We stop near the bank of river and next a mosque, which has two tall and beautiful towers.

A few people next to the mosque on the slope of the rocky cliffs are washing in a stream of water. We are faced with the young man, who was salesperson and had a store on the bank of river.

- As you can see, water destroyed half of our store and life!

-First of all, introduce yourself!

-My name is Faraj Nasirieh…I am upset with officials.


-None of them has come here to visit our conditions.

-None of them?

-Of course, people, army, the Guards, volunteer soldiers (Basij) help us but none of officials come to ask where our family are!? Say them if they know our family sleep in hens’ roost at nights! It is supposed to destroy here completely, and it should be geographically changed; construction is forbidden. They promised us, of course, make house for us somewhere else. Tell the officials that we do not go anywhere; we stay here until government take a serious decision for our condition; shelter, tent and bridge are not enough.


We are the same Lurs that followed the command of Imam Khomeini and went to the middle of Iraq; now, if leader[4] command us, we will fight with spade and pickaxe.


He became jealous and says loudly:

- We are the same Lurs[5] that we followed the command of Imam Khomeini and went to the middle of Iraq; now, if leader command us, we will fight with spade and pickaxe. We, always, show our sense of brotherhood. Apart from the village "Malawi", there are several other villages flooded, if the road goes out of the main line, great tribulation will be taken place. That is, instead of livestock, agriculture and economic production people will be forced to immigrate to cities.

- Do you say that you are ordered to leave here?

-Yes…tell the officials to make house for use, otherwise…

His speed in speaking needs to be reduced!

-Sorry, you didn’t say where you are from.

- I said. I am from Malavi.

- How many families are living in there?

-Fifty or sixty.

When Zarabi look his watch, the young man also tries to end his words:

- Say best to the leader! And say him that this flood and ruins cannot take us out of the field, we defend this regime. We're constant like mount Damavand...excuse me for my words, we are upset; We Lure people, try to speak straightly and clearly.

We say bye with the young straightforward man.


Gerger is a small metal chamber replaced bridge and displaces the villagers with a rope and the force of arm.


A little distance ahead, we reach "Zurantel" village; we stop side of a broken bridge, which is the only way connect the village and the main road. Some people gather around it, we go ahead. Here is a line as well. The people used of the small metal chamber that hangs on a wire and moves through the river by the force of arm of volunteer people. The chamber named locally "Gerger".

Unfortunately, one of roller bearings are broken; it moves hard. We get it on carefully.  Of course, it is a good vehicle for taking photo and film.

What tremulous noise the river has! It is horrible to watch it; you will fell dizzy…it is very difficult for families to cross it.

We say goodbye to the kind people! After 45 minutes, we will arrive to "Mamolan". Rough road cause traffic to be difficult. Several flocks of cow and sheep enter the road and close the road completely. The dog of flock also cannot solve the problem. The poor shepherd, who was trying to take the flock out of the road by shouting and using wood and whistle, ask us for water to drink. Anyway, there is no way and we should drive along with the flock.


Thirsty shepherd drink unasked water


We finally get "Mamolan", there are so ruins that we do not know how to start our work. We are hesitant; while we were standing a corner, a man called us from a far distance: Brother! Brother! Let's see what is happened for school in flood!

We should pass through the mud for 30 or 49 meters to  get school. Boots help us at that moment. A tall volunteer soldier who has a shovel in hand walks ahead angrily and tiredly; we follow him in mud.

-let's see ahead! The official declare in news that the the waters are stopped and removed; is it right? Do you find the waters removed? They don’t come here to visit trouble at all.

We are walking carefully; we take care of camera further.

-what's the name of this village?

- It's nmas is Viskarami.

- His was upset with some officials:

- Let's see, these muds are not untouched. There are 8 classes at the school…lets come ahead…don’t fear! Take step carefully, going is easer the coming back, it is difficulty walk in water and mud, If you keep balance, you will fell down.


                                                                            This is the class whose roof is injured by flood.


I hardly see two classes; crumpled tables, mudded books, fallen ceiling…

-Look! The water reached near the ceiling, let's take film of it and say officials to visit here!

As we hear sounds from outside, we go out. A young theologian was arguing with a newspaperwoman who doesn’t wear Islamic dress (Hijab); I'm ready to take pictures, but the camera is locked, I can't open its lens!


Along with sheep on Chamheydar road


We go to speak with a damaged rural women who is standing in front of her house:

-I am Zinab al-sadat. It is Chamheydar village. My house was mu house whose door was brown. It was supposed that a connex box or shelter to start classes but the school is not repaired still. Its classes are full of mud. Our village and a side village named" Hayat al-Gheyb" is under water.

-Where are family and children?

-We took them to a mosque located a high place in the village.

-Where were you when the flood taken place?

-We were here initially. We didn’t know that water would reach to ceiling.

-Were not you warned?

-Yes. We were warned; therefore, we woke up and watched. that night until morning, we did not believe it…

A person who was standing next her nod his head.

-It haven’t taken place up to now.

- It was about seven o'clock in the morning that we find this event serious; we run away!

- It's a mercy, because if we left here five minutes later, we would drown in water.

- Were any other lives lost?

- Not here. But someone was sitting on a fishing tube in the village "Hayat al-Gheyb" that water carried him! The poor man shouted a lot and asked for help, but no one can help him.‌ He sank and disappeared in a tunnel; His corpse have not been found still.


Someone was sitting on a fishing tube that water carried him! The poor man shouted a lot and asked for help, but no one can help him


The person, who was standing next her, also added:

- Yeah, in your village Mamolan, there was a gentleman who went to the wall to bring furnishings that flood drowned him in water...His name was "Haj Reza Shahkrami"; he was buried in upper graveyard.

- Where are the villagers now?

- Above the village in travel tents or mosque.

-did you get tents on time?

- Yes! Thank you! The tent were fallen down by helicopter but there was a problem; some people were in hurry to get tents.  Some came there by motorcycle and gathered the tents! Some, like my husband who suffered from walk herniated disc, was not able to walk. But there are aslo some kind people to help others.

-What are you doing here right now, are you still looking for lost?

- No. there is no something to lose, all is lost in the flood; we come here every day and get a quota, if we do not come, we will lose it...

- did the popular forces come there to help you?

- Yeah. Actually, the people and Basij of mosque gave help people sincerely as soon as possible...unfortunately, there is management. The motorcyclists take many tents and claim they are big family. Some of them come from elsewhere to take tent and sell them! Of course, a good person is trying to provide a suitable tents for settlement. He spoke with my husband as well.

-What's your husband name?

- His name is Chekeni

- Why did you make house near river? Did not you think that there was a danger?

- No, at all. It has been safe up to now. We came here to use of water for the sake of agriculture. We were previously living in a high place.

- How many years have you come here?

- For about eleven years.

She points out:

- It is our agricultural vehicle that has been damaged. My husband who has a herniated disc and my child who is five years old.

She felt her throat tighten, and says after after a pause:

- if someone takes a good step and cause us to have motivation, we will kiss his/her hand.

- Excuse me, what kind of media did you come from? ... Let's take a film of our house whose door is brown... the house was ruined in front of our eyes, we were on top of that hill and we watch!

We were going to go, but we come back by hearing the suspicious voice. Alright, the ground opened its month and was swallowing our boss! We save him from mud difficultly.

Now, this is a subject for our cameraman; he says the boss repeatedly: "Accept that we saved you from water and muds."

Rainy Travel Log. (I)

Rainy Travel Log. (II)

Rainy Travel Log. (III)


[1] It is a province located in northeastern Iran. Bojnord is the capital of the province. The counties of North Khorasan Province are Shirvan County, Esfarayen County, Maneh and Samalqan County, Raz and Jargalan County, Jajarm County, Faruj County, and Garmeh County.

[2] It is the largest cemetery in Iran. Located in the southern part of metropolitan Tehran, it is connected to the city by Tehran Metro Line 1. 

[3] it is a city and capital of Andimeshk County, Khuzestan Province, Iran. Andimeshk is located about 34 kilometres north of Shush, on the main road and the rail line between Tehran and Ahvaz. 

[4] Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei is a marja' and the second and current Supreme Leader of Iran, in office since 1989.

[5] They are an Iranian people living mainly in western and south-western Iran. Their population is estimated at around five million. They occupy Lorestan, Kohkiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, Khuzestan and Fars, Bushehr, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Hamadan, Ilam, and Isfahan provinces.

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