The 306th Night of Memory – 3

Gravestone -by- Gravestone, in Search of the Tombs of Afghans martyrs

Maryam Rajabi
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad


Note: The 306th program of Night of Memory of the scared Defense was held in Soureh Hall of the Art Center on Wednesday 26th of September 2019, according to the website of Iranian Oral history. During the show, Ali Seyed Nasseri, soldier Ruhollah Razavi and Mohammad Soroor Rajaee spoke about the influence of Iranian Islamic revolution in Kashmir and Afghanistan.


Davood Salehi, the director of 360th sacred defense's Night of Memory program, said before the third narrator: He was born in Kabul on August 19, 1968. He had been in Afghanistan for 26 years and came to Iran in 1994 to do some works. At the same time, Afghanistan was captured by Taliban and he was forced to choose Iran to stay in.  During the years, he was first associated with university publications and worked there, and then seriously entered the art and culture world. The result of these years working in the field of culture and literature is five books. Among the five books, there are three storybooks published in Afghanistan, There are two other books, the first one titled "In the Hug of Hearts", which is about Afghans who wrote poetry and memoirs about their love and devotion to Imam Khomeini. The important thing is that he tried to get information from unknown people who were born in Iran and were Iranians, went to defend Afghanistan and were martyred there and we have no information about them, or Afghan people who were in sacred defense along with the Iranians, martyred or captured or injured; If they were alive, he would talk to them and, if not, with their families. He has compiled all of this issues in this book and wants to make us familiar with these anonymous people. He emphasizes if we are to regard sacred defense done by Iranian people, actually we belittle sacred defense. The sacred defense is a transnational event; the defense of the values of revolution, the defense of the Ja'fari religion and the religion of Islam is a major global event, and all have come to defend these values. People from Syria, Bahrain, Pakistan and France attended in sacred defense. "Any libertarian who realized this was being happened, came to the defense, and that is exactly what Mohammad Soroor Rajaee is trying to say it."


 Then, the third narrator of the 306th program of Night of Memory said: "When I was nine or ten years old and Russians invaded Afghanistan, one night my father took his broken radio and said, 'Be quiet! I want to listen radio!"  Unaware of the outside world, we continued our noisy games. Suddenly my father shouted: "Imam Khomeini's army wins, Khorramshahr is liberated." My father said it joyfully and excitingly. My dad attends in this program now, but he probably doesn't remember it. I told this memory for my father.


In 1978, when Afghan people rose up against the Russians in Kabul at a night, they started a widespread uprising to overthrow Kabul government. A week ago, a plan had been made. Muslim warriors had issued announcements that on the third night of February 22, 1980, all Muslims in Afghanistan would come out on the rooftops, publicly protest, and tomorrow, Friday morning, arise and seize the police station of each neighborhood and arrive to residential palace. I remember that night, it was a very cold night. It was snowing. We were on our roof and we kept saying "Allah Akbar[1]". It didn't last about half an hour, it was cold. The sound slowly diminished. It was as if no one could say "Allah Akbar". At that time, Mashhad Radio was broadcasting for Afghanistan for 15 minutes at 21:45. I don't know who was innovator of epic anthem aired on radio; it re-excited and warmed people up and said Allah Akbar for hours. The next morning, the officials who coordinated the program, protected and ordered us; they gave me a task to go around all shops nearby and buying whatever sugar, laundry and soap I could find, and bring them. I didn't know why I should buy them. I went to get them. I saw in our house there are people making Molotov cocktails. When the uprising was began, Afghans martyred more than a thousand people and the uprising was suppressed. I am sad today that there is no memories of that time have been recorded, There is no cultural official has thought of Kabul's third uprising.


Around the years 1983 and 1984, the jihadi magazine was secretly available to us in Iran. I first encountered with a name, Hossein Bakhsh Jafari, who was born in a remote village in central Iran and was martyred in Bostan, Iran. In the next issue, I again encountered a martyr who was born in Qom and had been martyred in Herat, Afghanistan. Also, the martyr Karbala'i Abolfazl Purizadi, who was buried in Qom before Iraq's imposed war against Iran. The Mujahideen’s leader said: When the body of Karbala'i Abolfazl Purizadi arrived in Qom, we were amazed at how to tell people. If this event was revealed, would Qom’s residents probably attack Afghan immigrants who kidnapped and killed our sons? The martyr's body was in a mosque on Safaie Street. We wondered what we should do. Crowds had come for the funeral, when two women suddenly raised in the crowd and shouted: "Afghanian, Iranian, happy your alignment."

Thus, the Afghans were martyred in sacred defense that no one has paid any attention to them in these years. In writing the book "From the Lily Plain to Majnoon Island ", I took an advantage to seek, with all my limitations, these anonymous and ignorant individuals and martyrs who belonged to my cultural homeland, Iran, and were martyred in Afghanistan. My Iranian friends may not be aware of martyr Ahmad Reza Saeedi, whose tomb is in Bihsud, Afghanistan. They may not know Ehsan Parsi, who was martyred in Zabul, Afghanistan. Karbala may not recognize Abolfazl Purizadi, who was martyred along with thirteen Afghan's Mujahideen in a direct fighting against Soviet forces. When I started, I had a lot of difficulties. Wherever I heard a name of Afghans martyr or warriors, I wanted to find them; for example, I heard Ali Gholami, an Afghani martyr, is buried in Bejistan,  I called his Iranian friends and said, "I am planning to come to see his grave." I took a ticket to Bejistan and when I arrived, his Iranian friends were very insistent that we had seen many dignities from this martyr. I believed that the population of thirty-seven thousand people in Bajistan is now the family of martyr Rajab Ali Gholami. I stayed there two nights. One of comrades of martyr asked me: "What are your plans?" I said: "I'm going to Mashhad". He asked: "How do you want to go to Mashhad?" I said: "I get a ticket to Mashhad." He said, "Don't do that, because you don't have passport, you will be in struggle. Go to Sabzevar and then Mashhad!" I said:" I don't have that decision." When he was confronted with my insistence, he asked: why? I laughed and said: I would like to test all of Rajab Ali Gholami’s dignities as said. I had equipment and camera and the filming equipment. I got a ticket and went to Mashhad. There was nothing wrong with the way I came to believe that our martyrs could do very good things for us.

The same thing happened with Ahmad Reza Saeedi. I went to Kabul for reporting and interviewing with Afghan martyr Ahmad Reza Saeedi. The Martyrs' tomb is located in Behsood, Afghanistan. It was about twenty kilometers from the Taliban's area, and at that time every Shi'ite would be killed. I couldn't go on this trip for two months and my dad was the main obstacle to this trip. She would always prevent me in tears and say: "My son! I am not satisfied that you are going to Bihsud." On the other hand, I had made a date in Tehran with the mother of martyr Ahmad Reza Saeedi. I said, I go to see the tomb of martyr Ahmad Reza in Afghanistan, what is your message? His mother had told me: "When you get my son's grave, say him that your mother wanted to pray for her.” That sentence came in my mind constantly and I couldn't stand it. I was impatient. Once, without my father be aware, I got a ticket to go Bihsud, but when I returned home, I saw my father was aware. I don't know how he became aware. He prevented me in tears again, and I said:" Let us to refer Quern," I did it in order to make my father happy and gratified my heart to go or not go." I added: "Whatever the Quran says, I will follow It." so, I read Hamad and Soureh  and opened the Quran.  I think, I opened verses 70 to 81 of Enfal sura in which there were two good verses. When I read these verses to my father while he was crying; he did not prevent me to go. He said: "Now that Quran wants you to go; you can go to the tomb of Ahmad Reza Saeedi. I went there. I found his Afghan friends and came back. I arrived in Tehran with a world of hope. The first thing I did was to call Ahmed Reza's mother to say that after thirty years I had brought picture of her son's tombstone. The martyr's sister told me, that her mother passed away. I couldn't continue. It shows the martyr's prayer had effected on her mother. I have been to Iranian fronts many times through the book "From the Lily Plain to Majnoon Island". I've gone trenches of Bazideraz. Dalahoo and the Three-Way of Death and so on. It was as if I was present in all sacred defense scenes. At some of ceremonies I talked in, some Iranian friends said me:" Were you on the front that you know so much about these areas? I said:" No! But I have worked in these areas. I don't remember going to Paradise Zahra to identify the tombs of the martyrs. One of my jobs was to go to tombs of martyrs and searched stone-by-stone to find an Afghan martyr's gravestone and register it. I came across a martyr's tomb inscribed on the stone, martyr Khan Mohammad Ahmadi. I looked at the photo of the martyr and said to myself that this martyr cannot be Afghan, but he cannot be Iranian either. I read the tombstone writings two or three times. There was no sign to show that he is an Afghan, but I felt in my heart that Khan could not be an Iranian. I wrote on paper: "Dear family of martyr Khan Mohammad Ahmadi! I am Rajaee and I research the affairs of martyrs. Please call me!" I put this letter in tomb's mirror box. Four or five months had passed since I remembered it. Someday, a young boy called me and said in a strong accent to me: "You had a letter in my uncle's mirror box?" I quickly remembered; It was discovered that he was an Afghan martyr. The word Afghan has been eliminated in many of the gravestones of Afghan and Iranian martyrs, and it is unclear which ones are for Iranian and Afghan martyrs. Thirteen years ago when I went to see the tomb of martyr Ahmadi, who was one of the martyrs of Khorramshahr, in Qom’s small cemetery of martyrs, the word "Afghan" was written next to his name. Two years later when I went there, I found a small flower pot placed on the word "Afghan". I told myself that this flower pot was mistakenly placed here. After some times when I went to see that again I saw the word was cleaned! Such events have been regularly happened in the cemetery of martyrs of Paradise Reza (AS). Who knows Martyr Abdul Rahim Jamshidi? (Rahim Makhmoudi, in his only book named Barefoot War, mentions this martyr.) He is an Afghan. The body of martyr stayed in Varamin’s Martyr Mofateh Hospital for several days. Then, it was going to be transferred to Tehran as an anonymous martyr for authorities to decide. That martyr was a worker of a vegetable store or a vegetable farmer of Haji Kabiri in Davoodabad, Varamin. One of dignities of this martyr is that when the ambulance came from Tehran to Varamin, at the intersection of road, the car was shaken with a bump; the casket of martyr was thrown down. People came to help and elevate the martyr's body from the ground. One of these people recognized the martyrs and said: "He is a worker of Haji Kabiri." Then the martyr was elevated respectfully and taken to the hospital. The next day, Afghans and Iranians who were living in Davoodabad, Varamin, had a grand funeral and buried him in Imamzadeh Abdullah of Davoodabad, Varamin. I have been to this martyr's tomb for several times and I have seen another strange thing. Twenty-five martyrs are buried in Imamzadeh Abdullah (AS) Varamin. I looked carefully at inscription and saw three martyrs had buried side by side. A verse of an Iranian poet Hassan is inscribed on the tombstone of an Afghan martyr. On the next tombstone, a verse of an Afghan martyr, Sayyid Ismail Balkhi, is inscribed. (We are lover, being killed is our honor, and the sharp sword of love is made by our tombstone.) On the tombstone of another Iranian martyr, a verse of Iqbal Lahori is inscribed. (We're alive not to be calm/we are a wave that death is our rest time.) How well these wonderful events play out for us but we are unaware of them. We do not know how great this Islamic Revolution is outside the borders of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Afghanistan has a long and shared history with Iran in terms of culture, religion, geography, beliefs and whatever we consider. I believe that the two great nations of Iran and Afghanistan came to a bloody border together in the years of sacred defense and the years of the Islamic Jihad in Afghanistan. These were fixed on the fronts. In Nochehpeima, Afghan fighters of the Abuzar Brigade sat together to list, near sunset, and determine who would take any guns for the operation they were going on. They were all Afghans, and there was only one Iranian among them, perhaps radioman, a brave officer from Hamedan, Iran. Suddenly, sixty mortars came and fell among these twenty-two; all these comrades were martyred. The blood of brave officer flowed from a corner and the blood of martyr named Iqbal Heydari flowed from another corner. Those bloods were joined together and made a Shared Blood. In Afghanistan, the same thing happened in the martyrdom of Ahmad Reza Saeedi. These events should be highlighted. I believe if these are highlighted and we know what our hidden values and treasures we have, it will surely be a vigorous answer to the prates of our common enemies.

Visit the martyr cemetery of Qom's Revolutionary Street to get acquainted with the international face of the Islamic Revolution and sacred defense! If we devote the Islamic Revolution, especially sacred defense, to Iran in a nationalistic way, I think we actually aggrieve at sacred defense.

I read a lot in the newspapers and listen from radio and watch on television that they were shouting: Our Iranians Islamic Revolution! Islamic Revolution of Iran's people! The people of Iran are our religious brothers, but the people of other countries have played a prominent role in preserving this sacred defense and that loving belief. We have no problem in speaking today, and we can speak about our opinions. Eighty percent of the fighters of Abuzar brigade were martyr or injured. A number of fighters of Abuzar brigade who stayed in Iran, as a conflict began in Syria, these men came and formed the Fatemiyoun brigade, and continued the aspirations and goals they had in the past, and today we find that there are have many proud Afghans martyrs in the Fatemiyoun brigade. I always wish there was a photograph in sacred defense to take photo, film, or writer wrote about the presence of Afghan soldier in barracks. In the next years, I won't have regrets about the Fatemiyoun army, because many of our cultural friends and artists are cooperating with us. "There will be good things that will definitely tell our history for the future, and we will certainly be more proud of these days and our fraternities."

Three-hundred and sixth Night of Memory of sacred defense was held under efforts of Center for Research and Studies of Culture and Literature Stability, and Office of Literature and Art of Resistance at Art Center's Hall on Thursday, September 26th 2019.  The next Night of Memory will be held in 24th October 2019.


The 306th Night of Memory – 1

The 306th Night of Memory – 2


[1] It is Muslim takbir (proclamation) means God is great

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