SABAH (12)

Memoirs of Sabah Vatankhah

Interviewed and Compiled by Fatemeh Doustkami
Translated by Natalie Haghverdian

2020-06-02


SABAH (12)

Memoirs of Sabah Vatankhah

Interviewed and Compiled by Fatemeh Doustkami

Translated by Natalie Haghverdian

Published by Soore Mehr Publishing Co.

Persian Version 2019


 

The radio was on at our house twenty-four seven on nineteenth, twentieth and twenty first of Bahman. The radio station in Syria was with Iran Revolutionary public as always and reported the important events of the country specially Tehran. The reports were so detailed that we could understand what hospitals throughout the country needed blood, blanket and medication. The Arabic speaking reports of Radio Syria compiled this information and reports from different locations of the country. We could understand the general information of the reports but my father and Fouziyeh who were good at Arabic, translated the details of the reports for us. After Fouziyeh, Shahnaz was the one who knew Arabic well.

The atmosphere in our house was revolutionary. My father was not very hopeful to the victory. He was not confident in the public. He said that the public did the same uprising during Mosadegh’s time but withdrew.

We had a strange feeling for two, three days; a feeling of fear. We were struggling in the limbo of hope and desperation and tumult. We were tired of greed. Nobody was eating or sleeping in our house. We were constantly waiting for new events from revolution flow. We had high hopes on Tehran; and Refah School in which the most sensitive and most viable decisions of revolution and Iran was being taken there. I was hoping for a chance to go to Tehran and visit Imam. At that time I felt pity for not being a boy. Maybe if I was a boy, my family would let me to go to Tehran alone. But at that time and with those existing conditions, traveling to Tehran and visiting Imam was only a dream.

The Syrian radio announced that a group of revolutionary officers and followers of Imam Khomeini have gone to a dining hall of air forces garrison and have shot a number of officers who were following and loyal to Shah. After this shooting, the gates of the garrison have been opened to public and people have accessed the weapons of the garrison and are armed. The radio said that in the most of streets of Tehran trenches have been formed and the followers of Shah are passing in the streets through tanks. We heard that many army forces have joined the public.

Only God knows about our feelings when we were hearing this news. We jumped out of job and clapped. The news about the surrendering of military forces was making us more hopeful to the victory. We felt that we are not along and the military army forces are also backing up the revolution. Until that date we only heard the killing of people through the army but on that day we heard that they were uniting the public.

For a few nights I cried during bed time. Recently my friends had brought a poem book to school which had beautiful poems. I chose one, two poems from the book and wrote it in my diary. I read one of those poems during bed time and wept. The poem, which was by Khosrow Golesorkhi, was the story of a teacher who was teaching one is equal to one in humming of other students. All of a sudden a protesting student stands up and starts criticizing the teacher. I was in love with this poem and whispered it all the time:

The teacher was shouting near the blackboard

His/her face was red with anger

His/her hands were covered in chalk dust

But those students sitting in the rear

were dividing dry fruits among themselves

Another students was reading “Youth”

The teacher was talking non sense

And showing the algebra of equals

Was a line in the blackboard which was sad

The teacher wrote the equation:

“one is equal to one”

A student stood up

Always somebody should rise

Equation is a clear and dire mistake

The students looked at one point and

The teacher was standing astonished

And he asked:

If “one” representative one human being

Was still one equal to one?

The silence was maddening and the question was hard

The teacher shouted angrily: yes it was

He sneered and said:

if “one” representative one human being

that person who had more power and more belongings, was higher and the other

who had a pure heart but no belongings

was lower

if “one” representative one human being

those who had faces of silver and resembled the moon was higher

and the other with black skin who cried, was lower

if “one” representative one human being

this equation would be opposite

now I am asking: if “one” representative one human being

who would prepare the bread and belongings of rich?

Who would build the China wall?

if “one” representative one human being

whose back would fold under the pressure of poverty?

whose back would crush under the pain of lashes?

if “one” representative one human being

who would put the free spirits in cages?

The teacher said whining:

Write in your pamphlets:

“One is not equal to one”

In the afternoon of twenty second of Bahman, we heard the song of “Iran, our rich country” followed by: “this is Tehran. This is the voice of Iranian public. Today, with the efforts of public, the last fortress of despotism was ruined; one of the last ones was radio, the real voice of despotism. The public gave us the power to be one part of a big body and let the public hear the real voice of revolution.”

We were so happy hearing this news. We jumped and hugged each other. We laughed, shouted, cried. My father was laughing loudly. As the announcer of the radio was saying, the revolution had celebrated victory with the leadership of Imam Khomeini after the army had joined the public.

One hour after this news, the radio announced officially that this is the voice of Islamic Revolution: “Attention! Attention! Attention! In the name of God. This is the voice of Iranian Islamic Revolution. The courageous and honorable and Muslim people of Iran! Thanks God for granting us this blessing and crushed the criminal Pahlavi regime…”

We went out. People were everywhere. Some sacrificed sheep and cows. Some were dancing with joy in front of their houses.

Imam had formed a temporary government after arriving in Iran. He had not waited for the victory of revolution and had already formed the temporary government to avoid complications after the victory.

After the victory of revolution, Savakis did not remain silent. We could hear on the radio that some of them had attacked the revolutionary public and groups and had wounded or killed them. We could hear this news constantly for a while. Little by little the Islamic Revolutionary Committee was formed. Imam orders all to return the weapons that they had acquired from the garrisons during the revolution. The public returned the weapons after the order of Imam to the garrisons who were under the command of revolutionary and trusted forces.

The first gap between the revolutionaries and PEKs, was formed at this point. They were not in favor of returning the weapons. There were whispers among the religious group of the city to return the weapons. They told us that we were among the military forces before the revolution and we were always armed. Now why should we hand over our weapons? We have the right to be among the state military forces. Their resistance towards the order of leader of revolution was unbearable for us and we noticed their deviations at that point.

Three four days after the revolution, the schools were reopened, and we went back to school. There was a special feeling among the revolutionary students of our class. We hugged and kissed each other and wept. We congratulated each other. We were happy and joyful. We had never experienced such a feeling. The first action we decided to take was to form an Islamic forum and have members. I do not remember exactly whose idea was to have the Islamic Forum, but the idea was welcomed by all and we decided to announce it during the morning ceremony. When I broke this news as the spokesperson of Islamic Forum, students applauded and welcomed this idea. Then our principle came and gave a lecture. Our principle who was a follower of Shah and would throw us out of school in case of noticing any revolutionary action, was now approving this forum and its members and promised to cooperate for its formation and growth!

Whispers spread around high school. Students could not believe that our principle could change all of a sudden. Even if she wanted to pretend to be like us, it would have taken time. This full change had shocked us all. Some students had objection and were saying that how come a Savaki is approving and supporting the Islamic Forum. We did not care about her. We started taking members in. students came to our house for registration. I wrote their names in the notebook. We have a lot of plans. We wanted to expand our Quran classes; we wanted to read some of the speeches we acquired and discuss them; have a study path and many other plans.

One of the plans that we have for our Islamic Forum was the “cleansing of the walls of the city”. The walls in the city were covered with papers, declarations and slogans of different groups. Tudeh members, Communists,

MKOs and … all slogans of different groups were written on the walls. To perform this cleansing, we had a meeting at Mitra’s place and started the task by cleaning the walls of the mosque and its surrounding. If it was a declaration or paper, we removed them and if it was a slogan which was not in line with revolution and was advocating Tudeh members or Communism, we covered them with sprays.

 

To be continued…

 



 
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