The second Night of Memory, in the year 1399 (2020), was also held online

A Human Narration of Liberation of Khorramshahr

Maryam Asadi Jafari
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad

2020-06-02


Note: Mehdi Rafiei, one of the defenders of Khorramshahr[1] attended in 313th Night of Memory, recounted memories of human relations between the forces of the two sides of war after the liberation of Khorramshahr:" I want to tell you a memoir today in different perspective. "Some may not have much to do with artistry works in war, like using RPG and shooting, but it has extremely deep human emotions."

According to Oral History Website, the 313th Night of Memory, the ceremony was held online on the website of Aparat on the evening of the first Thursday in May 21th, 2020. In this night, "Mehdi Rafiei", one of the defenders of Khorramshahr, and "Mehdi Tahanian", a prisoner during the war, recounted their memories: "I'm going to start with these poems, and I'll probably give you a brief explanation:

 

We came from above and we shall go over there

 We came from sea and shall go the sea air

 Here or there we don’t belong

 We are from nowhere and go nowhere

 Great effort in heads we have

 We shall go from Ali to the Supreme Father

(By Rumi)

 

Of course, the verse "We are from nowhere and go nowhere ", is in same interpretation with the verse of Quran "Indeed, All of us from God and will return to him" and you know that one of the attributes of God Almighty is that he don’t need any place and any time. These few verses or couplets are in fact descriptions of great people such as Haj Ibrahim Hemmat, Mohammad Jahanara, Mehdi Bakeri, Hajj Hossein Kharazi. I do not know whether Hajj Ahmad Tavassolian was martyred or is still a prisoner of the Zionists. God bless Hassan Bagheri, after Hassan Bagheri, we actually lost our forces’ strategies. Thoughts, ideas and strategies disappear from our fronts. They really adhered to these few verses of poetry as I mentioned above. Sometimes, I was jealous of them. Sometimes it was a little beyond jealous. Well, at first, I said some words heartily. I want to get into the discussion of Operation Beit-ol-Moqaddas (Jerusalem). In fact, Operation Fath-ol-Mobin and Operation Beit-ol-Moqaddas, like any text, have an introduction; the Introduction of Operation Fatah ol-Mobin and Beit ol-Muqaddas was the operation of Muhammad Praphet (PBUH) that took place on January 1, 1982 in Paveh and Marivan. There was snow round 5-6 meters in that area, snow. In Paveh, we attacked one of Iraqi city named Towileh through Shamshir area, of course, Haj Ibrahim was commander of that area, and some of comrades like Ahmad Mutawasslian acted from the Tata-Rui-Bayara area. Because I was one of the operational commanders of those operations, in my opinion, it was strategically ridiculous, and I repeatedly challenged Haj Ibrahim Hemmat. Haji, considering my age and education, always respected me, and finally, when she saw my great insistence on not to do the operation, he told me:" Abu Kumeil [he used to name me Kumeil] we are not going to seize Towileh, We are going to play drum, that will be loud after few months." in Operation Fath ol-Mobin, I was still engaged in treatment of a wound that I had received in Muhammad Prophet (PBUH) operation, but I attended in different operations, I understood what Haj Ibrahim meant. The drum that was played in January 1981, its voice was heard on the 22th March in 1983  in the Fatah al-Mubin operational area, and on the 24th May 1981, its voice was heard everywhere, and we were obliged  to a great strategist named Hassan Bagheri. I don't think anyone like Hassan will be found in the world's war universities anymore.

 

 

Of course, Hassan's plans need someone like Ahmad Motavaselian, Haj Ibrahim Hemmat, Mehdi Bakri, and Haj Hossein Kharazi. Why do we always name these martyrs? That plans need someone like Morteza Ghorbani. AS the matter of fact, when Hassan left, these plans were no longer used. Hassan was our head. God bless him! Before I recount my main memoir, I did not hesitate to mention that names of these martyrs who are not remembered enough in these days. Go and visit Sacred Defense’s Museum. What is there that is belonged to Mohammad Jahanara? Nothing. As if no one named Mohammad Jahanara was present in this war. It seems that there was no someone like Mohammad Jahanara had resisted in Khorramshahr for 35 days with any equipment along with a group of young forces who were averagely under age of 20 years. I was considered as an old men at that time, although I was 32-33 years old. as if there was no someone like Mohammad Jahanara. You can't find a photo of Muhammad, and there isn’t any photo of great persons in our museums. What I want to tell you a memoir today in a different perspective. Some may not have much to do with artistry works in war, like using RPGs and shooting, but it has extremely deep human emotions. I remember that at the night of twenty-third May, I was stationed in the Moharrezi area, southeast of Karun. We were aware that the comrades and followers of Mohammad Prophet (PBUH) had conquered Shalamcheh, and we knew that they were coming to Khorramshahr. Usually, during the fighting and conflicts of the front, the defenders do not have much information about the situation of the fronts, but attackers have very good information. Well, we knew that the comrades of the Prophet's division moved from the Hosseini station, located 35 km away from Khorramshahr to Shalamcheh. Shalamcheh was conquered by the Iraqis surprisingly. The Iraqis did not wait for our comrades there at all, and now they were going to Khorramshahr from Shalamcheh, and we knew that the comrades were in Khorramshahr tomorrow morning. I had a deputy named Hamid Akbari who was from Abadan. May God have mercy upon him, he was martyred. I picked up a backpack full of Imam Khomeini's posters. Hamid also picked up a backpack full of posters of Ayatollah Montazeri, who was a deputy leader at the time. We went into the water. We went through Karun River. We went to the northern part of Khorramshahr and then to city center slowly. We were carrying backpacks on shoulders. For a moment, I felt the Kalashnikov gun bar behind my neck. Someone said in Arabic, "Put your bags on the floor, sleep on the floor, and open your arms and legs." Well, we did. Then he started asking questions in Arabic. I said I understand Arabic. But since I was away from Khorramshahr for many years, my Arabic speech was not good. "Let's speak English" said I.  He started speaking English. We communicated in English. He searched our bodies and saw that we were not armed. He told me that you seem to be educated. I said yes. "What is your degree of education?" He said. "I'm a physics teacher" I said. He shook my hand and said, "I'm a chemistry teacher, too." "We used to go to Chemistry College to visit girls," I joked. Now I say it because I don't want to censor anything. "What's your name?" I said, "My name is Mahdi." "So you're not a militant," he said. "No," I said. I was one of the public forces and I am from this city; and I came here to liberate my city. "I'm not a militant." What are you doing here now? Without weapon! With these two backpacks! What's in your backpack?” He said. "We have brought you some posters of Imam Khomeini and Ayatollah Montazeri. If you take the posters will in your hands tomorrow, no one will kill you." I said. Although I have visited the Museum of Sacred Defense more than 200 times, I still cry out loud when I see the big poster that shows the displacement of the people of Khorramshahr. I don't care at all who is with me. A poem is written next to the poster named; "Goodbye my childhood". Whenever I read this poem, my tears will fall down. Our hearts are still dirty, and at that time, our hearts were damaged much more. We took them to other place just for comrades not to heal the wounds of their hearts by shedding more blood whenever they enter into the city. I told it to the Iraqi officer. He laughed and said; "Mahdi, you are very fan and ironical person." He did not know what was going on. I said that we would liberate the city tomorrow. "How many children do you have?" He said. "I have a son and a daughter," I said. "I have a daughter, too, and hopefully I will have a son" he said. Anyway, he guided us and we passed a safe place where we did not get caught by other Iraqis. But he took two backpacks. The next morning, I was looking for Kazem with a trailer motorbike in Khorramshahr; but I later found out that this friend, his main name was Kazem Mohammad Ali. He was a Shiite from Najaf. I arrived when one of the comrades of Imam Hussein's brigade had placed the Kalashnikov gun on Kazem's head and wanted to shoot. Because Kazem also had the rank of major on his shoulder; I arrived and took the gun of this boy who was 10-15 year old. I said this officer is very important. I take him to the prison camp. Kazem and I got on a motorcycle and I took him to the other side of the border and said: "Kazem, you can return to Iraq!" Kazem looked around. "I told you I had a daughter and I am waiting for a son," he said. If I return, they will either execute me or send me war to be died; "it is better to take me to the prisoner of war camp." As he insisted, I took him to the prisoner of war camp. Then, every now and then, I went to Parand camp and visit him. I would take fruit, money or clothes for him until the prisoners were exchanged. I didn't know about Kazem anymore. Three years ago, after retirement, something very interesting happened to me. I have built a tourist domicile, and I mostly accepted foreign tourists as well. One day, I had a guest from France named Ammar. That name French name(Originally Arabic word) was very interesting for me. When he rang the hostel, it was around 2 o'clock in the morning. I opened the door and went to greet him, like the other guests, and greeted him warmly. He was young and very handsome; A young man about 32-33 years old. He came and hugged me tightly and started crying. He said: "uncle mehdi! ... Uncle mehdi ...!" I said: "How do you know me?" he replied:" I am the son of Kazem," I said: "Which Kazem?" He replied: "one who saved you once and you saved him once, too." I said: "I'm sorry, I don't remember at all. What are you speaking about?" We sat on the porch and he started to tell me. I just found out who Kazem is. In fact, it was very difficult for me until that time (3 years ago), to forget the crimes they committed against the people of my city. I am still deeply saddened whenever I remember those crimes. But that night, when I visited Ammar, I forgave what I could not forgive for years. All the young women who lost their young husbands were victims. All the comrades who lost their parents were victims. The parents who lost their brave children in the war were victims from a conflict between two nations that had the same cultural roots. You look! The capital of Sasanian Empire[2] is next to the Tigris. Ctesiphon[3] is next to the Tigris. I want to tell you that this memory somehow connects the present and the past, and in fact, it was a cure for my own heart injuries from the days of war. I don't spend more time. I hope you will accept this memory. Thanks."

 

 


[1] It is a city in and the capital of Khorramshahr County, Khuzestan Province, Iran. At the 2016 census, it is an inland port city located approximately 10 kilometers north of Abadan. 

[2] It is officially known as the Empire of Iranians, and called the Neo-Persian Empire by historians, was the last Persian imperial dynasty before the arrival of Islam in the mid seventh century CE.

[3] Ctesiphon was an ancient city, located on the eastern bank of the Tigris, and about 35 kilometers southeast of present-day Baghdad. Ctesiphon served as a royal capital of the Persian Empire in the Parthian and Sasanian eras for over eight hundred years.



 
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