Book Review

The Absent Present Narration

Malihe Kamaledin
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad


The book "The Absent Present Narration" is a description of the unknown efforts of major General Hajj Hossein Hamedani, which is narrated by Hajj Jafar Mazaheri about his contemporaries and friends. Mohsen Seifikar is the author of the book, and Surah Mehr Publications has added it to its list of publications in 2019 under the effort of the Office of Culture and Sustainability Studies of Hamadan Art Center.

Martyr Hajj Hussein Hamedani was one of the founders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Hamedan and Kurdistan and was one of the elite commanders who was known "Habib Sepah" among the comrades. He experienced the command of unequal wars in the early days of the imposed war in the fight against the counter-revolutionary people in Kurdistan and the experience of the imposed war in the western provinces (Kurdistan, Hamedan and Kermanshah), commanding the Muhammad Rasulullah  (PBUH) corps, consultancy of the IRGC and the deputy of Imam Hussein garrison. He played a decisive role in preserving and protecting the shrine of Zainab (PBUH) and helping and strengthening the Islamic Resistance Front for the terrorist war in Syria. He was known as "Abu Wahab" among the army and the people of this country and in the Resistance Front. In October 2105, He was martyred by ISIS terrorists while carrying out advisory missions in the suburbs of Aleppo.

In this book, Jafar Mazaheri has expressed the memories and personality characteristics of martyr Hamedani in 40 steps through the conversations that have been started since 2016. In the first step, Mazaheri describes how he met martyr Hamedani at the same time as the people attacked on the office of the "Hadid" group, and during the conversation, described him as follows: "He used to walk with a serious face and treat people warmly and respectfully and came forward. When I saw his clothes, I enjoyed! He used to wear the military clothes neatly and orderly. His trousers were gartered well, his waxed boots were tied up, his hair was neither too long nor too short, and his black bread were very dense. He had a "Bertha" pistol on his waist, and all this made Mr. Hamedani a serious, full-fledged soldier. (P. 27) I asked my comrades who Mr. Hamedani was, what he was like. They replied that he was in charge of security of the Revolutionary Court of Hamedan. In addition to working for the IRGC, he and several others were also working in this unit. (P. 29)

In the next part of the book, Mazaheri refers to one of the historical landmarks of the warriors of Hamedan province, namely the effective and revolutionary presence in the events of Kurdistan and, the major of these epics, namely the decisive operation to liberate Salavatabad’s mountain pass in Sanandaj. In the third chapter, he describes other events before the imposed war until the fourth chapter, which reaches September 22, 1980; "To evaluate the new forces that had joined the IRGC, martyr Hamedani took them to the foothills of Alvand Peak in the Mishan plain to select the best of them, which begins around noon. He and some other Hamedani warriors are moving towards Sarpole Zahab."

One of the honors of the fighters of the Hamedan Corps is the operation of September 1, 1981; Mazaheri recounts the process and its details and the role of the martyr of Hamedan in this operation. "After that, martyr Hamedani has fought in the Battle of Kork Strait, the Battle of Fath al-Mubin, the Battle of Bait al-Maqdis, and the Battle of Ramadan. He went on to describe the formation of Habib Mazaheri's operational direction and then reached the battle of Tharallah." Mazaheri also continued his memory of going to Hajj (mecca) and after that, he talked about battle Zina al-Abedin.

Mazaheri in the 15th step of the book has explained the forming of the independent Ansar al-Hussein battalion of Hamadan province, and also the Ansar al-Hussein brigade and the command of the martyr Hamedani. He also mentioned the operation to identify Mehran and Bashgan 1, as the first mission of this brigade. He then described the battle of Valfajr 2, an operation to identify Bashgan 2, the battle of Valfajr 5, the battle of Khyber, and the battle of Ashura, in Memek.

In the history of the war in Hamedan province, a bright spot called "Parade of Five Divisions" can be seen. Mazaheri in the twenty-third house of the book explains who the inventor of this case was and how it became operational. He has continued to deal with operation Sumar and the formation of the Ahad Line, the Battle of Badr, and the plan for operation Kamil, operation Valfajr 9, and Karbala 2. Then, he explained that the fundamental changes took place in the organizational structure of the IRGC after operation Karbala 5, and Hamedan province was included in the Third Quds force. Because Mohammad Ali Aziz Jafari was the commander of the Third Corps and also the Quds garrison and he was also aware of Mr. Hamedani's background and morale, he selected Hamedani for the important position of commanding for the base operations. (P. 596)

Jafar Mazaheri continues his words and refers to the acceptance of Resolution 598 and also the events of the battle of Mersad in August 1988. After the war, martyr Hamedani, along with several IRGC forces, went to the Staff College of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army, for one year and a half took a military course. They were then sent to Pakistan. The high-ranking commanders who were there told these people: "we can analyze and understand all your operations, but you had two complex operations, namely Karbala 5 and ValFajr 8, which we expect you to explain to them for us who are like you, Muslims and brothers. (P. 677)

In this book, it goes on to explain how General Hamedani appears in the position of a cultural and social figure after the war, even though he is still a military commander in the IRGC. Mazaheri also explains how to organize and send the Hamedan unit and corps to save the earthquake victims of Rudbar and Manjil. In 1990, based on a new organization, General Hamedani merged the Ansar al-Hussein Hamedan, Amir al-Mo'menin Ilam, Nabi Akram Kermanshah, Ansar al-Rasul units of the Oramanat region and Muslim Ibn Aqeel Gilan-Gharb districts and other brigades of the border areas, and formed 4th division of Besat with four organizational brigades. With his previous experience, Hamedani launched a small military training unit at the army level, and began to rebuild the forces.

In another part of the book, it was explained that, at the time of the presidency of Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani when the slogan of construction was raised, martyr Hamedani mobilized and organized the existing engineering equipment and facilities at the command post of the 4th Division and the Najaf garrison. After that, in December 1994, he was appointed to the position of Deputy Coordinator of the IRGC’s land forces, which is in fact equivalent to the third figure of the IRGC’s land forces.

In the 36th step of the book, the new position of General Hamedani is mentioned, that is, the succession of the commander of the country's Basij resistance force in 1998, the start of the first sedition in Tehran in 1999, and his role in extinguishing this scandal has been studied. The next part of the book deals with the issue that, in 1379, martyr Hamedani was sent as a military advisor at the request of Mr. Kabila to transfer the experiences of sacred defense to the Congo.

After the Congo mission, martyr Hamedani took command of division Mohammad Rasulullah (PBUH) in Tehran from the summer of 2001-2005, From 2006 to 2009, he assumed important responsibilities such as the succession of the Basij-e Mostaz'afin, (Basij for the oppressed) the Supreme Adviser to the Commander-in-Chief of the IRGC and the Deputy Commander of Sarollah garrison in Tehran, as well as the Advisor to the Commander-in-Chief of the IRGC that the 38th chapter of book deals with it.

It is mentioned in another part of the book that since martyr Hamedani was a master of management in critical situations, and most importantly, he had responsibilities and experience in the IRGC’s land forces from the brigade, division, and garrison to deputy coordinator, was one of the options to be sent to Syria. Although martyr Hamedani, in the days when he was more than 60 years old and people at this age usually think about rest, he just thought of going to Syria and defending the shrine. He realized that if the resistance front was weakened and destroyed, the centrality of resistance would be endangered. (P. 818)

In the last part of the book- that is, the 40th step- it is stated that the last responsibility of General Hamedani was to be the deputy commander of Imam Hussein (PBUM) garrison, which he accepted it in September 2014. His perspective toward the garrison was very committed and professional. The garrison deals with brigades and divisions whose main forces, about 80 percent of its force, is from the Basij People's Force. (P. 823) Mazaheri, then, talked about his last phone call with martyr Hamedani and then explained how he heard the news of his martyrdom. You must have heard Hajj Qasem Soleimani said about him and his last moments and hour:" The last moment I saw Hamedani was a few hours before his martyrdom. I saw a state of youth in him. He was a patient man and not so-called a rowdy man, in our opinion. I found out later that he was sure of his martyrdom a few days ago."(P. 828)

At the end of the book, the 40th anniversary of Hajj Hassan Hamedani's efforts is presented to the readers along with a photo and a picture of the related rulings. The book "The Absent Present Narration" was published by Surah Mehr Publications with 839 pages, Royal size, and a price of 87,000 Toman (Iranian currency) in 2019.

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