Da (Mother) 3

The Memoirs of Seyyedeh Zahra Hoseyni

The Translation: As has been often said, translations by nature are a series of compromises that betray original texts. It is only a slight exaggeration to say that those able to contrast the original to the present translation will find treachery in every chapter. Some of the ways the English version of Da differs from the Persian, or pales by comparison to it, are described below.

Da (Mother) 2

The Memoirs of Seyyedeh Zahra Hoseyni

The Da-occasioned divide between Tahmineh Milani and Zahra Hoseyni, however brief, typifies a larger and more lasting fissure in Iranian society today. At the time of this writing more than a quarter century has passed since the end of the War. Many members of the under thirty generation have no direct memory of it, nor are they eager to hear or read about it. Moreover, some young people view the public commemoration of the War and state-sponsored fiction and nonfiction works on it as regime propaganda.

One Womans War

Da (Mother) 1

The Memoirs of Seyyedeh Zahra Hoseyni

One Womans War: Da (Mother) the Memoirs of Seyyedeh Zahra Hoseyni is many things. Part autobiography, part oral history of the Iran-Iraq War (1980– 88), the work is the story of Zahra Hoseyni, a female descendant of the Prophet Mohammad (thereby termed a Seyyedeh), whose Kurdish family found refuge in Iran after being expelled from their native Iraq. There are three parts to the book. The first speaks of the authors early life ...

SABAH (111)

Memoirs of Sabah Vatankhah

Many years have passed since those days. My children are grown up. Each one is following his/her interests. Mojtaba has studied in two fields of IT technology and architecture and is working in architecture field which is his main interest. He is getting married these days. Mahya is a student in Law. Ali is residing in the northern part of country. Shahnaz is a retired of Ministry of Education and Fouziyeh is a retired bookkeeper of Imam Khomeini hospital.

SABAH (110)

Memoirs of Sabah Vatankhah

In the year 1989 the Ministry of Education of Khorramshahr invited back its teachers to work. Shahnaz was among the first who decided to go back and continue her job. Once when my mother and I had gone to see Shahnaz in Khorramshahr, I saw that the Ministry of Health has established a clinic near Allah square. For once an idea came to my mind. I told myself to go and see how the clinic working condition is.

SABAH (109)

Memoirs of Sabah Vatankhah

Two of his body guards were standing beside him. He wanted to say a word but the woman came and stood beside me too. The woman and Sayyad Shirazi recognized each other and greeted. He said: “What are you doing here? How did you get here at the first place?!” I don’t remember whose name the woman brought up, I just saw him saying: “Where is the car of x?” Sayyad Shirazi responded: “He filled the car and left.”

SABAH (108)

Memoirs of Sabah Vatankhah

At the end of second month of spring 1989 we noticed that Imam is not feeling well. I don’t know why I felt angry instead of feeling sad! We really believed that the flag of this revolution will pass from the hands of Imam to the hands of Sahib Al-Zaman. We really believed “God spare Khomeini until the revolution of Mehdi”. Therefore I could not accept any news about the sickness of Imam.

SABAH (107)

Memoirs of Sabah Vatankhah

My plan in Arak took twelve months. When I had done with my plan, I returned to Tehran. I liked to work somewhere. I found out that Tehran University is employing. At the end of 1987 I participated in the employment exam of Tehran University. Around two months later the results were published and thanks God I had been accepted. In second square of Tehran Pars there was a hospital called Arash which was affiliated to Tehran University.

SABAH (106)

Memoirs of Sabah Vatankhah

It was the second month of summer of 1986 and I had just returned from Arak. One morning my mom woke me up saying: “Sabbah I am going to do some shopping from Sepah store. Half an hour later wake Abbas up and send him to help me carry the shopping items.” Sepah store was located in Ostad Nejatollahi Avenue and was near our house. Since my father had become sick, the shopping was my mother’s and our responsibility.

SABAH (105)

Memoirs of Sabah Vatankhah

On the first month of summer 1985 my studies were over and I got my associate degree in midwifery and returned to Tehran. We said goodbye with heavy hearts and parted. We had become close during our study years. Ferdows gave birth to her second child in 1984. Hossein was a sweet and lovely boy who brought special joy to our family. Two years later Mehdi was born and Ferdows and Agha Mohammad had a family to take care.
The Anniversary of Takeover of the U.S. Embassy

A Genuine Question

I do not forget the time when the young people had taken over the spy nest and there was a tumult — maybe less than a month had passed — and we had just come from Hajj. Mr. Hashemi, another person and I — whose I do not want to mention his name — went from Tehran to Qom to ask Imam they have finally been caught, what should we do with them now? Should they be kept, not keeping, what should we do?

A Part of Memoirs of a Soldier

The embankment where we were stationed led to the Khorramshahr asphalt road. For this reason, the Iraqis tried hard to recapture it. And finally, near at noon, they were able to settle in the embankment next to the asphalt road and shoot diagonally towards us from there. We had no choice but to retreat. Captain Barati, the battalion commander, ordered two kilometers behind to build an embankment for us to settle there.

Your Problem is Different / You Hinted Not to Hit More

One day, they came to me and said: “We want to take you to the prosecutors office so that the investigator will interrogate you.” We had been famous for the meetings we organized as the Anti-Baha’i Association. At that time, there were many people in Jahrom that worked in different jobs; Among other things, there was a sergeant major in Shahrbani (law enforcement force), who stood guard duty instead of the guard ...

Privacy and Its Niceties in Oral History

Privacy in the process of recording and publishing memories is an issue that has attracted attention of activists in this field and those interested in legal issues in recent years with the expansion of activities of memoirist individuals and groups. Oral history interviews include close and personal relationships between interviewers, narrators and their organizational sponsors. This relationship is important for all groups. Interviewers feel an obligation to the people who have allowed ...