From Faizieh to al-Rashid

Ahmad Sajedi
Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan


Recognizing the dimensions of the Iraqi imposed war against Islamic Republic of Iran and making familiar with the “culture of sacred defense” is an issue that would not be possible without examining and explaining the issue of "captivity" and the experiences of the combatants who spent part of their lives in the concentration camps of the Ba'athist enemy. The culture of captivity which was formed with the Iraqi regime as the host and Iranian combatants as guests, is considered as an important part of the “encyclopedia of sacred defense”.

Oral history is one of the most appropriate models and approaches that can help us understand and extract the elements of the "culture of captivity". In recent years, the history of the Islamic Revolution, and especially the period of the Sacred Defense, has been the subject of many researches and books that have been published under the pre-title of "Oral History".

One of these valuable works, which has been prepared and compiled with the aim of explaining the "culture of captivity" and its role in the "culture of sacred defense", is a book entitled "From Faizieh to al-Rashid". This book is the oral history of a freed POW cleric who has lived in Ba'athist prisons for more than eight years under the worst conditions.

Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Hasan Jamshidi, the narrator of the memoirs of the book was born in a religious family in a village around the city of Sari in the year 1320 (1941).  He immigrated to Qom in 1337 (1958) at the age of 17 to continue his seminary education. This migration coincided with the beginning of Imam Khomeini's movement, and this acquaintance with the Imam changed the course of his life. Hojjatoleslam Jamshidi soon became one of the movement's companions and activists. Before the victory of the Islamic Revolution, along with the struggle, he continued his seminary education with masters such as the grand ayatollahs Meshkini, Khaza’li, Fesharaki, Salehi Mazandarani, etc. He was arrested several times by the SAVAK agents during these years.

After the victory of the Islamic revolution and the beginning of the imposed war, he joined the combatants of the Islam in the war fronts and finally was captivated by the Ba’athists during the Operation Beit al-Moqaddas on 24th of Ordeibehesht 1361 (May 14, 1982). After spending more than eight years in the Baathists’ different dungeons and prisons in various Iraqi cities, he was finally freed on 4th of Shahrivar 1369 (August 26, 1990).

The book “From Faizieh to al-Rashid” has been divided into eight chapters: The first chapter, entitled "In the Presence of the Angels", is dedicated to the childhood and adolescence of Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Hassan Jamshidi before his parents. The second chapter, entitled "In Ray of the Light of Imam Khomeini", refers to the issue of his migration to Qom and his acquaintance with Imam Khomeini, as well as his conflicts and arrests by SAVAK (shah's secret police). The third chapter, entitled "Revolutionary Passion and Consciousness", deals with his return to the north, the consequences of his father's death and the first months of the formation of the Islamic Revolution in November and winter of 1977. The fourth chapter is entitled "The Passion of Victory; Stabilization and Excellence" deals with the victory of the Islamic Revolution, the formation of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRG) and the Basij Organization, the beginning of the imposed war, and then his departure to the fronts. Chapter five has dealt with his captivity, departure to Basra, Baghdad and Ramadi, and entering into the concentration camp of the Iranian POWs in al-Anbar and the violent behaviors in this camp. The sixth chapter examines the issue of the entering of the Iranian POWs into a camp in Mosul and the events of this camp. The seventh chapter describes the last two years of captivity, including the period following the acceptance of UN Security Council Resolution 598, as well as his entry into new Iraqi exile colonies and prisons. Chapter eight describes the withdrawal from Iraq and the developments after his release from captivity.

The interviews and writing of the book “From Faizieh to al-Rashid” has been carried out by “Seyed Hossain Valipour Razmi”. It has been compiled with the cooperation of the General Office of Preservation and Dissemination of Sacred Defense Values and published by Payam-e Azadegan Publications. In the final section, the book includes 130 pages of documents containing the letters of the book’s narrator to the family and images related to his spending in the Iraqi camps. The first edition of the book was published in 629 pages in 1399 (2020).

On its cover, the book "From Faizieh to al-Rashid" has a picture of the art of gilding, which is engraved by a dark and black background. Gilding can be considered as a sign of Faizieh and black color is also an expression of the situation of the Ba'athist regime's camps. Part of the text including how the narrator learned of his son's martyrdom has been reflected on the back cover.

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