Book Review:

"You Must Survive"!

Fereydoun Heydari Molkmian
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad


Memoirs of Haj Ali Karami, Commander of the "Habib ibn Madhahir" Battalion of the 10th Martyrs' Division

"The bullet was hit in the middle of the column. There was no wounded or martyred person; whatever there was, it was just amputated arms and amputated legs and torn pieces of bodies that had been piled up...

Once, I saw the forces of the Basij forces staring at those scenes in astonishment. I swallowed saliva and shouted: "For the joy of the souls of the martyrs, say loudly:" praise and greeting to prophet Mohammad and his descendants "... we are going to avenge the blood of the martyrs from the enemy."

I did not know the forces of that battalion, nor did they know me. They praised Prophet Mohammad and then become calm a little. In any case, we crossed that place where there were lots of hands and feet apart. We were on the road for about an hour. The day was slowly getting darker ..."

This is a small, selected part of the clear and shocking memoirs of one of the commanders of the Sacred Defense, which appears on the back cover of [the book] "You Must Survive!" On the cover of the book, a delicate photo of the fighters of the 10th Division of Sayyid al-Shohada (PBUH) has been subtly used, which draws the reader's attention to the content of the text of the memoirs. The book has a nice layout. After the title page of the book, a page is dedicated for some line in which [author] writes about the "southern sands" are interpreted as "the Meeting Place of Heavenly Bodies" and ... then a list of twenty-two chapters, each of which has a separate title and gives the address of the pages. The last twenty pages contain black and white images that are of good quality.

The narrator (Haj Ali Karami) was Born in 1959 in one of the old neighborhoods of Karaj, in his memoirs, he mentions a few years before he was born that his father came to Karaj from the village of Bilqan on Chalous Road and bought land with the help of his wife (The narrator's mother)., he built the foundations of large houses,  with bricks and mud and beams, where was full of flowers and trees.

"My childhood was spent in this house and I still remember the bricks, flowers, and trees of the house well ... My parents, siblings and I lived in there ... My father worked in a poison-making factory for days, and with the help of my mother, he worked as a house builder at night, My mother was the essence of all goodness and a symbol of motherly love and affection ..."

Ali finished elementary school with one year of failure at Saadi Elementary School. The childhood years passed like lightning and wind, and he entered the unknown period of adolescence. Being a man was a feeling that made him proud.

In the October of 1971, he was accepted in the field study of health and enrolled in Farabi High School, but he did not want to study and was rejected. The following year, he enrolled in a night shift at the same high school to study at night and go to work and support his family during the day. His brother was a tailor and worked for Behpoosh Company. He talks to the company's recruiter and Ali was hired after submitting the documents and specifications.

At that time, the living conditions of most people were literally below the poverty line, and most of those who worked there were poor as well. The laborers who had big families needed their meager wages a lot, and in the middle of the month they used to receive subsidies for their living expenses; therefore a part of their monthly salary would be deducted and there would be nothing left for the end of the month.

It was at that time that little by little the struggle against the imperial regime was taking shape everywhere in Iran and the sounds of the Islamic Revolution were heard everywhere. The political and revolutionary atmosphere of that day had permeated the factory workers, and the atmosphere became completely militant. Political currents had affected the working process of the workers. Now everyone was demanding their legal rights from the head of the hall. It got to the point where one day the foreman ordered the lights to be turned off and asked the workers to gather in the corner of the hall. He then claimed responsibility and warned them to do only their job. He even spoke of coordinating with the gendarmerie and security forces and threatened to fire workers. It was just a few days later that Ali was fired on the pretext of creating disorder and disruption in the factory.

His education was not good that year and he was rejected again.

Little by little, an uprising against the Shah's government became public in the corners of the neighborhoods and mosques of the city. Every day it was reported that the people of some cities had demonstrated or taken down the statue of the king, and the protests became more and more public and widespread. From then on, wherever there were demonstrations, he would go there. After a while, he went to Qom with some like-minded youths to meet with authorities and scholars. There, one of the scholars told them: "Anyone who can go to military service to get acquainted with military techniques and weapons and receive the necessary training; because in the future, the revolution desperately needs them." This made Ali think, and after consulting with his friends, he finally decided to serve in the army.

A few days later, I received a dispatch booklet that was put into service and he was sent to Shahroud garrison on the September 16th of 1978. During the training, Imam Khomeini's proclamations were also embedded through letters received from family and friends. He secretly reads them and then puts them in certain places for others to study. After training, they were divided from there and sent to Tehran Officer College. One day, when he heard the voices of the people protesting in front of the barracks and chanting, he went behind the fences. People threw flowers toward him from behind fences, and he was filled with their emotions. Then suddenly a bunch of leaflets was thrown inside the barracks. He quickly hid these papers under his coat. Several other soldiers were also there. He went to a corner of the barracks and secretly pulled out one of the leaflets from his coat and began to read. Imam Khomeini's message to the armies and soldiers was: "Zealous soldiers and armies, leave your barracks and run away from service." From that moment on, he makes his decision and escapes from there, and returns home. From the next day, he joins the people in the marches. Now the Shah had fled the country, and the marches became more and more crowded and widespread, until finally, on the twenty-first day of Bahman, "the people, like drops joining the waves of the sea, all came into the streets in unison." They demonstrated and chanted the slogan of freedom. "The clenched fists of the people showed their determination and determination to undermine the foundation of thousands of years of tyranny." That night he was on the streets and guarding with many local children until morning.

The next day, on the 11th February, a large crowd rushed to the police station and other military and law enforcement centers until at five o'clock in the afternoon, the police and SAVAK forces were defeated; some were arrested and some were killed.

With the victory of the revolution, a few days later, this time, "Imam Khomeini (PBUH) sent a message to the soldiers of the army to return to their military service and barracks and complete their services." Hearing this news on the radio and television, he also put on his military uniform the next day and went to his place of service in Tehran. This was while the interim government had reduced military service from two years to one year.

Ali, on the other hand, had registered to join the IRGC before completing his military service; until his request was accepted on the November 3rd of 1979 and he was introduced to serve in the operations unit. His mission in the first days of joining the IRGC was to patrol the streets and neighborhoods of the city, but gradually he was also given military training by volunteer forces.

From now on, while serving in the Karaj Operations Unit, on occasion and even often at his insistence and request, he was repeatedly ordered to be sent to other missions to be present on larger fronts and operational areas; So that with the end of each operation, every time he returned to Karaj, it is as if he leaves his heart on the front and is always waiting for an opportunity to return to the war zone.

The first case dates back to one of the days in the August of 1980, when it was reported that the Karaj Corps was registering to be sent to Kurdistan. For some time, Kurdistan had been the scene of civil war and unrest, and the Komala and Democratic counter-revolutionary groups had fallen to the defenseless people to take revenge on the revolution and advance their goals. He also wrote his name among the volunteers and was included in the list of expeditions. Finally, on the second day of September, they were sent to Takab to fight against the counter-revolution forces, and their mission lasted about 45 days.

The last days of their mission in Kurdistan coincided with the start of the Iraq-Iran war. That is, when they returned to Karaj, he had to prepare for another mission, and finally, on the 16th  January of 1981, he and others were sent to Gilan-e-Gharb to fight in Iraq.

In the winter of 1982, he was mostly working in the same IRGC operations unit in Karaj. His new mission was to protect Haj Sharifi, the Friday prayer leader of Karaj. After the escape of Bani Sadr, the hypocrites became bolder every day in assassinating revolutionary and influential people. The Friday prayer leader of Karaj was also one of those who threatened to assassinate him. When he received the mission order and a Uzi weapon, he introduced himself to Haj so that he could accompany him as a bodyguard wherever he wanted to go.

He had been married for about a year now and lived with his wife in one of the rooms of his father's house. . It was in the last days of the July of 1982 that he was informed that an operation was to take place in the southern region. Haj Sharifi had also embarked on a pilgrimage and there was an opportunity for him to return to the front. Of course, he could hardly get permission from the head of the Karaj operations unit to go to the front. Nevertheless, he managed to persuade him and, together with three other comrades, reached Ahvaz and the front of the Kooshk.

The desire to go to the front continued to grow in him, so after completing his mission to protect personalities such as Haj Sharifi, he received a six-month mission order to return to the front. His wife was spending the last days of pregnancy. When he saw Ali was ready to go, he wondered how and why he wanted to go under these circumstances, but he said, "If this front of has a reward for me, it is all yours." Even for his mother, this situation was difficult to bear. His other two sons were on the front, and the father wanted to be sent to the war support headquarters, but there was nothing left to start the operation and he did not want to be left behind. So he said goodbye to everyone and set off and reached the Dokuheh garrison to take part in an operation that took place on the February 9th of 1983, with the code "Ya Allah Ya Allah Ya Allah": Dawn preliminary operation.

Shortly afterward, in early March 1983, he left again for Do kuheh to take part in Operation Dawn 1. The area of operation was the northern jaw, the heights of Jabal Hamrin, and the upper Jabal in the border strip of Cham Sari, Cham Hindi, Pichsangizah, and Sharhani police station. The operation was costly and difficult. When he returned home, no one believed he was alive, because it was rumored that he had been martyred.

With the arrival of the fall of 1984, everyone was trying to form the operational division of Habib ibn Madhahir to carry out a large maneuver of the "Here am I, Khomeini!" plan. The order was from the IRGC Command in Tehran's District 10, which was notified to the IRGC Commander in the Karaj District. The purpose of this maneuver was to organize and maintain the cohesion of the Basij forces and to prepare them for sending troops to the front. After the successful maneuver, the order was issued to form the "Habib ibn Madhahir" Battalion, and a few days later, as the head of the brigade's intelligence and operations unit, he went south with the brigade to identify the area and was briefed on the location of the forces and the situation in the area. After a while, he returned to Karaj.

It was now nine months since he had last been on the front. His heart was again in the air of the trenches and embankments of the front. The morning air and the excitement of mass chants, the night air of the operation and the enthusiasm ... It was one of the cold days of Bahman when he closed his mouth again and said goodbye to his wife and family and went to the headquarters and from there headed south; Again Do kuheh; again operation Again, i.e. Operation Khyber.

In 1987, when he reached the front as a free force, he was introduced to the headquarters of the Seyyed al-Shuhada (PBUH) Brigade as the commander of the Habib ibn Madhahir Battalion and took part in Operation Dawn 8. When the operation ends, he returns to Karaj and learns that his father has died.

In early the March of 1988, he uses another pretext; together with one of his friends, they decide to visit the comrades of the front in the operational areas of Halabja. By the time they arrived, Saddam had bombed the towns and villages of Halabja the day before. When they entered the ruined old city of Halabja, people were collecting corpses with the help of the military to put them in vans and trucks and take them to the cemetery ... That day was one of the worst days of his life, which he never forgot his bitterness.

They were in that area for two or three days, but because they did not know the unit or anyone and could not do anything, they were forced to return to Karaj. Of course, as usual, he immediately prepared to be sent back, and with many pursuits, he finally left for the 10th Martyrs' Division on the western front, which had a mission in the general area of Halabja.

However, "after Operation Dawn, 10 wars were in favor of the enemy. The situation was not good in the south and northwest axes. "From time to time, we heard the bad news of the enemy advancing in the areas of Al-Faw, Shalamcheh and the Majnoon islands and the retreat of our forces ...", but what finally happened, Haj Ali Karami still feels the pain in the depths of his being after years:

"... Suddenly we heard the news of the adoption of Resolution 598 and the historical message of Imam Khomeini on the radio. We were all shocked and started crying and wailing like lost loved ones ... I was in a bad mood. I did not have a heart and a mind and I was upset and confused. The faces of the martyrs and the epics of the warriors and the speeches of Imam Khomeini were constantly paraded before my eyes during the eight years of the war. "I did not know what my task and duty was in this situation and what I should do ..."

The first edition of the book "You Must Survive!" written by Tahereh Bianlou, in 2020, under the effort of the Foundation for the Preservation of Relics and Publication of the Values of the Sacred Defense of Alborz Province and Hanzaleh Publications in 428 pages and 1000 copies with regular cover and in Medium octavo for 30,000 Toman (Iranian currency) has been published and sent to the book market.

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