The 333rd Night of Memory – 1

Edited and Justified by Sepideh Kholousian
Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan


The 333rd show of the Night of Memory was held in Sooreh Hall of the Art Center on Thursday 5th of Esfand 1400 (February 24, 2022). It was hosted by Davood Salehi and attended by the family and comrades of the martyr Seyed Ali Akbar Mustafavi. In this ceremony, the book "Still Roaring" authored by Zahra Abedi, published by Janat Fakkeh, was unveiled.

In the beginning, the host referred to the subject of the show and said, “I'm a little worried that we have a lot of real and great heroes in our day; but we have not yet been able to introduce our heroes, even to our own generation. In this last program in the year 1400, I ask the merciful God to give a little literacy and taste to the thinkers and experts so that they can record the lives of these great heroes and introduce them to history, our own generation and future generations”.

Then he started introducing martyr Seyed Ali Akbar Mustafavi and said, “His father, Mr. Seyed Mehdi, was a militant cleric from the city of Neishabour who had an important position and prestige in Neishabour, especially in his village. He thought of everything except that his son tells him one day: I want to join the “Imperial Guard”. And the answer was one word: "No." And the boy's answer was: "Ok, sir". But the answer of God, who is aware of everything before and after, was something else; the answer of his father’s Istakhareh (consulting the holy Quran at random to decide one’s procedure) was: "Very, very, very good"! So he asked his son safely, “Can you say your prayers the place where you want to join? Can you fast?” and when his son said yes, he answered, “Go, in the Istakhareh, an ayah has come which testifies to my heart that good things are on the way.”

In continuation, the host invited the comrade of martyr Mustafavi, Mr. Qomashlooiyan to recount his memoirs of the captivity period with him.

Mr. Qomashlooiyan, who was the translator of the camp during his captivity, as the first narrator of the program, began his speech with an introduction about the late Seyed Ali Akbar Abu Torabi Fard and said: He always told me not to tell the children of the POWs when he returned to Iran about the sad memories such as the tortures and beatings, … that he saw in the camp because they see and are upset, and if one day they reach to higher levels in Iran and a dispute happens in the borders, they will take revenge of their fathers from the Iraqis; however, you must forgive me that all my memories in the prison are about the same tortures that took place before my eyes. I apologize to his wife and children for telling such memories about the Seyed. Nothing sweet happens in the prison to be recounted.

The narrator continued: There was an officer in the camp who was constantly walking and everyone had to stand in front of him. We had both young and old people in the camp. Most of them were injured. They had to stand in front of this officer under the same conditions. When the Seyed and his companions were brought to the camp from Ramadi, the camp official did not like them because all of them were servicemen, old and experienced. The year they were brought in, I was the camp translator and the head of the camp was the agent of the Iraqis. The number of the new prisoners was 180, and because they were all from the army, which was unpleasant for the Iraqis, they ordered them to be tortured in front of the camp till morning. They told the Seyed and a man named Allah Morad Ahmadi: Insult the Imam; but they refused to do so. Mr. Allah Moradi is a serviceman from the city of Kermanshah.  He was so badly tortured in a way that I could not even recognize his eyes. So was the Seyed. They were taken to the same sanatorium where they had to salute in front of its officer. But the Seyed came there and started a movement. He said that if this officer came into the camp, we would not get up. They became three and decided not to stand in front of him, but if a major who was superior to him came, they would stand up. Of course, the person who was there was very young and I don’t know why the Iraqis called him an officer! The arrangement was revealed to the Iraqis. In fact, someone had told them that there was an arrangement them that they would not get up when the officer came and ordered to stand up. I was also the camp translator and had stood to see who these were. There was a high-ranking officer there named Aboud. By the time the officer arrived, one of the first three in the line jumped like a spring. Another rose slowly. But the Seyed had been sitting in his place. The Iraqis took the Seyed to the prison and returned the rest to the sanatorium.

The narrator continued, “When I saw such a person, I tried to calm down and translate his words in a way that they did not bother him too much. When I saw the Seyed, I said, “Seyed! I translate your words somehow well and you too speak so that they leave here and are not beaten. He said: Sir, you should translate exactly whatever I said. I told him: Seyed, I cannot stand it, you are old. But he continued to object until the officer came and asked: Why didn’t you get up? The Seyed said: The rank of this officer is lower than me. If at least one major comes, I will get up. The Iraqi officer continued to urge and the Seyed still opposed: I will not get up. First, he was beaten a little. I thought to myself that the Seyed might moan so that they stopped beating him, but I saw  was not the case. He spoke loudly and even kept his hands on the ground while being tortured. This showed that he was a combat force and not an ordinary one. He was severely beaten. I had stood behind him. They beat him but the Seyed did not even raise his voice. Finally the camp commander arrived.  I started translating. The fact was that whenever anyone came to torture, I was softened and upset, but the Seyed was talking to them in such a way that I was getting energy and instead of being upset, I was happy for him. I was pleased that he was responding to them like this.

The narrator continued, “Here, you are a commander and I am a captive. We should be professional. The United Nations and the military have a law for themselves. If you come, I will salute in front you, but not in front of a soldier. When you get the statistics, I have to get up and come in. But I do not accept getting up and sitting in front of him”. He was beaten again. It took some half an hour. I was happy that someone had understood who was suffering them so much. I was watching and seeing that there was neither a shout nor a plea because the Iraqis would release anyone who screamed and begged. This time they got tired too. They went and took the Seyed to his cell. The guard named Farough came at night. I was in the hospital. I told Farought: He has not drunk water and his age is not proper. What do we do if something wrong happened to him? He said: come now. He went and brought the keys. Every time I went to the prison, I took some of the drugs we had in the hospital. I took two pills from there and went to the Seyed. As soon as I gave him the medicine, he said no. I did my best to make him take the pills, but he did not. So we gave him a glass of water and that's it. He was in prison for about two weeks. When he came out of the prison, his torn clothes showed that he had been injured by cable; he not only did not raise his voice, but also, after that, when someone came to the camp, the rest did not stand up. The Seyed did this for the dignity of the captives. Now everybody knew him.

The narrator also said: once, I was shown a photo in a newspaper. I doubted The Seyed's photo. He was standing next to a man named Abbas Rahimi, who had come together from the west and had been captured. He trained there and held wrestling matches with the youths and gave prizes too. There were even ceremonies on the 22nd of Bahman (February 11, anniversary of the Islamic revolution). Gradually, my relationship with him became closer until Dr. Paknejad was brought in. One day I introduced him to the doctor and said that there was a person here whom I accepted as an army man. He said: Who? I said: He is called Seyed Akbar Neishabouri. He was captured in the beginning of the war in the West. The next day, I saw Dr. Paknejad talking to Seyed under a staircase. When I asked Dr. Paknejad about their relationship, the doctor said: Seyed is the founder of the IRGC in the west. I am also the founder of IRGC hospitals. After that, others asked me a lot about the relationship between the two, but I could not answer legally in terms of religion.

Qomashlooiyan ended his words by saying: The Seyed had suffered many difficulties. So had all of those who had come to the camp. For instance, someone like Dr. Paknejad, Dr. Khaleqi or Haj Agha Aboutorabi had suffered a lot. They didn’t live during this time. They were always under supervision. It was always possible that something wrong happened to them; but they were still doing their job. The Seyed exercised and supported the younger guys. And since I had known him, I was with him everywhere.


To be continued ...


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