The 333rd Night of Memory – 2

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 continuation of the show, the host expressed another section of martyr Mustafavi's youth, considering his family background, and said: The eldest son of a militant cleric in the village has good conditions for studying in the seminary. Agha Seyed Ali Akbar received religious sciences from his father since his childhood and teens when he finished Maktab (traditional school). After that, he entered the seminary; but alongside studying in the seminary and religious sciences, he always attached great importance to sports. Sports like running, mountaineering, shooting and wrestling all made him a strong character; a character who in his youth, for the growth of this ready body and his strong soul, decided to go to military service before the deadline. When the person in charge had asked the reason, he had said that he was capable of all sports and that he cycled long distances in the mountains every day. I have come to serve and nurture this ready body and soul and to become a hero.

Then, the host invited Brigadier General Seyed Hessam Hashemi, the advisor and the head of the Policy-Making Council of the Commander-In-Chief in the Affairs of the Intelligence Department of the Iranian Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran and a comrade of martyr Sayad Shirazi to recount his memoirs about martyr Mustafavi.

General Hashemi talked about the individual characteristics of martyr Mustafavi, saying: Our Seyed was a man of God, following the Prophet of Islam and the imams and the absolute follower of the Velayat. He was a self-constituted servant whose every corner of his life is a lesson for us. If he said something, he acted definitely and was not a man of appeasement and abuse of position. As you turn through his life, you surely see this honesty and sincerity. I started his friendship with and accompanying him on 16th of Ordibehesht 1359 (May 6, 1980) in the battle of fighting against the anti-revolutionary forces in Sanandaj. The day before visiting him, martyr Sayad Shirazi said a group was supposed to come and join you tomorrow. We along with martyr Sayad Shirazi and brother Rahim Safavi and other friends arrived in Sanandaj on third of Ordibehesht 1359 (April 23, 1980).  The Seyed along with twelve others all of whom had the same shapes and sizes arrived on the 16th of Ordibehesht. Martyr Sayad was not present on that day. One of them was equipped with G3 machine gun, the other had a 50 caliber machine gun, and others had Dshks and mortars and the Seyed had brought a 120mm mortar. All of them had come from Tehran by plane. As soon as I saw the Seyed, it was as if we had been friends for years. I don’t want to say what he did in Kurdistan and even before that; but he was the head of the bodyguards of the Imam (God bless his soul). A man with this position gathered his group and came to the front whenever he was needed. I had heard a little about him from martyr Sayad Shirazi. He was said to be CENTO's excellent shooter; that is, he excelled in shooting competitions among the armies of the world, which were allied with the CENTO countries. To test, I told him: "Seyed, I put a cigarette twenty-five meters away to shoot." And the Seyed hit it with the first bullet. Moreover, we were in a lot of trouble there. At night, the counter-revolutionaries would come and shoot between the camp and the Gha’em Hospital, which was under a hill and where there was a source of water and a river. The distance between us and the river was less than 200 meters and it had a slope too. The Seyed said: Here, I want to shoot with 120mm mortar and cook their goose. I did not allow and said: This is a 120mm mortar. What are you saying? With what angle do you want to shoot so that the friendly forces are not hit? A little later, he sent us all to the basement and put the mortar at a quadrant level. The military men know what I'm saying. He then fired at an angle of eighty-three degrees. The bullet went into the air, went down vertically and fired two shots. Everything ended there and the counter-revolutionary breath was cut off. The Seyed had a lot of courage of this kind.

It was in 1366 (1987) that I was shown a photo of him when I found out he had been captured. I was the commander of the artillery at that time. They said to me: Do you know this photo? I looked accurately but did not know the photo. They said: he is a close friend of you; but again I didn’t know him. They said: it is Seyed Ali Akbar; and I saw that the body and that face had shrunk completely. "The first thing I did was to cut my beard so they wouldn't recognize me," he said. He also introduced himself by a pseudonym. He has many of these ups and downs in his life.

We were together most of the time after captivity. He came to the camps with us almost until the last year of his life in martyr Sayad unit. At that age, and after his captivity, he held a G3 shooting competition for the students of the officer's university. We also have his films of how fast he ran and shot at the age of fifty, and that twenty-one-year-old students were not a patch on him. He lived simply. I saw in his house that he had the simplest kind of life; while he himself is one of the founders of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC). When he escaped from the Guard Division with weapons before the revolution, he joined Martyr Montazeri. Mr. Rafiqdoost himself has repeatedly said in his memoirs that three corps had been formed, which later came together. The first unit was set up by the dear Seyed Ali Akbar along with martyr Mohammad Montazeri. When the IRGC became one, he did not say I have a share and I want a share; instead, he went and took charge of the IRGC’s training. He did a great service to the IRGC. The seniors of the IRGC are the disciples of and trained by Seyed Ali Akbar and the friends who accompanied him. This man spent his life in the military. He did not say that I should not work in view of the credit and rank I have. Rather, he considered work as worship, and to the best of his ability in his military service, he received so much attention for his shooting and activities that after his military service, the Imperial Guard asked him to stay there. Although he served militarily in Pharaoh palace, he lived like Moses. When he heard the voice of the Imam and could find an opportunity, wanted to leave many times and finally as soon as he could, he left there with weapon.

During the years we went to the war unit, he was with us in perhaps ten or fifteen trips. He sat on the train and started speaking. He was outspoken and his criticism was fiery. I hope that his book will be published and reach the youth. If they want to follow an example, Seyed Ali Akbar is a role model who shows that the son of a cleric, even in a village, with his action can reach a level who is both a martyr and a witness. If there was someone else, there might be another situation and he would misuse his position; but he never used his position even for paying the cost of the hospital, doing his works in the army’s hospital. We should also thank the wife of the Seyed. During the years after the revolution, the Seyed was not at home and his wife endured all this time away from home. The same goes for the ten years of captivity. In addition, the Seyed always sought to solve the people's problems since then. He was a resolver of difficulties, but never said I wanted anything.


To be continued ...


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