A Review of the Book "Ismail Nazr-Aftab"

Memoirs of a captive named Ismail Karimian Shaddel

Compiled by: Fereydoun Heydari Molkumian
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad


When our gaze passes through the cheerful and smiling face of Ishmael among the white bouquet on a light blue background and stops on the back cover of the book, we empathize with him through these few sentences of the narrator in his journey:

       "I knew from the way the tires were moving that the car was moving on the asphalt road. I lost consciousness again. I woke up to vague sounds like the voices of women and children. From the repetition of successive lights, it seemed to me that we should be on the street or something like that; "It was as if we had entered a city."

      The book begins with a short introduction by the Culture and Sustainability Studies Unit of the North Khorasan Art Center. Then there is the author's introduction and then "Ishmael's Words" which is in his handwriting. In the following, the three chapters, maps, and black and white images with almost good quality as well as a detailed table of content.

Chapter One: Birth to Revolution (1960 to 1978)

 First of all, Ishmael's narration begins with the prayer of Abu Hamza Thamali. The narrator then deals with his father's marriages. At birth, his first wife, both she and the child, give up their lives. After some time, the father marries his second wife, but not two or three years later, he realizes that the woman is cheating on him and divorces him with two children - a son and a daughter - and takes Fatima, his third wife. Fatemeh takes care of the children like her own child, but after each delivery, her child dies after a year, more or less, due to the serious illnesses of that time. God gave them eleven children, but they all died. It was that they vowed that if God gave them a son again and he remained healthy, they would vow him to Imam Hussein (PBUH) so that when he grows up, he would go in his way and serve his Imam wherever necessary. Slowly Thus, Ishmael was the twelfth child that God gave them.

In the following, the narrator also refers to the specific mirrors of the Kurf region.

       Ismail attends the first and second grades of primary school in the village of Kurf before moving to the Sadrabad neighborhood of Bojnourd. The older he gets, the more he works while studying to earn a living and help with the family economy until he starts high school. On the other hand, he is interested in martial arts.

       Although in the final part of the first chapter, the narrator speaks of the excitement of changing the color of the city to host the Shah, he also refers to his familiarity with the thought of the Imam and the revolution. In 1978, Ismail was the fourth grade of high school and that time coincided with important events in the country; Now, the flame of protests and demonstrations of the people in Bojnourd city had been lit at the same time as all over the country, during which the police of Bojnourd would finally fall on the 22nd of Bahman (11th February).

Chapter Two: Revolution and Sacred Defense (1979 to 1983)

After the revolution, the people had a different mood. Of course, the activities of various groups and parties in Bojnourd were also very impressive. They started street fights that sometimes lasted as long as four to five hours. The narrator, who had gone to Mashhad to study, came to Bojnourd on weekends and was drawn to these discussions, willingly or unwillingly. Usually in the afternoons the main sidewalks and intersections were the site of street discussions among groups:

       "In groups of five to ten, street discussions were raised, and as soon as we wanted to draw conclusions and condemn them, another one would come and ask a new question, and the group that was condemned would leave the scene and we would inadvertently enter into a new discussion. Sometimes such discussions lasted for hours and the same process was repeated. "We later found out that they had agreed that if they did not conclude, another group of them would come and change the subject, and it was as if we would never get a result from these street discussions and it would always remain incomplete."

       The narrator then mentions his presence in the Basij and the IRGC, and that after the victory of the revolution and to preserve it, honest forces had to be selected for this task. "In December 1979, an order was issued to form a public mobilization. In the city of Bojnourd, this was immediately done. Due to my interest in the revolution and the Imam, I went and registered my name in the Basij ..."

       Of course, he also studied at the same time and volunteered for the Basij. A year later, he joined the IRGC. He was chosen to protect Hajj Mehmannavaz, the Friday prayer leader of the city, as well as a training instructor for martial arts in the IRGC and a supervisor of gyms.

      After that, he was introduced by the IRGC as responsible for the destruction of the Basij bases and the army barracks to provide military training to the Basijis who were to be sent to the front for 45 days; Lessons in tactics and destruction. Basijis were sent to the battlefields after the end of the period. He also wanted to go with them, but whenever he asked to be sent to the front with the Basijis, they quickly opposed his request and said: "You work on this front yourself and you need to stay here and train." But he insists so much that he convinces the commander of their city mobilization and he is sent to the southern front for the first time. At the end of his mission, he returned to Bojnourd to accompany the front line in the next dispatch.

       In 1961, he married a girl who had taken the news of his brother's martyrdom from the front to their family, and from then on his mother-in-law would say to him: "You seem to be my son  Behrooz. . »

       Once again, when he was sent to the area, he was accompanied by his wife's loving escort. He came to the side of the bus and they said goodbye very warmly. Of course, it was hard for Ismail to stay away from his wife, but he felt that he had a heavier task anyway and he had to do it. It was as if his destiny had been determined to go and take part in the operation of Muslim Ibn Aqil, and to continue to advance until the Muharram operation, until the Khyber operation, and until he was shot and wounded on the 4th of Esfand 1362 (23th February 1984); The day when the sun had set for him in the worst possible way.

Chapter Three: Captivity to Freedom (1984 to 1991)

      "It was the worst moment I saw in my life; How these forces hung themselves to come up and be saved. It was a really strange scene. The boats sank and turned upside down because they were heavy. No one came to their rescue. They were drowning, there was no one to help them. The Iraqis were watching the scene but did nothing. I could hear the forces calling for help, but there was nothing I could do. "I just closed my eyes to see no more."

       While he had been shot in the left arm and leg and was feeling very weak, he, along with the other comrades, fell into the hands of the Iraqis and the captivity fell on them with all his might. He often remembered his father saying, "You are the vow of Imam Hussein and you must follow in his footsteps." An unknown fate awaited them.

       The Iraqis put the wounded on top of each other in armored vehicles and personnel carriers and took them with them to be treated at the Basra Hospital, after which they were transferred to the Mosul 2 camp. There, the Iraqi commander issued instructions by a Persian-language translator that were required to be obeyed. "You are our prisoner," he said. "Everything we said you have to do." These orders were for the so-called order of the camp, and the prisoner had to obey them.

      The narrator then refers to the interaction of old prisoners with new ones, as well as the treatment of Iraqi officers and guards. He then deals with various forms of torture by Iraqis on Iranian prisoners of war and praises the moral management of comrades.

About 10, 11 months after their captivity, the Red Cross was going to visit the Mosul camp. There was a foreign group of about 10 people when they entered the camp. The comrades spoke about their food and hygiene and showed them the place of torture on their bodies. Gradually, the Red Cross told the prisoners that they could correspond with their families in Iran. Thus, Ishmael succeeded in sending his first letter and received his answer through the same Red Cross.

       The narrator then deals with issues such as restrictions and innovations, censorship of newspapers, cultivation in captivity, etc., until the adoption of the resolution and the demise of Imam Khomeini.

       But finally it the news of their release was heard. Now, after years of captivity, by the grace of God, the tormented captives, who had endured hardships and hardships, were to fly to the nest like light-winged pigeons. For the first time, after nearly seven years of captivity, they leave the big door of the camp. On August 17, 1990. At about 9 to 10 o'clock, they are behind barbed wire and rods installed between Iran and Iraq. The Red Cross forces of the group are located a few meters from the border, inside Iraq, where they were exchanging prisoners. When the Iranian captives entered their country, they thank God. Ishmael prostrates on the clean soil of Iran with two knees of politeness and kisses the ground and then goes to the greeters.

      "Ismail Nazar Aftab" written by Akram Sedighi Kalateh for the Arts Center of Culture and Sustainability Studies of North Khorasan Province, its first edition has been published in 1400 by Surah Mehr Publishing Company in 564 pages and 1250 copies with a price of 100,000 Tomans in Medium octavo format and sent to book market.

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