Book review

The Wound of Cold Rocks

Memoirs of Gholam Hassan Nejat Bakhsh of Kurdestan and west of the country

Fereydoon Heidari Molk-Mian
Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan


"I am not surprised by the Islamic revolution in Iran but I am surprised how the Islamic Republic of Iran managed to stop the riot of the Kurdish enemies and Komoleh and Democrat grouplets!"

In the introduction of his book, the author of "The Wound of Cold Rocks" quotes the above sentence from Fidel Castro – the leader of Cuban independence. Because in his opinion, the expression of such a sentence by someone who is a seasoned guerrilla in every sense and gained the independence of his nation through this method of war, shows the prominence of the work of our combatants in the western regions and Kurdestan.

The first two paragraphs of this introduction are a description of the concept and nature of war, which is also included as a selected text on the back cover of the book. This description complements the design on the cover of the book: in a field that, at first glance, evokes a chaotic and stormy atmosphere, a hand has raised a weapon, as if it has suddenly come out of the hand of time!

After the pages of tile, FIPA, birth certificate and dedication letter, the book list has been included, which consist of the introduction and chapter titles of these memoirs. Of course, the seventeen chapters are not numbered and the text of the book ends with the narration of the narrator's wife. The last six pages are dedicated to color images, which are of relatively good quality.  

"My childhood was gray; like many people! And my youth was red, like some people!"

This almost long phrase is the poetic title of the opening chapter of this narration. The narrator starts from the year 1341(1962), when he was born in Ardekan, Fars, 99 km from Shiraz, from an Ardekani father and a Boyer Ahmadi mother.

"My father - Haj Moslem - was a great, charitable and kind man. My mother, who was my father's second wife, had equally unique characteristics. A hardworking, hospitable and faithful lady."

They had a large family: four sisters and seven brothers. Despite this population, due to the hard work of the father, they had a relatively good life and the narrator was able to study in their local school. He had a special interest in education. Although he was very playful and curious.

His childhood was passing with all ugliness and beauty, when in 1352 (1973), his father got stomach cancer. But because he had a well-trained body and a good constitution, he was able to resist the disease for about a year. But finally he died the following year. The death of the father dealt a heavy blow to the family both emotionally and financially. Although, thanks to his mother's presence - with her special tact in maintaining the family's foundation - the deficiencies were compensated to some extent, but life was still difficult. The death of the father bothered the narrator for a long time. Especially since now the mother was also in charge of the father's duty, and the narrator felt the breaking of the mother at the bottom of his heart after the father's departure. Nevertheless, in order to reduce the burden of the family's financial problems, the children were also forced to work and worked as laborers. However, besides doing this, they were also studying.

Anyway, in 1356 (1977), at the insistence of the mother's family, they moved to Yasouj. Their new house was located in a neighborhood behind Sahib al-Zaman Mosque. Since they were a traditional and religious family, the narrator often went to the local mosque for prayers. Their arrival in Yasouj coincided with the beginning of his High School period. It was the second year of high school, when the movements of the revolution reached their peak. The narrator, along with his older brother, attended the gatherings and protest rallies that took place. On the other hand, he was in harmony with the revolutionary children in high school. In the last days of the Shah's regime, the fever of the revolution was intensified and the people rushed to the streets. The narrator used every opportunity and went to the streets to accompany the people. The passion of youth and the attraction of the unity of the people had caused him to have no fear of the agents of the regime in his heart.

After the victory of the revolution, he continued his studies as before. In the third year of high school, the imposed war started. Seven days after the announcement of the war, a call was made by the provincial IRGC unit to participate in the front. The fire was burning inside him. He, who had seen the efforts of the people in the direction of the revolution and revolutionary struggles and understood the legitimacy of the system, with the start of the war, boundless enthusiasm to fight against the enemies of the country and the system blossomed in his soul. Thus, he immediately went to the IRGC headquarters in Yasouj and registered. It was in Mehr 1359 (October 1980) when he was sent to the Kurdestan front along with some of his other fighting friends and after entering Sanandaj, they joined the 28th Kurdestan Division. From the very next morning, military training began in a special way. The main part of the training was infantry operations and was mostly based on knowing weapons and how to use light and semi-heavy weapons. After the trainings, they entered the operational phase and now they were considered an operational force.

Insecurity prevailed. The sound of shooting was constantly heard in the city and in the heights. In this way, the narrator was active for about forty days at the headquarters of the 28th Division in Sanandaj as a Basiji alongside the army forces in the field of urban patrol for purging and guarding. But after that, they were given a mission to go to Marivan with the army to carry out purging operations. On the road from Sanandaj to Marivan, the truck carrying the combatants deviated from the road and capsized; as a result of this incident, many soldiers, including the narrator, were injured. Because of this, the mission was left unfinished and they were inevitably brought back to the division by ambulance. It took a few days for treatment and because they were unable to serve due to injuries, they settled their accounts with the coordination of the authorities. Then after handing over the weapons and equipment, they returned to Yasuji along with some of Yasuji's comrades.

In the next chapter, Gholam Hassan Nejat Baksh (narrator) deals with the summer of 1360 (1981), when he tried to continue his education with special attention and obsession. He wanted to get a diploma as soon as possible. He was determined to go to university. However, in the following year, he was faced with a new proposal from the provincial Basij official:

"Mr. Nejat Bakhsh! I want to send you to Shiraz to pass the IRGC training course. The IRGC needs young and experienced soldiers like you. For this reason, we have chosen a few people, and you are one of them. I want you to prepare yourself for the guarding mission, God willing!"

And thus, while having about one year of practical experience of war and operations, the narrator entered the training course of the IRGC on 15th of Shahrivar 1361(September 6, 1982). After the training period, he was introduced as an official IRGC member to the IRGC headquarters in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province. After he returned to the province, at the discretion of the then IRGC officials, he was appointed as the commander of Basij base in Pataveh area in the town of Boyer-Ahmad.

Nevertheless, he was restless to go to the front, and this restlessness finally made him go to Shiraz to be sent to the operational area in Zubaidat, Iraq, through the 19th Fajr Division.

Then it was the turn of Dasht-e Abbas and being sent to Qamar Bani Hashem Brigade which had been deployed in this area. It was Bahman 1362 (February 1984). An operation was supposed to be carried out in Chilat area between Dehloran and Moussian. The narrator and about forty people from the provincial IRGC members had been assigned to this operation. It was decided that a series of activities were carried out between the friendly front line and the enemy's main line. The order was to move the equipment ahead of the line so that the self-supporting fire had a longer range and could destroy the enemy's support unit.

On 13th of Ordibehesht 1363 (May 3, 1984), when he was on leave to see his family and refresh his spirit, he was faced with his mother's proposal for marriage. But he rejected all six options proposed by the family. Of course, he himself liked to marry his daughter-in-law, which his mother was both delighted and somewhat surprised because his brother's daughter was almost young. However, one month later, on 18th of Khordad 1363 (June 8, 1984), coinciding with the 10th of Ramadan, the proposal took place, and two days later, their wedding ceremony was held.

A few days later, they settled in a room next to their mother with a few things, and after the narrator was relieved, he decided to return to the war zone. With this intention, he went to the troop dispatch center in Shiraz. A large force had gathered there for the deployment, and according to the orders of the dispatch officials, under the supervision of the narrator, they were ready to be sent to the western font.

In Mordad of 1364 (August 1985) when he had returned to Yasouj to take leave and take care of family affairs, he looked very tired and worn out. His mental condition was not favorable. Numerous clashes in the war fronts, insomnia and watching heartbreaking scenes such as wounded and martyred comrades had disturbed his spirit. In a way that he felt it would be better to serve for some time away from the war zone and return to the front again when his conditions improved. So, at the suggestion of the provincial IRGC, he is sent to Baba Maidan as the head of the nomadic district of the province to the place of residence and tropical migration of Boyer-Ahmad nomads.

He joined the 15th Brigade of Imam Hassan (PBUH) in Tir of 1365 (July 1986) and in Tir (July) of the following year, he served in the IRGC headquarters of Kohgiluyeh and Boyar-Ahmad Province. Finally, in Esfand of 1366 (March 1988), it was the time for him to return to the western front again. Then he participated in the battle of Espisang and Mersad Battalion, which lasted until 1368 (1989).

Finally, the narrator follows his memories of the war in five memories until after the war, i.e. the winter of 1369 (1990). The final pages of the memoirs have also been dedicated to the narration of the narrator's wife.

The second edition of "The Wound of Cold Rocks" authored by Mehran Mozaffari Yasuji and with the efforts of Sahar Sharifi was published for the Headquarters of the Martyrs' Congress of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmed Province in 1400 (2021) by Fat'h-e Dana Publications in 254 pages and in 2000 copies.

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