Oral History Workshop – 5


Shahed Yazdan
Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan


The oral history website is going to provide the educational materials of some oral history workshops to the audience in written form. The present series has been prepared using the materials of one of these workshops. As you will see, many of the provided contents are not original or less said contents, but we have tried to provide categorized contents so that they can be used more.


Defects of oral history

• Over time, the narrator may change his or her words or express them in a different way according to expedient things or circumstances.

• We are currently trying to judge the past time based on our likes and dislikes, conditions, political issues, etc., according to the events that have happened and the results we know.

• Erasing of memory is another defect of oral history that occurs over time.

• Another defect of oral history is self-censorship. One of these is to express or not to express some cases according to the current circumstances.

• Bragging is also one of the defects of oral history and is seen in memoirs to a large extent; especially the memories of people who are not involved in an event directly. It is the interviewer's art to determine who to go to during the interview and to recognize the bragging during the interview.



The memory we obtain from a person is not history; rather, it is a raw material that must be interacted with in order to become history. We call this process that turns memory into history as editing.


Editing is the stage that turns our raw material into history





Verification in oral history is a principle; but firstly, it is not achieved everywhere, and secondly, it is not necessary everywhere. For instance, if a person describes a memory that no one else was present but himself, or the people who were present cannot be accessed due to reasons such as death, etc., it will not be possible to verify this memory.

But should oral history be left with these doubts? Will there be any validity to oral history despite this? As the saying goes, is the news a single proof? These are the things that must be answered in editing.



As was mentioned earlier, analysis can be used in oral history in some cases. Analyzes appropriate to the narrator's level of responsibility are used in oral history, but other than that, it will not be useful. It is the duty of the interviewer to ask analytical questions appropriate to the narrator's level of responsibility.

For example, a book has been published in Iran in which the narrator recounted and analyzed the beginning of Imam Khomeini's movement in 1342 (1963), but the narrator of the book was born in 1340 (1961). This indicates that the correct way of doing the work is not followed.

In other words, analysis is an explanation and it means finding the cause of an incident, and the cause of an incident can be explained by someone who is in the heart of that incident.

In other words, analysis means bringing the cause, and it means finding the cause of an incident, and the cause of an incident can be explained by someone who is in the center of that incident.

Number of Visits: 460


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A Narrative of Public Movement of June 5 1963

There is a story about Grand Mosque of Shiraz, in which most of June 5 events happened, that I like to note before addressing memories of June 5, 1963. The current director of bureau of Education who had intended to restore the mosque, started it in 1944. But when he evaluated impairment of the mosque, he concluded it would be better destroy the mosque totally and take its bricks to Kazeroon in order to build schools.

A Memory by Iran Torabi about Meeting Imam Khomeini

There were heavy surgeries that night until morning. Some of the wounded of the air force got martyrdom, and some guards died too. I was busy delivering one of the operated when I heard shouting and cursing in the recovery room. A guard and an air force officer had lain down on the stretcher, and were waiting for surgery. The guard had a medal around his neck supposed to be for the guards, and the Air Force officer recognized it.
The 336th Night of Memory-3

Sardasht Chemical Bombing

The 336th Night of Memory was held on Thursday, June 23, 2022, with the presence of a group of chemical warriors from Sardasht region and the treatment and health staffs of chemically injured and veterans in the Surah Hall of the Arts Center, with the performance of Dawood Salehi. In this ceremony, General Ali Sadri, Dr. Hamid Salehi, Dr. Mohammad Hajipour and Dr. Khosro Jadidi, witnesses of the chemical bombing, shared their memories.

Like a War-Torn Area

I participated in the demonstration for the first time on Tuesday, August 30, 1977 (the 14th of the holy month of Ramadan). In the morning, I heard people had gathered in front of house of Ayatollah Sayyid Abdullah Shirazi. My brother and I went to Naderi Crossroad with the intention of joining the people. The number of people kept increasing, as much as the street became completely closed. The distance between Ayatollah ...