An Excerpt from the Book “Witnesses of Epic”

Memories of Ashraf Seifoddini about Liberation of Khorramshahr

Selected by: Faezeh Sasanikhah
Translated by Ruhollah Golmoradi


It was 1982 and I was so passionate to go to the front. At that time, I was working in the health organization, my workplace had become base of logistic headquarters. I would treat and talk everyone who entered my workplace in such a way about the front and the fighters, which caused people to come to my room the next day with packages of food and clothes and say: Hajah! Send these little present to the warriors. Each of the fighting brothers who came to the city recommended that you definitely go to the front. You are needed there. Even many brothers who were present at my workplace encouraged me to do this. Finally, my love made me to go to Ahvaz through Basij quota. I had sent my three teenage sons to the front before I myself went there, and they constantly called me and said: Mother, you are much needed here. The passion and joy for helping the warriors had caused I had ants in my pants. Finally, my prayers were answered and I went to Ahvaz; there, faith and love could be smelled from the door and the wall. They took us to Ahvaz Red Crescent, explained us about the work and the environment, and sent each of us somewhere. Our accommodation was in Ahvaz Hotel. As soon as I arrived, my sons were informed and came to see me after an hour. I was proud of them, they had a high spirit as wide as the sea. Finally, I started working in Jundishapur Hospital; my duty was to take care of the wounded and help the doctors in the operating room. Every moment of my career is full of memories. Bitter and sweet memories that attached me to my work. I will not forget the bright faces of the guys, every wounded person they brought, when I stood over top of him, he first asked me for a prayer book and a turbah; the faith was so rooted in their souls that even in that situation they did not neglect prayer and supplication. The wounded were like my children; one day one of the nurses informed me: Mrs. Tajoddini, your son has been shot, they want to operate him, it is better you come yourself. I was very upset, there is no difference between the fighters for me, they are all my children, you go, whatever you do for others, do for him too, I have to address affairs of other boys and I don't have time. The nurse was very surprised and left. Later, my son said, “Mother, when they brought me to the hospital, I was praying that you would not stand over top of me, there is no difference between me and others whose mothers are not here, and I would be embarrassed in front of them.” Once I went to my son's room and changed his volume expander, he didn't make any difference to me like everyone else. General Soleimani used to come to see us at the hospital and talk to us about the guys at the front line. He spoke about the martyrs and always ordered we take care of the wounded well, cheer them up, and pray for healing them and victory of the warriors. It was Operation Beit ol-Moqaddas, the number of wounded was increasing every day. We were in the hospital from morning to night and only prayed for a few minutes at the time of adhan and went back to the wounded. Some nights we used to go to Grand Hosseinieh, sit in the company of soldiers, and prayed. The spirituality of those nights and days is indescribable. One day in the hospital, I saw the doctor of operating room who was sweeping the hospital. I went to him and apologized, and said, “Doctor, this is my duty, not yours.” He said sincerely, “My sister, I have one duty in the operating room and another duty in cleaning the hospital. If everybody just does his/her professional task, he/she will not succeed at all; we all have a duty to do everything we can for Islam and the warriors. One day, they brought an injured boy who was about 15 to 16 years old. He was very impatient and shouted and said Oh, Zahra (S). I closed to him, there had been a much bleeding, quiver had hit his hand, and we had to take him to the operating room. His shouting had upset everyone; the injure was very painful for him. Whatever we did, we failed to stitch his hand. I took his hand and said, “Calm down my son! Where are you from? He said, “I am from the north.” Then I said in a special tone, “a coward Northern.” When I said this, I saw he calmed down, said nothing, and we did our work. Later, this teenager said to me, Hajah! at that time, I felt very much pain that I couldn't bear it, but when you said a coward Northern, I was very offended and decided to show you my courage. One day, a teenage boy who had about 13 to 14 years was brought to the hospital; his legs had been shot with quiver. He was hospitalized after surgery. Every day I would visit him and talk to him and behavior like a mother with him. Awhile since his hospitalization, he said to me, “Hajah! I’m so depressed, I want to walk, visit the guys, and I want to go back to the front line. Legs of this teenager had been hit with quiver and he could not walk at all. I talked to one of the nurses, got a wheelchair for him, and every day we, one at a time, turned him around the hospital grounds or took him to the other wounded's rooms, which cheered him up much. During the last days of his hospitalization, he left us with a cane. We got used to him, when it was our turn, we went to him with a strange enthusiasm. He returned to the front line after getting recovery.

At night, I visited the wounded, talked to them, and cheered them up. One night I went to the room of an injured person whose whole body was bandaged. I didn't know him, I went at his bedside, whatever I talked to him, he didn't answer, only tears were flowing from his eyes. I wiped his tears with my hands, suddenly I said, “Mother really loves you! do not Cry.” I saw a smile on his lips. He said: “Mother! More power to you.” His voice was very familiar but I couldn't recognize him, his whole body and face were bandaged, only his eyes and lips could be seen. I exactly looked at him. I saw he was my son, and I shed tears in memory of Zaynab bint Ali (pbuh) in the pit of killing zone. After a few days, he was sent to Kerman. Only my eldest son, who was 18 years old, remained in the front until liberation of Khorramshahr.

I will never forget the night of victory and liberation of Khorramshahr. The sky of Ahvaz had a different mood; we had a strange feeling, we were waiting every moment to hear the voice of Allahu Akbar for victory. Everywhere you looked, you could see hands praying for victory of the warriors, and God's mercy extended to the warriors and Khorramshahr was liberated. All recited Salawat and Takbeer loudly; it is impossible to express those moments. We were just a witness to this great epic. Everyone was sharing comfit. The fighters were telling us, “We owe you the sister rescuers, but I knew very well that this victory was acquired by blood of the martyrs. The blood of the same warriors that I was on top of them when they were died a martyr and I saw that they recited dhikr and prayed incessantly until the last moment. After the liberation of Khorramshahr, I returned to Kerman and started my activity in Kerman, visiting families of fighters and martyrs and consoling them. I met their needs as much as I could, and even after the war, I was always in touch with Basij, and this relationship continues to the present.[1]


[1] Source: Seifoddini, Ashraf (2006) Witnesses of Epic [in Persian: Shahedan-e Hamaseh]. Vadiat Publications, p. 71.


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