Book Review

Children and Fates

Memoirs of Anis Naqash

Mahya Hafezi
Translated by: Zahra Hosseinian

2023-7-30


Children and Fates is a part of Anis Al-Naqash's autobiographical memoirs, translated into Persian by his wife Batoul Khodabakhsh. Anis Naqash was born in Lebanon in 1951. He joined the student organization of Fatah Movement in his youth, and started fighting against the Zionist regime from that time. He planned and executed many operations against this regime.

The book begins with a long preface by the translator. This work is only a part of Anis Naqash's memoirs and covers until his release from the French prisons; thus, it seems that his wife narrated the remaining memories in her own words and included them in the preface. At the beginning of the preface, she explains about how they met each other: "Anis and I met in October 1991at Esteghlal Hotel, when the first Intifada conference was held in Tehran. Anis was a guest, and I was an expert in the foreign press department of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance... Almost a year had passed since Anis's stay in Iran, after his release from French prisons, and he was familiar with the Persian language." Then, she narrated that how they got married, how they lived, and also their business activities in Iran and Lebanon. Also, memories of their meetings with people such as Emad Mughniyeh, representatives of Islamic Jihad, and Hamas in their homes are included in this part. The preface ends with the death of Anis Naqash in Damascus due to coronavirus disease. The death did not give Anis time to deal with the events after his release from prison. Although the Arab audiences have constantly known of Anis's thoughts through television and radio channels and articles and books during these years. Anis has appeared only 275 times on Al-Mayadeen channel, his presence on Al-Manar, Al-Misrah and other Arab TV channels from Palestine, Syria and Iraq to Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt and the Maghreb and Western channels is even more.

The book has been divided into forty-five chapters; each has a title according to the content. "Black Clothing" is the title of the first chapter, which deals with the event of July 18, 1980, when Anis Naqash and his colleagues were supposed to execute the assassination plan of Shapour Bakhtiar. "That morning, I had a non-pleasant dream. In my dream, I saw Imam Khomeini grabbing my black clothing from behind and pulling it hard; as if he wants to stop me. It is said that the dream at the dawn time is true. After the morning prayer, I lay down and took a short nap. I didn't take the black clothing as a good luck, nor the imam's pulling backwards."

Considering that in the second to forty-fourth chapters, the narratives are given chronologically, it seems that narrative of Bakhtiar's assassination in the first chapter is brought to encourage the audience to read the book. In fact, according to the chronological order, this narration should have included in the twenty-sixth chapter. The second chapter, entitled "Children and Fates", deals with the life, family and childhood of the narrator. In the following chapters, the social and political activities of Naqash from his adolescence and youth have been narrated through his memories.

In the following chapters, the narrator patiently and carefully narrates his memories. These chapters included his memories from the time he studied in secondary school, and then the missions he carried out inside and outside of Lebanon. At the beginning of the book, there is a chronology which allows the reader to get acquainted with his important events and activities at a glance.

 

 

 

1967-68: Diploma, Trip to Jordan, Starting organizational activity, Trip to France, Receiving a Diploma

1968-69: Beirut Airport, Intifada Camps, Palestinian Theatre, Class of Cyclone.

1969-70: Transfer to A'meliya, Going to Jordan, Serving in garrison, Starting massacre in Jordan, Occupying the Embassy, Starting evaluation stage

1970-71: Transfer to Ras Al-Naba school, Working in Palestinian camps, Fragmentation of organizations, Friends of the revolution, Expansion of organizational operations

1971-72: Assassinating Wasfi Tal, Art school, Organizational responsibility

1972-73: Conflict with the army, Tishrin war, Geneva days, Ministers, Munich operation, Arab revolution

1973-74: Preparing for the Civil War, Working in the South

1974-75: Civil War, Special Operations, Vienna Operation, Imad Al-Mughniyeh Training, Damore garrison

1975-76: Marriage, Conflict with Syrians, Civil war

1976-77: Working in the south, Working abroad, Geneva years

1977-78: Battel of Kfarchouba, Lebanese resistance plan, Occupation of southern Lebanon by Israel, Turkey and Iran

1978-79: Iran and the Islamic Revolution, Lebanese resistance, Kfarchouba war

1979-80: The Islamic revolution, Arming of the Lebanese resistance, Bakhtiar operation

1980-81: Years of imprisonment, Negotiations and Freedom

 

From the twenty-sixth chapter onwards, the details about the assassination mission of Shapour Bakhtiar, how the appointments were made to carry out the operation and its failure, can be read. In the following chapters, narratives of the narrator's interrogation and activities, as well as his hunger strike in French prisons were given.

In the 42nd chapter, it was explained that how the narrator was released from prison, entered Iran, and met the officials of that time. "The next day, I tried to learn how the Iranian media covers this news I asked Mohammad to read me the headlines of Iranian dailies. The surprise was that it had no place in the news. At that time, I guessed that in order to avoid the discomfort of the French government, the news of my freedom should not be highlighted. But in my opinion, there was a big difference between the news being provocative or normal." In the final parts of the book, there are narrations of the narrator's meeting with the leader of the revolution, Arafat and Emad Mughniyeh. The book ends with the picture album and index.

The first edition of Children and Fates was published in the spring of 2022 by the Press and Cultural Institute of Iran in 680 pages and at a price of 205,000 Tomans.

 



 
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