Book Review

Kak-e Khak

Mahya Hafezi
Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan


The book “Kak-e Khak” is the narration of Mohammad Reza Ahmadi (Haj Habib), a commander in Kurdistan fronts. It has been published by Sarv-e Sorkh Publications[1] in 500 copies in spring of 1400 (2022) and in 574 pages.

Fatemeh Ghanbari has edited the book and the interview was conducted with the cooperation of Hossein Zahmatkesh. On the cover of the book in khaki color, a young picture of Haj Habib can be seen in uniform, leaning on an IRGC Toyota car.

Kak-e Khak has three chapters, attached by the last chapter, which includes Haj Habib's final words. After that, the names and information of the martyrs of Kurdistan has been published in the first attachment, and the documents and photos of this commander can be seen in the second attachment.

Kak means brother, and khak means the soil of martyrs. The first chapter of the book deals with the memories of the narrator's childhood and adolescence in his birthplace, Babolsar. He was born in 1346 (1967) and is the second child of a religious family. He has 3 sisters and 3 brothers. In this chapter, the narrator's memories go from childish games and his grandmother’s description to Muharram, Nowruz and the school. The first chapter ends with the memory of the crown prince's birthday feast at school.

In the second chapter, the pre-revolution events are added gradually to the memories of Mohammad Reza and elementary school. The narrator's place of residence has changed and the events in front of the university on the way to school make him curious. He describes the students' sit-in and strike and says that this scene was constantly repeated from 1356 (1977) onwards. Seyed Hossein Zabihpour, the narrator’s maternal uncle, had a history of fighting against the Pahlavi government and distribution of the Imam's books in the village. The uncle, who notices Mohammad Reza's curiosity, gives him the magazine "Imam’s Bloody Uprising" to read. On the other hand, he accidentally sees the Imam's leaflet on his teacher's desk, and the narrator's memories in this section continue until the distribution of the leaflets and his arrest by Savak.

A 10-year-old child, who was released with the mediation of the lord, takes part in the rallies. Then, it is the turn of the post-revolution memories. Despite failing in the first grade of middle school, the narrator continues his propaganda revolutionary activities and becomes a member of the Basij force.

The book’s third chapter begins with his memories about entering the training garrison of Muhammad Rasulullah (SAWA) in Kurdistan in 1359 (1980). According to the narrator, he made familiar with good people. When he was sitting next to the door of the garrison, a kind person introduced him to the training garrison: "The commander of the IRGC in Kurdistan, Mohammad Boroujerdi had introduced me directly to him and I still didn’t know the name of my savior" (p. 146).

After completing the training course, Mohammad Reza goes to IRGC Headquarters in Marivan at the beginning of the war. At that time, Haj Ahmad Moetevaselian was IRGC commander in Marivan. In continuation, he tells about the memories of operations, martyrdom of friends and marriage. Then, he explains how his leg was injured which eventually led to its amputation. This section has also been printed on the back cover of the book. When Marivan was bombed, they were in the car with Mr. Shirvani...

"I didn't have the strength to get out of the car. Mr. Shirvani came, hugged me and took me outside. Apparently, before the bombing, he was performing ablution and was going to dry his face with a towel. He tied the same Keffiyeh tightly around my thigh and said: "Today this Keffiyeh was given to you." I looked down and saw that a shrapnel has hit my left ankle and destroyed it..." (p. 417)

The last chapter, three pages, is about returning to Mazandaran and cooperation with the governorate. This memorable book ends with the names of martyrs of Kurdistan and photos of Haj Habib. Given the title of oral history on the book, it seems that we have missed the editor's introduction and index (names of operations, places, etc.); but special attention has been paid to illustration in editing. It would have been better if the editor had mentioned the time of the interview, the number of meetings and the number of hours of the interview in a short introduction.


[1] Sarv-e Sorkh Publications affiliated to the General Office of Preservation and Dissemination of Sacred Defense Values in Mazandaran Province

Number of Visits: 526


Full Name:

Loss of Memory in Pahlavi Prisons

In total, [I was in prison] about 6 years in two arrests. For the first time after several years, a soldier arranged my escape. I do not know why! Maybe he was one of the influential elements of Islamic groups. They took me to the hospital for the treatment of my hand, which was broken due to the callousness of an officer.

Hajj Pilgrimage

I went on a Hajj pilgrimage in the early 1340s (1960s). At that time, few people from the army, gendarmerie and police went on a pilgrimage to the holy Mashhad and holy shrines in Iraq. It happened very rarely. After all, there were faithful people in the Iranian army who were committed to obeying the Islamic halal and haram rules in any situation, and they used to pray.

A section of the memories of a freed Iranian prisoner; Mohsen Bakhshi

Programs of New Year Holidays
Without blooming, without flowers, without greenery and without a table for Haft-sin , another spring has been arrived. Spring came to the camp without bringing freshness and the first days of New Year began in this camp. We were unaware of the plans that old friends had in this camp when Eid (New Year) came.

Attack on Halabcheh narrated

With wet saliva, we are having the lunch which that loving Isfahani man gave us from the back of his van when he said goodbye in the city entrance. Adaspolo [lentils with rice] with yoghurt! We were just started having it when the plane dives, we go down and shelter behind the runnel, and a few moments later, when the plane raises up, we also raise our heads, and while eating, we see the high sides ...