Imprisoned by Komole members

Elham Saleh
Translated by: Mohammad Ayyoubi


Both are beside each other; as if the woman sits on the chair and the man stands beside her. The woman and the man are like a Gobelin tableau, a tableau with some nail signs on it. Both seem to be happy. The woman’s name is Sa’da and the man’s name is Amir Sa’eed-Zade (Sa’eed Dashti), the man whose memories are to be narrated.

The book Kriskan Afternoons is one of the books published in memory genre. This book is classified as a part of Islamic Revolution Oral History. However not everybody who studies this book is expected to notice that he or she is studying a specific book in Oral History genre. The readers accompany the stories and the events in the story easily.  The readers are involved in the atmosphere of the story not in the Oral History concept. 

This particularity is good. The book Kriskan Afternoons behaves like unconscious mind. There is no news about Oral History concept, which may be the same conscious. Unconscious mind enters this book’s atmosphere, but final events led to readers’ familiarity with Islamic revolution and fighting Komole[1] era, without filling any obligation in this regard.

The book Kriskan Afternoons contains Amir Hasan-Zadeh’s memories about Islamic republic era and fighting Komole. This book includes 28 chapters that are introduced in the index: in introduction, first: Saeed, second Sa’da , forth sad shadow, fifth: Mirabad, sixth: latent way, seventh: Bardesor (slavery) , eighth: clement month , ninth: clearance, tenth: family, eleventh: Allan, twelfth: silent colleague , thirteenth:  stove , stove’s ball, fourteenth: vesting bud, fifteenth: chemical, sixteenth: Ali’s flight, seventeenth: Kriskan, eighteenth: first meeting, nineteenth: interim grave, twentieth: please tell me a story mother  , twenty-first: afternoon’s tea, twenty-second: biting wind, twenty-third: goodbye Sa’da ,twenty- forth: God’s punishment, twenty-fifth: Sanjagh  alley, twenty- sixth : complexion, twenty- seventh: Mr. teacher,  twenty-eighth : mails, photos and documents.

Third chapter titled Mostafa is lost. Every reader expects to see a complete index but this book does not meet this expectation. The topics for the chapters were so simple and these topics do not help the readers to understand the subjects of those chapters so it was possible to omit these topics. Contrary to the topics of the chapters, the topic of the book itself was properly selected .The topic of the book is so beautiful, nice and relevant to subject of the book. Kriskan area is located in Doolebadran, a region with impassable glen located in Gandil Mountain, which was the camp of Komole members. Amir Saeed-Zade was imprisoned there. Kriskan Afternoons is about the people executed there in the afternoons. This topic suggests many things.

 The first chapter in Kriskan Afternoons is titled Saeed. This chapter explains about how he was arrested by SAVAK (Iranian intelligence service before revolution) and later released .He escaped from prison in Sardasht and later settled in Bane. Bane is the city where Saeed married.  Next chapter explains about how Saeed get familiar with Sa’da. The next chapters are about their marriage and Saeed started fighting with Komole. The first time he was arrested when he was taking photo from Komole’s camp in Rabt. This book is about the events during his life before Islamic Revolution and his captivity era, his releasement in Tir 3rd 1374 (1995) and finally his family’s hard days.

Kriskan Afternoons is not just restricted to the story of Saeed Amir-Zadeh but includes the story of a part of Iranian history when the people in Kurdistan are divided into 3 groups.” One group supported Komole, the other supported Demokrat[2] and the last group was neutral and open. This group was burdened with the responsibility of fighting anti- revolution forces and they had to pay money to all little groups. 

 Each little opposition group tries to weaken the rival opposition group, and the rival group rubes the supporters’ wealth of those people neutral because the supporters of the rival group are protected. In this case no body was able to protest.” 

Kriskan Afternoons is not a novel but is narrated in a narrative model so if it was written in a more beautiful prose, it was more attractive to the readers. It is possible to rewrite this book by the help of some editors.

This book has an introduction but the process of publication and collection the memories are not introduced. Activity in oral memories is a complicated process due to problems in finding data, sources and the peoples who cannot recall their memories exactly. If these problems introduced in the introduction, the readers would be able to accompany the writher.

Saeed and Sa’da narrate the next chapters alternately. Womanly narration accompanies manly narration. The woman narrates women’s life without husband; about the days, she went to visit her husband and about the lonely days, she experienced. The man narrates the events in the Komole’s prisons, tortures, humility and insult. 

The climax of the parallel narration appears in chapters 26 and 27 when they meet each other after a long time. In chapter, “Complexion” Sa’da narrates: “it was crowded. Thousands had come to welcome Saeed, making it hard for me to close him. All of a sudden I decided to break through the crowd and embraced him.”

The same event was narrated by Saeed in the next chapter:” The whole street was illuminated and fully crowded. My eyes were eagerly looking for Sa’da. While seeing her, I was in doubt the way I should treat her. But Sa’da didn’t hesitate to embrace me and burst into cry.”

There are some correspondences by Amir Saeed-Zadeh in the appendix. He writes one of these letters to his wife when he was in Demokrat custody in 1371 (1992) reads: please take care of the children more ever. Of course, ther is no need to say this, as I know you well. However, I ask you to protect my sisters especially Ziba and Yadegar from any deviation. These are your Islamic and human duties.”

At the end of the book, we see some pictures of the family and co-fighters of Saeed-Zadeh   there are some paintings one of which portraits Saeed with his wife. The two stand side by side in a way that they seem to be in a Gobelin tableau. Both seem to be happy. They are part of the pattern in the wrapper, “Kriskan Afternoons”.  


Kriskan Afternoons, / Amir Saeed Zade/narration writer: Kianoush Golzar Ragheb/ Sore Mehr Publication/ 280 pages


[1] An Iranian Kurdish opposition party 

[2] An Iranian Kurdish opposition party 


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