Nowruz (Iranian New Year) memories of Ghulam Hussain Darbandi

Sacrifice in Farvardin (April)

Mehdi Khanbanpoor
Translated by Fazel Shirzad


Note: General Ghulam Hussain Darbandi was a combat clinic commander of the armored army 92 of Khuzestan during the Iraq imposed war against Iran. Now, he is a member of the Board of Education of war teachings martyr’s General Ali Sayad Shirazi and Committee Chairman of Staff narrators of Rahian Noor (light Passengers). Then, you will read his memories about some Nowruz days that he spent in holy war time.  


We will never forget you

In frontage of war, all sought “best feeling”, that we used to pray in moment of New Year, and they were trying to change their feeling in best and good wishes. They understood the meaning of this prayer better than other days when we were in the house and with woman and children. In frontage of war, all were trying to overtake in all work i.e. in charity, sacrifice, abnegation and forgiveness. They showed verve and vitality during the New Year that was in bunkers and battlefields. They collected the customary things in there to order the Haft Seen (seven items) like barbed wire, stone, ramrod, needles and whistles. They put the pictures of their friends, who were with them or died in war, besides the other items. They wanted to say we never forget you.


The first experience

I remember that the first Nowruz, when we were in war, was in 1360 (1981). A few days before that moment, we were in a village called Hufel where was in north of Karkheh Kur and Susangerd city and near of Dehlavie. We were preparing to do war operation (a military campaign) and making free the Allāhu Akbar Mountains from Iraqis in the north of Susangerd. It was first Nowruz; the friend did not know what to do. However, the operation was conducted after detection on 31th Ordibehesht 1360 (May 1981) that led to success. Brigade 3 of Ahvaz army was a spearhead of the operation.

In the year 1360, when New-year was started, friends came out of bunkers and began to shoot in the air and cheer. Iraqis soldiers thought we were going to attack them, so they dropped heavy fire on our heads. All the friends went to the bunkers. We regularly were under the fire of tanks, artillery and mortars for several hours, and so we told the friends that you didn’t shoot. It became a experience for next years. Before the New-Year, commanders corresponded that they should not shoot in air, shouldn’t go to around area, should not leave the bunker and did not gather in one place. So they would hold the New Year in bunker.


Two other Nowruz in War

Years later, in 1361, we had finished war operation Tariq al-Qods, we were readying for Operation Fath ol-Mobin. The operation was done in the midnight. The friends were sent to Ahvaz, they bought sweets and fruits. Now you suppose that New Year is coming, and there is anxiety and stress of war operations that we want to start operation in that night. We do not know what's going to happen; Meanwhile, enemy attacked us from Reghabieh in nights of 29th Esfand (March) and wanted to take there but failed to come front by fortitude and resilience of Airborne Brigade 55 and Revolutionary Guards(Sepah). In there, Iranians got so many casualties and enemy had failed to come front. But the operation was leaked anyway, and orders of our forces had discovered. In this condition, the New Year was also begun.  We ate sweets, congratulated each other, we embraced each other, but we were worried about that which one of us won’t be there us until tomorrow. This concern was in our heart, even when we hug, embraced, kissed, congratulated each other. Of course, New Year occurred at same time with Fatemiyeh days in 1361 (1982) and the friends respected it, and tried to be calm.

Operation Fath ol-Mobin was done by password “Ya Zahra” (Peace be upon her), and although the operation was leaked, we saw how good and shiny successes we achieve in the month of Farvardin and all friends were cheering. So that Imam Khomeini in a message on the occasion of the Operation Fath ol-Mobin said that “I kiss your hands and arms because hands of angels are on them, and I proud of it” and this make us more happy when Imam had expressed his satisfaction from performance of warriors.

Three years later in Esfand (March) 1362, we had done an operation called Operation Khyber, and captured the North and South Islands of Majnun, we were very happy. I remember that I was in Camp Komeil during days of New Year in 1362 where we made a Lab Hur al- azim (waterside). We were with Gholamreza Toroq who was commander of Shahadat battalion and one of our very remarkable, notable and good martyrs.  He came and we held the ceremony for beginning the New Year while we were pleasing for victory in Operation Khyber and captured the North and South Island of Majnun, and we were sending part of troops to Island. I remember, it was the nights of New Year, a hovercraft had come there, actually it have been brought to Lab Hur al- azim hardly, and wanted to ride a battalion and sent it to the Island. Hovercraft is a monster, is an airship, they saw that it was impossible to do, and both its body is very huge and its voice is very high, and is visibility.  Both planes can shoot it and it can be shot at night; so it was weeded out. That year also passed in this way.


Let’s remember the martyrs of Farvardin more

Next year, 1363 (1984), we were in Jafir and Talaieh. Our bunkers were there. We were there with various opportunities and New Year’s days. I will remember brothers who were martyred at this time or wounded and disabled and were the New Year’s Days in hospital. If they were died in hospital, it would be a huge disaster for their family. You are doing nice work to publish Nowruz memories. In coordination with the Martyr Foundation, see that; who were martyred in first day of Farvardin, among Army Troops and the Revolutionary Guards, the Basij, from all people, and find their numbers, and it will be good work if we remember them.

I’ll give one instance, one of our great martyrs, who had created many epics in frontage of war, was the brave martyr pilot Hossein Khalatbari that was martyred in the first day of Farvardin 1364 (April 1985).  He was both in 140 plane missions and in next operations. He was also in attack operation on H3.  He sacrificed enough in the Persian Gulf, the ship escorts and attack on the frigates of enemy that Abbas Doran was in the back cabin of plane, so he was known as Hossein maverick. Because Maverick shoots the rockets, so he was known as War Marine hero. He was martyred in in Sonqor. Until a few years ago, a memorial had not held for him still. Because people are seeking apples, samanu, sumac, coins and Sorb in first days of Farvardin, nobody thinks to hold memorial. Finally a good memorial held in Ramsar city, and thanks to God that his family had come there and restated the memories of this honorable martyr.

That honorable martyr looked the war much humanly and Islamic. So, when he shot the target in a abroad mission, when he wanted to shoot a bridge and saw a car was passing and a boy shacked his hand, he thought by himself; he wrote In his memoirs that I thought if enemy planes comes in our city, and shoot my house and my boy is died, what will be happened for me?  My family is a bad situation now, so he thought he would go to sky and turn around once, the car would be passed over the bridge then I will shoot the bridge. Turning around sky means encounter to shoot thousands anti-aircraft bullet, shoot tens of missiles and become a target for anti-aircraft guns and endanger life for keep a family of dangerous, not a Iranian a family, but  a enemy family. We had such persons. I finish my words with a beautiful sentence of his will that you will see everything exist in it; Honor, manhood, commitment, agreement with Wilayat al-Faqih (Protector Ship of the Islamic Jurists) Sacrifice for homeland.  He wrote in his will; “If a particle of my country’s soil sticks on foot of enemy troops, I will wash it with my blood, and I’ll never let enemy enter it to his country”. He wanted to say I am so ready to sacrifice. He said in another sentence: “If I have something better than my life, I will forgive it for my nation”. In any case, we cherish and remember the martyr and the other martyrs, especially martyrs who were died at beginning of Farvardin, whether in the frontage of war or in different war operations, and it is natural that they were paid less attention. Because, everyone is busy to visit together and provide the haft-seen table, they less attention to hold memorial for martyrs, besides the families who sit down together, it is better to remember martyrs and put their picture on the wall.  It is citable that our nation in these days appreciates families, who their loved ones were martyred in Farvardin. It is natural that all families of martyrs should be appreciated. They should be more considered because they have more deprivation due to martyrdom history of their martyrs.

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