We also reminisce about this city in the month of Aban (October

Along with Khorramshahr

Elham Saleh
Translated by Fazel Shirzad


Note: On 3th June of every year, we say and write about Khorramshahr because it is a great day for freedom of the city. But the early days of the month Aban are reminiscent of Khorramshahr and high degree of strength of the defenders. That is why, we talk about four books relate to events of Khorramshahr during the years of Iraqi imposed war against Iran.


The eyes of Khorramshahr in tears

The deeds of valor cannot be simply ignored. During the Iraqi imposed war against Iran, the pains and the trials of people cannot and should not be forgotten. Books can keep alive the memoirs of that time. The book "Along with Rain"[1] [1] is one of such books. In two reports, the condition of the war zone in years 1367 and 1368 (1988-1989) is written in this book. First report is named" Along with Rain" and compiled in 1367, and second report is named" Ten Meters to Lily" and compiled in 1368. These reports are an attempt to express a part of an oral history of war.

The book" Along with Rain", in terms of content, can be divided into two parts, but the most important feature should be noted initially. The beautiful prose of book is the most important feature in as much as this prose get along with reader whether s/he want it to or not. This this literary prose can be seen in both reports. The book consists of two contents in each report. The first content is a description of the situation in Abadan and Khorramshahr. The situations that created by the war and remained works are described by the authors well.

The authors have described the cities, were involved in war, as it must be described.  When reporters of book attended in these cities in 1367 and 1368, the remained effects of war could be seen clearly in various parts of cities. Customs House of Khorramshahr was one of such places; "The Customs House of Khorramshahr was behind us; it was a silent and destroyed dock. The building of Customs has been leaked by purposeful shoots. The custom of Khorramshahr will never forget the armed bandits who had worn uniforms after several centuries."

Abadan was not also kept away from the war;" Abadan is started by destruction, exactly such as Khorramshahr. But the worker of oil company with blue clothes and industrial bodies tried to screw the nut "Abad" with "A and N" to turn on the light of life in Berim where is silent and dark.


As stated by eyewitnesses

In the book, reporters did not only rely on his observations, but they went to see eyewitnesses to narrate the events as they stated, and second content of the book is dedicated to these memoirs. Some of these narrators are living in cities and they have experienced war in childhood. Mr. Mahmoud is one of them:" the war was begun when I was ten. After a few days, schools would be opened. One day before school, my mother and I went to market to buy school supplies. I also bought a red bag for the new school year. I loved it, but ... but today our house have been abandoned and destroyed. Most parts of the house have been burned, and its vegetable garden cannot be recognized.

Some of these narrators are peers such as Hussein Tashkeh, the servant of the mosque Musá ibn Ja‘far (PBHM): "When Iraqi planes came to bomb Abadan, I was repairing the tire of a bike. It was my job. Sometimes I used to repair an engine, I had a shop. Few days ago, friends had some news about the war, but when Abadan was bombed by Iraqi forces, I found that the war was officially started. Then mortars were brought to Abadan. We did not know what the mortar is."

Besides these memoirs, that are oral histories of people's resistance in the cities of Khuzestan province, resistance of these people are also expressed:" The Radio guided the people and appeal for help from all the people. The city was in disarray. All of people, as policemen, common people and women were behind them, went to fight.

In the some parts of the book " Along with Rain," the quotes from Iraqi prisoners about the people's goods taken and looted by Iraqi soldiers in this city, have also been mentioned; the quotes are part of oral history of eight years of sacred defense, and it shows an oppression was enforced on the people of Khorramshahr during the war: " The property of the oppressed Muslim people also was robbed brutally. If I going to tell you about it, I won't even describe a thousandth goods what has been looted.   It was also a problem for commanders [Saddam’s army], because they weren't able to control over robbing the loots and people's properties of Khorramshahr. Many of the militants achieved a large amount of wealth and property; therefor, they did not want to serve in the army."


A commentary from Ayatollah Khamenei

 Ayatollah Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Islamic Revolution, has written a commentary on the book "Along with Rain" as follows:

"Both of the written texts are easy to understand, sentimental, compassionate and artistic ones. Thanks for Dear writers who narrate not only the words of people of a city lovely and compassionately, but also they narrate the words of people of a country. Our history will praise not only Khorramshahr and its young people and resistant parents, but also it will praise the claimant and truthful people with awareness heart and conscience, because they did not allow the great jihad events (the holy war) to be lost among the current nonsense and frivolity words. Peace be upon Behboodi and Sarhangi… and followers .3th Ramadan 1412 / 18th Esfand 1370. "


Khorramshahr, shortly after the war

Many parts of the book "Along with Rain" are involved with some beautiful descriptions for a city where had changed by attack of enemy:" feet are slowly being dragged on the road. The streets are filled by blisters that injured by unfair bullets. There are not any standing walls. The bricks of walls are ready to fall. On the contrary, the blossoms are waking up, all the ceilings are asleep. The dead ended alleys are opened. Doors don’t have couple. The blue plaques on the wall show that there are water and electricity. Pools are buried with fishes. Roofs are changed as a yard. Windows are blind. Corridors don’t lead to any room. The ceiling fan, without wings, is like a hung a wand.  Those are not glass for windows. Curtains could be existed there…"


The narration of resistance

Each year, we celebrate on 3th of Khordad (23th May), the anniversary of the liberation of Khorramshahr, to remember how the people of city resisted. The liberation of Khorramshahr is named as a milestone in the history of the Sacred Defense.  The city, due to efforts and sacrifices of people and fighters, could resist for 45 days in months Mehr and Aban 1359 (in September and October 1980). Although it was captured by the enemy for a while, finally it was released on 3th Khordad. Perhaps, the pains that were enforced on the people of this city and efforts for liberalization have been forgotten over times; therefore, the book is able to remember these events. The books" Occupation; thirteenth picture "and" bloody city book" are two examples of books for publication "the Narration of a Victory" dedicated to this issue.

The book "The occupation; thirteenth picture" is about 45 days of resistance in Khorramshahr. This book is one of the series of books "Close Narration". This series of books describe the events during the war and trying to be closed the reader. But, how come the books come close to the readers? Some feature are considered to come close to the reader; Simple words, being kept the subject of book among words, and complicated sentences, readable texts, accessible subject, and it tried to be supposed the reader attended in the event.

The book "Occupation; Thirteen Picture" is second volume of the series books" Close Narration", and it is about resistance of the people of Khorramshahr. In this book, 445 days of resistance is narrated I the perspective of memoir. These memoirs belongs some fighters who were fighting in Khorramshahr.

As mentioned in the introduction of the book, the memoirs of the book are not all events took place in Khorramshahr, but these show part of people's resistance in Khorramshahr.  

The book "Occupation; Thirteen Picture", at the beginning of each chapters, is decorated by some photos; tanks of Iraqi forces, the photo of destroyed mosque in Khorramshahr , the photo of fighters who were standing behind of wall and defending there… . One of the best photos is that shows the women who attended in Khorramshahr, and helped to defend the city. The photos of a woman, with a long veil, have a gun in hand alongside the men to keep her city "Khorramshahr ".

The memoirs of book are bout people’s resistance, either women or men, in Khorramshahr. All of people wanted to stay and defend; "old man and women forced to go Abadan, because it was safer than other cities. The Iraqi forces captured the roads from Khorramshahr and Abadan to Ahvaz. However, some of women and girls stayed there.  They didn’t want to go; they insisted that whenever other went, we would leave here. They liked to fight. What can I say?

People liked to stay in the city, Iraqi equipment were incomparable with Iranian ones. Iranian forces were fighting by gun, but Iraqi forces were fighting by tank and mortar: "There weren’t any person on the sides of road Iraqi forces closed the all sides of road and police station by bullet of tank and mortar. Iraqi forces shot there all day. There weren’t any Iraqi soldier; there were just bullet of Tank and mortars. Everybody wanted to find a place to be safe, but there wasn’t any safe place; because, a lot of bullets were shooting there. It was possible everyone to be injured; under ceiling, under sky and elsewhere.

The Iraqi forces thought that they can capture Khorramshahr easily.  But, in the book "Occupation; Thirteen Picture", it is stated word by word, that they were in wrong; "the Iraqi forces tried hard to capture Custom House, but they weren’t able do it. They attacked there from all sides. But Iranian soldiers moved in a way to stay behind of Iraqi forces; so, they left again Custom House. In fact, they left there about ten times. 

The book "Occupation; Thirteen Picture" consists of thirteen chapters and 110 pages and it has published in 1387 (2008).


Khorramshahr; one hundred memoirs

The book "bloody city book" is seventieth volume of series books "Days". ' days" is name of series books that show some pictures on the frame of edited memoirs to explore the days for whom didn’t attend in the war, and also it is to remember the events of war for whom experienced the war. As the book" "Occupation; Thirteen Picture", the book "blood city book" also speak about 45 days resistance of Khorramshahr. These memoirs are written on the frame of hundred memoirs whose source is audio and video tapes of institution" the narration of victory".

Although the narrator is unknown, the events related to resistance are written based on these memoirs: "we arrived to a tall wall. The alley was dead ended one. We stayed there, because there was no way.  It was night. The Iraqi forces were looking for us. We hadn’t enough time. We said "Ya ALI" and stand up. We climbed a wall, and then jumped another side of the wall. Next morning, we came back there to see where we were last night. We didn’t believe; the wall was tall and with smooth surface.

In those days, everybody helped the resistance of Khorramshahr in own way. The people want to fight against Iraq without equipment. But some should be responsible for other works. Cooking for fighters and people who had stayed in Khorramshahr was one of the works: "I was standing in a line to take gun, General Sharif al-Nasab came there. He took my hand and drew me aside. He knew that I was able to coo. He said me: "now, cooking is best work for you. We need foods to give fighters." We talk together. Therefore, I went to kitchen of masque. I work there until the peace was made.

The book "bloody city book", with 112 pages, has been compiled by Laya Razaq Zadeh and published in 2009.


Unknown narrators

The book "Occupation; Thirteen Picture" and " bloody city book" are published by publication "the narration of victory" common of books is narration of people's resistance in Khorramshahr.  Interestingly, none of narrators of the books is known. The book "Occupation; Thirteen Picture" has a simple designed cover; a dark yellow cover that name of  the book and sign of publication " the narration of victory" with a brown color are placed in middle of it. On the cover of the book, the phrase '' Close Narration" is written without color. The book "bloody city" like other series book "days" has a write color. The topic of book is written on the cover with a red color, and the with words' days" also can be seen in a red frame. The cover of the book is decorated by white and black pictures of a public mosque in Khorramshahr. The book "Occupation; Thirteen Picture" has an announcement list, but the book "bloody city book" doesn’t have. Among pages of the book "Occupation; Thirteen Picture", some white and black picture are used, and the text of different chapters is longer than text in the book "bloody city book". There is not any picture in the book "bloody city"(except in first pages), but the texts are shorter and can be read quickly.

45 days of people's resistance is narrated differently in both of books. But the memoirs are used to compile the book. It means that all published memoirs are real ones and based on the oral and pictorial memoirs in the archive section of publication "the narration of victory". It shows that this publication aware of important audio and video archive and role of memoir to develop oral history.

The oral history of eight years of sacred defense can be developed by such memoirs.


The liberation of the most beautiful (as a bride) city

Design of book's cover is more considerable point, a grey cover v with the picture of public mosque of Khorramshahr where some sentence such as "Salam Khorramshahr" can be seen on. On top of the cover, the plaques of fighters are designed. The topic of the book also is written by Nastaliq font on the grey color. The color of topic is black and dots are red; "a Nineveh on the bank of Karun river". [2]This design of the cover is a major factor of book and it is as a gate for readers.


18 fighters, 18 memoirs

The book" a Nineveh on bank of Karun River" is about the memoirs of some Ardabil's fighters in operation Beit-ol-Moqaddas and the liberation of Khorramshahr. In this book, 18 memoirs of 18 fighters are mentioned. Each of the memoirs has a topic, and the name of book is derived from one of the topics. The name of narrators are mentioned in the list of book; Samad Agha Gholizadeh , General Mustafa Akbari, Ghader Takrim, Neeyat  Tizchang, Ahmad Jabar Moghadam, Muharam Hagh Vardi Zadeh, Ali Khodadoust, Keramat Khodai, Seyed Fatah Dorostkar, Enshalalh Dunyavi, Habib Dahaz Dolatabadi, Asghar Zakipoor, Kazem Zare Vali Muhammadi, Javad Zanjani, Ebrahim Shujai, Akbar Sabor, Taher Issa zadeh, Abdul Hassan Ghafari.

Khorramshahr had been beautiful city before the Iraq imposed war against Iran, but it was destroyed in the war. Mehdi Ghuli Nabizadeh believes that it was as a bride of cities. He speaks about his imagination before the war and after the liberation: "Rose flowers, walls covered by green branch. Green yards and palm tree with a lot of date. Garden rocket were hung out on the wall. Khorramshahr was like a paradise and bride of city actually. We entered into Khorramshahr by protection of Iranian fighters. It was not Khorramshahr; it was a destroyed place where blood was dropping from sky.

The people who were from Ardabil and attended in the near of operation Beit-ol-Moqaddas, told their memoir about this event. Hojatoleslam Mozafari went vocation and he, in his memoirs, speaks about the most of Ardabil's people when they heard the news of the liberation: "after 15 days, I took a vacation and came back Ardabil. In those days, I heard from radio that the fighters liberated Hamidieh.  I was very happy and wondering. When Khorramshahr was liberalized, I was in Ardabil; all of the people came out and a great cheer went up from the crowed.

Some memoirs are told by Ebrahim Shojaee about discovering the mines in the alleys of Khorramshahr. He was a destructor and was as a Saqa and responsible for giving the water to fighters on 30 Ordibehesht 1361(May 1980), after going to Khorramshahr, his memoirs about the mines are mentioned as fallow: "in the alley, I saw that there were a lot of mines, and I wasn't able to go inside and clean the mines; therefore, I found some tires and rolled them, one by one, towards the end of alley. As the tires were moving, the mines bombed. I cleaned and opened the alley in this way"

Some of these memoirs are daily memoirs. The memoirs of Taher Issa Zadeh named "daily memoirs of victory" (of course, daily memoirs consists of connected issues, but these memoirs are not daily one), the memoirs of Issa Zadeh are started on Thursday 28th Farvardin 1360 (17th April 1981), and last memoir is on Saturday 23 Ordibehesht 1367(13 may 1988). 

He tells one of his memoirs on Friday 21th Ordibehesht 1361(11th may 1981): "we were sent again to another earthwork. Finally, we stayed in an earthwork where Iraqi forces were in front of us, and they shot us by mortars and antiaircraft at 2:30, we were informed that we should go ahead. "     

Last memoir of Issa Zadeh is about hospitalization in hospital of Mashhad; a memoir on Thursday 23 Ordibehesht 1361(1982): "here is Shariati hospital of Mashhad city. I was sent to Mashhad city. I’m Taher Issa Zadeh, and I'm injured in war. Nader Chehreh Barghi is my best friend and he was martyred in the ware. He was as brother for me.


Oral memoirs

"A Nineveh on the bank of Karun River" is a book in the frame of memoirs about memoir of Ardabil's fighters in the liberation of Khorramshahr of each operations and current condition of fighters in narrated in each of memoirs. The chapter of picture consists of picture of fighter of Ardabil in the war.

"A Nineveh on the bank of Karun River" is valuable book, but I wish, writing, editing and even technical principle of it were considered more. A lot of typing errors can be seen in this book. Some of problem to design of cover consists: writing one word in one line, and others words in another line (128), one empty page among the typed pages of the book (165).

The book "A Nineveh on the bank of Karun River" is to narrate the courage of Ardabil's fighters in liberation of Khorramshahr. 87 fighters of Ardabil were martyred in operation Beit-ol-Moqaddas that their names are mentioned in the first pages and some of the martyrs of Ardabil cities are mentioned in a table separately.


[1] - Morteza Sarhangi, Hidayatollah Behbodi, "Along with Rain": two reports of Khorramshahr, 54 pages, Tehran: Office of Literature and Art of Resistance and Mehr Sura Publication Company twenty-second edition: 1394(2015).  

[2] - "A Nineveh on the bank of Karun River"; the collective memories of Ardabil's fighters in operation Beit-ol-Moqaddas  (the liberation of Khorramshahr), writer of memoir: Parry Akhteh, Ardabil: line eight: according to the Foundation for Preservation of Works and Values of  Sacred Defense, 183 pp., First edition: 1395(2016)


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