Woman narration of personalities and lives of great men in Islamic revolution and war

Ghada Jabber Memories of Her Husband "Martyr Chamran"

Jafar Golshan Roghani
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad


"I remember, I was accompanying him on one of his trips to the countryside. He gave me a gift inside the car. It was his first gift to me and we were not married yet. I was very happy and opened it there. I saw a scarf. A red scarf with large flowers. I was shocked, but he smiled and said sweetly: "My comrades like to see you in a scarf." Since then, I have been wearing a scarf. I knew that the comrades would say Mustafa why you brought a woman, who did not wear hijab[1], to the institution. But it was strange to me that Mustafa tried so hard to bring me closer to the comrades. He said the comrades: she was very good, you are wrong. She comes to institution for you, but she want to learn from you. God willing, we will teach her ourselves. Chamran did not say that her hijab was not correct, she was not like us, her family and relatives were not like us; therefore, his words impressed me. He helped me step by step, like a little child, to walk, and brought me to Islam. "For nine months ... we had nine beautiful months together and then we got married." (P. 18)

These sentences are part of the memoirs of the wife of one of the most famous and prominent political and military figures of Iran during the revolution and the war; A man whose stories of bravery, masculinity, courage, bravery, management and command in the most difficult days after the victory of the Islamic Revolution until his martyrdom on 11th June 1981, have been heard and read; manly narration and memories from the words of his lovely friends, colleagues and comrades. But we never imagined that there was such a gentle and delicate soul within such a strong and firm man in the field of struggle and war and fire and blood, to choose so lovingly a wife and became a nice propagandist of Islam from the first hours of her acquaintance with her.

Ghada Jaber, who later had the last surname" Ghada Chamran" on her Iranian identity card, is one of the women who narrated some of her memories from her lifetime with her husband some years ago; a narration that reveal some dimensions of his personality, behavior, speech, feelings and emotions of martyr Mostafa Chamran. The angles that our history needs them a lot in order to better introduce its heroes, elders, Islamic indigenous and national well-known persons to all human beings. In the meantime, oral history served to record the unwritten and unspoken history of the great men of this country and expressed them in a interview with the wife of martyr Chamran that she lived with him for 4 years. Although this amount of utterances from Ghada Jaber is not enough, it is very valuable treasure of personal and hidden data of Chamran's personality in relation to his wife and his private and personal life, which is unique. The value of this information and data reminds us that it is necessary to go to their families and capture the untold memories of many mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, wives and children in order to know all the dimensions of the existence of the prominent personalities of this country, especially the men of the revolution and the war, and remain these memoirs as a treasure of history of these great people so that these complete anecdotes, narrations and various examples will be available as a life-model for everyone want to know the different aspects of their personality.

In the first volume of the series books entitled "Half-hidden Moon", the wife of martyr Chamran has expressed her memories, and in this way she introduced herself and her husband to readers. According to her, her grandmother had immigrated from Tyre[2] to Palestine; she was a believer and wore hijab and held homily for Imam Hossein(PBUM) in her house and was always praying.. He was the one who raised Ghada; A Lebanese girl was born in Lagos, the capital of Nigeria, because her father "Jaber" used to go China and Africa for trading. She grew up in a complete well-being; he used to buy and prepare the clothes and needed accessories from Paris and London. She was a woman of reading, poetry and writing. She published a book and wrote poetry on Islam and lamentable situation of Lebanon as a result of war. Apparently, beautiful and luxurious two-floor villa in front of Mediterranean Sea in the city of Tyre had made him a writer and poet. She had been teaching in a high school for some time. It was at this time that she met with Imam Musa Sadr, the speaker of the Lebanese Supreme Islamic Shia Council; here she was asked to work with the in orphanage where she met with man who later became her husband; A man who had previously been married and had four children living in the United States. The man was 20 years older than her, an Iranian, and a man of war, struggle, and military training.

In her first meeting with her future husband, Ghada was shocked by his good manners, his power of speech, his thinking, his artistry, and his feelings. "He talks like a person who has known me for a long time ... Mustafa brought a calendar like the one that Seyed Gharavi gave me a few weeks ago. I looked and said him that I had already seen it. Mustafa said: "Have you seen all the paintings? Which one did you like the most?" I replied:" Candle. The candle impressed me a lot. He caught his attention hard and asked emphatically: Candle? Why candles? I cried automatically and said: "I do not know. This candle, this light, seems to be in my existence. I did not think anyone could understand and show the meaning of the candle and self-sacrifice so beautifully". Mustafa said "I did not think a Lebanese girl could understand the candle and its meaning so well". I asked him: "who painted it? I would like to see and get to know him. Mustafa said:" I did." More than the moment when I saw his smile and face, I wondered: Have you painted?! Mustafa said:" Yes, I did". I said:" you are living in war, how can do it?! I do not think you have such feeling a lot." Then something stranger happened; Mustafa began to read my writings. He said: "I have read everything you have written and I have flown away with your soul. And his tears fell down. This was our first meeting and it was very beautiful" (pp. 16 and 17)

Ghada became attached to Mustafa Chamran; A man with a great and free soul from the world and his belongings. But these things were of no value to Ghada's family. They opposed Mustafa Chamran because he had nothing in the world; No money, no house, no living facilities. "In Lebanese society, the value of people is their appearance and their money. Someone is respected for wearing stylish clothes, and if s/he is a doctor, he must have a expensive car. Mustafa finally proposed to Ghada through Seyyed Gharavi that he faced opposition from his family. Imam Musa Sadr came and guaranteed him. However, Ghada was still insistent on getting married with Mustafa but her family opposed it. "I had decided to get married with Mustafa at any cost. I thought we would finally get married with the permission of Mr. Sadr, who is the Shari'a judge (ruler of law). But Mustafa was against it. He insisted that, with all the pressures, we should get married with the permission of my parents. He said: "Try to satisfy them with love and kindness. I do not want to marry you and upset your parents. With all his feelings and personality, he respected my parents. He insisted that the parents should not be harassed in this case." (P. 20)

Ghada finally stood against the opinion of her family and announced that she would get married with Mustafa after two days. His father was satisfied, but his mother was still strongly opposed. Ghada said: "Mustafa is great, he is gentle and loves the family of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad,. I also love all them"(p. 23). Ghada was so stunned by Chamran's personality, demeanor, and character that he did not realize that he was bald and had no hair until two months after her marriage. Their wedding party was without luxuries and with a few relatives of Ghada and a few relatives of Imam Musa Sadr as guests of groom.

Ghada's mother still did not allow her daughter to go to the groom's house, and she insisted that Ghada divorce Chamran to such an extent that a verbal dispute raised. But after her mother's illness, Mustafa Chamran helped her and saved her from the fire of Israel and took her to Beirut, and hospitalized her and asked Ghada to stay with her mother for a week in the hospital. He went to the hospital whenever he could. it caused that Chamran impressed Ghana's  mother and obtained the consent of her to bring bride to the groom's house. After the mother recovered, Ghana was scheduled to go to her husband's house. On promised day, Mustafa "took my hand and kissed it before switching his car on." He kissed me and thanked me as he cried. I was saying why Mustafa? "He said that the hand that has served his mother all these days is sacred to me and you should kiss it." (P. 28) Ghada's mother, however, made Chamran a promise that, as long as he was alive and as in the days when her daughter was not married, he should make her bed in the morning when she woke up, and bring a glass of milk and coffee on her bed tray. Chamran kept the promise faithful until his martyrdom.

After getting married and attending the two rooms of an Orphans’ School with 400 orphans, as a husband home, Ghada gradually knew more about Chamran's personality. Chamran’s cries and his love for the orphaned Shiite children was one of his features. Also, due to Imam Musa Sadr's words for Chamran, Ghada became acquainted with another world of her husband's spirit and humility, and she found how  much deep attachments are between the two. "You are married to a great man. God has given you the greatest thing in the world, you should appreciate God."(p. 32) Ghada understood the meaning of these words more in the days of the bombing of cities by the Zionist regime; When Chamran refused to leave the orphanage, which was also the base of the Amal guerrilla station,  and leave fighting against the Zionist Israelis. He stayed, resisted and fought, and of course he was overwhelmed by the divine love and the sunset of sea in Tyre because of beauties created by God.  In the middle of death, he realized the power of God and the beauty of the sunset, and he was not afraid of death at all. It is mentioend in his writings:" I go toward the Queen of Death to embrace her but she runs away from me. The highest pleasure is the joy of death and to be killed for God." (P. 34) Following the victory of Islamic Revolution in Iran, Ghada and Chamran and other devotees of Shiite Iran celebrated, but a short time later, on a very painful and tearful day, she was forced to agree to Chamran's departure to Iran. A few days later, he received a letter in which Chamran wrote: "The Imam has asked me to stay here and I will stay. I may be able to help people more in Iran than in Lebanon." (P. 35) Of course, after a while, Ghada came to Iran; it was repeated several times until the event of Kurdistan was occurred in 1979. This time Ghada also came to Iran. He had heard that Chamran was fighting hard against the counter-revolution in Paveh[3]. He himself was waiting for Ghada to arrive and had sent one of his friends to take her to his headquarters. When I arrived there, Paveh had been released. Mustafa was not there. I saw him the next day. When he arrived, he was wearing the same war uniform and it was dirty. I reminded Lebanon. I thought the story of Kalashnikov and Mustafa's war uniform was over in Iran, but I found that it was not. As if, Paveh was another Lebanon! Mustafa told me: "I want to stay in Kurdistan to end the problem that is why I wanted you to come here. Because we do not have a house in Tehran and it is better for you to be stay here. He asked me to be careful and write about events, especially for the newspapers of Arab countries. Mustafa used to say and I used to write. I was with him in Kurdistan for about a month ... Of course, we spent most of the days in Marivan[4]. There was nothing for living as well. I didn't even have a place to sleep. It was all a military barracks, and a number of mid-constructed houses that were like chambers but not houses. I slept on the ground in these rooms. Many times I was hungry and the food was watermelon and cheese. I passed very hard days." (Pp. 37 and 38). Ghada returned to Lebanon after the release of Paveh.

Another part of Ghada Jaber's memoirs in this book is related to the presence of about 9 months from the beginning of the imposed war until the martyrdom of Chamran; Hard days but very beautiful and romantic. When the war was began, Chamran quickly reached Ahvaz and settled in the headquarters of irregular wars. Ghada also came to Iran and arrived there by C-130 military plane. In the early days, he worked for Arabic radio and gave Arabic messages. "Many times, for two or four days, I did not know about Mustafa, I could not find him, and then I would receive a small piece of paper in which it was written:" I entrust you to God." He did it in Lebanon as well” (pp. 41, 42). He was wounded during the siege of Susangard[5]. Ghada went to the hospital; when Mustafa was brought from the operating room, she became happy. I prepared myself to move to Tehran and relax for a while. I told Mustafa at night: "are we going to go?" He laughed and said: "I am going not go. If I go to Tehran, the comrades will be weaken morally. If I cannot fight on the frontline, at least, I can stay here and to be share in their hardships."(p. 42).

Ghada did not stop expressing her feelings even when Chamran was hospitalized, and she wanted to take Chamran off the battlefield in any way possible. So, she said to him, "Mustafa, you are mine." he replied: "Everything is beautiful in love. You care about property. I belong to God. This existence belongs to God. I wrote to him: "I wish you would be old once. I am waiting for you to be old so that neither Kalashnikov nor war will take you away from me." And he replied: "This is selfishness. But I love your selfishness ... "(p. 44).

Ghada Jaber remembered her last meeting with her husband well. While she was sitting in the operating room of the Irregular Warfare Headquarters on the evening of June 20, 1981, Chamran suddenly came into room and told that he had returned tonight because of me. After a few romantic sentences that were exchanged between the two, Chamran said: "You need love greater than me, and that is the love of God. You have to reach this stage of evolution where nothing satisfies you except God and the love of God. Now I can go with confidence." Ghada did not understand what Chamran was saying at that time. "During that night, Mustafa was lying on the bed. I thought he was in sleep. I came forward and kissed him ... even when I kissed his foot, he did not move. I felt he was awake but he didn't want to say anything. He kept his eyes closed; it was true. Mustafa said: "I will be martyred tomorrow." I thought he was joking. I said:" how do you know it? He replied:" I asked God for being martyred. I know God will accept my request, but I want you to consent. If you do not consent, I won't become a martyr. This was a big surprise to me. I said: "Mustafa, I don’t give consent and you can't choose fate. Well, whenever God want you to be martyred, I will give consent with God's want and I am waiting for this day. But, why tomorrow?" And he insisted that he left here next day and he want my complete consent. finally he got my consent. I did not know why I gave consent. He gave me a letter that was his will; he told me that it should not be opened it until tomorrow”(pp. 45 and 46). Chamran also offer her two thing. One, she didn't return to her country Lebanon and stay in Iran, and the other is to marry after him. "In the morning, when Mustafa wanted to leave, I prepared his clothes and weapons as usual, and gave him cold water. Mustafa took these and said to me: "You are a very good girl" (p. 47).

Ghada rushed to the hospital when she heard the news of Chamran's martyrdom. She was said that he had been wounded, but she knew that her husband had been martyred. She went straight to the hospital morgue. When Ghada saw his dead body, she said: "God, Accept this sacrifice from me." In Ghada's words: "I felt that God removed many dangers because of the righteous man who, one day, walked in this land in purity" (p. 49). For the last time, she accompanied her husband's body in the mosque, where he was born, and talked with him until morning. "I put my head on his chest and talked to him in the mosque until morning. It was a beautiful night and a difficult farewell" (p. 50).


[1] A hijab is a veil worn by Muslim women in the presence of any male outside of their immediate family, which usually covers the head and chest. The term can refer to any head, face, or body covering worn by Muslim women that conforms to Islamic standards of modesty.

[2]A city in Lebanon

[3] It is a county in Kermanshah Province in Iran

[4] It is a city and the capital of Kurdistan Province, Iran.

[5]It is a city in the Central District of Dasht-e Azadegan County, Khuzestan Province, Iran.

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