The gradual familiarity with a martyred commander in a documentary narrative

Review of the Book Entitled "Humble Cedar"

Fereydun Heydari Molkumian
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad


The book "Humble Cedar" is the biography of General Martyred Mojtaba Karbalaei-Mahdi, written by Meysam Gholampour, and its first edition was published in the spring of 1400 by Mard-e-Naw Publications, in 136 pages and 1000 copies, for 30,000 Toman (Iranian currency).

The contents of the present book respectively include the introductory note by Mohammad Droudian, the introduction written by the author, the main text of the narrative in four chapters, and finally a few pages related to the writings and pictures.  In addition, the design of the cover is appropriate and impressive, as well as the title, and of course, it is taken from the poem that is printed on the back cover of this book (apparently from Fazel Nazari) has added to the book's charms.

The book "Humble Cedar" begins with a useful and concise note by Mohammad Droudian, which illuminates and also adorns the book. Droudian, who himself spent his life in the field of the historiography of the Iran-Iraq war is undoubtedly one of the prominent researchers with many concerns in this field through his lasting writings.

Mr. Droudian's note, as it is mentioned in its title, is an introduction to the fluent and honest narration of the life of martyr Mojtaba Karbalaei-Mahdi, during which he reviews the contents of the book "Humble Cedar" in a wise way. He tries to give a comprehensive picture of it, because, in his opinion, "research on the issues of the Iran-Iraq war in a documented and reasoned way" is fundamentally very important; In addition, "understanding the reality of war and explaining it is fraught with difficulties."(p.7)

In his memoirs, however, he appreciates the courage to write about the martyrs in general, and research and writing about the life of martyr Mojtaba Karbalaei-Mahdi in particular in the form of a fluent text and an honest narration presents his criticism and opinion for each part of the book with remarkable brevity.


■The introduction written by author

According to Mr. Droudian  and as he points out in his note to this book, he has used the research methodology properly in the introduction of the book: "The choice of the divine names for the four chapters of the book has a remarkable harmony with the content of the texts, which is the result of the reflections of the author in the process of researching and writing." (Pp. 7 and 8) Droudian also emphasizes: "This text could not have been achieved without the help of the soul of the great martyr, whose name and way of life, and finally it gave substance to this research and writing of the book."

Although "the subject of the book is the life of martyr Mojtaba Karbalaei-Mahdi, the common characteristic of the life revolution generation in the struggle and victory, then the effort to maintain the system and spread the revolution, can be seen in the book." (P. 8)

Chapter One: He is kind. (From Birth to the Beginning of the Struggle)

This chapter is narrated in several parts, each one has a new title including;  wheat comes from wheat, from childish playfulness to be a helpful person for father, the love began from childhood, the magic of boundless kindness, a boy with mood and Special air and paper love.

"In the first chapter, the evolution of Martyr Mojtaba's life is drawn in the context of political and social conditions, especially the religious environment of Damavand. As the development of the martyr's personality within the family and religious environment and its effects on his moral and individual and social behavior can be seen.

Chapter Two: He is powerful. (Fighting Period)

the titles of different parts of this chapter include" The birth of a fighter, the voice of protest that grew louder than ever, the story of an escape; From Khorramabad to Tajrish, the kindness of a fighter when the game changes.

The second chapter, depicting the thought and life of the martyr with the events of the last days of the fall of the Shah's regime and the victory of the revolution, as well as membership in the revolutionary body of the IRGC, represents a part of the history of the revolution that shows the process of a struggle and its developments. The intersection of individual-social thought and behavior of the revolutionary generation with socio-political events depicts the process of formation of the revolution and its developments; In other words, how the personality and educational structure of individuals can provide the grounds for a revolution in the face of socio-political events and guarantee its victory. The remarkable thing is that if we have the intellectual and personal strength, as well as the will to fight to change the situation by considering its consequence, any political and social change can be made." (P. 8)

Chapter Three: He is righteous. (IRGC, marriage and the beginning of the war)

The titles of the episodes of this chapter include a special army, bad and good aspects of being justice, love and war, friendships that were not changed, a little legal income, the enemy that was coming; Mojtaba who had to go.

"In the third chapter, the thoughts and behavior of the martyr within the IRGC and some other events, including his marriage, are narrated. This chapter, considering the years of political instability and security threats in the country, in which the IRGC, along with other institutions, played a key role in establishing security, reminds us of the sincere thinking, behavior, and efforts of the IRGC revolutionary forces that led Imam Khomeini to declare: "If there was no IRGC, there would be no country," it is very useful. The passage of time and changes in circumstances lead to forgetfulness and a shift in the importance of historical events and issues. Therefore, drawing a part of the culture that governs the IRGC and the IRGC's historical role in the revolution and the war will be useful for the next generation." (P. 9)

Chapter Four: He is alive and immortal. (from dispatch to martyrdom

There are also seven titles of the various parts of the last chapter of the book including Mr. Commander, Bitter New Year's Eve, The Last words; The last meetings, The difficulties of the war, The morning of the tenth day, After Mojtaba.

"In the fourth chapter, the martyrdom of martyr Mojtaba Karbalaei Mehdi is narrated, who was sent to the front during the Fatah al-Mubin operation. Drawing the culture and method of sending warriors from the cities and the moments of leaving all the belongings of life in the city for God's pleasure and consent, apart from remembering those hard and  memorable days, causes regrets of memories by observing the current atmosphere, and we should cry alone in the parting of the “Successful Companions” !" (P. 9)

Last words

Meysam Gholampour, the author of this narrative, points out in the last paragraphs of his introduction that some aspects distinguish this book from other books in this field, and ironically, these aspects that make one expect more or at least newer than other familiar styles and contexts of sacred decadence's book for eager readers. In the narrative of the martyrs’ life, many writers make martyrs so heavenly with their literary prose and mystical professions, that it seems as if they have never set foot on earth. In all stages of writing this book, I tried not to fall into this trap, but the sooner I went and the more I became familiar with martyr Mojtaba in this way, the more details I saw in his thought, speech, and behavior that distinguished him from the others.

This book is the result of my efforts to slowly discover General martyred Mojtaba Karbalaei-Mehdi ... "(p. 16)

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