Protest against the unfavorable situation of Shiraz University

Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan


We religious people who saw these scenes regularly, sat and talked together about the bad situation, and how we could tolerate it; the corruption has spread everywhere and the state of the university has become very unpleasant. Some forty five religious students gathered together and went to the president of the university in order to talk with him. Prior to this, he was the Head of the Farah’s Office and the Court Minister and had a high position; in other words, the President of the Pahlavi University was among the prominent figures of the regime. We had gathered in front of the door of the room of the president. We had to make an appointment to meet with the president of the university. They said that you did not have an appointment and could not enter. We said that we were protesting against the situation of the university and wanted to see him. We knew this was very dangerous; I mean that SAVAK would take action immediately and might harm us, but it was very difficult to tolerate this situation in the university community. Our gathering took place during the month of Ramadan, and we, who were fasting, had to get lunch or dinner and keep it for Suhur (the meal consumed early in the morning by Muslims before fasting). There were no good facilities for keeping and warming food. We stood there for about one hour, until the three of us were finally allowed to meet. Reza Kashani and Engineer Vahdati and I went into the room and talked to the president of the university. I said, "This is a university and an environment for studying, but those who have come here as students from the United States are very arrogant in observing moral principles to the extent that they do not respect the dignity of the Iranian nation, and their behavior is very disgusting. These issues cause the guys to be incited and do not allow them to study, and if this goes on, the university becomes a place for immoral issues and wrongdoings, and you as a good university, want to cultivate science, so you have to bring in scientists and specialists, and they cannot be called as scientists with such appearances. If it was the University of their Own Country, it would not be a problem, but they should not behave like this here." In addition, we raised the issue of Suhur and said, “We are all Muslims in the university and we want to fast. We are told to get Suhur at dinner time too and take it home. If we get for example Kotlet (an Iranian food) from the self-service restaurant and take it home, when we wake up at 4 AM to eat Suhur, we saw that it has become cold and many guys do not fast because they cannot eat Suhur. Since we do not have lunch, it is better that you launch the self-service for Suhur, those who are in the dorm, can have the Suhur in the self-service like the Eram Dormitory and bring the Suhur for those of us who live in the Paramount Dormitory in the city.”

The Paramount Dormitory was one of the so-called classless dormitories for them, because all the poor religious guys were gathered there. When our conversation was over, he returned and, with laughter and sarcasm, loosened himself, and said: "Are you not young and do not have instinct? You are young too, go and enjoy these." We said, "We are not people of such things at all, Islamic laws are very important to us and we never do that, and we definitely want you to stop these issues." He answered, “"Because we have a contract with an American university, we cannot do anything but it's okay, I order to bring you the Suhur." From that night, the self-service opened for Suhur, the Eram dormitory group went to the self-service, and for us, a van with one or two pots, such as rice and stew, came to the dorm at around 4-4.30 in the morning. No one was arrested following the meeting, but the individuals were identified.  

Source: Tab-o Taab, Memoirs of Dr. Mohammad Reza Fartoukzadeh, compiled by Samira Azimi Goloujeh, Tehran, Cultural and Artistic Institute and Publications of the Islamic Revolution Documents Center, 1394 (2015), pp. 59-61.  

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