The Gift of Shahanshah Aryamehr to you

Yahya Safavi
Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan


A few days after the martyrdom of the people and clergies in the city of Qom, we were informed that the people in Tabriz had staged protest rallies against the Shah's regime. I who had spent student days in Tabriz and had many friends over there, left Qom for Tabriz to have political and revolutionary activities and resided in the house of one of these friends. A few days had remained to the fortieth day of the Qom martyrs that the people of Tabriz upon the recommendation of Ayatollah Qazi Tabatabaee gathered in a mosque near the bazar on 18th of February 1978 to commemorate the fortieth day of the people who had been martyred in Qom. On the morning of the same day, the police closed the door of the mosque preventing the people to gather inside it. The population started demonstration and their number was increasing moment by moment. Gradually, police forces intervened and clashes broke out between angry people and the regime forces. The police, who did not have the strength to deal with the large crowd, retreated in the very first hours; but suddenly, with the martyrdom of a young man by a police officer, an angry and mourning crowd abruptly attacked all the cafes and liquor stores and set them on fire. They broke the windows of the cinemas and the banks and by the afternoon of that day, the city of Tabriz had almost fallen into the hands of the people.

The military forces had not engaged yet and only the SAVAK agents and police forces were patrolling in the city. They opened fire on the people and arrested some of the demonstrators. I and two or three of my friends were in a car in Mansour Street near the protest site; suddenly, a car with SAVAK agents inside it turned in front of us and one of them shot at us with revolvers. After a bullet hit the front door of the car, it hit my left thigh and did not come from the other side. Seeing the situation like this, we escaped by the same car with the help of our friends and came to Pahlavi Hospital, which was near the University of Tabriz. The friends took me to the operating room to get the bullet out of my leg. At the same time, several hospital interns who were my friends when I was a student reported that the SAVAK agents had entered the hospital and decided to arrest all those who had been shot in the city. In order not to be arrested by them, my friends took me to the basement with the same hospital clothes and we fled with a motorcycle, and then we came to the house of Mr. Reza Ayatollahi, who was the head of the Sufian Cement Factory in Tabriz at the time. His wife was a doctor, and ‌ when she saw my condition and saw heavy bleeding in my leg, she immediately bandaged it, prevented the bleeding, and since she was not a surgeon, she could not remove the bullet out of my leg. I could not move, my injured leg had been swollen and I had a lot of pain. A week passed in this way and I was a guest in the house of engineer Ayaytollahi until the ground was prepared for my move to Tehran. The friends took me to Mr. Hamid Salimi's father's house, but since the activists were moving there a lot and it was possible that SAVAK would attack it at any moment, I went to the house of Mr. Majidi. I was there for a while and then left for Qom and resided in the house Hojjatoleslam Valmoslemin Haj Sheikh Mohammad Al-e Es'haq; then he brought a surgeon to the house and after anesthetizing my leg as I could fully see, the surgeon operated on my thigh, removed the bullet from my leg, placed it on the bandage, and turned to me and said, "This is the gift of Shahnshah Aryamehr to you."   


Source: Majid, Najafpoor (ed.), (2004), From South of Lebanon to South of Iran (Memoirs of Yahya Safavi), Document Center of Islamic Revolution, pp85-87.

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