SABAH (103)

Memoirs of Sabah Vatankhah

Interviewed and Compiled by Fatemeh Doustkami
Translated by Natalie Haghverdian


SABAH (103)

Memoirs of Sabah Vatankhah

Interviewed and Compiled by Fatemeh Doustkami

Translated by Natalie Haghverdian

Published by Soore Mehr Publishing Co.

Persian Version 2019



I don’t remember what the response from the professor was. I just remember that he didn’t give up easily and the discussion escalated.

Apart from these issues, I couldn’t sit in class for long due to my physical weakness. I felt bad quickly. I suffered headaches and dizziness and my eyes darkened. Therefore I had to come out of class and wash my face and return to class. This weakness didn’t leave me at home too. I was not feeling really well and needed to rest and be taken care of. Because of this issue, I couldn’t concentrate on my studies and prepare myself for the exams and was suspended for first semester.

I made a promise to myself that I will make it up for the next semester and avoid repetition of being suspended. I kept my promise. Thanks God my physical situation improved and I could see more.

In the middle of semester, Ms. Taringo became sick. She had just got married and was pregnant. During pregnancy she suffered anemia and had severe infirmity constantly and fainted. Little by little she couldn’t attend the university properly. Ahmadi used this opportunity to the best and invited inspectors to the university and ruined her performance and finally succeeded to take her place.

This was the beginning of the misery. With the presence of Ms. Taringo we had problems with our instructors, let alone now that she wasn’t there. Her absence was a heavy strike for religious and elite students of the university. Ultimately she was the dean of faculty and we relied on her scientifically and thinking wise.

Previous semester I studied physiology course with Dr. Afshar who was an Orthopedist and unfortunately couldn’t pass. When I was selecting my courses and wanted to re-study this course, Ms. Ahmadi said: “you don’t need to re-take this course and attend classes, just study for the end of summer for the exam. I will put your score in the score card. Just prepare yourself for the exam.” Although physiology was not an easy course and needed physical presence in class, but I accepted so that I could opt for Physiology 2 with the rest of my classmates. At the end of summer, I did the exam and got 10. This score was supposed to be replaced with my previous score.

The new semester had just started that one day I got a letter about my suspension and threat to being fired from university! I was very surprised. I had been only suspended for first semester. I don’t know why the letter indicated that I had been suspended twice! When I investigated, I noticed that Ms. Ahmadi had written my score 10 from physiology as the average score for the summer semester and therefore I was suspended twice.

Ms. Ahmadi had done what she had intended to do. I knew where this was coming from. It had been a while that when Ms. Ahmadi came to our class, she took out her scarf as an objection and offense gesture and dropped it on the desk and would say: “What is this ridiculous game? I don’t believe in cover and these gestures at all. What is the necessity of having cover and suffer?!”

Then she offended women with scarves any way she wanted. Although we didn’t have any male classmate but this behavior of the professor and dean of faculty was not accepted. We have done lots of investigation on her. We knew that she was publishing Peykar newspaper in Sari together with a number of friends who were also Fedai Guerrillas.

Prior to the resignation of Ms. Taringo we raised these issues with her and she confronted Ms. Ahmadi. She had been offended and this was my payback time. We argued a lot and I wrote an objection letter to university but she teamed up with the rest of authorities and therefore nobody gave me a proper response. I raised my complaint to Tehran and Medical Science University.

Prior to going to Tehran, I wrote a letter to the Sari leader of mid-day congregational Friday prayers and narrated my situation and the event that had happened.  I wrote that her anti-revolutionary activities in the city and in Peykar newspaper is to be followed up. I didn’t do this for my score in physiology. I was under pressure because I had seen that they did the same with Ms. Taringo and now they were doing the same with me. Her goal was to eliminate revolutionary forces from the university.

I couldn’t accept that an anti-revolutionary individual in Islamic Republic has a responsibility and is eliminating all Hezbollahs around her. A number of professors and instructors had teamed up with her and harassed the religious and Hezbollah students as much as they could. We had complaints from students on daily basis about the behavior of professors.

Little by little the situation got worse than the frontline. The practical scores of most of our students dropped. Many of the students had entered the university with high scores and it was quite obvious that their rights were being trampled. We had to take action.

With our follow-ups, a few days later a meeting was held in the office of leader of mid-day congregational Friday prayers with the presence of leader of mid-day congregational Friday prayers. The members of the meeting were the representative of Sari city at that time, Ms. Ahmadi, me, Nasrin, Moloud, Nahid, Zohreh and Nastaran. We were all among the revolutionary students of the university. The meeting didn’t materialize our expectations. They just gave a small notice to Ms. Ahmadi and told us to respect her since she is older and is the dean of the faculty!

I was so upset with the result and atmosphere of the meeting that I broke a BIC pen that I had in my hand. When we came out of the meeting. The public representative of Sari city who was a clergy, said: “Sister why are you so nervous?” I said: “I am telling you that she is busy with anti-government and anti-revolution activities, but you tell us to respect her because she is older?!” He said: “Sister we are alert of her activities and we just wanted to hit her with a politics and observe her activities to collect enough evidence and documents! You don’t need to be so angry.” I said: “I hope this will happen.”

The training department of Ministry of Health and Medical Education was in Valiasr Avenue in Tehran past Saee Park. The complaints on the training of students in midwifery were being reviewed and followed up there. I wrote a complementary letter for the director of education of midwifery who was a woman called Hosseini. When I went to follow-up my complaint she said: “Ms. Vatankhah do you want me to change your score from ten to twenty?”

I said: “No I don’t want something like that, I just want the right. I want you to deal with the situation in a way that individuals like Ahmadi won’t dare to give students hard time.  This woman based on evidences is anti-revolutionist and should be fired from the university. Since I found out this and was following this up, she started acting stubborn with me and suspended me deliberately.”

She said: “This cannot happen. You have to have evidence for this charges. This cannot happen that each individual comes here and tags his/her instructor with charges of ideology and beliefs and ask us to fire him/her! You just follow-up your score and your suspension and don’t interfere in other affairs.”

I followed up a lot until I got tired. I knew that they are in a team together but I had no evidence to prove my words. They gave me hard time until I decided to cancel my studies. On the day when I took my resignation to Ms. Ahmadi’s office, she was not there and I had to wait. A few minutes passed, but she didn’t come. I went around her room and approached her desk. Suddenly I noticed a piece of paper on the desk. The paper was a handwritten letter from Ms. Ahmadi to one of the authorities of Ministry of Health. She had written what she had done to me with pride. She had written that I punished this student and suspended her.

I looked around and folded the letter quickly and put it in my pocket. I walked out. I took a few copies and gave the copies to the representative of army, leader of mid-day congregational Friday prayers and Ministry of Health. After a while they called me from Ministry and said that I am not suspended anymore and you have to re-take that course. With the mercy of God, this ended up well.

Once I was going from Tehran to Sari with rented taxi. I was sitting in front and three men were sitting in the backseat. Two of them were soldiers. One two hours after the start of our trip, the radio broadcasted the music, nanny, nanny, it is time for war. The music was still playing when one of the passengers who was a young about thirty year old man with mustaches extending until his ears started talking. He said: “Gentlemen, this poor man who is singing this song is a Kurdish man who is reciting this poem for the public resistance Iran hero; now these gentlemen have confiscated this song for themselves and in the name of war and broadcast it. Our basic war is war with our own government not with Iraq. We really have to take this opportunity and claim our rights from this reactive government! We are in the middle of fight with public combats, and the government is sending our soldiers in groups to war, and brings back their bodies for their families …”


To be continued …


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