A Memory by Iran Torabi about Meeting Imam Khomeini

Selected By: Faezeh Sasanikhah
Translated by: Zahra Hosseinian


I was in the hospital on February 08, [1979]. We were told to be ready because the air force was going to visit Imam, and perhaps a fierce conflict rose.

That day, the Air Force went to Refah School and met Imam. In the afternoon, I [Iran Torabi] and several colleagues, who decided to visit Imam Khomeini at least once, went to Refah School too. The school was crowded, so the wave of people carried me with them. I saw Imam closely. He did not speak and only waved his hand. When people chanted the slogan: “We are all Khomeini's soldiers, listen to Khomeini’s command”, and “Khomeini is our leader until the blood is in our veins”, I cried and was grateful to God like when I went to Imam Reza holy shrine.

That night the streets were very crowded, and the sound of gunfire did not stop for a moment. The next day we heard that the guards had attacked the air force and massacred many people. A number of injured were brought to Farhanaz Pahlavi Hospital, which now was named “Rezaei”. I went to the operating room. Both guards and air forces were among the wounded. I started working. They called me from Sevom Sha’ban hospital and said there were many wounded, and I should go there for help.

“The wounded were brought here,” I said, “the goal is to treat the wounded, no matter where.”

There were heavy surgeries that night until morning. Some of the wounded of the air force got martyrdom, and some guards died too. I was busy delivering one of the operated when I heard shouting and cursing in the recovery room. A guard and an air force officer had lain down on the stretcher, and were waiting for surgery. The guard had a medal around his neck supposed to be for the guards, and the Air Force officer recognized it. He wanted to get up, go forward, and beat that guard. But his leg was shot, and he couldn’t move. He tried to rise, but those who took care of him did not let him move. The guard was silent. “I’m not a guard,” he only muttered sometimes.

The air force officer said: “why are you lying? What does that medal around your neck?” then he cursed and shouted: “You’re a mercenary. You’re an Israelite.” the poor guard had scared so much because he had now trapped among people who were in favor of the revolution and the Imam. He was quiet but sometimes said: “We were not at fault. They commanded us.” as he was brought into the operating room, some colleagues said: “It’s a pity for this operation team and medical staff to treat you. Why on earth you’ve sacrificed yourself to America and Israel?”

The guard said: “Sir, madam, I just wanted to earn my living. I didn’t know. Help me for the sake of God.” He was dreadfully scared and trembling. He said: “Oh my God! Don’t kill me.” I told him: “We are not murderers. We must save people’s life. Even if our enemy is our patient, we must save him. You are our brother. May God curse those who forced you to commit fratricide, otherwise you belong to this homeland and this country. But we are advising you. When you recovered and discharged, try to be a good man. Be a supporter of the right. Even if you are killed, you are killed in the right way, not in the wrong way.”

We prepared him for the surgery. When I was untying the medal from around his neck, he said: “Throw it into the bin, it’s the cause of my shame.” He was shaking all the time until he was anesthetized. After the surgery was over, I took him to the recovery room. I stayed there until he regained consciousness. I emphasized to my colleagues that when they take him to the ward, should not send him to the room of that air force officer. Their rooms should be separate from each other.[1]

 [1] Sajjadi, Shiva, Memories of Iran: Memories of Iran Torabi, Tehran, Surah Mehr, 2012, Chapter 1, p. 108.

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