A cut from memoirs of Masoumeh Ramhormozi

The last Thursday of the year 1359 in cemetery of martyrs

Translated by: M. B. Khoshnevisan


At the end of Esfand 1359 (March 1981), with the help of the hospital medics, we decided to plant a large number of greens in a large number of containers on the third floor of the hospital, which was practically abandoned and could not be used due to the bombings of the enemy, and we also prepared sweets and nuts and delivered our own gifts along with photos of the Imam for the combatants in Khorramshahr and Fayazieh fronts before the start of the new year. We bought sweets, nuts, and wheat from Mahshahr, and prepared special containers for the greens from institutions and organizations. They were regularly provided by the people. People sent sweets, nuts, dates, compotes, fruit juice, pistachios, etc. We also prepared a large number of the Imam’s photos. In this photo, the imam was smiling. His smile was pleasant and relieved the tiredness. We patiently spread the wheat in containers on a thin cloth and watered them every day. Little by little, the wheat became green, so that the corridor of the third floor of Taleghani Hospital was full of green wheat. It was as if spring had reached that abandoned floor earlier than anywhere else. We put Imam's photo among the wheat plates. Some days, I would go to the third floor and sit among the greenery for about an hour. In memory of Sizdah Badr or the Nature Day, in memory of the green of peace, I looked at the greens and enjoyed. When sending gifts to the front, there were arguments among the guys. We didn't know whether to deliver the gifts to the front ourselves or to do it through Dr. Ansari. He was the doctor of the expedition team of Fasa city from Fars province. A big ambulance was at the disposal of the doctor who always took care of the injured at station 12 and Khorramshahr and regularly came to Taleghani hospital. Dr. Ansari's wife and one of his relatives named Mahboubeh Esmaeeli were working as rescue workers in the hospital. All three of them had been sent from Fars province and were very friendly with the guys. After long discussions, we did not find it expedient to go to the front ourselves to deliver gifts; our goal was to make the combatants happy. We wanted to make them have a sign of the Haftsin tablecloth of the family table next to them on the night of the New Year. It didn't matter whether we delivered the gifts to them ourselves or Dr. Ansari. We entrusted this responsibility to Dr. Ansari and Masoum - his ambulance paramedic, who was a village boy from Fars province. It was important for the combatants to know that they have sisters who remember them and pray for them on the night of the New Year in the war zone.

After Dr. Ansari returned to the hospital, we all gathered around him and asked him to tell us whether the soldiers liked the gifts or not. The doctor said, "You won't believe that they didn't expect a plate of green wheat, nuts, sweets and Imam's photo to reach them. Most of them spread their keffiyehs in the trench and prepared the New Year’s tablecloth with these gifts.

Our next task before the start of the New Year was to shower flower petals on the graves of the martyrs in Golestan-e Shohada or cemetery of the martyrs. The combatants were too busy to think about these things. After six months of the beginning of war, the graves of the martyrs had not yet been stoned. The graves were simple and mud. However, Golestan-e Shohada had a different atmosphere at that time. We went to Minoo Island with Dr. Ansari and picked a lot of stems and leaves from myrtle[1], the ambulance was full of myrtle and its pleasant smell, which of course reminded us of a cemetery, filled the space of the ambulance. After Minoo Island, we went to Kooy-e Behrouz - a neighborhood between Khorramshahr and Abadan - and picked flowers from bougainvillea trees. The trees that had a pink color stood out among the fallen walls and ruined alleys so that the ruins were hidden when they saw them. Bougainvillea is a symbol of beauty in Abadan and Khorramshahr. It is a patient and resistant flower that grows in harsh conditions and hot weather. When I looked at the branches of the tree among the ruins, I felt that there was a flower garden and heaven. I didn't want to pick them, and if it was for something other than martyrs' graves, I would never pick them because those flowers removed the ugliness from our minds and made life look beautiful in that space. The sound of cannons and mortars could be heard regularly. Dr. Ansari asked us to hurry up. His ambulance had no place for us to sit. We put ourselves inside the ambulance with difficulty. At 2 pm on the last Thursday of the year 1359 (1981), we arrived at Abadan Golestan-e Shohada. First, we sprinkled water on all the graves. The smell of the soil had risen and then we put flowers on them. From 4 o'clock in the afternoon, the residents of the war-torn city and combatants of the fronts were coming there for pilgrimage groups after groups. When Mr. Jami, the Friday prayers leader of Abadan came to attend the graves of the martyrs, he said: "I understood that you sisters worked hard today and decorated all the martyrs' graves with flowers." That day we were in Golestan -e Shohada until Azan or the call to prayer in the evening and we started the New Year with our martyred loved ones.

There was heavy silence in the hospital at night. Everyone felt alone somehow. There were two young couples among the hospital staff. Mr. Jooshi and Mrs. Janeh. Mrs. Bakhtiari and her husband had stayed in the war zone due to duty and their children were outside the war zone with their families. They were sadder than others. We would sit and they would talk about their little children. Later, when I became a mother, I was able to understand what kind of grief they endured in that situation. Those who been injured critically were in so much pain that they no longer had a chance to be gloomy and the sadness of being away from their families, and Eid and non-Eid were the same for them. Eid had no meaning for the monster of war.

We started the year 1360 (1982) while we were still surrounded by the enemy, but we all believed that the situation would change and victory was near.[2]


[1] It has a fragrant stem and leaves. In Khuzestan, this plant is placed on the graves of the deceased.

[2] Source: Ramhormzi, Masoumeh, Last Sunday, V. 1, 1383 (2005), Sooreh Mehr, Tehran, p. 115.

Number of Visits: 1477