Memories of Women

Narrated by Seyyed Bibi Mousavi

Compiled by: Faezeh Sasanikhah
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad


I had a small child, my husband was also at the front. I heard that women go to Shahid Kalantari Hospital and wash the clothes of the wounded. I was so sad that I couldn't go. One day, a loudspeaker announced in the street that they need blankets and bedding for the hospital. I folded five or six clean sheets and put them on two blankets. I opened the tent and put it under my armpit. I took the blankets on my shoulders and moved. I walked half an hour in a quarter of an hour until I reached Shahid Kalantari Hospital. It was as if I had gone to the front line; Men and women were fighting in basij and khaki clothes. It was hard for me to leave. I wanted to do something for the front. I returned home anyway. I saw the neighbor lady in front of the door. The conversation started. He said: "My sister's husband is a doctor. He was sent from Mashhad to field hospitals. He keeps coming here."

He told me that they need clean bedding and blankets there. I told him: "When he comes, tell him to bring hospital clothes and bedclothes so that I can wash." Two or three days later they knocked on the door. I went to go out. A pickup truck was standing in front of the door. I couldn't believe it. Army bags were taken out of the car. The doctor told me: "When I come back in a day or two, I will take them with me."

Tears of joy gathered in my eyes. I said: "God bless you. You bet!"

I took them and put them in the yard. Each bag was full of military blouses and pants. They were dry from blood. I heard that stains are removed better with cold water. I washed them with cold water and soap so that no stains remain on them. Some clothes had holes. I cried when I saw them. It was clear that the bullet or shrapnel passed through these holes and injured the thin body of the youth. By the evening, I washed everything and spread it on the ropes. Because I was not used to washing clothes at the same time. My wrist hurt. The next day I patched the holes. I folded and put them inside the washed bags. I went to the neighbor's house and thanked him. I also gave the doctor three or four packages of fab and soap. I said: "Take these." It will definitely be needed there."

The doctor promised to bring me clothes whenever he comes. Alhamdulillah, he sent me the clothes of the wounded and doctors every week. Some ladies from the neighborhood came to my house. The ropes were full of military uniforms. They said to me: "Sir, where did you get all these military uniforms?"

I said: "These are the clothes of the fighters."

One of them said: "I swear to you, whenever you want to wash, tell me to come and help."

I understood him. It was the same as me. I told him: "Don't worry."

It was winter. My husband, Mohammad Karim, arrived from the front. He had several bags. I said to him: "What?! Did you bring the dirt from the front?"

He said: "The comrades made a trench in the rain. All the clothes are dirty. I collected most of it and brought it. It's a shame, the weather is cold and once you..."

He lowered his head. I did not let him continue. I told him: "It is my honor to wash these clothes." What could be better than this?!"

That night, I washed them several times with water. Then I put it in washing liquid until morning. In the morning, I washed them as clean as if they had just bought them.

I really wanted to become a martyr, but I didn't. Saddam had tanks, cannons and missiles, and we love the revolution and the leader. That's why we worked with enthusiasm and were not afraid of the enemy. I had three children then. I also got pregnant during the war. Damn Saddam kept dropping bombs and rockets. I never left the city. The door of my house was open to every warrior and passerby. I was happy to host the comrades and wash the clothes of the wounded. After some time, my son Mohammad also went to the front. Muhammad[1] thanked me for washing the clothes of the fighters and kept kissing my hand and saying: "This hand is for the martyrs." Kissing him will do me good." He was martyred on the last day of 66 in the western region. His body remained in the area. When they brought me his bag, there was a shirt in it. There was no hope for my son to return. We buried his shirt so that I have a memorial of him. We changed places. I would kiss his tombstone. I owed it to him, he had made me a martyr's mother.[2]


[1] Mohammad Segund was martyred on March 30, 1366 in Sir Pol Zahab and is still immortal.

[2] Source: Miralali, Fatemeh Sadat, The Pool of Blood, Narrative of Andimeshk women about washing clothes in the holy city, Tehran, Rah Baz Publishing House, 2019, p. 389.

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