A section of the memories of a freed Iranian prisoner; Mohsen Bakhshi

Programs of New Year Holidays

Compiled by: Fatemeh Beheshti
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad


Note: Without blooming, without flowers, without greenery and without a table for Haft-sin[1], another spring has been arrived. Spring came to the camp without bringing freshness and the first days of New Year began in this camp. We were unaware of the plans that old friends had in this camp when Eid (New Year) came. For this reason, we consulted with the old brothers and decided to cooperate with them to organize the Eid ceremony. Despite the harshness of the enemy and the lack of facilities, we considered it our duty to use all our efforts in the implementation of cultural, social and religious programs and not to spare any effort in creating unity and order. Content-rich, informative and happy programs were planned for New Year days.

Among the most important programs were recitation, memorization and recitation competitions of the Holy Quran, Nahj al-Balagha, tables, sports competitions and visits to sanatoriums. On the first day of the New Year, the elders of the nursing home, while congratulating and congratulating them on the occasion of the arrival of New Year, shared the words of Mahdi with the comrades and after that, the pre-prepared programs were implemented.

The seniors asked the comrades to keep order, discipline, legal matters and time situation in mind while implementing these programs. One of the sanatoriums was chosen to meet the families of martyrs, veterans and patients, and on the first day of the New Year, with the coordination of the elders, they went to each sanatorium in order to visit those loved ones. The rooms were decorated with colorful blankets and pictures of the martyrs, and during the visits, brothers were assigned to guard the area of the sanatorium to inform others if Iraqi soldiers or officers arrived. During the visitation ceremony, the head of the nursing home, while saying congratulations, would point out some points and if he had any information or news, he would inform everyone. This visit was a good opportunity to create unity and integration of the camp as much as possible.

Some date seeds, water, sugar, syrup! They were the only foods that were offered to the guests at the reception.

The charming and salty jokes of some comrades were also the spice of these friendly circles; although he was in exile and captivity, sometimes he was so sweet that he will never be forgotten. In that environment, love, purity and unity had a different meaning; That is, it was real and it was true; an environment full of spirituality and monotony, far from any grudges and differences. Indeed, how much peace he had!

Twenty five tomans (Iranian currency) per month was the salary of each prisoner. The comrades would collect some of this salary and buy dates and sugar from the Iraqis on holidays and religious occasions to use for hospitality.

The fifth day of Eid also passed and on the morning of the sixth day of Farvardin (April), the sun rose as usual from the corner of the barren sky of the camp.[2]


[1] Haft sin or Haft seen is an arrangement of seven symbolic items whose names start with the letter "س", the 15th letter in the Persian alphabet; "haft" is Persian for "seven".

[2] Bakhshi, Mohsen, Behind the bars of Ramadi; Memoirs of a freed Iranian captive, Mohsen Bakhshi, Islamic Propaganda Organization's art field, 1993, pp. 56 and 57.

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