It is hard to believe that 22 years has past since the day that Khomeini accepted truce. The Iran-Iraq took 8 years to end and it was one of the bloodiest classic war of the last century. A lot have been said and written about different aspects of this war. There is no question war is a monster that brings with itself destruction, depression and most important of all killing of loved ones and youth in both countries involved.
I wish not to talk about those who were singing or encouraging young Iranians going to the war front. See an example!
I would like to write in memory of a friend. His name was Shahram. Shahram was a boy with smiley face. It is hard to forget his smiley face. Throughout all these years I still recall him. I remember his voice and smile. He sat for some years in primary school right beside me on the same bench. It was beginning of the war or to be exact a few years after was has started. We were getting adapted to red and yellow signals that were reflecting Iraqi's air or missile strikes. We were bombarded by images of young people puring to the war front in the name of so called Islam and defense of leadership "valifaghig".
I recall Shahram once told me that his parents are divorce and now he lives with his father and a step mother. In those age around 10, I could felt he was not happy with his step mom. But then, those days no one wished to talk about these realities.
Shahram poor performance in school was another set-back for him. Like many school teachers during those days, none was interested to know why this boy was not studying and performed below the average in his school classes. All they would do, on occasional bases beat Shahram up to show him his performance at school is unacceptable.
I recall the very day, Tuesday it was, he was sitting on the bench in the classroom beside me during a break, look, I want go to the war front, he said. I was little surprised with his comment. look Shahram, you are too young to do so, give a few years and then you can decide if you really want to do such a thing, I said. He said, he is not happy at home, he does not get good grade at school, but he can put a gun together and disassemble it in no time (Those days we were thought such a thing at school). The war front may be the answer to all what is going on to his life. He must be made for that. I even joked (not a nice joke but I felt those days this was the reflection of how we were thinking in such a young age) you never know we may be get hit by one of the Iraq's bomb during an air strike and be dead any time, Therefore let's enjoy our moment for the time being as we have no idea how much longer we shall live in prosper. but as many occasions with his smile he went silence. I thought I have already influenced him in such a way that he may change his mind and stay in school. However, I didn't see Shahram, except the day he came to say good-bye to me. He said, he will be back any time to say hi to me... about 4 months passed, and I didn't hear from him. one day walking on street of Tajrish round about (square), I saw his photo around the street he used to live. He was killed by Iraqi army in the war front. I recall the setup that is typical for those who pass away in the young age with was erected with his photo on it stating Shahram A. killed in the war front against the wrongful one by Ba'ath army.
I felt strange, then. The memory still hunts me. I tried to forget his memory all these years, but I couldn't.
These days when I see so many young people with so much life in them, I wonder how different we were then and now. Our notion was can we ever pass age of 15 and be in one piece. Our mood was that perhaps we will die before even hitting 25 at most. I can see the differences among the youth here and the youth we were, then.
Back to Shahram, I don't know if anybody talks about him, today. But I cherish his memory. RIP