The Iranian


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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


January 11, 2001

In the path of foreign armies

I enjoyed reading your article on Hawraman (Owraman) ["People of Oraman"]. It seems that you have partially traveled along the Sirwan River, because you have mentioned the village of Hadjeedj (your spelling Hajij), the shrine there [Kuce-e Hadjeedj], and the spring gushing out from the dry stones and pouring into the river. The spring was once called Wollow Bllie.

This route that you have taken was once traveled by the 13,000-strong Greek forces who went to Iran to help Bardia (the brother of Kambudjia who attacked Egypt) to become a Persian King. History says that Bardia was defeated and the Greeks took the Sirwan route to return to Armenia and then Greece. They lost 3,000 of their men along the Sirwan River. How?

According to late Dr. Rasheed Yasamie, the Kurds used to vacate their villages as soon as they knew the army was approaching. They would take all their belongings including food that was not very much in those days (and still is not much today either) with them and run to the mountain tops. When the army was about to cross a point, the Kurds would role down large pieces of stones towards them. As a result, the Greeks, lost 3,000 men along the Sirwan River.

I traveled that route on foot in 1332 (1953). It took me five days to go from Hadjeedj to Sanandadj. I slept in three mosques, one teahouse, and a khan' s house. When I arrived at Hadjeedj from Nodeshe (a village at which I was a teacher and school principal), the villagers asked me to be their imam to perform the evening prayer (Nemaz-e Maghrib). I did. The villagers brought walnuts, mulberries, almonds, dried figs, etc., to distribute among the participants of the prayer. The village did not have a regular imam.

And let me write a line of poetry in Hawramie for you, and will translate it for you as well (assuming that you don't know Hawramie). Unfortunately, I have forgotten most of that beautiful language because I have not used it. And here is the line that relates to the Arab army's attack on the region presumably written after the attack (some 1,400 years ago):

Arab zur kaar kerdenah khaapour
Kataa'-e paala-ie hatta Sharazour.

Translation: The powerful Arabs destroyed the castle of Nehavand to the Shahrzour [a region in Iraq]. This covers a large part of Kurdestan.

A question about the photos: The three ladies in the picture, two of them seem busy with sowing the klash (geev in Farsi), have faces that are not weathered like the ladies of Hadjeedj, and their garments are not quite of the Hadjeedjee tradition. Have I been away for long?

Thank you for writing about Hawraman. I taught at schools there (in several villages) for almost five years. Has the living conditions changed for the inhabitants since the Greeks traveled the area? The weathered and sad faces of the people in your photo might say, "No".

Mohammad Bat-haee


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