Legendary lady of Kermanshah: A symbol of resistance

April 11, 2011 - 0:0

Every nation has some unforgettable heroes and heroines. Iran’s war heroine Farangis Heydarpour is among those people whose bravery will never be forgotten in the history of Iran and the Islamic world. She is an extraordinary woman who at the age of 18 killed an invading Iraqi soldier with an axe and took another captive and handed him over to Iran’s Islamic combatants at the beginning of Iran-Iraq war in 1980.

Heydarpour is currently working on an agricultural farm and earning her livelihood by establishing a small hand-weaving business in Goor-e Sefid and Avzin in Gilan-e Gharb city in Kermanshah province.
We were determined to go to her hometown seeking enthusiastically to conduct an exclusive interview with her for the Tehran Times. Finally we did succeed where foreign and domestic media failed who did not cover the story of this brave Kermanshahi lady’s life as she deserved.
Prior to visiting Mrs. Heydarpour, we held a brief discussion with the chairman of the Foundation for the Preservation of Values of the Sacred Defense, Brigadier General Abdollah Veisi, in downtown Kermanshah.
“Farangis (Heydarpour) from Gilan-e Gharb city is a symbol of bravery of people of this province who withstood the enemy of our Islamic homeland,” Brigadier Veisi said.
He added, “Farangis is the symbol of great and brave martyrdom-seeking people of this province who at the early age withstood an enemy who was armed to the teeth with modern and sophisticated weapons.”
Brigadier General Veisi went on to say that in our Islamic society there are numerous such women and the local authorities have appreciated this lady on various occasions as a symbol of resistance of our Islamic revolution.
“As a symbolic gesture to appreciate her bravery two statues have been installed in Gilan-e Gharb and “Shirin Park” in Kermanshah with Kurdish dress,” Veisi stated.
Brigadier General Veisi pointed out that due to the dominance of arrogant global media such epoch-making stories are undermined.
After this short discussion, we headed towards Gilan-e Gharb’s Goor-e Sefid village. Upon our arrival to the village, the memories of resistance of Islamic combatants were revived, and whatever we saw ranging from the muddy walls of the houses to Mount Chagha-Vand Heights once again reminded us the resistance of the Islamic nation of Iran. Suddenly, Farangis Heydarpour, the source of honor of the Iranians appeared and welcomed us in a delicate sweet Kurdish Gilan-e Gharbi accent and took us to her home.
Following are the excerpts of the interview:
Q: Mrs. Heydarpour, please introduce yourself to our readers?
A: In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate, I pray for the safety of the Supreme Leader, and pray for Islam’s martyrs and late Imam (R) and his sons. My name is Farangis Heydarpour and I reside in Goor-e Sefid village and Avzin in Gilan-e Gharb. I have four children and all of them are unmarried. I am a sister of a martyr and a sister of a disabled combatant and my husband passed away two years ago.
Q: Mrs. Heydarpour, your bravery is admired nationwide. May I ask you to explain about that special day?
A: It was 1980. Iraqi forces invaded our border village. All my brothers and relatives had left to fight in the border city of Ghasr-e Shirin region. We were informed that one of my brothers along with my uncle and five others were martyred. After one hour, their dead bodies arrived from Ghasr-e Shirin. We were busy in burying them that the news spread that Iraqi forces had occupied Gilan-e Gharb border city. Iraqis attacked our village and women and children with barefoot took refuge in the nearby mountainous heights. We were very sad for our martyrs on the one hand and on the other hand the children were hungry all the day-long and night. Early in the morning, in order to arrange food and other things for the children we decided to return to our village. The helicopters of Martyr Shiroudi and Martyr Keshvari were heavily involved pounding the positions of Iraqi military forces in Tang-e Hajeyan. Iraqi tanks and military equipment had occupied our village. I came down from the hill when I saw two Iraqi soldiers. I immediately attacked one of them from behind with an axe and killed him instantly and took the other as captive with his all military equipment and handed him over to the combatants of Islam.
Q: Madam Farangis, what was your age then and didn’t you fear?
A: I was only 18 at that time and had not married yet. We were only thinking to defend our homeland and fear was something meaningless as our main objective was to resist the enemies of this land. Because I despised the enemy for martyring my brother and uncle (Khalou in Kurdish language) I was only concentrating on taking revenge.
Q: What about the other village women?
A: All the women of Gilan-e Gharb are brave. They suffered all kinds of hardships during the 1980-1988 Iraq-imposed war. They lived in the camps. They lost their beloved ones and endured all the difficulties. Our men were fighting on the war fronts and showing unprecedented bravery and that’s why within a short period the Iraqis withdrew from the region.
Q: Mrs. Heydarpour, every year many people from across the country come to meet you, what is your opinion about these meetings?
A: Yes, they come here from various cities including, Tehran, Isfahan and other regions and respect me as a brave woman but these meetings have not resolved my problems yet.
Q: What are your problems?
A: I have four children and my husband is dead and I have not a proper source of income. The Imam Khomeini Relief Committee only pays me 40,000 tomans ($39) monthly which is actually nothing and I can not live my life with this money.
Q: If war starts once again, will you participate?
A: Our future is promising since it is based on the Islamic values, that is the war between good and evil. This time if the enemy dares to invade our country we will not give in and resist until it is completely defeated.
Q: What is your message for the Iranian women?
A: My advice to the Iranian women is that they should observe hijab. We fought with determination, our blood was spilled, we became war refugees in the camps therefore our girls should not wear costumes such as short and tight manteaus. Our martyrs sacrificed their lives for the sake of our dignity so that in the life hereafter we would not feel ashamed.