Persian writer Hamid Hesam’s “Just Be a Servant of Hussein” published in English 

September 26, 2020 - 17:52

TEHRAN – Iranian writer Hamid Hesam’s book “Just Be a Servant of Hussein” has recently been published in English.

The book, for which Hesam was crowned the Islamic Revolution Artist of the Year in 2018, was unveiled during a ceremony in Tehran on Thursday.

Organized by the Iran Book and Literature House in Tehran, the unveiling ceremony was attended by writer Hesam and the translator, Mojtaba Seyyed-Baqeri, at the Sacred Defense Museum.

The book is a biography of a war veteran, Hossein Rafiei, from a village in the west-central province of Hamedan, whose father’s name was Gholam. 

Speaking at the ceremony, Seyyed-Baqeri said that among the problems he faced in translating the book was the translation of some concepts such as martyrdom, bravery and freedom, however, he tried to make use of words that would be more tangible for an English reader.

“What was most attractive in the translation of the book was that my father was also a soldier in the Iran-Iraq war fronts and had tried to share his experiences, and that I could gain complete information about the war through reading this book,” he said.

“I think I can compare Hesam’s book with ‘Secondhand Time’ written by Belarusian writer Svetlana Alexiewitsch in 2013 on life after the Cold War in Russia. Of course, part of the book that narrates the worries of the wives of the martyrs can also be compared with ‘War and Peace’ by Tolstoy,” he explained.

“What was annoying for Hossein Rafiei before the Islamic Revolution was that the society was devoid of divine thoughts, but he found his lost ego during the Iran-Iraq war,” he said.

“During the time that I was working on the translation, I was along with the narrator; sometimes he took me to the war, and sometimes to his close friends who were martyred with bravery and freedom,” he concluded.

Photo: Front cover of the original version of the book “Just Be a Servant of Hussein” by Iranian writer Hamid Hesam.

RM/MMS/YAW

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