One thousand three hundred ninety eight years after the migration of Mohammad, the people of Jarahi Mashoor in Persis took refuge in Neyzar (reeds bed) from the invasion of the tanks and mattresses of Baʿal Ḥammon which became their Carthage Tophet. On Monday, November eighteen, two thousand nineteen, in Mahshahr, a girl lost her first name somewhere between the IRGC firing squad and Neyzar. There is no photo of her, and they have left no trace of her anywhere. But she lived. Chanani was her last name. She lived in this world for eight to twelve years, before her name was lost in Neyzar and her body removed by truck full of corpses.
Seven months later, Shariati, Khuzestan Governor, tied his hands under the table, jumped up against Ensaf News reporter, saying, “The issue of the reeds that they talk about, it’s really just a fabrication.” He said this and laid back again, “a really fundamental forgery,” passing his rosary beads from one hand to the other, laying on the handle of the chair, “At the time, we did not have a story about reeds or such issues. For example, I do not know, they said how many in Khuzestan? 300 people? A total of 300 people were killed.” He crumpled his beads and tossed it in his left hand again, and like the car salesmen when they talk about the price, he opened a new front in the deal and said: “Now! We. I told friends. I said not 300,” he changed the hand holding the rosary, span it, “From what you say, keep 250 for yourself; Give me 50 names,” he had a smug smile on his face, picking up, “Give 40 names.” He shifted forward in his seat, “Give 30 names.” Ensaf reporter jumped in the middle of his haggling and asked, “Well, how many people were killed then?” The governor avoided giving a price: “I cannot go into details, after all I cannot divulge that information.”
Chanani was massacred in Jarahi along with her first name that day. The day before, Sunday, in Mahshahr was rainy all day. Chanani had not gone to school. Not because of the rain. Mashour was in the middle of uprising, it was like another world. From Khor Mousa to Sarbandar, from Kooreh to Jarahi, Moloch was paraded collecting sacrifices for it from house to house. From early in the morning, the killing machines were pulled from the barracks near Neyzar Jarahi to Besat Square, DShk, officer, and automatic machine guns fire indiscriminately. The terrified crowd fled into the reeds. Chanani was playing in the alley. The sound of screams and the heavy firing of the IRGC on the people enclosed in Neyzar was mixed with the sound of a revolutionary anthem on the radio.
“Fathers whose children had previously been sacrificed threw their photographs and toys, which they had kept until that day, into the fire. Some fathers with daggers on their backs attacked others. People were falling apart and tearing each other to pieces. The priests of the temple of Moloch used bronze shovels to collect the ashes of the sacrificed children and scatter them in the sky so that wind would spread the sacrifices in the city and even take them to the stars.”(1)
*: Jarahi, Neyzar, Khor Mousa, Sarbandar,… are all neighborhoods in Mahshahr, Khuzestan province.
- Salammbô, Gustave Flaubert, Chapter 13 ending paragraph, Moloch
Cover: “Universe’s catapult is raining bullets,” in memory of Mahshahr victims by: Atena Amini, Zahra Amiryousefi, Yasaman Razaghian.
Translation of this post by Sahar.