Fars News Agency – Art and Media Group: Every year, the 20th of April is the Islamic Revolution Art Week, a day named after the martyrdom of Seyyed Shahidan Ahl al-Qalam, a person who artistically combined various forms of art with the Islamic Revolution and became an important element for revolutionary youth in all generations.
Getting to know Seyyed Morteza Avini is perhaps the most important mission of artists whose slogans are associated with the revolution, because to get to know Avini is to get to know the art of the Islamic Revolution, an art of which Avini is the biggest example.
In order to understand the path that Seyyed Morteza Avini took, we went to some of his closest associates who were with “Seyd Shahidan Ahl Qalam” until the moment of his martyrdom, and who worked closely with Avini and are familiar with his spirit and outlook. One of the people who has the experience of living next to Martyr Avini, Asghar Bakhtiari It is said that he was with Avini from the time of the narration of Fatah until his last breath.
You can see the details of this conversation below.
Fars: How did you get to Martyr Avini and join him?
It was in 1366 that I met Martyr Avini in the television group of Fatah Narration in Jihad TV. We came from the front and were interested in cultural activities. I entered television as a combatant. Jihad TV group included Sepahi, Basij and Jihadi children, and a team was formed to make a documentary.
Fars: What was the purpose of the Fatah narration team?
First, let me mention the story of my appearance on TV, which is a long story, but in short, it goes back to the testimony of my close friend “Gholamreza Rahimi” who was on the front and was also accepted into the doctoral program. When an amateur film was made of his burial ceremony, I thought that it would be good if we could do a better job for the warriors and martyrs. My special interest in this martyr created a spark in my mind to enter this field and to be able to serve in this way. I was introduced to Fatah’s narrative and met my friends and got to know Martyr Avini, and over the years we produced documentaries with him. The narration of Fatah TV had different groups and we had a person in charge in each group. At first, we were sent to jihadi work to familiarize ourselves with the camera. Later, I was in different operations with different groups and in these collaborations, my experience was added. For example, when we were in Shlamcheh, I should have been able to change the time with the cassette speed of the old cameras of that time. There were constant mortars and we were working in the embankment and we were in the middle of bullets and shrapnel, but I had to be careful to change the film immediately.
Fars: In which of the operations were you with Martyr Avini?
It was after the end of the war that I was in operational areas to prepare a documentary with the team of Martyr Avini. In fact, this chapter of Martyr Avini’s activities began with the establishment of the Fath narrative cultural and artistic institute. An institution that was established in the summer of 1371 by the order of Hazrat Agha. In the beginning, there were a few of us who started working with Martyr Avini. Mr. Homayounfar, Ramezani, Shabani, Abbasi, Farsi, Ranjbar and Bande, there were about 7 or 8 of us, and I and Mr. Shabani, Ramezani, Abbasi and Homayounfar came from TV Jihad. Mr. Farsi was added later and Mr. Yousef Saberi joined our team as an assistant director after “City in the Sky”.
Fars: How was Shahid Avini’s relationship with you and other members of the group?
He knew how much the kids in the group liked him and they stayed with him until the end. There was a passion between us that we did not feel tired at all. While our work was heavy. Now that I am describing, some people may think that I want to praise Avini in vain, but we really had good days with Avini. There was a modesty between me and Haji. At that time, I was more playful and joking and I was comfortable with Haji.
Fars: How much did he ask for opinions from others and was he open to criticism?
Sometimes he asked the children for their opinion on what to do about some scenes in the movie. He even showed the film to Abdarchi An Jahm to see the reactions. There was no one to say that whatever I think, it is right. Because his documentaries were created in the editing room, he asked for opinions from different people.
Fars: What aspects of humanity were prominent in Martyr Avini?
Every good human trait was found in Avini. Honesty, courage, frankness and purity were in his being and he is worthy of any valuable definition. I met different people and there are dark spots in people’s lives, but I didn’t see any dark spots in Avini. We used to love to pray congregational prayers behind him during our travels. There was a special interest in him. Avini was concerned about other people in the group and her behavior was honest. For example, when one of the children and his family had a problem, he followed up. At that time I was not married and he told me that he would help me to get married.
In fact, Morteza Avini was a person who changes your type of cooperation. Because many of the joint activities we do are done due to the fate of the times and the advancement of business issues.
Someone asked me, how was Avini’s management? I said that Avini had control over hearts. When it breaks your heart, it’s over. Avini, stole our hearts. We saw a human being who behaved completely human. When one lives with someone for a few months, one realizes how real his actions and behavior are, and how honest the words he says are. After living with Avini for several years, we got to know him and realized that he is an honest person. What he said to us, he acted on himself. I don’t like the expression of the term murid and moradi and I don’t want anyone to think that I am trying to be hypocritical by reading this text. But Avini was an example of a real person for us.
Fars: What was Morteza Avini looking for in the field of culture and art?
Avini was never looking for bread or name. Bread and name that many people are obsessed with today, but Avini was not obsessed with these. He sought to serve in obscurity. He always did his homework. I am not looking for slogans. But I swear by the Almighty that Avini was not looking for worldly matters. He hated hypocrisy. He hated fraudsters and cheaters and avoided them.
Fars: What memories do you have of the last moments of being with Shahid Avini? Tell us about the events of that day?
It was a strange day. It was Friday morning when the kids quickly had breakfast and we started walking. We went to Feke from a town called Belghaze. There was no time, so I put a piece of bread and sugar halva in front of the dashboard of the car and sat behind the steering wheel, and it stayed there until the end and it dried! Because there was no room, we had not taken the drivers. Shahid Avini was sitting next to me in the front seat of the car. Along the way, we saw all the effects of mortars and cannons during the war.
I turned on the car radio, which was playing the Quran, and Mr. Avini said to let the Quran be played. We were going to Feke on the road and Avini was there. I wondered why he was so quiet and did not speak. The few photos we took before leaving were like this. There was silence in the car and only the Quran was played. It took about half an hour to reach Feka. We did some interviews there behind the barbed wire, and there too, Avini had his head down and was in his own mood.
Fars: How many people were there on the way to Avini’s martyrdom?
There were 9 of us who crossed the barbed wire and entered the minefield. We were moving forward one after the other, when somewhere we had a difference in identifying the path, and two groups continued the path from the right and left sides. One way was our group and on the other way, there were warlords who came to talk. There was a man named Hojat Maarifvand who was the first person to see that the area had no mines. He passed away in Arbaeen a year or two ago. Mr. Saeed Ghasemi and Ahmad Shafiei were followed by Shabani, Ramezani, Avini, and Yazdan-Prist, and the eighth person was me and the ninth person was Saberi. I told Mr. Avini that this path we are going is not right and he said “Asghar, no Niar”.
Fars: What was Martyr Avini looking for in that particular area that was mined?
In a place that was known as the slaughterhouse, Martyr Avini said that he wanted to make an Ashura documentary about the war. That’s why he insisted that we enter there. Over a hundred people had been martyred in that killing ground, and Avini had planned a special plan to make a documentary there. I had suggested that place to Avini. What Avini wanted from all those areas from Feke and from the slaughterhouse is something to think about.
Fars: What is the last scene you remember from the moment of Seyed Morteza Avini’s martyrdom?
From the top of a hill that had a slight slope, I stood and Mr. Saberi stood behind me. I stopped to take a picture of a boot and a grenade and took a few steps away from the others. Suddenly there was an explosion and I said to myself, “Ya Qamar Bani Hashem”. I saw that everyone fell to the ground. I came over Mr. Avini’s head when he was bleeding and took off his overcoat and then other events happened.
Fars: What were Morteza Avini’s last words at the moment of martyrdom?
He told me to take out the contents of his pocket. His jacket was torn. I told him that Haji is nothing and we will go back now. He looked at me and said, “Do you think I’m afraid?” I was ashamed of what I had said. He told Mr. Shabani to take a video, but his camera was damaged, and Ishan and I quickly took a few pictures from there, which are now left. We closed Mr. Avini’s wound, but he had lost a lot of blood. May God have mercy on Mr. Qasim Dehghan who, in an innovative plan, told us to take off our jackets, and with the poles, we made a stretcher to carry the two wounded. It took us 30-40 minutes to get out of the minefield, and because of the large amount of blood that had drained from Mr. Avini, he lost consciousness and by the time we reached the Mokhbari Field Hospital, he was a martyr.
That time was just a miracle for us. I should have been able to handle the crisis there and I should not have lost myself. We tried to evacuate the two injured people from that area and everyone tried to close Mr. Avini’s wound. Yazdan worshiper was also martyred. When Martyr Avini stepped on the mine, its waves had reached the belly of Yazdan worshiper. The blast wave hit him and he was disintegrated from the inside. Mr. Avini’s leg was also amputated from the knee down, and I did not think that he would become a martyr, and in my imagination, I saw him in a wheelchair with a prosthetic leg in the future. I have never seen anyone in my life who was hurt and didn’t say oh! But Avini did not complain. The meat of his leg was hanging and Mr. Ghasemi, who wanted to help, said to let him go, sir! He was only saying Zikr during the flashback. He had no fear and felt that he should go to the sky. The road dragged him and took him away.
Fars: Describe Syed Morteza Avini in one sentence and say what is his legacy in your opinion?
Until today, no one has come like Avini. They may be honorable people, but they do not have the management of Avini. I don’t see a person like him. Avini was not looking for a name, but today few people are like that. If we skip the name and bread, we can still do good things.
Agha Morteza’s legacy is the works left by him, which were the result of his material and spiritual experiences. Flying with a terrestrial body as high as eternity is not everyone’s art.
Fars: According to the teachings of Martyr Avini, what characteristics do you consider the art and artist committed to the Islamic Revolution to have?
The committed artist that Agha Morteza lived in his works had a hand on his forehead and a hand on the throne; The art of Islamic revolution is the committed art that was founded by Agha Seyed Morteza, and this blessed seedling shines today with its strong roots, the legacy of commitment, ethics and the cultivation of mysticism in the style of Martyr Avini in the work of artist Daroaj.
It seems that today, in order to introduce this art, which includes the high meaning of the original mystical, Islamic, and Iranian art, wider efforts should be made; Avini and his artist and this peak of art flight in his pen and works should be widely known to today’s generation, definitely if this effort is made, it will have the same effect as it did during the war of young Bernsel and it was the beginning of a great transformation in that generation.
With respect to all people of art, real artists are those who have rested in the martyrdom of Zahra (PBUH) and sacrificed their lives for their purpose and art.
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