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Rijaab (part 2)

baba yadegar mausoleum

Due to its being mountainous, Rijaab enjoys change of humidity. In addition to this, mountain skirts with mild steeps, green valleys, and the seasonal vegetation being sparse on high altitudes have made the regional people live a tribal life. However, tribal life in this region means that they stay in the village during winter and have their animal husbandry jobs and migrate in summer. Some of the regional tribes are Zardeh, Seyyed Muhammad, Piraan, Yaraan, Qoleh qoleh, and Abudajaaneh who spend summer in Daalaahoo green mountains and valleys. Their living in black tents in a green natural scene adds to the beauty of these places.

The ceremonies for Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha, two of the religious festivities of Muslims, are both held in a somehow similar fashion in this region. The only difference is that on Eid ul-Adha most of the families sacrifice a sheep or cow and distribute the meat among the needy neighbors and the residents of Rijaab villages. But on the eve of Eid ul-Fitr the custodian of the family, who is usually the father, puts aside a certain amount of money, called Fetriah, for each member of the family and offers it to the needy of the region. During the night before the Eid ul-Fitr, the Ayahs of the holy Qur’an are recited and can be heard from the villages' mosques. And on the day of Eid ul-Fitr, people gather in the mosques and say the special prayer. Upon sunrise, villagers of Rijaab get together in long lines, congratulate each other and therefore cleanse their hearts and minds of all grudges and enmities. After that people pay visits to the families who have lost their loved ones during the year and pray for the ones passed away. They return to their homes and visit their neighbors and relatives. This tradition is mostly followed inside Rijaab villages.

Another glorious ceremony of the villages of Rijaab, is held in the month of Rabi-ul-awwal of the Islamic lunar calendar, on the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be upon Him and His Progeny). On this festivity and the days following it, special ceremonies and feasts are held in houses and mosques that give the region a heavenly atmosphere. During these celebrations, most of the regional people sacrifice a sheep or another animal whose meal is halal, i.e. religiously allowed to eat, and distribute its raw meat among the poor families. These ceremonies are held in another manner among the Sadat or the descendants of the prophet of Islam. First, Sadat families invite the people of the village to their houses; and then together with playing Daf (which is an Iranian traditional musical instrument) special songs on the birthday of Prophet Muhammad are sung; and finally a meal is served.

Residents of Rijaab villages also hold a welcoming ceremony for the Hajj pilgrims coming back home from Mecca and Medina. Each year, a number of the residents of this village set off for Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj rituals. Once they come back they are warmly welcomed by recitations of “La Ilaha illaLah”‌ meaning there is no God but Allah, some poems, and playing the Daf. One day after the pilgrim's return, and sometimes till a month later, people from around the village and also neighboring villages go to visit the pilgrim.

As we have mentioned before, Rijaab consists of 15 villages with common cultural and climatic characteristics. Another one of the villages of this region is called Zardeh.

Among all regional villages, Zardeh is the only one whose residents speak the ancient language of Sassanid Pahlavi. There are also numerous historic monuments in the village. However, when hearing the name of this village, many people are reminded of not its historical and natural attractions, but it’s being gased by Saddam's Ba'athist regime on July 22, 1988. The chemical bombardment of Zardeh village on that sad day claimed the lives of thirty percent of its population, that was about 275 people; and the survivors suffer a common pain. The loss of the loved ones and dying of burns, wounds or blisters, and suffering from cancer or respiratory diseases is a doleful story which the regional people speak of.

Zardeh village is located 40 km away from the city of Kerend-e- Gharb near Iran-Iraq border. It is surrounded by the high mountain of Kamar in north, a deep valley looming over Zahab plain in west, and Daalaahoo Mountain in east.

Drinking water is provided for the villagers from a spring in Daalaahoo Mountain named Qaslaan. The forests around Zardeh village mostly consist of ash trees and oak, but the gardens inside the village hold trees like olive, grapes, pomegranate, fig, and walnut. The village inhabitants work on gardening, farming, and animal husbandry. They used to live in a place now called Zardeh till 1977; but since the construction of some houses in Baangombad area by a group of archeologists, the younger generation has inhabited there.

Zardeh village has a long historical background which dates back to Sassanid and Ashkanid eras. Yazdgerd castle and the historical monuments in its vicinity are proofs of this fact. There are also some tombs near the village namely Baba Yadegar, Davood, Seyyed Darvish, and Cheshmeh Qaslaan.

Regarding the villages' strategic situation Shah Neshin mountain, north west of Zardeh village, looms over Sar-e- Pol-e- Zahab, Qasr-e- Shirin, and Iran-Iraq border.

Source: Iran English radio

Other links:

Altitudes and Summits, Kermanshah

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