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Abandoned Airport


Apr 09 2024
Abandoned Airport
Abandoned Airport

Ruqieh Babaei

The entire city was in ruins. When I arrived in Bam that morning, I couldn't believe it was the same city I had visited many times from Kerman. Only the palm trees remained standing, along with a few doors and windows. I was shocked and didn't know where to begin. In the corners, there were men and women sitting on piles of bricks, either crying or lost in a sorrowful silence. Eventually, I made my way to the governor's building, where the sign lay among the rubble and a crowd of people had gathered. As more people arrived, everyone was desperately seeking help by phone. I saw a car approaching from the end of the street, and Haji stepped out of it. He looked somber and burdened with grief, talking on the phone as he walked. I overheard him saying, "Sir, you're sitting in Tehran and have no idea what's happening here. Please, come and help people..."

It was clear that Haji understood the gravity of the situation beyond his words, knowing it would take time for others to make a decision and take action.

He put the phone in his shirt pocket and greeted us, who were gathered around him, calming the atmosphere a little. He assigned a task to each of them and then left. I decided to inform my friends and Haji, who were all guys from the front, to meet in Bam. A few hours later, the guys arrived one by one and we continued the rescue efforts. We all drew energy from each other, and Haji knew how to make the most of everyone's abilities. There were many wounded, with several in serious condition. Unfortunately, there was no health center or hospital available to treat them. Even if we wanted to go to Kerman, there was not enough equipment or an ambulance.

One of my friends approached me and said, "Seyed Mustafa! Haji told us to gather all the injured and take them to the airport."
I was surprised, asking, "The airport? It has been abandoned for a long time."
He replied, "I don't know. I just follow Haji's orders."

I turned the car and drove cautiously. The wounded individuals around me were moaning and crying, either from pain or from being saddened by the loss of their loved ones in just a few moments. I was also feeling uneasy from the scenes I had witnessed, but I tried to comfort them until we reached the airport.

There was only a small hall and a runway full of thorns. I thought to myself that Haji would definitely want to set up a temporary hospital here. However, my thoughts were interrupted by a loud noise coming from the runway.

An airplane approached and landed shortly afterwards. I hurried to the runway and saw Haji and Ahmad Kazemi there. In my heart, I admired Haji and went back to help the wounded, bringing them one by one with the assistance of others. The plane's door opened, but there was no one coming out. Haji turned to the younger ones and said, "Don't just stand there, please sit down so the injured people can climb up. we have requested a stair and they will be sending it soon."

No one waited. A few people bent over and the injured people climbed up from the end of the plane. Haji instructed the rescuers, and half an hour later the plane was ready to depart again.The plane took off and ascended into the sky. I went back to find Haj Qasem to thank him for his timely actions , but he was nowhere to be found. He had gone off to do something else.


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