The Adventures of Abo Jasem
Greetings Motor Heads!
We are spread all over the globe, but thru the web, we unite. My friend ďMamadĒ lives in Iran, both he and his Father have worked on a good many stationary engines, and have managed to keep many things running through good times and hard times.
I am told that about 90% of Iranians like the WEST, and this same percentage is grateful for a good many things This is NOT a story about politics, but I think itís important that we understand that the present leadership of Iran does not represent the people of Iran, just as our Media does not deliver the news. As you read Mamadís account of this adventure to augment an irrigation system in a different land, you will also see that Iran has diversity, but diverse and united at the same time.
When Mamad places his head on the pillow, he sees the same gears and cams as we do, he has a good heart, and a quick wit.
The real story, As you will see is how a conversation between one fair minded British Soldier and a Sheik with an open mind changed the lives of a good many people for the better. This story is delivered directly to Mamad by the Sheik himself! And now Abo Jasem's adventure!
Above: Hereís a map to get an idea of Mamadís adventure and where he went to help his fatherís customer.
Above: Mamad on right setting up a Customer's Irrigation pump set. I have some software to compress the images on my website, but I will build a folder on the CD to show all the wonderful engines Mamad sees on his trip here. Maybe I can post more here, without getting warnings that I am exceeding bandwidth!
I have attached some pictures of one of my travels and its story.
Yes, George it was one of the most exciting traveling in my life! I enjoyed VERY much!
This travel started from when one of my fatherís customers came in our workshop and asked us for a 10" pump-set, my father told him we have the engine but we must buy the Pump and coupling and it take at least one week. The customer that his name was Mr. Kosar Al-Ali accepted these terms.
After that my father and Kosar started to talk VERY friendly and they were reminding their past memories! Yes I was remembering that, about 10 years ago my father mended many engines of some ships that belonged to Mr. Kosar, but my father asked him for what do you want this pump set? and he got sad and thought for seconds and replied that he had bought a large farm--- more than 1000 hectare, and he has not any ships at present and left that poor job for ever and started to farming the same as his father.
After that my father asked me to leave the room, as they wanted to speak privately. After Kosar left the workshop I asked my father about their speakings but my father did not answer me and only told me "Hey Mamad, you only try to couple the pump-set as soon as possible and also you must go to his farm in KHORAMSHAHR for installation. Again I asked from my father "Hey Ali, did he pay its price?"( I call my father Ali, it is not common in Iran that a son call his father in his first name but from when I was a child I called my father with his first name. Most of people surprise about this and most of them think that we are brothers that call each other with our first names). This time my father got angry and shouted "Hey Son, do only as I asked you-- and do not ask any more". After that I did not say any more and left the room.
After that we started to coupling the pump-set and less than one week the pump-set was ready, then we called to Mr. Kosar and we took his address and then we send the pump-set to Khoramshahr (if you see the map, you see that this city is in the southwest of Iran----near the border of Iran and Iraq. This city is located in the KHOZESTAN province, most people of the Khozestan are Arab and they speak Arabic. As you know, I speak Farsi. it is interesting that most of the people that are living in the villages are old, cannot speak Farsi but all of them emphasis that they are Iranian and they do not like Iraq. The main reason of the war of Iran and Iraq was "the Khosestan" that Sadam believed that as the people of this province are Arab so this land belong to Iraq not Iran. But after Sadam attacked to this land all Arabs of this land started to fight against the Iraq soldiers because they like Iran and their mother land.
Nearly after 15 days Kosar called us and told that they had made ready pipes and connections and all is ready for pump installation. Then he sent a ticket to Abadan ,because Khoramshar has no airport.
I left Tehran at 4.30 PM and as the flight had been delayed I received to Abadan about 6 PM. Kosar and one of his drivers came to welcoming me, then we left the airport to the city. The weather was great! Yes it was +22*c with out any sultry, last time that I came to Abadan, it was very hot +48*c!! and more than 90% sultry!
We went to his Garage in Khoramshar, Abadan and Khoramshar are near---only 15 minutes by car ). yes ,Kosar was living in a Garage, No wife,
No family, No house!!?? At first, I was VERY surprised about these conditions, because as I remembered---10 years ago Kosar was very rich and he had some ships and he had some offices in some ports of Persian Gulf and Tehran and Dubai(U.A.E) and many staffs, but now he was living in a simple Garage alone! By the way, I didnít ask about any things, after drinking a cup of tea, at 8 P.M Kosar asked me for going to his farm that was 30 KM far from Khoramshahr for visiting the condition and tools and if any thing was needed---we bought in the morning before going to farm in next morning.
Then me and Kosar drove to his farm by a Nissan Patrol 4x4. during the way we spoke about some subjects and he explained about the farm---he said that his farm is more than 1000 hectare but in this season the land under cultivation is 600 hectare!! in this season they only planted wheat! George, it is better to know that as the weather in all sought part of Iran is hot so if the farms of the farmers have enough water, they plant during all the year!!!
Kosar can plant all the year because one side of his farm is ended to the longest and deepest and widest river of Iran "KARON" this is the only river in Iran that is navigable. After visiting the farm and controlling all tools, pipes, and pump-set, I gave a list of some tools and parts to Kosar to buy next morning, Then we return to Khoramshahr at 11 P.M and after eating dinner---Kosar wanted to rent a room for me in a hotel so we went to the hotel--- when I saw the price of a room that was 90 USD for a single room!! I asked for visiting the room before renting and when I saw the room that wasnít right---I asked Kosar that where does he sleep? he said that he sleep in the garage, then I told him that if I can stay in the garage, it is not necessary to rent a room, because this is a bad hotel with a bad manager, so we went to garage and sleep at 12 P.M.
Next morning at 9 A.M we went to farm again and the installation of the pump set and connections took 2 days, their were many good people and they helped me a lot, they did all jobs very fast and I only lead them to do the jobs. They were simple farmers but they were clever and good workers.
Above: Arabic Tea, as prepared in the field by workers
At first I was confused because other workers and farmers were speaking only Arabic, they understood what I was speaking but they could not answer in Farsi. Another interesting subject, they called each other by the name of their older sons! Yes, they called Kosar "ABO NAYEF" it means "The Father of Nayef" Abo in Arabic means father. The name of the older son of Kosar is Nayef. It was funny that, this kind of naming system made problem for me because as I have not any son so I had not any name for calling, between the Arabs and this land. They asked my name, and I answered "Mohammad" they were happy because they saw that my name is the same as Muslims Prophet so it is a holy Name. Then they asked about the name of my son? But when I told them that I am single they were sad, and they told me that a Muslims must be married as soon as possible. But I told themÖ..Hey Dear Muslims Brothers, as you know our holy Prophet "Mohammad" married when he was 40 years old, so I am doing the same as our Holy Prophet. After that all of them started to laugh after that I told them "Hey Friends, you can call me Mamad" when I said this they were happy because the problem was solved. As they told me they never call a man Mamad, they use "ABO JASEM" for calling all men that are named Mamad. After that they called me Abo Jasem and infact my name in all Arab countries is "Abo Jasem" so I am so happy to find another new name that is useful in Arab countries!!! I told to the farmers that this name oblige me to name my son Jasem in the future, After finishing the installation I started the engine and all of us were very happy that every job is done on time. After starting the engine they sacrificed a sheep for thanking the God for doing all the jobs right, because they believe that it is God that helps them in all jobs and if God do not help them they cannot do any jobs. They believe that they only must trust to God in worst and best condition and never disappointed in hard condition and also never become proud when they are rich and powerful!! Because God can change all things.
After that they butchered the sheep very fast and after making a big fire they roasted the steak meat of the sheep the same as 2000 years ago. Yes, after salting the meat, they put the steaks in the fire.
it was VERY interesting being in a wild land with some simple people but VERY warm and friendly and easy. I love this kind of people and dislike people who are cold and proud.
After finishing the job in the farm me and Kosar had more free times for speaking, so he started to tell me about his past and his life during the nights, he told me that it is more than 5 years that he lost his ships and became bankrupt. Yes he told me that he became jailed for his debts more than 3 years, so he started his business from zero point again. He was thankful of my father because as he said during when he was in jail, my father was supporting his family (3 children and wife)!!I was surprised when I heard that, because my father never told any things about it. Kosar told me that when your father asked you to leave the room in the workshop, they wanted to speak about that subject. After that I was happy to have a good father that tried to help a respectable man. But Kosar had returned all the money to my father after he got free from jail.
Before that I thought that Kosar was an ordinary man but when he reviewed his life I found him a great man. Yes Kosar is a Son of a SHEIK, (Sheik in Arab countries is not only a VERY rich man but VERY influential in the society. In this system the oldest son of the Sheik will be the succeed of his father, so Kosar will be the Sheik after his father. He was also graduated from Oxford University, but he seemed very simple and easy as you see his picture.
By the way, after 3 days that we were in Khoramshahr and his farm ,he asked me for visiting another HRW6 Gen-Set that was in his father hencoop in Ahvaz city that had 50,000 hens. So we drove to Ahvaz that is 100 KM far from Khoramshahr and when we arrived to Ahvaz it was nearly dark and Kosar invited me to going to his Fatherís house. When we entered to a VERY big house (against his poor room in Garage) we were warmly invited to the house of the Sheik. Yes this was the first time that I was visiting a real Sheik, he was a well-matured old man that his face showed he was the leader all his life. First Kosar said hello to his father and after that very fast kissed the right hand of the Sheik. I learned this local custom that others must kiss the hand of a Sheik, so I also wanted to kiss his hand, that old man did not let me to do that and kissed my head and told me "Hey my son you are my guest". After that I felt very near to Sheik and started to speak with that old man Farsi. Yes he was speaking Farsi very good. After that the dinner was ready to serve and they ate on the floor not a table. I was surprised because we were 7 men ONLY, no women for dinner. I asked Kosar about Women, he told that women never come to a place where a strange man is, so they were eating the dinner in another room. Again I was surprised, because for 7 men it was only 2 spoon and a fork. Yes only me and Sheik was eating by spoon and others were eating by bare hand. Kosar also was eating by hand. I never saw that before, but George, Arabs foods is very delicious, full of fat and in all foods they use rice in so many kind of cooking. After finishing the dinner and drinking some cups of Arabic tea the Sheik started to tell about himself!!! This story is the history of all Khozestan province and also nearly the same history in all Iraq and other Arabic countries, but for shorting the story I only will write some parts that I called it "THE STATIONARY ENGINEíS INFLUENCE IN MIDDEL EAST". Yes I am sure the Stationary engines changed the way of most parts of Middle East.
"Haj Tehran Al Ali" (Haj, as he went to Mecca--Tehran, is his first name---Al Ali is his second name) is the latest Sheik of Khozestan.
he is 82 years old and has 2 wives and 9 sons and 4 girls. One of his wives had died 5 years ago. He remember that in 1941 the British Navy attacked to the Navy ships of Iran in Karon and sunk all of then in one day. After that they started to improve to north parts of Iran and at the end they had changed the King of Iran. He said that at that time the monopoly of shipping in all of Karon belongs to a British Company by the name of "LINCH BROTHERS Co." As Sheik Tehran said this British Company was active not only in Khozestan but in BASREH in Iraq and in fact the main office of this company was in Basreh before coming to Iran. Sheik Tehran told me that, British in all times have influence in Basreh. As you can see that at the present the British Army are located in Basreh and this city is controled by British not U.S and this city is quiet because British are old citizenships of Basreh.
Yes ,Sheik Tehran said that the Linch Company, also founded the "BANK OF ENGLAND & IRAN " in all parts of Iran very fast and in fact this company that was supported by the Queen of Great Britain captured all economy of Khoseztan, that was very important for U.K at that time because they also had got the monopoly of exploitation of all oil wells in Khozestan. After saying this, Sheik Tehran was deeply thinking and said to me, "Yes, never things had changed they are also fighting for oil in Iraq"
Then Sheik Tehran started to say his life story that started from when he was only 12 years old and they were living in CHAMIAN village that is 30 KM far from Ahvaz and is located along the Karon river. As he was the older son of his father and he will be future Sheik so his father obliged him to managing the farm from when he was only 12 years old, and also his father obliged him to married when he was only 16 years old. The Sheik smiled and said that his wife was only 10 years old when they married. In hot countries girls are reached very soon. The Sheik said that at that time they were obliged to do only dry farming and had only the wheat produced by dry farming. By that way, the economy of the Sheik was not good, but every thing changed VERY strangely, yes, the Sheik Tehran remembered a day that he was working in the farm with some other workers and Brothers, that suddenly a group of British soldiers arrived in his farm and asked for the owner the farm?
Sheik who was very young at that time was worried and answered "I am the owner" ,then between them an officer that was speaking Arabic very well came near the Sheik Tehran and after saying hello, shaked his hand very fast and introduced himself as Officer Steve from U.K Army. The officer told Tehran that they want to stay there for some days and they will pay all his costs, but Tehran answered that he had to inform his father at first, after some hours his father came on the scene. When his father saw that equipped army, he had to only say "YES YOU ARE WELCOME", after that they saw that Steve and his soldiers were working around all the days and was writing some things and drawing many maps from that area. After 2 days--at night Steve and 2 soldiers came to the house of Sheik for visiting them, Steve wanted to give them some money for their staying, but the Father of Sheik Tehran did not accept the money and answered the Steve "Mr. Officer, we are not poor and do not need your money ,please only leave the farm as soon as possible because if you stay here more we cannot farm and then we will be poor, but Steve only smiled and said "Hey Brother, my Mother is an Arab and we do not want to make problems for you "after that every thing changed as the mother of Steve was an ArabĒ. When British group were staying in the farm Steve tried to make friendship with the father of Tehran and his family and at the end he succeeded! Yes, this happened when Steve informed the father of Tehran that they can change their farm completely and they will be rich very fast if they use a Stationary Engines for watering their farm from Karon, but the father did not believe that because he did not know what Steve was saying indeed Steve told them that he had saw a branch of LINCH Co. in Basreh in Iraq that imported some Stationary Engines Pump-Sets from U.K. Then Steve gave them an address in Basreh that they could find Linch Co. After nearly 15 days Steve and his soldiers left the farm for ever but finally Steve gave them money as the cost of renting the farm for 15 days and told to Sheik Tehran "Hey Tehran, oblige your father to go to Basreh and buy an Pump by this money! I am sure that this money is enough for buying the Pump!! After 1 month his father traveled to Basreh and he bought a Crossly Pump-Set 6" and every thing changed around them. Yes they had more than 2500 hectares farm and enough water and 4 season sunshine and hot weather in all the year. Sheik Tehran said less than 3 years they were rich enough for buying a bigger engine for more planting. Yes this time a new branch of Linch Company was opened in Ahvaz. Sheik Tehran said at that year the Linch,Co had imported 400 Ruston and 200 National (you can see the pics that all of them were the same model).so this time that Sheik Tehran was a young man that had 2 children went to Ahvaz with his younger brother(with out his father)for buying a new National engine and Ruston pump(was famous as HELICAL that is written in Arabic on the pump you can see in the picture of pump under Ruston name) 24"*20" !!I was surprised when Sheik Tehran showed me the "Certificate of Orgin" of National engine that I had sent its scan for you. it is dated on 4,Jul,1949, some years later in 1957 they will buy a new Ruston engine for 2990.492 Sterling Pound and a new Ruston Pump 16"*14" (were famous as ALEN in Arabic world under Ruston name) for 558.96 Sterling Pound!! and with this value of water they were able to planting all 2500 hectare of their farm! this were continue until 25 years ago that they were really rich that Sheikh Tehran remember that 25 years ago he and his brothers were saved more than 1,000,000 USD money in banks, and all of that was from the helping of Officer Steve that Sheik Tehran never had saw him after that but Sheik Tehran said that all days that he said prayers against the God (5 times a day) he ask the God best wishes for Steve that changed their life.
Next day me and Kosar went to the CHAMIAN village for visiting the engines that last night Sheik Tehran told the story of them, after taking the photos I heard a VERY strange sounds that I NEVER had heard before, "POOO" after one second again "POOO" another second "POOO" ,I was surprised and only listened.
After hearing that strange voice, I asked about that voice from Kosar. He told me that it is another Ruston that is working yet. Then we walked to the engine house and after entering the engine house I saw one of the rare views in the world, yes, the engine was working for supplying the power for watering, the time was stopped in the engine house for 60 years, in fact in that village the time was stopped for 60 years! I am sure that it is one of the rare places in the world that the stationary engines are working for making the power the same as their first days--- not working for amusing the enthusiasts. Yes, in this part of the world stationary engines are working for helping some poor farmers that have not enough money for paying the costs of connecting to the electrical power stations (it cost about 10,000 USD!!) but in other parts of the world the stationary engines are working for amusing some people that try to spend more money to make more amusement. What a BIG difference.
Kosar, oldest Son of the Sheik
George, after entering to the engine house I shouted "LONG LIFE U.K , LONG LIFE DAVID EDGINGTON, (I said in English) Kosar and other farmers were surprised and some of them thought that I was mad, after that I started to take many pictures. I was the same as a child very happy. It was a LIVE SHOW of working stationary engines who had never taken part in a rally before for visiting the engines but I am sure that there are only a few young men that saw an engine that is working in an old engine house in aim of making power for old and poor farmers. It is the same as magic travel to the past!!!!
After that I started to speak with some old farmers and all of them answered all my questions warmly and complete. Most of them were happy that I paid attention to their engines and jobs. They told me that you are the first young man that likes our job and engines. They invited us to their house and after drinking some cups of tea they told me some stories about the past.
Then we returned to the Ahvaz and stayed in the house of the Sheik for another night. During the night I asked Sheik more about the engines!!
Very Best Regards,