Enemy, brother (2)

Soon this story is to be made into a movie called, “My Enemy, My brother”. 

Screengrab:Fathom Film Group

Zahed left / Najah right. Screengrab from Fathom Film Group

     § A TRUE STORY. 

TWO soldiers. One is named Zahed. He is from Iran. He was a child soldier over 30 years ago. The other soldier is Najah. He is from Iraq. They are both fighting in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. They do not want to fight. They have to. 

     Zahed from Iran finds Najah from Iraq almost dead in a bunker [a place for soldiers to hide from bombs]. Zahed was told by his commander that he must kill any enemy soldier he finds alive. Zahed lifts his gun to shoot Najah and sees a photo that fell out of Najah’s pocket. It is a photo of his family: his wife and son. The photo suddenly makes Zahed think like a human. He cannot shoot Najah. Zahed thinks, “He is a human, not an enemy.” 

     Zahed hides Najah and keeps him alive for three days. Finally, the battle ends and Zahed is able to get Najah to a hospital. Najah’s life is saved.

     The war goes on. Najah becomes a prisoner of war and is in prison for 17 years. Zahed also becomes a prisoner of war.  When Najah is finally let out of prison he cannot find his wife and son. They are missing. Najah’s sister, who moved to Canada with her husband, finds a way to get Najah to Canada. Najah moves to Canada and starts a lonely life there.

     Zahed also is finally let out of prison. He goes to work in the Merchant Marine. (He is a sailor on a ship at sea.)  But he suffers very much from mental illness because of his time in the war, and from all that he saw and lived through.  He gets into a fight with the captain of the ship and breaks something on the ship. The captain says, “When we get back to land, I will have you put in prison!” The ship is sailing near Vancouver, Canada. Zahed secretly leaves the ship and goes to Vancouver. People help him. They tell Zahed about an organization that helps soldiers who have been tortured [badly hurt]. Zahed goes to the organization for help. While he is waiting to see a doctor, another man in the waiting room starts to talk to him. The man says to Zahed, “Are you an Iraqi?” 

    Zahed says, “No. I am Iranian.” 

    They begin to talk more. “Were you in the war?” 

    “Yes, I was in the war too. I fought in a very terrible battle in this one place . . . .”

     Slowly Najah understands that the man before him is the young soldier that saved his life.

     After 20 long years, the lives of these two soldiers have come together again. . . .

     The men are both citizens of Canada now. They help and care for each other like brothers.

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