Once upon a time in East, there was a young poor farmer working hard to provide for his wife and their little child. They were living in a small village behind the tall mountains covered by snow all the time. Their life was always with hardship and adversity. But the young man would work as hard as it took to not let his family down. He would walk every night from the farm to his small house through the dark forest surrounded by white peaks all alone, carrying a small lantern in hand. There was a railway passing through the heart of the mountains from a walking distance of the forest. One time, in a cold winter night, while he was coming back to his home from work, suddenly he heard a horrifying sound coming from the tunnels and saw the rocks collapsing and falling down on the railway and blocking the tunnel. It was terrifying, but it got worse. He saw from far away that a train was approaching the tunnel without knowing that if they passed the tunnel, thousands of lives would be in jeopardy and could end dramatically. He didn’t know what to do or how possibly could he have stopped the train. He remembered those days that he used to walk by the railway and see the happy travelers waving at him. He couldn’t let them die. Suddenly he felt strength in his heart. He had made his decision. He wanted to save all those lives even if it cost his own life. The lantern couldn’t glint enough for engine driver to see that, so he took off his shirt even though the weather was terribly cold. He tied up the shirt to his wooden stick and lit the shirt using lantern`s oil and made a big flame out of it. Then he started to run toward the locomotive holding the stick and waving constantly so the train engineer could see that. The train was still approaching and getting awfully close to the blocking rocks. The man`s heart was beating like a drum and he could not feel the chilling weather anymore. He got to the railroad and now he was running directly toward the locomotive in the opposite direction with no regard for his life. The engineer who had seen him now for a few minutes was hitting the brake as hard as he could. The passengers were anxious and screaming and did not have any clue what was happening to them. But finally at the very last possible minutes, the train had stopped just the shy of 100 feet away from the blocking rocks. Now everyone could breathe. But they were in shock. They got off the train and could not believe what they were witnessing. Yes, they saw that small and skinny young man had saved all these people`s life and now was lying down on the railroad with a fading smile. He fainted and they took him to the hospital. Since he ran naked under very cold weather his chest got infected and they had to treat him there for fifteen days. He was indeed a great man that showed the world what it meant to be selfless and put your ownlife in jeopardy to save other human beings. (Sina, Iran, 2015)
Years have been passed and the story of RIZALI KHAJAVI has been narrated for over sixty years, generation to generation. He is now eighty-five years old and lives in KARAJ which is one of the biggest cities in Iran and close to Tehran. He is originally from MIANEH, AZARBAYJAN SHARGHI and lived there until recently. His incredible story has been taught to elementary schools` students in Iran for more than 3 decades.