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Bio And Legacy

Biography of Ahmad Shah Massoud

Ahmad Shah Massoud was born on the 2nd of September 195- in a village within the Panjshir Provence called Jangalak. Here he stayed until the age of 5, after which- due to his fathers’ occupation as an officer for the Royal Afghan Army- he lived for periods in Kabul and Herat. During his time in Kabul, he was enrolled in the Franco-Afghan Lycée Esteqlal. From here, he pursued a degree in engineering in Kabul’s Polytechnic.

It was during his time in Kabul’s Polytechnic that Massoud joined Rabbani’s ‘Jamiat Islami’ in response to the increasing tyranny and soviet influence within Daoud Khan’s government. Massoud’s suspicions proved to be well-founded when, on the 24th of December 1979, the Red Army invaded Afghanistan with the aim of making Afghanistan another nation in the Soviet Block. Seeing that the future and wellbeing of his country was on the line, Massoud decided to take an active role in the Afghan resistance. He soon proved himself to be an exceedingly shrewd and integrous insurgent commander which earned him the nickname ‘the lion of Panjshir’. After, against all odds, successfully defending the Panjshir Valley against the Soviet invasion; Massoud went on to coordinate the rest of the Afghan resistance and in doing so become the primary leader of the Mujahideen. His seemingly endless labors finally bore fruit on the 15th of February 1989 when the USSR withdrew their troops.

A great believer in democracy and representation for all ethnic and cultural groups in Afghanistan, Massoud played an instrumental role in creating the Peshawar Accords in 1992- a power-sharing agreement. Unfortunately, this did not last long as Gulbuddin Hekmatyar bombed Kabul in an attempt to achieve absolute power. This attack was then followed by the Taliban, who successfully laid siege to the capital in January 1995. Due to his intense rejection of the Taliban’s fundamentalist interpretation of Islam, Massoud returned to the armed opposition. On the 9th of September 2001, he was brutally assassinated by an operation instigated by the Taliban. Since then Massuod’s life and legacy have been repeatedly commemorated throughout Afghanistan and indeed the world as a reminder of hope, determination and the aspiration of freedom.

For a more in-depth biography of Ahmad Shah Massoud’s life go here: ( this is where I think we should hyperlink books, articles and your own biography as they are all longer reads. For the sake of the website I think a shorter read like this would be best)