Wednesday, April 13

Ahmad Shah Massoud - The Lion of Panjshir

"Lion of Panjshir"
Place of birth:
Bazarak, Panjshir, Afghanistan
Place of death:
Takhar Province, Afghanistan
Years of service:
Commander, Minister of Defense
Commands held:
Prominent Mujahideen commander during the Soviet war in Afghanistan,
Defense Minister of Afghanistan and commander of the anti-Taliban United Islamic Front

Soviet war in Afghanistan
War in Afghanistan

National Hero of Afghanistan and Nobel Peace Prize Nominee

Wikipedia about Ahmad Shah Massoud

Ahmad Shah Massoud (احمد شاه مسعود- Aḥmad Šāh Mas'ūd; September 2, 1953 – September 9, 2001) was a Kabul University engineering student turned military leader who played a leading role in driving the Soviet army out of Afghanistan, earning him the name Lion of Panjshir. His followers called him Āmir Sāhib-e Shahīd (Our Beloved Martyred Commander). His followers not only saw him as a military commander but also as a spiritual leader."Lion of Panjshir", is a rhyme and play on words in Persian, which alludes to the strength of his resistance against the Soviet Union, the mythological exaltation of the lion in Persian literature, and finally, the place name of the Panjshir Valley, where Massoud was born. The place name of "Panjshir" Valley in Persian means (Valley of the) Five Lions. Thus, the phrase "Lion of Panjshir", which in Persian is "Shir-e-Panjshir," شیر پنجشیر is a rhyming play on words, with the connotation "Lion of the Five Lions".

Widely seen as a guerrilla genius - his country's Che Guevara, with charisma and beard to match - Massoud successfully played David to the Soviets' Goliath in the 1980s. - Sebastian Junger Under Fire by Ted Chamberlain, National Geographic

Massoud's personal mysticism led him to fight without hatred, bitterness, or spirit of revenge, regarding armed conflict only as an imposed and necessary evil in order to defend his people's freedom, certainly not as an end in itself to be enjoyed as bloodlust or intoxication with power. He always provided protection for humanitarian relief in the most difficult and dangerous circumstances, looked for reconciliation with defeated enemies, and invariably treated his war prisoners with humanity and dignity. To this I was witness ... Such moral integrity in the midst of warfare ranks Massoud as one of the very few « philosopher kings » in history, that is, men who have been forced to wage war so as to protect their nation and people, but who detested war in itself and sought no personal political gain. - Thoughts on Commander Massoud by Princeton University Prof. Michael Barry

Massoud was named "The Afghan who won the cold war" by the Wall Street Journal. He defeated the Soviet Red Army in the Panjshir. The Soviet Union's defeat was not only a defeat in Afghanistan, but led to the collapse of the Soviet system and was followed by the liberation of the Central Asian and Eastern European countries from Moscow's control. His struggle against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan earned him the name "Lion of Panjshir".

Massoud's tomb in Bazarak in the Panjshir Valley.

The mausoleum of Massoud is now a national visiting site located in the Panjshir Valley, north of the capital Kabul.

"For me, north, south, Persian, Pashto is absolutely meaningless. In our home we can talk in every language." - Ahmad Shah Massoud

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