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 Ahmad Shah Massoud Day Holiday Resource
About Ahmad Shah Massoud Day
September 9, is observed as a national holiday in Afghanistan, known as Massoud Day. Ahmed Shah Massoud was born in Jangalak in the Panjshir Valley in 1953. He attended the university in Kabul where he studied engineering. The invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union in 1979 changed the course of that country's history and the direction of Ahmed Shah Massoud's life. He was a military leader who played a leading role in driving the Soviet army out of Afghanistan, earning him the nickname Lion of Panjshir and his followers call him Amir Sahib-e Shahid which means Our Martyred Commander. The invasion of the Soviet Union to support the collapsing Communist government in Afghanistan gave birth to a loose collection of Afghan freedom fighters. They became known around the world as the mujahadin. Ahmed Shah Massoud soon established himself as one of the mujahadin's most prominent commanders. Massoud became the Defense Minister in 1992 under the government of former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani. Following the collapse of Rabbani’s government and the rise of the Taliban in 1996, Massoud returned to the role of an armed opposition leader, serving as the military commander of the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan also known previously as the Northern Alliance. It was on September 9, 2001, two days before the September 11 attacks in the United States, Massoud was assassinated in Takhar Province of Afghanistan by suspected al-Qaeda agents. In 2001, the Afghan Interim Government under President Hamid Karzai awarded Massoud the title of "Hero of the Afghan Nation" and the following year he got nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Ahmed Shah Massoud was married to Sediqa Massoud and has one son and five daughters and they all live in Iran. The entire family has a great deal of prestige in the politics of Afghanistan and Massoud has six brothers out of whom Ahmad Zia Massoud is the current vice-president of Afghanistan and Ahmad Wali Massoud is Afghanistan’s ambassador to the United Kingdom. After his death, Massoud was interred in a mausoleum in Panjshir Valley and a larger mausoleum is being constructed to replace the current one.
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