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National Hero of Afghanistan Remembered

On the occasion of the National Day of Fallen Martyrs, H.E. Ambassador Jawad attended a ceremony recognizing the accomplishments and life of the late Ahmad Shah Massoud, the national hero of Afghanistan, who fought against the Soviet Union and the Taliban.

In a message, Ambassador Said T. Jawad recognized the significant contribution of the late Massoud in fighting tyranny and terror and commended his sincere vision in seeking to build a pluralistic, prosperous and united Afghan nation.

Born in the Panjshir Valley on September 2, 1953, the late Massoud was an exceptionally bright student and would eventually master five languages as well as studying both engineering and architecture. During his days in university he joined the Jamiat Islami party to oppose the communist influence and regime in Afghanistan. Throughout the 1980s he emerged as the national resistance leader and later served as Minister of Defense.

While the Taliban swept across the nation in 1996, Massoud's Northern Alliance held out in the Shamali Plains due to Massoud's military, charisma and strategic planning. He was assassinated by two Al-Qaeda operatives only two days before the world-changing events of September 11, 2001 in what most believe to be a coordinated attack by Osama Bin Laden's Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

Always known as a moderate, a wide reader, a chess-player and admirer of poetry, it is little surprise that the late Ahmad Shah Massoud was widely photographed, written about, and documented. He remains to this day both a curious and fascinating figure in the eyes of the media, but to the vast majority of Afghans he is remembered as the "Lion of Panjshir" for his inspirational influence as a leader and fighter for Afghanistan's freedom.

The Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, D.C. recognized his legacy on Sunday, September 05 in an event with the friends of the late Ahmad Shah Massoud at the Cherry Blossom Hall in Virginia.

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