Portrait rug 7: Ahmed Shah Masood



Thanks to warrug.com for this image. The text reads (loosely) “The great General of the Mujahideen, knowledgeable in relious matters, the leader of Afghanistan resistance, the martyr [in red] Ahmed Shah Masood”

Thanks to Max Allen for the following image:


Max interprets the tracer-like paths aiming towards his face plus the mark on his forehead as a representation of his assassination… And given that this is a recent production, and therefore commemorative in nature, these elements can be thought of as a symbolic anticipation of the horrific actual event (his death is reported to have been caused by a bomb disguised as a video camera). Given these circumstances, to show him kneeling as if in prayer gives the scene additional gravitas.

See also the following biodata from Wikipedia:

Ahmed Shah Masood (احمد شاه مسعود) (c. 1953 – September 9, 2001) (variant transliterations include Ahmad, Massoud, etc.) was a Kabul University engineering student turned Afghan military leader who played a leading role in driving the Soviet army out of Afghanistan, earning him the nickname Lion of Panjshir.

Massoud was an ethnic Tajik who was charismatic and respected by a faction of the Afghan population. In the early 1990s he became Defence Minister under President Burhanuddin Rabbani. Following the collapse of Rabbani’s government and the rise of the Taliban regime, Massoud became the military leader of the Northern Alliance, a coalition of various armed Afghani opposition groups, in a prolonged civil war. As the Taliban established control over most of Afghanistan, Massoud’s forces were increasingly forced into the mountainous areas of the north, where they controlled some 10% of Afghanistan’s territory and perhaps 30% of its population until late 2001. He was assassinated on September 9, 2001.


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