Hossaini was born in Kabul during the Soviet war in Afghanistan, but his family fled to Iran when he was six months old after his father was arrested for opposing the communist government. After graduating high school in 1996, Hossaini became a political activist with the Iranian reform movement and began recording events with his camera, including Afghani refugees in Mashhad.
- "The 2012 Pulitzer Prize Winners: Breaking News Photography: Massoud Hossaini". 2012. Retrieved April 16, 2012.