Mohammad Hossein Fahmideh

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Mohammad Hossein Fahmideh
Mohammad Hossein Fahmideh.JPG
Portrait of Fahmideh in the Martyrs' Museum, Tehran
Native nameمحمد حسین فهمیده
Born(1967-05-06)May 6, 1967
Qom, Iran
DiedOctober 30, 1980(1980-10-30) (aged 13)
Khorramshahr Khuzestan province, Iran
BuriedBehesht-e Zahra cemetery, Tehran
AllegianceIslamic Republic of Iran
Battles/warsIran–Iraq War
AwardsFath Medal.jpg 1st grade Fath Medal
RelationsMohammad Taqi Fahmideh (father)

Mohammad Hossein Fahmideh (Persian: محمد حسین فهمیده)[1] (born 6 May 1967 in Qom – 30 October 1980 in Khorramshahr) is an Iranian war hero[2] and an icon of the Iran–Iraq war.

In September 1980, Iraq initiated the invasion of Iran via air and land, sending five armoured and mechanized divisions across the Shatt al-Arab (Arvand Rud) waterway to invade the oil-rich Khuzestan Province in southern Iran, quickly seizing several towns in the area, and, on November 10, attacked the city of Khorramshahr.[3]

According to his official biography,[4] Fahmideh was a 13-year-old boy from Qom who, at the outbreak of war in 1980,[5] left his home without his parents knowing to go to southern Iran and aid in the defense of Khorramshahr, the front line of the war.[6] In the besieged city of Khorramshahr, he fought side-by-side with older Iranian soldiers.[7] Fahmideh was among the Iranians who engaged in fierce house-to-house battles in which thousands of Iraqis and Iranians were killed.[3] At one point, Iraqi forces pushed the Iranian troops back as they were passing through a very narrow canal. Due to a lack of RPG rockets and the sensitive formation of the Iraqi tanks, Fahmideh, seeing that his older comrades were already dead or wounded,[8] wrapped himself in a grenade belt from a nearby body, pulled the pins out, and jumped underneath an advancing Iraqi tank, killing himself and disabling the tank.[9] This led the Iraqi tank column to believe that the Iranians had mined the area, ceasing their advance. Later, Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran broadcast a breaking news story describing the incident.[10]

His story inspired many Iranians during the war to risk death to save their young republic and has been heralded by leaders in Iran from Ayatollah Khomeini to President Mohammad Khatami.[3] Ayatollah Khomeini declared Fahmideh an Iranian national hero,[11] and made references to him in several of his speeches:[3][8]

Our leader is that 13-years-old child who threw himself with his little heart against the enemy. He is worth more than a hundred pens and a hundred tongues.

Fahmideh is buried in Behesht-e Zahra cemetery in Tehran in section 24, row 44, no. 11.[10] A monument to him was erected on the outskirts of Tehran and has become a place of pilgrimage for young Iranians.[12][13] In the years following Hossein's death, murals have been erected throughout Iran, book bags displaying Hossein were sold to children, and, in 1986, a postage stamp was issued in his memory.[14] Streets, hospitals, schools, and a sports stadium have been named in his honor.[3] The day of his death, October 30, marks the "Student Basij Day" in the official calendar of Iran.[15]

Fahmideh was posthumously awarded the 1st grade Fath Medal on September 27, 1989 after the Iran–Iraq War, becoming its first recipient.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Persian pronunciation: [mohæmmæd hoˌsejne fæhmiːˈde]
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2004-12-16. Retrieved 2004-12-16.
  3. ^ a b c d e Davis, Joyce (2004). Martyrs: Innocence, Vengeance, and Despair in the Middle East. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 49–50. ISBN 9781403966810.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-01-06. Retrieved 2009-03-24.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-09-05. Retrieved 2009-03-24.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-10-31. Retrieved 2007-10-31.
  8. ^ a b Mitchell, Jolyon (2012). Promoting peace, inciting violence : the role of religion and media. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. p. 49. ISBN 9780415557467.
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b
  11. ^
  12. ^ The making of a suicide bomber
  13. ^ Shahid Fahmideh
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^