Massoud Hossaini: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Massoud Hossaini

Massoud Hossaini. (Twitter/Massoud Hossaini)

Massoud Hossaini is a photographer for The Associated Press who was trapped in the siege of American University on Kabul.

Hossaini wrote a harrowing tweet as he was trapped inside the five-acre university campus on August 24 with dozens of students, but he escaped the attack.

In the hour after the attack, Hossaini had not tweeted again.
The Associated Press later reported that Hossaini made it out with other students who escaped through a gate.

Gunmen stormed the university, which is home to 1,700 students and opened in 2006. CNN said an explosion was also heard, and said the attack came at a time that students gathered to eat.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. The Photographer Wrote That He Might be Writing His ‘Last Tweets’ & Was a Pulitzer Prize winner

“Help we are stuck inside AUAF and shooting flollowed (sic) by Explo this maybe my last tweets,” he wrote. However, the tweet and his page were then deleted.

Comment writers responded “keep strong and keep safe Massoud, big hug. Thinking of you and praying that help is on the way” and “Stay strong Massoud as always. AF special forces are on their way. #Taliban.”

On Facebook, Hossaini wrote, “I will share all true local and international news with you as well as news about Photography. I am working for the Associated Press (AP) in Kabul.”

The Associated Press said Hossaini was in a classroom when the attacks struck. “I went to the window to see what was going on, and I saw a person in normal clothes outside. He shot at me and shattered the glass,” Hossaini said, according to the AP, which said that he cut his hands on glass.

“The students then barricaded themselves into the classroom, pushing chairs and desks against the door, and staying on the floor,” said the AP, adding that Hossaini and others then escaped through a gate.

CBC said Hossaini won the Pulitzer Prize, the top award in U.S. journalism.

2. The Photographer Lamented That He Was ‘Born in The Wrong Place

On Twitter, Hossaini said, “I was born in the wrong place, Afg, Grew up in the wrong place, Iran, living in the wrong place, kabul. Im 2012 Pulitzer winner & work: Associated Press (AP).”
According to Fox News, special forces surrounded the university as students and instructors hid in classrooms.

3. Hossaini Had a Blog on Which He Posted His Work

Although he didn’t post on it since 2011, Hossaini’s blog was called “Read My Eyes,” and talked about suicide attacks.

In one, from 2011, he wrote, “At 2 pm some one inform my colleague about a suicide attack on a police station in a crowd and business place of Kabul. We run to reach there and when i arrived there I all the shops were closed and their owner were walking sad and and unhappy…

We arrived to a street which police station was placed, after struggling with Police, tried to be closed as much as we can. Clash is started. One suicide attacker was below up himself inside the police station and two other entered and opened fire.”

4. Others Trapped in the University Also Tweeted About Their Peril

Student Mohammad Qasemi also took to social media and posted a harrowing status on Facebook. He attributed the attack to the Taliban, wrote “they’re killing us” and an hour later had not posted again.

Another student posted about escaping.

5. The Attack Comes Just Weeks After Two Professors Were Kidnapped From the University

The professors, an American and Australian, were kidnapped on their way to the university, but their names were not released, nor their condition updated.