A teenage Iranian boy from Iran’s southwestern Khuzestan province has caught the imagination of the country for a heroic act that cost him his life.
Ali Landi, 15, was laid to rest on Friday with full state honors after succumbing to third-degree burns he sustained while saving two elderly women from a burning house in his hometown of Izeh earlier this month.
Leading tributes to the teenager, President Ebrahim Raisi hailed him as a “national hero” and said his “story of self-sacrifice” must be narrated through art and literature to “inspire future generations.”
Every Iranian is “proud of such children,” he said in a statement, while extending sympathies to the bereaved family.
Vice President Mohammad Mokhber also condoled Landi’s tragic death, asserting that his “selfless action” had set an example for those “who strive to spread and deepen the culture of self-sacrifice and selflessness.”
Many senior ministers and politicians also joined the tributes to the young boy.
Alireza Kazemi, the caretaker education minister, described him as a “great hero” for younger generations in the country.
Landi, who hailed from a small village in Khuzestan, made the daring rescue on Sept. 9, family sources told Anadolu Agency, after which he was hospitalized in Ahvaz, provincial capital of Khuzestan, with 90% burns.
As his condition deteriorated, he was shifted to the neighboring province of Isfahan for advanced treatment, where he spent two weeks in an intensive care unit.
The government had instructed officials in Isfahan and Khuzestan to ensure the best possible medical care for the teenager and to bear all expenses.
While he was battling for his life, the whole nation came together for Landi, with his story trending on social media for the past few weeks.
As news of his death broke on Friday, a pall of gloom descended across the country over the loss of a “hero” and “martyr.”
“All superheroes don’t wear capes,” wrote one Twitter user, with an illustration of Landi carrying an elderly woman on his back amid raging flames./agencies