Mehdi Russel was born in 1970 in a middle class family in Iran. His family was politically-involved and therefore, from a very young age, Mehdi was exposed to and surrounded by social movements and political activities.
At the age of 16, he voluntarily joined the army to help defend his country against the invasion of Saddam Hussein, in the Iran-Iraq war. During this traumatic time, he lost many of his close friends was injured in combat. This experience made him painfully aware of issues related to injured veterans, PTSD and how war can affect people’s lives and their families. Soon after he decided to dedicate himself and become a medical doctor to aid individuals with such problems.