On the 16th of July 1939, the future Leader of Islamic Iran was born in the holy city of Mashhad, in the province of Khorasan. Sayyed Ali was the second son of Sayyed Javad Khamenei, a humble and poor Islamic scholar who taught all members of his family how to lead a simple, humble way of life.
“My father, though a well-known religious figure, was a bit of an ascetic. We had a hard life. Sometimes for supper we had nothing but bread with some raisins, which our mother had somehow improvised…. our house, some sixty-five square meters, consisted of a single room and a gloomy basement. When visitors came to see my father as the local cleric to consult about their problems, the family had to move into the basement while the visit went on…. Years later some charitable persons bought the small, empty lot adjacent to our house, so we were able to build two more rooms.”