Abbas Alizada, 20, is being called the “Afghan Bruce Lee,” and it’s not just because of his looks; he even has Lee’s trademark bowl haircut. He spends much of his time training at Darulaman Palace, which has been left destroyed over the years after decades of war. It’s a place that Alizada says “inspires” him.
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One of 10 children, he grew up poor and it looked like he couldn’t afford to attend an academy that taught the Chinese mixed martial art of Wushu due to the fees. Fortunately for him, a trainer took Alizada under his wing. He now spars with partners as part of his routine.
His Facebook page, where he already has more than 14,000 Likes, is full of inspiring quotes paired with photos of him showing off his moves. A video from June puts Lee and Alizada head to head—and the comparisons aren’t that far off.
Like Lee, he’s looking towards Hollywood one day.
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“The only news that comes from Afghanistan is about war. … I am happy that my story is a positive one,” Alizada said.
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Michelle Jaworski is a staff writer and TV/film critic at the Daily Dot. She covers entertainment, geek culture, and pop culture and has covered everything from the Sundance Film Festival, NYFF, and Tribeca to New York Comic Con and Con of Thrones. She is based in Brooklyn.