He looks and moves like Bruce Lee.
Since childhood, 20-year-old Abbas Alizada has been an avid fan of the late kung fu icon, who has inspired so many young people all over the world to take up martial arts and follow in his footsteps.
The young Afghan also wants to gain international fame, and the fortune that comes with it.
“I want to be a champion in my country and a Hollywood star,” Alizada tells Reuters as he practices his martial arts at the bombed-out Darulaman palace in Kabul.
In a war-weary nation like Afghanistan, the opportunities to acquire a stable job for young men like him are not too many.
The Taliban, who have been toppled from power by US-led forces after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, are conducting almost daily attacks on the capital as foreign troops are pulling out.
But through the internet, Alizada hopes to achieve his dreams. On his Facebook page under the name Bruce Hazara, he posts photos showing him in various poses mimicking his idol.
He has gained a bit of fame in the local internet community, especially after he won a martial arts tournament in Kabul, but he wants more than that.
About twice a week, he trains at the Darulaman palace, once a grandoise structure built by King Amanullah Khan in the 1920s. Now it lies in ruins, riddled with artillery craters and bullet holes.
Yet, in Alizada’s youthful imagination, it could be the ruins of Rome’s Colosseum where his idol Bruce Lee engaged karate champion and now martial arts superstar Chuck Norris in a death duel in The Way of the Dragon.
Alizada is from a poor family of 10 children. His parents could not afford to send him to the local martial arts academy, but fortunately the trainer took him under his wing, according to Reuters.
And with that as his capital, he is working hard to make his dream of becoming a big star like his late idol come true.
“The only news that comes from Afghanistan is about war … I am happy that my story is a positive one,” he tells the news agency.
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