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Afghan Bruce Lee

29th Jul 2017

Abbas Alizada, a 20-year-old Afghan man, has experienced a great change in his life and showed the world the positive side of his nation because of his striking resemblance to Bruce Lee, the famous Hollywood Kong Fu star.


Bruce Lee (left) and Abbas Alizada (right)

Abbas Alizada grew up in a poor Hazara family with six brothers and three sisters in Kabul. When he was a kid, the films of martial art heroes were very popular and could be bought from the local bazar very easily. Alizada, like most of other kids in Afghanistan, started watching Bruce Lee’s movies and was eager to learn Kong Fu properly.

Train on His Own in the Basement; Work Out with His Self-Made Dumbbell


As the son of a mechanic who cannot afford the fees at a kungfu academy, Alizada only took a few Martial art classes. However, nothing could stop Alizada from pursuing his Kong Fu dream and soon he began to train on his own in the basement and work out with his self-made dumbbell. “Bruce Lee was my hero when I was growing up,” Alizada says. Luckily, spotting his potential, Ali Zahar, a martial art trainer, took him under his wing.

When Alizada turned 18, people around him started to notice his resemblance to Lee and he has started to catch the attention of a wider audience. When he was 20, his friends set up a Facebook page called “Bruce Hamarza” where they posted pictures and videos that show Alizada (with his Lee-like bowl haircut) performing back flips and striking Lee’s famous poses. These posts blazed through internet community and Alizada started to be recognized as Afghan Bruce Lee by the whole world.

Completing Bruce Lee Project; Showing the Positive Side of Afghanistan

In fact, Alizada’s success is not a coincidence and certainly not only because of his resemblance to Bruce Lee. Through his constant efforts and practice over years, Alizada won the Wushu competition in Kabul. From his internet fame, Alizada saw the opportunity to achieve his dream as becoming a Hollywood star like Bruce Lee: “Bruce Lee didn’t finish his last movie, he did half of the movie. My project is to complete this movie”. Another motivation for Alizada is his desire to show the positive side of his homeland, a war-torn country, to the rest of the world. Afghanistan is a country has always been linked with Taliban, drugs, and wars. Yet good things do happen there. By naming his Twitter as @afghanbrucelee, Alizada wants to raise a good name for his country. He even rejected the name Bruce Hazara given to him by his friends. “The only news that comes from Afghanistan is about war… I am happy that my story is a positive one,” Alizada said.

Practicing martial arts is where Alizada started and he will keep doing it. “Bruce Lee is a model for our society, as an athlete and as a character,” he says, “He won’t be repeated and I may not be Bruce Lee, but I’ll continue on his way until I am dead.”

Written by Bota @

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