‘Afghanistan’s Bruce Lee’ recalls hardships after Taliban regained power


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Abbas Alizada, known online as the “Bruce Lee of Afghanistan,” whose striking resemblance to the late legendary martial artist has recently been named after the Taliban returned his country to control in 2021. I remembered the embarrassing experience of

talk starAlizada, 29, shared the hardships he had to endure after Afghanistan fell to the Taliban in August 2021 and the subsequent withdrawal of the US government. 20 years of profession.

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A martial artist, online star, and member of the Hazara ethnic group persecuted by the Taliban, Alizada said the Taliban’s rule forced her to go into hiding for more than a year.

Although he wasn’t necessarily on the official wanted list, Alizada said he had passed Taliban border guards and was well-known in the country, so he had to grow a beard to avoid recognition. I remembered that I had to.

We had freedom, but the Taliban have reinstated restrictions and persecution,” he told The Star.

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Alizada said she had to cover her face whenever she had to train at a well-equipped gym in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital.

“I had a tough time last year,” he said. “The Taliban took away our freedom. He went to the gym feeling scared and stressed.”

Taliban too censored the art When it ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.

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During that period, Islamic fundamentalist groups strictly banned music, movies and television because their members deemed these activities “un-Islamic.” Works of art, including paintings and sculptures, in Kabul’s famous National Museum were looted and then destroyed.

At the time, paintings depicting living people were also considered blasphemous, and books containing photographs of women with their faces exposed suffered the same fate as other works of art.

After the Taliban regained control of the country in 2021, many artists were forced to flee Afghanistan for fear of persecution.

Alizada got his big break in December 2014 when a friend uploaded a photo of him to Facebook. After that, the year after it went viral, he started appearing in several films and commercials in South and Central Asia.

His fame rose quickly and by November 2020, he finally received a golden ticket after being offered a role in a Hollywood movie.

But when the Taliban recaptured his country, everything fell apart and Alizada had to put his dream of following Lee’s footsteps in Hollywood on hold. He was already close to obtaining a U.S. work visa, but it was difficult for Afghan citizens to obtain.

The U.S. embassy was closed shortly after U.S. troops withdrew from the country, and his follow-up letter to the U.S. diplomatic mission in Islamabad, Pakistan, remained unanswered.

Worried about his family’s safety, especially since they are members of the Hazara ethnic group, Alizada said he sought help from Canada’s Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Service last year but received no response.

Alizada became one of 32 athletes displaced by a non-governmental organization in the UK in December 2022 and was sponsored to obtain permanent residency in the UK.

When I walk the streets of London, everyone wants to take pictures with me,” said Alizada, who now lives in Manchester. “People say, ‘You look so much alike,'” she said. Bruce Lee.’ I say, ‘I am the Bruce Lee of Afghanistan.’ ”

Freed from the influence of the Taliban, Alizada has announced that he will finally join the cast of a Hollywood martial arts movie set to shoot in mid-2023.

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