Afghanistan man who looks like Bruce Lee

Credit: Mohammad Ismail
Credit: Mohammad Ismail

Images of Abbas Alizada – a hardcore Bruce Lee fan – have been going viral across the web recently as he is not only obsessed with the late Hong Kong action star but also, according to many, looks a lot like him.

Known by the name of Bruce Hazara in honour of his ethnic heritage and because of his similarities to Lee, Abbas prefers to simply be called “Afghan Bruce Lee. Photos and videos on his Facebook page show him reenacting Bruce Lee’s famous stances, performing backflips, doing press-ups and sparring with partners, mostly while sporting his trademark long bowl haircut with a white vest and black sweatpants.

Alizada, 20, trains twice a week in the now desolate Darulaman palace in his hometown of Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital city. He says even though the destruction makes him sad, it inspires him and he hopes his story will bring a positive light to his country that is usually negatively portrayed. “The only news that comes from Afghanistan is about war… I am happy that my story is a positive one,” says Alizada, who wants to be a champion in his country.

He has been practicing martial arts – or Wushu – since the age of 14 and used to copy Bruce Lee’s tactics by watching his films. “He was my hero growing up, I even learnt to use the nunchaku this way.” The trainer at the palace saw potential in Alizada and took him under his wing even though his parents – who have ten children – were too poor too afford the fees at the Wushu academy.

“I think Bruce Lee was a role model, as an athlete and as a character. I may not be him but I’ll follow his footsteps as long as a live,” he says. Alizada aspires to take his resemblance to Lee to the next level and become a Hollywood star.

Alizada’s Bruce Lee doppelganger story is the most prolific since Hong Kong actor Danny Chan’s striking similarities to Lee were highlighted in his roles in the 2001 Stephen Chow film, Shaolin Soccer and when he played the superstar in CCTV’s “The Legend of Bruce Lee” TV series in 2008.

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