1. Abbas Alizada has yet to appear in any Hollywood films, nor has he been hailed as a "champion" in his home country of Afghanistan, as he would someday like to be.

    But thanks to years of martial arts training, a knack for self-promotion, and (most importantly) the fact that he bears a striking resemblance to the late great Bruce Lee, Alizada is closer than ever to achieving his superstar goals — even if only by way of the viral web.
  2. Born to a poor family of 10 children in the suburbs of Kabul, 20-year-old Alizada — who prefers to be called "Afghan Bruce Lee" — got hooked on Bruce Lee action movies when he was 14, according to the BBC.

    Alizada's parents were unable to afford the martial arts training their son desperately wanted, but, allegedly seeing the boy's promise and passion, a local trainer in the Chinese mixed martial art of Wushu started training him for free anyway.

    Today, Alizada trains twice a week on his own at Darulaman palace. There, he practices moves he's studied from Bruce Lee films — including some involving the iconic nunchaku chain sticks popularized by the actor.
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  4. Afghan Dragon Bruce Lee Hazara
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  6. Reuters reports that a series of photos and videos posted to Alizada's Facebook fan page "blazed through Afghanistan's small Internet community this week."

    Subsequent photo shoots and interviews with al-Jazeera, Reuters, and the BBC have heightened the Bruce Lee doppelganger's social media fame around the world.
  7. More than 50,000 people are now following Alizada on Twitter, where his bio reads "Abbas Alizada who looks like Bruce Lee and whose dream is to be like Bruce Lee."
  8. "Bruce Lee is a model for our society, as an athlete and as a character," Alizada told BBC News of his idol, who died at the age of 32 in 1973. "He won't be repeated and I may not be Bruce Lee, but I'll continue on his way until I am dead."
  9. "I want you to take some photographs so people believe that I am an Afghan Bruce Lee," he also told the BBC, noting that his phone now rings off the hook and he receives hundreds of online messages and friend requests per day.

    Alizada hopes that his internet fame — and recent televised win at a martial arts tournament in Kabul — will help bolster Afghanistan's international image.

    "The only news that comes from Afghanistan is about war," Alizada said to Reuters. "I am happy that my story is a positive one."

    "I want to be a champion in my country," he added. "And a Hollywood star."
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