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Afghan Athlete Becomes A Social Media Sensation

With a six-pack gut, long hair and beard, the athlete looks like 'Jason Momoa', an American actor, played the "Khal Drogo" role in the Game of Throne series.

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Omid Sobhani
Omid Sobhani
Omid Sobhani is a senior journalist at Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the Transcontinental Times.

AFGHANISTAN. Ghor: 23-year-old Afghan Raqib Farouqi, a powerlifting and bodybuilding athlete becomes popular after posting his photos on Facebook. Farouqi performs extreme exercises in the cold weather of the Harirud river, in western Ghor province of Afghanistan. 

With a six-pack gut, long hair and small beard spotted the closest face for the Afghan Facebook users to call him the Jason Momoa look-alike, an American actor, who has played the “Khal Drogo” role in the Game of Throne series.

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After showing off on Facebook his fan followers have increased. Farouqi says he’s posting photos from his exercises to encourage youth in sport. And asks the central government to help him in launching his shows and training for the youth. 

Photo Credit: Raqib Farouqi

Freestyle athlete

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Mountains, swimming in the icy rivers, riding bikes, and other freestyle moves, Farouqi holds most of his performances in the outdoor settings where he’s mostly surrounded by the local fans who take selfies with him. His photos and videos of performance have got many Facebook user to chew their tongues.

He is one of the popular sports athletes in his hometown of Firuzko city of Ghor province. Recently, he has his body-building and powerlifting gym where he encourages other youth to take on the sport. 

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“I made the gym to encourage the youth to join the sport and motivate them to avoid the use of drugs.”

Living in an impoverished province of Afghanistan, he never had any coach or a mentor and started everything on his own. “I made this gym from on my own and it doesn’t have any financial benefits, ” he said.

Aside from sports, the Afghan Freestyle athlete is a tailor, sewing military uniforms, and married at the age of 14 at the request of his family. Now he is a role model father of three children.

Photo Credit: Raqib Farouqi

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Bringing peace in Afghanistan 

Farouqi says he’s doing sport for the wish of bringing peace to Afghanistan. He has a huge passion for body-lifting and bodybuilding. And adds that he’s trying to perform freestyle moves and dream to promote the freestyle sports in Afghanistan.

With the extreme exercises I did in the snow and cold waters of Harirud river, I wanted to show my body strength to the people and that nothing is impossible, ” he added.


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