Charlie Chaplin of Afghanistan gives his country a reason to smile

<pre><pre>Charlie Chaplin of Afghanistan gives his country a reason to smile

Karim Asir, 25, a comedian who acts in the capital, Kabul, with the large shoes characteristic of Chaplin, baggy pants, cane and black bowler hat, says he wants to give the Afghans a reason to smile.

He says that Chaplin's imitators are found all over the world because they help to ignore the pain and make everyone laugh, and he does the same.


The first years of Assyr were in Iran, where his family had fled after Taliban extremists took control of Afghanistan in 1996.

There he saw Chaplin's performances on Iranian television.

After the family returned home, Asir began to use makeup and recreate the characters of Chaplin in their performances, despite the apprehensions of their parents.

But now his father says that the family is proud of him.

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SBS News

Their live performances provide a brief respite in a city that is routinely attacked by Taliban insurgents and suicide bombers, mainly alleging loyalty to the Islamic State.

Afghans who have seen the program say that they enjoy the positive messages that are found in their performance, some are even happier to know that Asir is Afghanistan itself.

Asir says he has been threatened by militants who say his actions are not Islamic. But despite the threats, it occurs in public parks, orphanages, private parties and charity events organized by international aid agencies.

In Kabul, when his fans surround him to take selfies, he smiles but is constantly worried about the attacks.

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SBS News

"I am afraid of being the target of suicide bombings or explosions, but these problems can not stop my work and actions, I will continue my actions despite these problems and threats that exist in the country," he says.

Afghanistan's traditional culture includes music and performing arts. However, under the Taliban government from 1996 to 2001, most cultural activities were banned because they were seen as anti-Islamic.