Faisal Azimi moved to Ireland at the age of 14 and four years later he calls the island home, working part time while maintaining his status a professional Muay Thai fighter, as he hopes to continue to work his way to the top level in fighting.
“Always trust in yourself and do something good for yourself and your future.”Faisal Azimi
In May of 2015, along with his family, Faisal Azimi moved to Ireland to live with his father, who had been working in England for more than ten years prior. Leaving behind everything he knew in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, wasn’t easy, and Faisal hasn’t been back since, but he refused to let that stop him from making a life in Limerick and planning a future he can be proud of. Four years later, now 18 year old Faisal hopes to continue to work his way to the top level in fighting. With his family finally reunited, Faisal had new challenges to face, the biggest of which being the language barrier. Faisal couldn’t speak English when he first arrived, and it took a year of complete immersion to help him become fluent. He became friends with other Afghani boys while slowly working on his language, and soon enough he was making Irish friends through school. Faisal is a professional Muay Thai fighter and began meeting people through the gym he trains at, EireMuaySiam, which he joined just one month after arriving in Ireland.
“When I came to Ireland, after a month I started at Thai boxing, cause I didn’t really have anything to do, and I was most of the time bored as well so.”
Approaching his four year anniversary of moving to Ireland, Faisal is freshly into adulthood and has a plan for his future that if he approaches it with even half the work ethic he exudes, there is no doubt he will achieve it. Faisal wants to continue to fight in Muay Thai boxing at the highest possible level, and while having a good name in the global sports arena is important to him, he has more personal goals as well, which are to have a good job and a good life. Faisal spoke about the importance of working hard to have opportunities come to you, something which is very difficult for young people in Afghanistan, where the opportunities and facilities are few and far between. Putting it as simply as “think about what you’re doing,” Faisal discusses how even if working hard and opportunities bring success, you have to be smart and ensure you’re planning for your future.
“If you don’t use your mind and not being smart I can see that you can end up with bad people and end up in a very bad position in the future.”
Faisal feels both Afghan and Irish, asserting that it depends on the people he is with. However, he undoubtedly considers Ireland home and “likes living here.” His favorite thing about Ireland is the people and how friendly they are, a sentiment shared by many that come to the island. He loves the people in Afghanistan as well, but couldn’t pick just one aspect of his home country to be his favorite, deeply appreciative of the place and the culture as well. Faisal hopes to visit home soon, but right now his main concern is finishing his last month of school, where he is currently in 6th year. He also keeps himself busy with training, and by keeping himself occupied Faisal has found an effective way to stop feeling homesick.
“I also learned that if I do work hard and be smart I’ll be successful cause I can see that now even in training and fighting I have worked hard and achieved a lot and that’s how it is in life.”What is the most important thing you have learned in Ireland?
Faisal Azimi is undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with and will soon be making headlines on the world stage. Everyone could learn a thing or two from this impressive young man and there’s no telling what’s to come next. Check out Faisal’s last fight on the Rumble at the Rockies card in Cork on February 16th, 2019 here.