Published: 2018-09-13 09:50:56 BdST
"It is very simple, I want to give Afghans a reason to smile," said Karim Asir, a stand-up comedian who performs across the capital Kabul in Chaplin's trademark oversized shoes, baggy pants, cane and black bowler hat.
Asir, 25, said Chaplin impersonators are found all over the world helping people ignore grief and making them laugh, and he does the same.
Afghanistan's Charlie Chaplin, Karim Asir, 25, performs at a school in Kabul, Afghanistan Sept 5, 2018. Reuters
After the family returned home, Asir started wearing make-up and recreating Chaplin's characters in his performances, despite his parent's apprehensions.
His live performances provide respite in a city that routinely gets attacked by Taliban insurgents and suicide bombers, mainly claiming allegiance to Islamic State.
Asir says he has been threatened by militants who say his performances are un-Islamic. But despite the threats, he performs in public parks, orphanages, private parties and at charity events organised by international aid agencies.
Schoolboys watch Afghanistan's Charlie Chaplin, Karim Asir, 25, perform at a school in Kabul, Afghanistan Sept 5, 2018. Reuters
Afghanistan's traditional culture includes music and performance arts. However, under the Taliban's rule from 1996 to 2001, most cultural activities were banned because they were seen as anti-Islamic.
In Kabul, when Asir's fans surround him to take selfies, he smiles but is constantly worried about attacks.
"I am afraid of getting attacked by a suicide bomber or an explosion but these issues cannot stop me from being Charlie Chaplin," he said.