Meet Malik Amir Mohammad Khan Afridi, the Pakistani businessman known for his fabulous, ridiculous, 30-inch mustache – a prized possession that earns him ‘respect’ from people, and also constant kidnappings and threats from Islamic extremists.
The father of 10 spends $150 monthly to treat the horn-shaped lip hair with fine lotions and other maintenance stuff, and spends 30 minutes making sure that his impressive facial hair gets the most attention they deserve. And he says it is his pride and joy.
‘People give me a lot of respect. It’s my identity’, the 48-year old told AFP. ‘I feel happy. When it’s ordinary, no one gives me any attention. I got used to all the attention and I like it a lot.’
He also said he loves his mustache so much that he can even forfeit his food for it. ‘This is the only choice in my life. I’d even sacrifice food, but not the mustache. It’s my life. It’s not part of my life. It is my life,’ he said.
So when the Islamic extremists in his area kidnapped him for sporting the ‘unIslamic’ mustache and then failing to pay $500/month protection-for-his-mustache money [LOL], he had to shave it off to regain freedom and then moved from his base in the Khyber district to Peshawar – where he grew it back. Even at that, he continued receiving death threats ‘cos he regrew the mustache to its full length, so he moved again, south to Punjab.
Now he is hoping, by the reason of his fabulous mustache, that he would be granted political asylum in a foreign country. ‘My first choice would be an Islamic country such as Dubai,’ he told a journalist. ‘But I also willing to go to countries such as the US, Canada, or Britain.’