Entrepreneurs, Selaiman Azizi, an established entrepreneur and investor based in Dubai, UAE, was raised in a small town near Cologne, Germany, with roots in Kabul, Afghanistan, has navigated his life through challenging circumstances to reach his heights today, owed to his world-class fighting and leadership skills. Azizi’s extensive portfolio began with petroleum at a young age but diversified to F&B, Hospitality and fine Jewellery across Europe, Gulf, Africa and China. A master at building a personal brand, he plays politics like a maestro, networks like a fiend, has built an impressive array of clients and associates who owe their fortunes to him.
A general misconception amongst those who meet the hard-nosed, ruthlessly competitive business man with the quick wit and sharp tongue is that he is driven by money and seduced by luxury and capitalism. Underneath the finely tailored suits, the trail of expensive cologne and the immaculately groomed man lies someone who is empathetic and troubled by families displaced, ripped of their livelihoods and vast inequality.
Azizi shares with us anecdotes from his childhood, a grandmother, Nurisia Amin, who had seen several wars, regime changes and a mother, Akele Amin, who emigrated in the quest for her family to live without fear but with education and opportunities.
‘You must know where you came from if you want to know where you are going to’, is the mantra Azizi lives by.
Countless psychological studies have shown that establishing connections and roots with your community makes you a more grounded, complete individual. It is clear that the resilience of these women have left a lasting impact attributing to Aziz’s values and ethics and subsequently success he has carved for himself.
Azizi has turned his grit and determination towards a personal goal of his, to provide a sanctuary and open door for underprivileged communities globally through Mosques that he has built in honor of his grandmother, Nurisia.
To date Azizi has built mosques several cities, the most recent Makhazai Village, Kurram, Pakistan with Gambia in the pipeline for next year. He wants to continue to build a network of mosques that will provide support, stability and opportunities for the communities it serves through mentorships, scholarships, emergency aid and more.
In an increasingly turbulent world, it seems obvious to Azizi to mobilize his resources and access to fight against the daily reality of poverty and frustration to help secure a thriving future.
So what remains for this Aziz to conquer in 2021?
The a shift towards renewable energy sources means Azizi’s business focus will be on smart technology to support sustainability in the Middle East. He hopes that the technology his team are developing will extend towards his philanthropic endeavours and can support local governments to provide energy to rural areas.
Azizi’s vision is to continue building the Nurisia network of Mosques in Honour of his late grandmother and whilst this year he was unable to attend the inauguration in Pakistan, he hopes to meet the communities the mosques serve first hand, and learn more on what initiatives could better support them.
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