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Looking to be a world kickboxing champ

A nineteen-year-old Shia Muslim from Metro Detroit is trying to again be a world kickboxing champion. 

 

A nineteen-year-old Shia Muslim from Metro Detroit is trying to again be a world kickboxing champion. 

Zein Al-Ziyadi, who was born in Iraq and came to America in 1995, has a black belt in Taekwondo and has won numerous championships.  Not only that, but he volunteers as an instructor at a martial arts institute and is a lead youth mentor for a non-profit organization in Detroit.  Now, he is going to compete in what can be called the Olympics of the kickboxing world.

The non-profit organization that Al-Ziyadi volunteers at is "Detroit Helping our Youth Development" (DHYD).  DHYD is one of many organizations that seeks to provide services to low-income, inner-city children in Detroit.  By offering classes in martial arts and boxing, the organization gives youths a chance for healthy recreation and friendships.  Children who cannot afford the lesson fees are also welcomed at the program.  In addition, DHYD provides mentorship and advocating for families.

Now, the DHYD is seeking to expand its "Islamic Youth Mentoring Program," which has been a great success, say the organization’s website.  "The team meets, learns, trains and grows together.  One of the teams we have created is the Arab American Kickboxing Team.  The team travels and mentors Arab youth on the importance of education and family values."

The team’s captain is Al-Ziyadi.  With the talent that led to his being the first teenager from the middle east to win two U.S. national titles here, Al-Ziyadi and his team will be traveling to Orlando, Florida on August 8.

There, he will be competing for the International Kickboxing Federation’s World Kickboxing title.  He will fight against Mexico in the first preliminary round, and then the U.S. for the world title. 

With Al-Ziyadi will be Mohammed Abdulla, another mentor of the team.  Abdulla, who is originally from Yemen, will be competing against Uganda first, and then will advance to fight the U.S. for the world title.

However, Al-Ziyadi and his team are in need of support to assist with the team’s travel and with the expansion of the Islamic Youth Mentoring Program. That is why the Detroit Helping our Youth Development is asking for donations to support their efforts.  All donations are tax-deductible, and any amount would be appreciated. Checks can be made payable to DHYD and are to be mailed to 16849 Warren Avenue, Detroit, Michigan.  The phone number is 313.581.2048

For more information about the competition, visit www.ikfkickboxing.com.  To learn about Detroit Helping our Youth Development, visit www.dhyd.20m.com

 

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