Abdul H. “Zi” Azizi
Real Estate Advisor, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty
Born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan, Abdul H. “Zi” Azizi’s early life was marked by extreme hardship. In 1994 during the Jihadist war to seize Afghanistan, four-year old Zi was wounded when a bullet grazed his head during a firefight. His father also was wounded and their house burned in a rocket attack. As a young boy, Zi helped support his family by selling cooking oil on the streets of Kabul. The Taliban era brought greater hardships for the family when Zi’s mother was forced to quit the job she had held for 20 years at a bank and his father was briefly jailed. During this time, Zi began to learn English by watching American movies broadcast from a black-market satellite dish installed at night and removed before dawn to avoid punishment by the Taliban.
U.S. Special Operations Forces liberated Afghanistan from the Taliban in 2001 and Zi and his family became engaged in supporting coalition efforts. At age17, FEDEX hired Zi to deliver packages to the U.S. military and he soon become manager of the FEDEX operation serving coalition military and defense contractors. Graduating from the Swiss University for Management, Economics and Finance in Kabul with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in 2013, Zi began working for an Orlando-based U.S. defense contractor that handled programs teaching literacy to the Afghan military.
In 2013, Zi was accepted at St. Petersburg College, and in 2015, he became a licensed real estate professional. An ambassador to the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, Zi brings a cross-cultural outlook to clients from around the world. He gives back to his adopted community as an active and proud member of Rotary International.
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