From finding common ground with warlords, introducing the Taliban to change, and working with NFL greats such as Marshawn Lynch, this uplifting and inspirational memoir from coach and personal development expert, Tareq Azim, will help you build a relationship with fear and embrace your own power.
A descendant of Afghan nobles, Tareq Azim’s family was forced to flee their homeland in 1979. He assimilated in the United States through his love of sports, excelling in wrestling, boxing, and football. In 2004, Azim decided to visit his home country, and upon arriving, he discovered countless children living on the streets, waiting for the inevitable recruitment into terrorist networks and anti-peace militias. Azim’s close encounter with the ravages of a war-torn society taught him how pain can generate the most intense forms of fear, anxiety, and depression. He had found his salvation through sports and physical activity, and he knew these children could, too.
He put his method to the test and created the Afghan Women’s Boxing Federation, the official governing body for women’s sports for the National Olympic Committee and the first ever in the history of any Islamic republic, proving that Afghanistan was ready for social change by addressing the harms of accumulated trauma.
Now, his remarkable full story is revealed in this book that is both a memoir and a roadmap. Through his own experiences, he effortlessly explains how fear is an invitation to seek a deeper feeling within—a feeling that is achieved when we engage in righteous and sincere struggle. Only then will our choices be guided by values that help us avoid the pitfalls of moral and personal failure. Featuring actionable advice and varied clear-eyed case studies, including MMA star Jake Shields, former congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, and San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York—Empower is the ultimate guide to living a life understanding that fear is there to help you.
Tareq Azim is determined to normalize conversations about mental health. This mission drives his success as a seven-time World Championship attending coach in combat sports, a former Division I linebacker at Fresno State, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, an author, and a philanthropist. He lives in San Francisco.
Seth Davis is a studio analyst for college basketball at CBS Sports and senior writer at The Athletic. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Wooden: A Coach’s Life and When March Went Mad: The Game Transformed Basketball.
“Tareq’s life story is a study of resilience…he uses a very light touch to open a door to thinking about how faith (any faith) supplements physical and psychological strength to help fight the disease of fear. That is different, and quite frankly very refreshing. The beauty of the path Tareq has chosen is how he takes his life experiences and uses them to help others make their lives better.” –General Paul Selva, retired United States Air Force and 10th Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
“Empower is very well written, holds the attention of the reader and above all, by example, Tareq opens the path of developing a universalist vision, by becoming compassionate, affectionate, considerate, and utilizing the subconscious nidus of power of our Maker to serve our human family with humility.” –Dr. Bashir Zikria, Professor Emeritus & Special Lecturer at Columbia University Medical Center
“In the last century, we have moved from ignoring trauma to blaming the victim to treating it. However, it’s only in the last few years that we have begun to acknowledge just how pervasive it is. And that’s why Tareq Azim’s Empower could not be more timely” –Hunter Maats, author of The Straight A Conspiracy
“Tareq Azim is a true peaceful warrior. His story is unlike anything I’ve ever heard, and he inspires me every time I’m in his presence. Words don’t do him justice. We all need a Tareq in our life.” –Simon Rex