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Baba was a physically imposing man, standing 6'5 with a thick beard and unruly brown hair. His hands were so large that they seemed "capable of uprooting a willow tree." His eyes produced a "black glare that would 'drop the devil to his knees begging for mercy,' " according to Rahim Khan. Khan provided Baba with the nickname "Toophan agha"--"Mr. Hurricane"--and he was often compared to a black bear, which, according to legend, Baba once fought with his bare hands. One of the wealthiest men in Kabul, Baba loved throwing parties and hosting friends in his study, the "smoking room," which was filled with comfortable leather furniture. He was always the life of the party and the instant center of attention. During his days in Kabul, he was a philanthropist, building an orphanage which he designed and financed himself.
However, his life changed drastically after he was forced to flee Afghanistan to California. He became a member of the lowly working class, taking employment in a gas station/convenience store. He eventually lost his health to the cancer that killed him, and he seems to have lost much of the confidence that propelled him to his exalted status in Kabul. However, he never lost his respect in the Afghan community, where people still remembered him as "Toophan agha."
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