Faysal “Fessy” Shafaat has been viewed as one of the biggest physical threats on MTV’s The Challenge. After making it to the final on Total Madness during his rookie season, Fessy returned for Double Agents for his chance at winning the $1 million prize.
Fessy has frequently mentioned in his testimonials that he wants to win the money in order to benefit his family. Fessy grew up in Orlando, Florida, with two younger siblings.
Here’s what you need to know about Fessy’s family:
1. Younger Brother Imran Graduated From High School in 2020 & Is Just as Tall as Fessy
When Fessy played football at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, his profile on the team roster listed him as 6’5″ and weighing 250 pounds. Younger brother Imran was also blessed with the height gene. According to Imran’s high school profile on MaxPreps, he is also 6’5″ and weighed 200 pounds as of February 2020. Imran’s Twitter bio also states that he is 6’5″.
Imran followed in his brother’s athletic footsteps. He played football and basketball at East River High School in Orlando. According to MaxPreps, Imran played center on the basketball team. He was a tight end and a wide receiver on the football team, according to Hudl.
Imran graduated from high school in 2020. Imran’s mother shared a picture of him in his cap and gown on Facebook. In the comments, she shared that Imran was “UCF bound,” likely referring to the University of Central Florida.
2. Fessy’s Sister Alia Played Basketball in High School
Younger sister Alia Shafaat was also an athlete. According to Hudl and MaxPreps, Alia is 5’9″ and played varsity basketball at East River High School. She graduated in 2013. She was mentioned in an Orlando Sentinel article in December 2012 for scoring 14 points during a game.
Alia leads a more private life than older brother Fessy. A LinkedIn account with her name shows she attended the University of South Florida in Tampa, but it does not include any additional information such as a major or work experience. An Instagram account that includes her first and middle names is private.
3. Fessy’s Father Works for a Car Dealership, Online Records Suggest
Fessy’s father, Rizwan Asif Shafaat, appears to be a car salesman. He is listed as the manager of a company called AMRZ on business records registered on the Florida Secretary of State’s website. A google search for AMRZ brings up a website for a car dealership in Oviedo, which is part of the Orlando metropolitan area.
Fessy has a solid relationship with his father, based on what he’s said about Rizwan on social media. On his father’s birthday in 2020, Fessy shared a picture that may be a throwback to his days at the University of Tennessee. Fessy wrote, “Happy birthday to the goat!!! Thanks for everything you’ve done for me! Know i was a handful growing up haha.”
Fessy has shared on The Challenge that his dream had been to make it to the NFL, as Heavy previously reported. He may have been alluding to that goal when he posted a photo alongside his parents in January 2014 and wrote, “Gotta make it for them.”
4. Fessy’s Mother Once Told a Reporter She Had Wanted to Name Him ‘Awesome’
Happy birthday momma 🖤🤞🏽 pic.twitter.com/hCgTJcOgvr
— Fessy (@fessyfitness) April 4, 2020
Fessy’s mother, Michelle Shafaat, is his biggest fan. She told the Chattanooga Times Free Press in 2014 that when her first son was born, she raised the idea of naming him “Awesome.” Michelle told the reporter, “I love unique names and I wanted to name him ‘Awesome’ when he was born, but my husband wouldn’t let me. Can you imagine him playing college football with that name? But I had a friend whose name is Faysal, so we went with that.”
According to the newspaper, Michelle drove to all of Fessy’s home and away games during his college football career. She also drove from Orlando to Chattanooga several times during Fessy’s freshman year, even though he had redshirted and wasn’t playing, because Fessy was homesick.
In April 2020, Fessy shared a throwback photo with his mother from when he was a child. He wrote, “Happy birthday momma. My tenacity and perseverance I learned from you. Thank you for making sure I always had everything I needed growing up.”
5. The Shafaats Practice Islam & the Family Visited Pakistan While Fessy Was on ‘Big Brother’
Fessy briefly discussed his faith during Total Madness. During a confessional, he talked about what it was like being a Muslim teenager in America in the aftermath of 9/11. He touched on the topic in a May 2020 tweet when he wrote, “after 9/11 I dealt with racism because some people viewed every middle eastern person or Muslim as a potential terrorist.”
Fessy has also written about Ramadan on his blog called “Fessy’s Fortitude.” He explained in a 2019 post that the purpose of fasting during Ramadan is “to get closer to God. When you can’t eat or drink water from sun up to sun down every day you’re not worried about what you will eat or enjoy next. Therefore, you have time to reflect and pray and ask God to accept your fast, forgive you for your sins, and thank him for all he has blessed you with.”
During Fessy’s time competing on Big Brother, the rest of his family visited Pakistan. Imran Shafaat posted a photo on Instagram of him and Alia posing in front of a sign for the city of Lahore in June 2018.
Fessy’s mother also talked about the trip to Pakistan in a letter that Fessy received while he was the “Head of House.” Michelle Shafaat wrote that the family had missed him “on our trip to Pakistan, however we know we have plenty of time to visit again as a family.”
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