Category Archives: documentary

My last (and favourite) photo from my Afghanistan collection to be put on sale online


Tea time
Shah Mohamed, an old tea stall owner plying his trade in a public park in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Photo by Zan Azlee, 2011)

Some of the best pictures and videos I managed to produce during my time in Afghanistan are of the beautiful locals who are proud of their culture, people and country. Out of all the photographs I have taken, I must say the one above  is my favourite.

Shah Mohamed, the tea stall owner was friendly although he didn’t speak English. He constantly had a smile carved on his face. he moved about slowly but you could see that he did his work with pride. His customers were served well and I’m convinced they were very relaxed at his stall because of his demeanour.

This is also the last picture from my Afghanistan collection that I will put up for sale online.

Watch an interview of Shah Mohamed in the video episode above of the ‘Guide to Afghanistan: The adventures of a KL-ite’.

Own a limited print of the photo at the top of this post, framed (21cm x 30cm) and signed by yours truly for RM90. You can play a role in supporting independent journalism by clicking below.

If you are in Malaysia, you can also purchase by transferring RM110.00 (includes RM20 for postage and handling) to Maybank account 1141 2365 9174 via Maybank2U or ATM. Please make sure to e-mail (purchase.fatbidin@gmail.com):
1. Name of item purchased
2. Transaction date/time and reference number
3. Your full name
4. Shipping address

Or if you prefer more bang for your buck, there is also THE ADVENTURES OF A KL-ITE IN AFGHANISTAN SUPER FAN PACK!! You will get the photo, an official t-shirt and the book ‘Adventures of a KL-ite in Afghanistan’ for only RM120!

Thank you for supporting independent journalism!

It’s a rare time to see the Malaysian military in Afghanistan taking a break together


Malcon eating
Soldiers of MALCON ISAF 2 having dinner together at base camp in Panjab, Afghanistan. From left to right (sitting down) is Corp. Mohd Saiful Karim, Lieut. Col. Rusman Sanip and Capt. Mohd Faddillah Ahmad. (Photo by Zan Azlee, 2011)

The presence of the Malaysian military in Afghanistan is  purely for humanitarian efforts and not for combat. The soldiers who were there were mostly doctors and nurses, with a handful of special forces security personnel.

They constantly patrol the areas of Bamiyan to see what aid they can offer. The picture above is of the team resting for the evening and having dinner together.

Guide to Afghanistan: The Adventures of a KL-ite (Part 7 of 10 – Malaysia at War!)

Own a limited print of the photo at the top of this post, framed (21cm x 30cm) and signed by yours truly for RM90. You can play a role in supporting independent journalism by clicking below.

If you are in Malaysia, you can also purchase by transferring RM110.00 (includes RM20 for postage and handling) to Maybank account 1141 2365 9174 via Maybank2U or ATM. Please make sure to e-mail (purchase.fatbidin@gmail.com):
1. Name of item purchased
2. Transaction date/time and reference number
3. Your full name
4. Shipping address

Or if you prefer more bang for your buck, there is also THE ADVENTURES OF A KL-ITE IN AFGHANISTAN SUPER FAN PACK!! You will get the photo, an official t-shirt and the book ‘Adventures of a KL-ite in Afghanistan’ for only RM120!

Thank you for supporting independent journalism!

Ahmad Shah Massoud was assassinated two days before 9/11 and is considered an Afghan national hero


Afghans pay their respects to Massoud.
Afghans pay their respects to national hero Ahmad Shah Massoud. (Photo by Zan Azlee, 2011)

Ahmad Shah Massoud, a Tajik, was assassinated two days before the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre in New York City. So many Afghans see him as a national hero that managed to pull all the different tribes in Afghanistan together.

Massoud had made a speech in Europe a few months before his death, predicting a major terrorist attack which many say was the 9/11 attack.

Of course, he has a deep history surrounding him as well because he was once of the most influential military commanders who fought against the Soviets, and then the Taliban.

Although many Afghans consider him a hero, there are people who also see his status being so elevated as just a political tool by the different parties and politicians.

The picture above is of Afghans who were flocking to pay respects to the man at his memorial in Kabul on Massoud Day, a national holiday.

I also shot a video of that day.

Guide to Afghanistan: The Adventures of a KL-ite (Part 3 of 10 – Ahmad Shah Massoud the Martyr)

Own a limited print of the photo at the top of this post (Afghans pay their respects to national hero Ahmad Shah Massoud), framed (21cm x 30cm) and signed by yours truly for RM90. You can play a role in supporting independent journalism by clicking below.

If you are in Malaysia, you can also purchase by transferring RM110.00 (includes RM20 for postage and handling) to Maybank account 1141 2365 9174 via Maybank2U or ATM. Please make sure to e-mail (purchase.fatbidin@gmail.com):
1. Name of item purchased
2. Transaction date/time and reference number
3. Your full name
4. Shipping address

Or if you prefer more bang for your buck, there is also THE ADVENTURES OF A KL-ITE IN AFGHANISTAN SUPER FAN PACK!! You will get the photo, an official t-shirt and the book ‘Adventures of a KL-ite in Afghanistan’ for only RM120!

Thank you for supporting independent journalism!

Life goes on in Afghanistan and no one seems to know anything about 9/11!


Children on the way to school in Kabul
Children on the way to school in Kabul, Afghanistan (Photo by Zan Azlee, 2011).

When I first went to Afghanistan, I wanted to see how life there is like in times of violence and conflict. And surprisingly (or not!), it went on as usual.

I was in the country during the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the World Trade Centre in New York City. And one of the things that I was interested in finding out was what Afghans think of the attacks seeing that it was masterminded by Osama Bin Laden, who was living under protection by the Taliban in Afghanistan at that time.

But many of them did not even know about it. Or more accurately, they chose to ignore it. To them, Osama Bin Laden isn’t even an Afghan. He was just some foreigner who caused too much problems for the country. See my chats with several Afghans in Kabul about 9/11 in the video below.

 

Own a limited print of the photo at the top of this post (Children on the way to school in Kabul, Afghanistan), framed (21cm x 30cm) and signed by yours truly for RM90. You can play a role in supporting independent journalism by clicking below.

If you are in Malaysia, you can also purchase by transferring RM110.00 (includes RM20 for postage and handling) to Maybank account 1141 2365 9174 via Maybank2U or ATM. Please make sure to e-mail (purchase.fatbidin@gmail.com):
1. Name of item purchased
2. Transaction date/time and reference number
3. Your full name
4. Shipping address

Or if you prefer more bang for your buck, there is also THE ADVENTURES OF A KL-ITE IN AFGHANISTAN SUPER FAN PACK!! You will get the photo, an official t-shirt and the book ‘Adventures of a KL-ite in Afghanistan’ for only RM120!

Thank you for supporting independent journalism!

Living under the constant threat of volcanic eruptions


A resident rides his motorcycle as Mount Sinabung spews ash at Namanteran village in Karo Regency, Indonesia's North Sumatra province, June 16, 2015.  REUTERS/Antara Foto/Irsan Mulyadi
A resident rides his motorcycle as Mount Sinabung spews ash at Namanteran village in Karo Regency, Indonesia’s North Sumatra province, June 16, 2015. REUTERS/Antara Foto/Irsan Mulyadi

Mount Sinabung, a volcano in North Sumatera, Indonesia, has been erupting since the 2013 right up till today. I wonder how the people in this area actually live with this threat every single day.

News agency Reuters compiled a series of photos from the various eruptions that has happened called The Eruptions of Mount Sinabung.

A mother holds her child as Mount Sinabung spews ash and hot lava during an eruption in Perteguhan village in Karo district, September 17, 2013.  REUTERS/Roni Bintang
A mother holds her child as Mount Sinabung spews ash and hot lava during an eruption in Perteguhan village in Karo district, September 17, 2013. REUTERS/Roni Bintang
Ash-covered motorcycles are pictured as rescue team members walk through ash during rescue operations after the Mount Sinabung eruption at Suka Meriah village in Karo, February 2, 2014. REUTERS/Tarmizy Harva
Ash-covered motorcycles are pictured as rescue team members walk through ash during rescue operations after the Mount Sinabung eruption at Suka Meriah village in Karo, February 2, 2014. REUTERS/Tarmizy Harva

As I was saying, I can’t imagine how locals can live under such a threat. In 2006, I had gone to Jogjakarta, Indonesia, right after the earthquake and eruption of Mount Merapi. Below is the video that I had come up with.