DEC 28 ― The year is coming to an end and it is time to look back and reflect upon the momentous events of the passing year. I thought it would be a good idea to look back at 2012’s top ten searches on Google… and that led to my website, Fatbidin.com!
10. Ridhuan Tee Abdullah
Number ten could be one that has given me the most pleasure this year. I disagree with everything this academician, TV host and writer ― whose real name is Tee Chuan Seng ― says. We had a brief heated exchange in our respective columns (his is in Sinar Harian), from which I emerged victorious.
Being the gloriously brave war journalist and adrenaline junkie that I am, I went to Afghanistan to shoot a documentary. After a decade of war and after the Taliban, it’s quite a surprise that the country is still getting media coverage.
8. Bersih 3.0
This has to be one of the lowest points of the year. I witnessed things that I don’t ever want to witness in Malaysia again. The police were brutally attacking demonstrators and even journalists like a bunch of street thugs ― after they removed their nametags, of course. But the spirit of Malaysians that gathered, now that was a high point.
This week is part 3 of my multimedia documentary, Guide To Afghanistan: The Adventures of a KL-ite, which includes video, still photos an text. As you would know, this is concurrent with the 10-part feature on The Malaysian Insider website, of which you can view part 3 here:
DEC 19 — Arriving in Afghanistan in September, and especially on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, it would be foolish of me not to expect anything to happen. On my first full day in Kabul itself I had already stumbled upon a huge street demonstration opposing President Hamid Karzai’s government.
And now, I was told by Ahmad Bilal Raghbat, my fixer, it was also Massoud Day weekend. It’s actually the 10th anniversary of the death of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the great Muhajideen general who fought against the Russians and then the Taliban. He was assassinated by the Taliban two days before the 9/11 attacks, and that date is now a national holiday.
The morning of Massoud Day, I woke up early and waited for Bilal to come pick me up. I hopped into his car as soon as he pulled up and we sped off into the city.
“There will be lots of people gathering at Massoud Square to pay tribute to him,” said Bilal as he drove without regard of any traffic rules, as is the case with all Afghan drivers. “Security is going to be tight so it might be difficult for us to get in.”
Zan Azlee, a Malaysian KL-ite journalist who has lived all his life in non-conflict zones, travels to Afghanistan to see if he can come up with the best travel guide for the country. With no idea what he is getting himself into, he dodges suicide bombers and IEDs, and even gets embedded with the army, to plan out the best tourist route in Afghanistan. This is a multimedia documentary produced by Fat Bidin Media and directed by solo-journalist Zan Azlee.
Click the thumbnails below to launch the photo essay (Part 3).
Sponsorship and advertising opportunities are still available… just give me a buzz if you are interested and we can talk! If you would like to own original FAT BIDIN MEDIA documentary films and books to enhance your coolness factor, visit the FAT BIDIN e-STORE!
I recently got back from shooting my documentary in Afghanistan, GUIDE TO AFGHANISTAN: The Adventures of a KL-ite, and almost immediately was invited on Astro AWANI’s Sudut Pandang to talk about my experience reporting from one of the most dangerous countries in the world.
It’s going to be my most multimedia project yet… I filed reports for TV while I was there (Astro AWANI), wrote a feature article and photo essay for Esquire Malaysia (December 2011 issue… watch out for it!), produced a multimedia series for online news portal The Malaysian Insider (coming this week!), edited an online video series for my site FATBIDIN.COM (anytime now!), am in talks with a radio station for a radio documentary series, also in talks with a television station for a TV documentary series, writing a book… and last but definitely not least… a feature length film!
So stay tuned and prepare to have your minds blown!!
Of course… the book can be found at any major bookstore at RM25 (a free DVD of my documentary comes with every purchase). And if you’re interested to purchase it online, head on to the FATBIDIN e-STORE! There are other FAT BIDIN documentaries for sale too!
Short synopsis: Kampung Baru is a traditional Malay village situated in the heart of the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. Traditional Malay houses are surrounded by huge concrete and steel skyscrapers that provide a juxtaposition of modern urbanisation and customs and tradition. Zan talks to several individuals who have close ties with Kampung Baru to try and capture the essence of the village.