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).
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