Category Archives: video blog

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!

Tahukah anda apa itu ‘urun’ ? Crowdfunding sebenarnya!


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Tahukah anda apa itu ‘urun’ ? Crowdfunding sebenarnya!
By Zan Azlee

Soalan nombor satu, cabaran utama, yang menjadi penghalang terbesar untuk mereka yang mempunyai ide atau projek untuk dijalankan adalah – modal!

Ide pula senang aje. Janji ada cita-cita dan angan-angan, kita boleh berfikir apa sahaja. Tetapi untuk merealisasikannya menjadi cabaran besar.Biar saya memperkenalkan satu perkataan yang mungkin anda tidak pernah dengar. Sebenarnya, saya pun tidak pernah tahu tentang perkataan ini sehingga lah menulis artikel ini.

Urun dana! Ha? Urun itu apa? Sebenarnya ia lebih dikenali perkataan Inggeris yang lebih universal… iaitu ‘crowdfunding’! Pernah dengar kan perkataan itu?

Crowdfunding adalah cara dimana dana diperolehi dari ramai orang dan setiap orang itu menyumbang wang yang mungkin sedikit sahaja (tetapi ada yang sanggup menyumbang banyak).

Walaupun sumbangan setiap orang sedikit, apabila anda berjaya untuk meyakinkan ramai, besarlah jumlahnya. Kan orang kata, sikit-sikit lama-lama jadi bukit!

Pelbagai ide dan projek seperti filem, cetakan buku, penghasilan produk untuk dijual, ciptaan teknologi, perniagaan makanan dan macam-macam lagi pernah berjaya kerana crowdfunding.

Di Internet terdapat banyak laman web yang membantu orang ramai untuk memulakan projek crowdfunding. Contohnya Kickstarter, Indiegogo, dan di Malaysia, Pitchin.my.

Anda perlu kenal pasti laman web mana yang paling sesuai dengan projek anda. Pitch ide anda dengan cara yang boleh menarik perhatian dan tunjukkan bahawa anda betul-betul semangat dan komited.

Selalunya, orang akan pitch menggunakan pembentangan video. Kalau anda mempunyai cerita atau latarbelakang yang menarik, lagi bagus!

Tapi crowdfunding tidaklah semudah yang disangkakan. Selepas anda tentukan jumlah modal yang diperlukan, anda juga perlu letakkan satu tarikh akhir untuk mencapai jumlah itu.

Kalau tiba tarikh itu dan jumlah yang dikutip tidak sampai jumlah yang diperlukan, anda tidak dapat satu sen pun. Anda juga perlu komited dan tidak boleh berhenti sekerat jalan selepas mendapat dana anda.

Ide anda perlu dibentangkan dengan elok dan menunjukkan bahawa anda jelas mempunyai visi untuk merealisasikannya. Kalau anda sendiri tidak boleh jelaskan ide anda, bagaimana hendak yakinkan orang.

Anda juga perlu pastikan perlaksanaan anda dijalankan dengan penuh profesionalisme. Dokumentasi perlu tepat, rekod kewangan mesti ada dan pengendalian pekerja perlu profesional.

Tetapi janganlah lihat semua ini sebagai satu halangan. Sebenarnya ia adalah peluang untuk anda menjadi seorang yang lebih professional.

Pastikan juga anda mempunyai strategi untuk menjadi mampan diri, atau self-sustaining. Takkan nak mengharapkan sumbangan dan dana sahaja kan? Kenalah bergerak kehadapan!

Sebenarnya, peluang untuk berjaya dalam crowdfunding agak rendah. Menurut kajian, hanya kurang dari 50 peratus mereka yang memulakan projek crowdfunding akan berjaya.

Tetapi jangan putus asa. Siapa kata anda tidak boleh usaha sendiri? Kalau kerja kuat, usaha gigih dan tidak berputus asa, jimat duit dan kumpul sedikit demi sedikit, boleh juga tercapai impian anda.

[Artikel ini pertama kali dicetak di KopitiamEkonomi.Com]

Di bawah adalah satu video yang memberi tip untuk mencari dana selain dari Crowdfunding (dengar cerita penulis skripnya agak kacak… ahem!).

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.

 

Ada idea atau projek tetapi tidak ada dana? Senang aje…


The youth today are always obsessed with being their own boss and making things happen for themselves. Right??

Well, I’m like that. If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. So most of the things I’ve always wanted to do, I always try to make it happen myself.

I wanted to make documentaries, so I just did it. I wanted to write books, so I just did it. And so on and so forth.

Sometimes it’s difficult and sometimes it’s easy. It all depends on your perspective. And one of the toughest is actually getting the funds to start out.

With my documentaries, I started out by saving my own hard earned money and did it. Thankfully, I managed to hawk my work around and managed to get buyers.

Same with my books. I would write as much as I could on my own time and thankfully, I managed to find interested publishers who would put them out.

They are many other ways for you to fund any ideas or projects you have. And the video above, produced by KopitiamEkonomi.com and the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), could push you in the right direction.

Oh… and I heard that the scriptwriter of the video kind of knows what he’s talking about (and he’s apparently pretty good looking too!). Ahem!!! It’s me if you’re wondering! Hahaha!!

dana