FAT BIDIN MEDIA


My Pak Non encounter

My Pak Non encounter
By Zan Azlee

About a year ago, when I was still a mercenary journalist and hadn’t joined the team at Astro AWANI yet, I was called up by one of the channel’s executive editor. Kamarul Bahrin Haron, an old friend, wanted me to appear as a one of two guests on a live discussion programme called Agenda AWANI to talk about media freedom.

I felt that the topic was right up my alley and I immediately agreed. And the night of the programme, I had arrived at the studio and was led in by one of the researchers. As soon as I stepped in to the cold studio, I was caught off guard and speechless as I saw the other guest sitting next to Kamarul in front of the cameras. It was Pak Non.

My first instinct was of excitement and glee. Here was Zainon Ahmad, a veteran journalist and a mentor to so many in the industry. And I was going to sit next to him! Then my brain caught up with me. Here was Zainon Ahmad, a veteran journalist and a mentor to so many in the industry. And I was going to sit next to him!

My next thought after that was to push aside the audio guy who was fixing my microphone and run down to the car park and drive away as fast as I could! [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]

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Google’s top 2012 searches… that led to my website!

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2012 according to Google
By Zan Azlee

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.

9. Kabul

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.

[Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]



I’m on the cover of a magazine… again! And I am looking beautiful!

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“Yeah pops… I’ve been on the cover of magazines too!”

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I’m on the cover of the Dec-Jan 2013 issue of 360 Celcius magazine! You’ve never heard of the magazine, you say? Well, neither have I, until recently! Hahaha! This is like the upteenth time I’ve been on the cover of a magazine/newspaper over the years. I wonder what is with the obsession they have with good-looking guys like me! Muahaha! (Click on the images above to read the article)



Guide to Afghanistan: The Adventures of a KL-ite (Part 10 – Living at the feet of Buddha)

This week is part 10 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 10 here:

Living by the feet of Buddha
By Zan Azlee

FEB 13 — After the days I spent on patrol with Malaysia’s MALCON ISAF 2 in the rural areas of Bamiyan building water filters, educating health officials and saving lives, I was glad to be back in the safety of Kiwi Base in the city of Bamiyan.

Bamiyan is actually one of the safest provinces in Afghanistan and this is due to its population of predominantly Hazarat people who fiercely reject the Taliban. They are Shiites and were terribly oppressed, hurt and killed during the rule of the Taliban. So walking the streets of Bamiyan city is really like a walk in the park compared to in Kabul.

Now that I was feeling a bit secure and safe, I wanted to do something that I had dreamed of since I was 15 years old. That’s right! I wanted to go and see for myself, with my own two eyes, the great Buddhas of Bamiyan.

I was apparently still under the responsibility of the Malaysian Armed Forces, and the commander, Lt Col Rusman Sanip, did not want to allow me to roam outside of the army base on my own (although I had spent all my time in Kabul alone before meeting up with them in Bamiyan!). He was kind enough to escort me together with a couple of security team members. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

Guide to Afghanistan: The Adventures of a KL-ite
Part 10 of 10
‘Living by the feet of Buddha’
Zan fulfills his 19 year dream of seeing the Buddhas of Bamiyan! And he discovers the ultra poor Hazarats living at his feet… literally.

Full Synopsis:
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.

To view all the episodes, head to FATBIDIN.COM/AFGHANISTAN.

Click the thumbnails below to launch the photo essay (Part 10).

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!



Guide to Afghanistan: The Adventures of a KL-ite (Part 9 – A Taliban ambush)

This week is part 9 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 9 here:

A Taliban ambush
By Zan Azlee

FEB 6 — The next day, we all had to wake up early because our vehicles were supposed to start rolling right at dawn. We were in for another challenging journey and heading deeper into the heartland of Afghanistan. I decided to forego another shower since the temperature in the mountains of Bamiyan were in the single digit in the early mornings.

Before we headed out, we had a security briefing. This is a must since it is when everyone gets information on the journey and also to talk about any emergency plans should there be an attack by the Taliban. After the briefing, we had the mandatory prayers for a safe journey and then we headed out.

This time, the journey was almost twice as difficult. The mountain area we had to go through was higher and rougher. Security was another concern since we were moving further away from central Bamiyan and heading nearer to the border with Daykhundi province, which had a stronger Taliban presence. This time it was serious and I made sure my bulletproof vest was strapped on tighter than ever. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

Guide to Afghanistan: The Adventures of a KL-ite
Part 9 of 10
‘A Taliban ambush’
While embedded with the Malaysian Armed Forces in Afghanistan, Zan and the soldiers encounter a Taliban ambush.

Full Synopsis:
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.

To view all the episodes, head to FATBIDIN.COM/AFGHANISTAN.

Click the thumbnails below to launch the photo essay (Part 9).

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!



Guide to Afghanistan: The Adventures of a KL-ite (Part 8 – Lending the Afghans a hand)

This week is part 8 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 8 here:

Lending the Afghans a hand
By Zan Azlee

JAN 30 — We arrived in Yadkawlang in the evening after travelling for several hours. Yadkawlang is a small village in Bamiyan province. The Malaysian troops (MALCON ISAF 2) were due to conduct a blood donation drive and also to fit a water filtering system at the village well. When we arrived at the location, which was a school, another group from MALCON ISAF 2 was already there and had set up tents for the day’s event. They had arrived several days earlier and had been staying at the Yadkawlang base.

A group of villagers had already gathered and the commander was informed that the local mullah, Ali Muhammadi, had also arrived. One of the mullah’s men rushed inside the school block to call him. When the mullah came out, the commander greeted him and they proceeded to brief the crowd that had gathered. The main reason the mullah was involved is to convince the villagers that what the Malaysians came here to do is for the benefit of the village.

The local Afghans are actually very apprehensive about foreigners and I can only guess that it must be due to the decades of oppression they have faced from the foreigners that have invaded their country; from the British to the Russians and now the Americans. So it was important that MALCON ISAF 2 implement the proper strategy if they wanted to penetrate and help the local community. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

Guide to Afghanistan: The Adventures of a KL-ite
Part 8 of 10
‘Lending the Afghans a hand’
Zan is embedded with the Malaysian Armed Forces as they patrol the mountains of Afghanistan.

Full Synopsis:
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.

To view all the episodes, head to FATBIDIN.COM/AFGHANISTAN.

Click the thumbnails below to launch the photo essay (Part 8).

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!



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

This week is part 7 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 7 here:

Malaysia at war!
By Zan Azlee

JAN 23 — Being a journalist, one of my dreams has always been to be embedded with the military in a conflict zone. I had been to and reported on conflict zones before, but always as an external journalist and never embedded, and when I was given the chance to do so, I jumped at the opportunity.

It wasn’t so much of an opportunity that cropped up rather than one that I had to persistently pursue and create for myself for more than a year. I had been writing multiple e-mails and making phone calls to the Ministry of Defence ever since I learnt that Malaysia had started deploying troops to Afghanistan.

But my attempts were never fruitful and I finally decided I would just head to Afghanistan on my own without being embedded in the military, just like the times I’ve been to Beirut in Lebanon, and Patani in Southern Thailand to produce my wartime documentaries and news reports.

I had been in Kabul for almost a week shooting and filing news stories for the TV station that was commissioning me as a correspondent when I thought I would just send a text message to Lt. Col. Salawati Yahaya, the army’s Media Operations Director, in Kuala Lumpur to say that I was in Afghanistan.

Her reply caught me by surprise. Probably impressed (or shocked!) at my ballsy move to just head to Afghanistan on my own, she managed to get clearance from her bosses to actually allow me to be embedded with MALCON ISAF 2, the Malaysian contingent that was currently serving in Bamiyan. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

Guide to Afghanistan: The Adventures of a KL-ite
Part 7 of 10
‘Malaysia at war!’
Zan arrives at the military base in Bamiyan to be embedded with the Malaysian Armed forces in the war in Afghanistan.

Full Synopsis:
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.

To view all the episodes, head to FATBIDIN.COM/AFGHANISTAN.

Click the thumbnails below to launch the photo essay (Part 7).

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!



Guide to Afghanistan: The Adventures of a KL-ite (Part 6 – Skateboarding in Skateistan!)

This week is part 6 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 6 here:

Skateboarding in Skateistan!
By Zan Azlee

JAN 16 — Merza Muhammadi is one of the best skateboarders in Afghanistan. This 17-year-old is an instructor and mid-level manager at Kabul’s only skatepark, Skateistan, and is looked up to by hundreds of Kabul kids. But Merza hasn’t always been in this positive situation. Only four years before, he was working the streets cleaning cars to help support his family. 

“Skateistan has been a real positive influence in my life,” said the ever-smiling Merza. 

Started in 2007, Skateistan is more than just an ordinary skatepark. It’s an NGO that aims to bring together the many different ethnic youth in Kabul, whether privileged or not, through the sport of skateboarding.

“Skateboarding really fits the Afghan psyche in the sense that it challenges the local kids to overcome personal fear and limitations in whatever situations,” explained founder and executive director, Oliver Percovich. 

Merza had always been interested in skateboarding ever since he saw pictures in a skateboarding magazine, but never had the opportunity to try it out. Not until he met Oliver who was working in Kabul at that time and often skated near an old fountain in a park on the outskirts of the city. That was back in 2007. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

Guide to Afghanistan: The Adventures of a KL-ite
Part 6 of 10
‘Skateboarding in Skateistan!’
Skate or die on the streets of Kabul.

Full Synopsis:
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.

To view all the episodes, head to FATBIDIN.COM/AFGHANISTAN.

Click the thumbnails below to launch the photo essay (Part 6).

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!



Guide to Afghanistan: The Adventures of a KL-ite (Part 5 – Rambo is alive and kicking in Afghanistan!)

This week is part 5 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 5 here:

Finding Rambo in Afghanistan!
By Zan Azlee

JAN 9 — No matter how much I read and watch the news about Afghanistan, the one thing that always frames my perspective when it comes to the country is its Islamic extremism. And I know that this is how many people around the world perceive it as well. So, during my time in Afghanistan, one of the issues that interested me was the fact that so much of the country’s culture had been suppressed, or even eradicated, by the Taliban during their rule.

And now that the United States has blown the Taliban out of political power, a lot of this culture, which was deemed haram by the Taliban, is making a comeback. I spoke to Ahmad Bilal Raghbat, my local fixer, about this and the first thing that came to his mind was movies.

“I love watching movies but during the Taliban time, cinemas were shut down,” said the big Bollywood fan.

After days of driving and walking around Kabul with Bilal, I noticed that there was actually quite a big cinema in the middle of the city right next President Hamid Karzai’s office. It’s called Ariana and you can hardly miss it due to all the brightly coloured movie posters adorning the walls on the outside. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

Guide to Afghanistan: The Adventures of a KL-ite
Part 5 of 10
‘Finding Rambo in Afghanistan!’
Zan finds Rambo, Nicholas Cage and Dolph Lundgren in the mountains of Afghanistan.

Full Synopsis:
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.

To view all the episodes, head to FATBIDIN.COM/AFGHANISTAN.

Click the thumbnails below to launch the photo essay (Part 5).

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!



Guide to Afghanistan: The Adventures of a KL-ite (Part 4 – The Last Jew in Afghanistan)

(Last week, I received news from my friend and fixer, Ahmad Bilal Raghbat, that his father, Abdul Baqi Raghbat, an advisor for the Afghan Ministry of Tribal and Border Affairs, was assassinated by the Taliban in his hometown of Kandahar. May God bless his soul.)

This week is part 4 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 4 here:

The Last Jew in Afghanistan
By Zan Azlee

JAN 2 – I had heard rumours that there was a Jew, apparently the last Jew in Afghanistan, living in Kabul when I was planning my trip there. I knew that I had to make sure I meet this person. Pursuing the story about the last Jew wasn’t meant to be a scoop since it’s been reported before.

But what I was really interested in was to just meet him and listen to his story first hand and to shake his hand myself. So, when I finally arrived in Kabul, and all the 9/11 anniversary hype had died down, I told my fixer, Ahmad Bilal Raghbat, that I wanted to look for Zebolon Simantov.

We walked around Flower Street where Simantov was reportedly living and started asking the people there if they knew of such a person. After a few false alarms, we finally found a restaurant owner who just pointed to a flight of stairs at the back.

We walked up one floor and marched through a narrow and dusty corridor. We arrived at a pastel-coloured wooden door. I knocked. A slightly overweight, middle-aged Caucasian-looking man opened the door. I asked him if he knew Zebolon Simantov.

“Yes, that’s me,” he said in Pashto, which was translated to me by Bilal.

I was finally meeting face to face with Zebolon Simantov, the last and only Jew living in the entire Afghanistan. I introduced myself as a journalist from Malaysia and said that I would like to interview him on camera. He nodded and invited us in. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

Guide to Afghanistan: The Adventures of a KL-ite
Part 4 of 10
‘The Last Jew in Afghanistan’
Zan haggles over an interview price with the last Jew standing in the whole of Afghanistan.

Full Synopsis:
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.

To view all the episodes, head to FATBIDIN.COM/AFGHANISTAN.

Click the thumbnails below to launch the photo essay (Part 4).

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!



Guide to Afghanistan: The Adventures of a KL-ite (Part 3 – Ahmad Shah Massoud and Martyrdom)

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:

Ahmad Shah Massoud and Martyrdom
By Zan Azlee

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.”

I just nodded as my fingers gripped the dashboard in fear. “Funny. I come to a war zone willingly but I’m scared of dying in a traffic accident!” I thought to myself. [Click to read the rest of the article at The Malaysian Insider]

Guide to Afghanistan: The Adventures of a KL-ite
Part 3 of 10 – ‘Ahmad Shah Massoud and Martyrdom’
And they celebrate a hero like they’re going to war!

Full Synopsis:
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.

To view all the episodes, head to FATBIDIN.COM/AFGHANISTAN.

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!



Guide to Afghanistan: The Adventures of a KL-ite (Part 2 – ’Hidup hidup! Afghanistan!’ Long live Afghanistan!)

That’s right people! We will release one episode every Monday (for the next ten Mondays!) 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 2 here:

 

Hidup hidup! Afghanistan!
By Zan Azlee

DEC 12 — Although it was the 10th anniversary of 9/11, it was clear that many Afghans felt that it was irrelevant to them and their lives. I don’t blame them since, in their country, 9/11 seems to be happening every day.

“Every day, in my country, people are killed. If not by the Taliban, then by the American and ISAF forces. We are looking at 9/11 every day here,” gripes Ahmad Bilal Raghbat, my fixer in Afghanistan.

It seems that after 10 years of the United States’ presence in Afghanistan, the situation in the country isn’t much better. One would think that at least security and safety of the locals would have improved, but no. Attacks by the Taliban still happen regularly. And to be honest, this scared the wits out of me! The first few days sleeping in my room was spent… NOT sleeping!

One of the first things Bilal said to me when I arrived in Kabul was not to wander around Kabul on my own since it is particularly dangerous for foreigners. I had no objections there since everyone in the streets dressed and looked like dangerous Taliban members! You just couldn’t tell the difference.

That’s why, although central Kabul is considered the Green Zone and is safe, attacks still happen almost every week. How do you tell a Taliban from a non-Taliban? They are all Afghans and they all dress the same. And if it’s the beard that you go by to differentiate them (growing one is compulsory for a Taliban), well, most Afghans have beards. [Click to read the rest of the article at The Malaysian Insider]

Guide to Afghanistan: The Adventures of a KL-ite
Part 2 of 10
Hidup hidup! Afghanistan! (Long live Afghanistan!)
Zan meets up with dissatisfied Afghans who want the USA to leave their country and allow them to govern themselves. He also stumbles upon a street demonstration that is opposed to the current Karzai presidency.

Full Synopsis:
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.

To view all the episodes, head to FATBIDIN.COM/AFGHANISTAN.

Click the thumbnails below to launch the photo essay (Part 2).

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!



Guide to Afghanistan: The Adventures of a KL-ite (Part 1 – ’9/11? What’s that?’)

Today is the launch of the online version of my multimedia documentary, Guide To Afghanistan: The Adventures of a KL-ite, which includes video and still photos. This is after TV news reports (for Astro AWANI) and a magazine feature article and photo essay (for Esquire). Radio and TV versions of the documentary are also in discussion. This launch is also in conjunction with the launch of a 10-part feature on The Malaysian Insider website, of which you can view part 1 here:

Guide to Afghanistan: The Adventures of a KL-ite
Part 1 of 10
9/11? What’s that?

Full Synopsis:
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.

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!



My Afghanistan feature article and photo essay in Esquire Dec 2011!

It’s finally out! My Afghanistan feature article and photo essay in Esquire magazine (Dec 2011)! It’s titled ‘Malaysia, we are at war!’ and I write about my time being embedded with the Malaysian Armed Forces in Bamiyan, Afghanistan. So head out to your nearest newsstand and get your copy! But it sure ain’t over yet…



Looking hot and smoldering on Astro AWANI’s Sudut Pandang talking about Afghanistan… and my most multimedia project yet!


Sudut Pandang clip is courtesy of Astro AWANI.

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!!

Oh… my project is still available for potential sponsorship and advertising… just give me a buzz if you are interested and we can talk!



Heading to the Land of the Bearded Man… AFGHANISTAN!

I’m heading out today! Afghanistan here I come! I’ll be doing shit loads over there… shooting my documentary film, writing a book, shooting photographs, and doing live reports! GODAMMIT! The things I have to do to pay the bills! I’ll be posting… tweetingFB-ing and Instagraming every opportunity I get so stay tuned! Or… you can also watch ASTRO Awani (501) starting 5th September for my live reports from the Land of the Bearded Man! Until I come up with something better… I’m calling it THE UNTITLED AFGHANISTAN PROJECT!

Wish me luck! (Or send me a bulletproof vest! Those things are expensive!)




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