Tag Archives: jew

Not one, but two, limited photo prints of the last Jew in Afghanistan!


Today is a lucky day for all you Fat Bidin fans out there! Every Wednesdays, I offer up one limited photo print for sale. But today, and only today, I am offering TWO limited photo prints for sale!

Zebolon Simantov, the last Jew in Afghanistan, holding an old jewish scripture.
Zebolon Simantov, the last Jew in Afghanistan, holding an old jewish scripture in his synagogue.

The picture above is of Zebalon Simantov, the last Jew in Afghanistan. You heard me right. He is the last surviving Jew in the entire country of Afghanistan. Everyone of his people have left, including his wife and children (who have fled to Israel).

But Simantov refuses to leave because “Afghanistan is my country! I am Afghan!”

I managed to track him down in Kabul and he agreed to give me an interview and to show me around his house and synagogue (after haggling for the right price!). You can watch the video below.

Although he seems to be a little tight financially, his life looks pretty happy and content. He definitely knows where his home is.

Zebolon Simantov with his best friend, a Muslim, Abdul Shukor.
Zebolon Simantov , the last Jew in Afghanistan, with his best friend, a Muslim, Abdul Shukor.

Own a limited print of either one of the pictures above, framed (21cm x 30cm) and signed by yours truly for RM90. You can play a role in supporting independent journalism by clicking below.

1. Zebalon Simantov, the last Jew in Afghanistan, holding an old Jewish scripture in his synagogue.

or

2. Zebalon Simantov, the last Jew in Afghanistan, with his best friend, a Muslim, Abdul Shukor.

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 the support.

He just liked a Facebook page!


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He just liked a Facebook page!
By Zan Azlee

Recently, a sedition investigation was launched by the authorities against a secondary school boy who apparently liked a ‘I Love Israel’ Facebook page.

According to news reports, his teachers and schoolmates have also thrown threats at him, including calling for him to be burnt.

I have several issues with this that is causing me some stress and one of the biggest is the fact that it seems like it is so wrong for someone to have a differing opinion.

So what if the boy loves Israel? He could love it for many reasons. It could be the beautiful beaches the country has, the advance IT, etc.

Whatever happened to freedom of opinion and freedom of expression? I always thought we were allowed to have individual thoughts and ideas.

But as far as the news reports that have been going around, it doesn’t seem like the boy really loves Israel anyway.

Another issue I have is that many people like many different Facebook pages for many reasons. I am one of those people.

I like pages that I support for example musicians and bands that I like to listen to, events and activities that I want to go to, etc.

But I also like pages that I don’t support. I follow the pages of many political parties that I don’t like just so that I can keep up to date with whatever they are doing.

Heck, I even follow the Kardashians’ Facebook page just so that I can laugh at all the ridiculous things they do in their apparently interesting lives.

And, by actually launching an official investigation, don’t people think that this is blowing things of proportion for something so insignificant. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]

Palestine will go back to just being a car sticker


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Palestine will go back to just being a car sticker
By Zan Azlee

Last week, I wrote in my column here that I am not one of those who are boycotting McDonald’s or Starbucks Coffee.

The reason I am not boycotting them is because I feel that the problem lies much deeper than just fast food companies and designer coffee.

I wrote that the backers of the Israel government had too much clout that a mere boycott of a few companies will not do any damage. Instead, locals get hurt more.

I also wrote that for something to actually hurt the Israel government, it has to be big and prominent enough.

For example, how several European state-owned investment arms have blacklisted Israeli companies and financial institutions.

I also said that governments that trade with Israel by proxy because they didn’t want to be seen as ‘trading with Israel’ should also cease what they are doing.

Read my column last week carefully. I also didn’t belittle the thousands who have decided to boycott McDonald’s and what not.

How can you blame them? Without the right facts and information, they actually believe what they are doing is right.

But when the boycott turns out to be just plain vandalism and bullying, then how do you justify it as being right?

Outlets being damaged, workers being attacked an assaulted, their children being shunned in school. How does that help the Palestinians?

The response that came in regarding my column last week were amusing to say the least, although a few agreed with what I had to say, many condemned me.

They accused me of being a Jew, an infidel, a hater of Muslims, an associate of the devil and a lot more colourful words and phrases.

That’s fine by me. I’m a big boy and I can definitely take criticism. Anyway, a little bit of name-calling just makes things a little bit more interesting.

But here’s the thing. I wonder what these people who are condemning me so strongly are thinking about the statement made by the Palestinian ambassador to Malaysia?

Dr. Anwar Al Agha yesterday said that it would be much better if people actually pressured and lobbied against the Unites States rather than boycott McDonald’s. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]

Is the boycott working? Is it? Really?


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Is the boycott working? Is it? Really?
By Zan Azlee

A few days ago, I pulled my car up into the drive-thru lane at the McDonald’s nearby my house and ordered a Big Breakfast set with orange juice.

I had returned home from my wife’s hometown in Johor Bahru after a short Hari Raya break earlier than her and my daughter because I had to start work earlier.

So I was home alone and hungry. And I couldn’t be bothered to go into the kitchen to look for ingredients and to fix something up for myself.

I was greeted on the audio box next to my car window very politely.

“Selamat Hari Raya. What would you like to order?” the voice said.

“Selamat Hari Raya. I would like one Big Breakfast please. And change the coffee to orange juice instead,” I said.

“Please pay at the counter sir.”

I drove up to the cashier’s counter and I saw the face behind the voice. She was a young Malay girl, probably in her early twenties, in a tudung and I assumed she is Muslim.

“Assalamualaikum. That would be RM12.90 please. Thank you.” she greeted me.

“Why aren’t you off for the Hari Raya holidays?” I asked her.

“I have to work sir. Such is life!” she smiled.

I smiled back at her, took my food and drove off.

Does the boycott work?

Here is a situation that has made me think about the boycott that is being called for here in Malaysia against Israel and the Zionist state.

It is obvious from the anecdotal evidence I gave at the start of this opinion piece shows that I have not decided to boycott McDonald’s.

It doesn’t mean that I support Zionism. And it definitely doesn’t mean that I am belittling the efforts of so many Malaysians who believe in the boycott.

I just don’t want to do something where I am not fully comprehensive of its entire mechanics and objectives. I need to believe in it 100% to want to get involved.

The story also shows that at a micro level, the first people to suffer when such a boycott takes place are our own local people who rely on these organisations to earn a living.

The question that has been playing in my head is whether the boycott works in achieving the objective of pressurising the Israeli government. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]

Oh my Allah!!


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Oh my Allah!
By Zan Azlee

This ‘Allah’ fiasco is not a new issue. In fact, it’s been talked about and highlighted publicly for some years now. The first time I commented on it was a short video documentary I was commissioned to do for a Dutch news agency called VJ Movement several years ago.

And that wasn’t the last either. I have also given my opinion on the issue several times in my columns and writings. For those who are familiar with my work (here’s a symptom of my illusions of grandeur – thinking that I have a following!), it would be no surprise what my opinion on the matter is.

Recently, the newly appointed Vatican envoy to Malaysia, Archbishop Joseph Marino, stated in an interview that he supported the call for the word ‘Allah’ to be used by non-Muslims in the country. I don’t see the problem in his comments. I support the use of the word ‘Allah’ by Christians in the country. In fact, there is proof that the word is used by many non-Muslims all around the world (even before Islam existed!).

It’s an Arabic word which means ‘God’. It’s like the Malay word ‘Tuhan’. It’s like the Cantonese word ‘San’. It’s like the Tamil word ‘Kadavul’. In fact, it’s all exactly the same. In all the Arabic speaking Arab countries that I have visited (Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, UAE, Qatar, Lebanon), the people use the word ‘Allah’ to mean God no matter what religion they are.

Actually, one does not need to go so far. Just take a quick trip to Sabah and pay a visit to any church there and be prepared for a huge shock! And if you want to think about it, Christianity and Islam (along with that other Abrahamic faith – Judaism), have the same God, goddamit! [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]