If you missed the first episode of IN FOCUS, which was on Astro AWANI 501, then you’re in luck! You get to watch it on NJOI AWANI’s YouTube page over and over and over and over and over again! The first episode sees me checking out how the street protest industry works in Egypt in Tunisia!
Come the new year of 2013… I am producing and hosting a new documentary series called IN FOCUS every Tuesday nights at 8:30pm on Astro AWANI (501). It covers current and social affairs, local and international. Expect all the awesomeness, machoness and coolness of Zan Azlee… and others too, of course!
The first three episodes is all about the Arab Spring after two years have gone by. I go to Egypt and Tunisia (and cancelled Syria… not macho enough lah!). So don’t forget to watch the premiere first episode of IN FOCUS this Tuesday (1st January 2013), 8:30pm, on Astro AWANI (501)!
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.
DEC 7 — My last stop in my Arab Spring documentary tour was Tunisia. It also happens to be the first country in the Arab region to start revolting and became the inspiration for the rest of the countries like Egypt, Syria and Yemen.
The story, if you’re not familiar, has become the stuff of legend. A young fruit vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, in the small Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid set himself on fire in protest.
He was tired of how he was being treated by government officials who were always confiscating his goods and asking for bribes. He died of his injuries.
This caused an uproar amongst the citizens in the small town. The authorities turned violent when attempting to quash the uprising. The news spread and soon the whole country demonstrated.
The urban citizens in the capital Tunis who had always been more economically privileged soon realised how their government had been treating the rest of the country.
Once the whole country was united in solidarity, the revolution became strong and the dictator President Ben Ali was forced to flee the country and now resides in exile in Saudi Arabia.
What is interesting for me is that two years have passed since their revolution, and out of all the Arab Spring countries, they are the ones with the most successful new democratically-elected government. [Click to read the rest of the article at The Malaysian Insider]
NOV 30 — Shooting documentaries in the Middle-East isn’t for the faint-hearted; there is the harsh natural environment and, of course, the volatile political situation in the region. Still, I find myself in the region (as I have many times before) shooting a documentary about the Arab Spring. My first stop is Cairo, Egypt.
The first day I arrive and start shooting, a piece of broken concrete thrown by the police hits a protestor standing literally right next to me. His injured and unconscious body was carried to safety by fellow protestors while I stood there thinking that three feet of empty space was what kept me safe. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]