Tag Archives: september 11

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):
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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!

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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!

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!