My third book, a graphic novel titled Adventures of a KL-ite in Afghanistan, is now out at all major bookstores in Malaysia and Singapore!! Illustrated by my long time buddy Arif Rafhan Othman (aka Apan).
It’s all about my real life adventures of shooting a documentary in Afghanistan. I was there during the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and I spent time in Kabul on my own, as well as being the first Malaysian journalist to be embedded with the Malaysian Armed Forces who are stationed in Bamiyan.
But my favourite part of the book is this cameo appearance by good ol’ Dave!
Official launch will be after Hari Raya, but it’s out in the bookstores already. And soon, you’ll be able to order it at the Fatbidin E-Store as well (including some interesting exclusive bundle packages!).
These are my first satisfied customers!
As a journalist, one of the things that I do worry about is being detained or kidnapped while in a conflict zone. With all the beheadings that have been happening online… all the courage in the world woudn’t make me feel courageous! I have actually been detained and interrogated once. It was by the military in Lebanon right when I was about to cross the border out of the country. It was 2007 and at that time, they were going through the Nahr Al-Bared conflict. But it was only for a few hour and they let me go after they deleted some photos I had taken of their checkpoint. Even then, I almost peed my pants!
So I can’t imagine how more macho journalists like Sean Langan and Sean McAllister can stay strong when they get held for months. Sean Langan was kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan and held for three months. BBC made a re-enacted film out of his ordeal:
Sean McAllister (who I am now friends with after having the opportunity to hang out with him at the Sheffield Documentary Film Festival in 2011) was detained in Syria and accused of being a spy. CNN’s Anderson Cooper interviewed him:
And the latest that has caught my attention has to be the detention of Vice News journalist Simon Ostrovsky in Ukraine by pro-Russian forces. It’s just that I’m a loyal viewer/reader of Vice and I’ve actually been following Ostrovsky’s daily video dispatches from there on a regular basis. Suddenly, the guy just disappears for four days and then they let him go. Not before beating and torturing him, of course. He was released last Thursday (24 April 2014). Here’s he’s account of what happened:
I guess I’ve been taking it easy seeing that the last international assignments I’ve been on in the past six months have been in London, Stockholm and Perth.
MARCH 22 — Sijah Ejut is a true blue Malaysian. She is an Iban tuai rumah (village head) who has lived her entire life on the outskirts of Sibu, Sarawak. She has never been out of the country, and her ancestors have lived on the land for centuries. You can’t get any more Malaysian than that.
Yet, she only managed to register her citizenship and get an IC at the age of 27. And because of that, she couldn’t finish her schooling. She couldn’t even travel around freely because the police would stop and accuse her of being an illegal immigrant.
Sijah’s isn’t an isolated case. Almost the entire population of her village does not have ICs (or had trouble getting ICs) even though they are all Bumiputeras.
And imagine Sijah Ejut’s outrage now that she knows that one of Malaysia’s most wanted men, Agbimuddin Kiram, and the rest of his mob could have been among those given ICs and made Malaysian citizens? [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
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)!