Why the Dome of the Rock belongs to us all

by Rashmee

Posted on July 30, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


After a tense couple of weeks, the centrist Jerusalem Post wearily turned to understatement to describe the com­plex known to Jews as Temple Mount and to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif. It is, the Post declared, “the most sensitive piece of real estate on the planet.” Quite. It is certainly one of, if not the most … Continue reading “Why the Dome of the Rock belongs to us all”

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The White Garden 20 years since death of a Princess has the pink anemone ‘Pretty Lady Diana’

by Rashmee

Posted on July 29, 2017


Earlier this week, I was at the White Garden at Kensington Palace. It has been planted to mark 20 years of Princess Diana’s death. The flowers and foliage, says the Palace website, are “inspired by memories of the Princess’s life, image and style.” There you go then. There are tulips and narcisii, ‘forget me nots’, … Continue reading “The White Garden 20 years since death of a Princess has the pink anemone ‘Pretty Lady Diana’”

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150th Canada Day in Tunisia was much like their relationship: polite, calm & collected

by Rashmee

Posted on July 3, 2017


So we were at Canada Day in Tunis (it was held on June 29, three days before the actual 150th birthday) and it seemed like a metaphor for the relationship between these two Francophone countries: polite, if a bit bland, but unfailingly good-natured and well-intentioned. As the Canadian Embassy in Tunis documents, the bilateral relationship is … Continue reading “150th Canada Day in Tunisia was much like their relationship: polite, calm & collected”

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In Tunis medina, a house with a view – of Tunisia’s past and present

by Rashmee

Posted on June 28, 2017


In the medina of Tunis, built into the wall of the Zitouna Mosque is a darkly sparkling gem, Eddar. The antiques shop Ali Chammakhi’s runs from his family’s 400-year-old home is one of its kind. (N.B.: The Chammakhis themselves have lived there a mere 250 years, as Ali wryly explains. But the house was standing … Continue reading “In Tunis medina, a house with a view – of Tunisia’s past and present”

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Is this Tunisia’s first real Libyan restaurant?

by Rashmee

Posted on June 27, 2017


Tunisia is teeming with Libyans but Libyan restaurants are a strange and unknown quantity. The Tunisian friend who invited us to dinner at the Najaa Restaurant in El Aouina said he rather thought it was the only one in Tunis and possibly even the only one in all of Tunisia. I have since discovered that this … Continue reading “Is this Tunisia’s first real Libyan restaurant?”

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London Grenfell Tower fire sparks debate over the real and proper role of government

by Rashmee

Posted on June 26, 2017


I left London for Tunis at a time of intensifying and increasingly perplexed debate about the role of government and the need for it to spend wisely and well in order to serve the people. Two authoritative newspapers – The Times and the Financial Times – wrote leaders on social housing in the tragic aftermath … Continue reading “London Grenfell Tower fire sparks debate over the real and proper role of government”

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Muslims must weld themselves to wider communities in the face of Islamophobia

by Rashmee

Posted on June 25, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


The only certainty after the attack on worship­pers near London’s Finsbury Park mosque is that there will be more of the same. More attacks, whether copycat or retaliatory, by Islamist extremists or by those who hate Muslims. Sometimes, as at Finsbury Park, a visually distinct group of Muslims may be the obvious target. More often … Continue reading “Muslims must weld themselves to wider communities in the face of Islamophobia”

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How extremism has hijacked the UK election

by Rashmee

Posted on June 8, 2017 / The National


Britain votes today with the shadow of terrorism hanging darkly over it. Ditto France, as it goes to the polls the following two Sundays to elect members of parliament. In the countdown to Germany’s federal election in September, there are very real and justified fears of attacks. How could it be any different? This has … Continue reading “How extremism has hijacked the UK election”

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World more peaceful this year – except for Middle East & a N America bestrode by Trump

by Rashmee

Posted on June 7, 2017


You may not believe this but it’s true. The eleventh edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI), which ranks 163 independent states and territories or 99.7 per cent of the world’s population, is strangely soothing. In the past year, it says, 93 countries became more peaceful than before. Only 68 countries are less peaceful than … Continue reading “World more peaceful this year – except for Middle East & a N America bestrode by Trump”

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A new Snooper’s Charter won’t prevent another terror attack – but a dedicated online police force might

by Rashmee

Posted on June 5, 2017 / The Independent


Theresa May’s call for new international agreements to regulate the internet and “deprive the extremists of their safe spaces online” is as useless as it is chilling. In a free society such as ours, it is not possible to intern potential terrorists virtually, so any regulation would involve mass surveillance — a move which the British people, … Continue reading “A new Snooper’s Charter won’t prevent another terror attack – but a dedicated online police force might”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in eight countries in the past decade. She spent much of 2015 in the UAE and currently divides her time between the UK and Tunisia. Before that, she was in Haiti, the US, Afghanistan and India.