In Turkey, an ominous question: Can war ever be good for public health?

by Rashmee

Posted on February 4, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


Can war ever be good for public health? It’s a ludicrous question when the horrendous consequences of the long-running, many-sided Syrian conflict are plain to see on television screens and social media. Dozens are dead as a result of Turkey’s military offensive against the Kurds in Afrin; many were killed by suspected Russian warplanes that … Continue reading “In Turkey, an ominous question: Can war ever be good for public health?”

Read More

2 Syrian refugees taken in by US in Jan. It was 1,318 same time last year

by Rashmee

Posted on February 2, 2018


  One has to wonder about the state of mind of the two Syrian refugees taken in by the US since January 1, 2018. Just imagine. They are the only two Syrians who’ve been given refuge by the US so far, this year. That’s down from the 1,318 Syrian refugees accepted by the US in … Continue reading “2 Syrian refugees taken in by US in Jan. It was 1,318 same time last year”

Read More

Davos and the Arab project

by Rashmee

Posted on January 28, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


The talkathon-cum-thinkfest that blazed to an end on January 26 at Davos had more leaders and executives from the Arab world in attendance than at any time since it began. The World Economic Forum, to give the high-achievers’ annual conclave its proper name, has been around in one form or the other since 1971. This … Continue reading “Davos and the Arab project”

Read More

Even a gossipy book can have some truths about Trump and the Middle East

by Rashmee

Posted on January 21, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


For a US administration that promised to bring about peace in the Middle East, Donald Trump’s White House team seemed to men­tion the region hardly at all in the first eight months in office. In Michael Wolff’s gossipy block­buster “Fire and Fury,” which pur­ports to document most of the first year of the Trump White … Continue reading “Even a gossipy book can have some truths about Trump and the Middle East”

Read More

Tunisia protests a truth told elsewhere: ‘There’s no magic money tree’

by Rashmee

Posted on January 12, 2018


Today I leave a Tunisia that’s once again featuring high on international news bulletins. That’s on account of violent protests across the country. Eight years after the so-called ‘Arab Spring’, Tunisians in several cities are protesting against their government. Not about the government’s make-up but about its policies, particularly the austerity measures. Tunisians are upset … Continue reading “Tunisia protests a truth told elsewhere: ‘There’s no magic money tree’”

Read More

Bitcoin is the new hawala — no more, no less

by Rashmee

Posted on January 8, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


The Egyptians, Saudis, Turks and Lebanese are officially frowning on bitcoin, the cryp­tocurrency or elec­tronic form of money that almost no one but the very nerdy (or the very volatile) would seriously consider as an invest­ment. The Indians are similarly unimpressed, citing pretty much the same reasons as the Lebanese, namely that digital money carries … Continue reading “Bitcoin is the new hawala — no more, no less”

Read More

The perils of teaching history through popular culture

by Rashmee

Posted on January 2, 2018 / The National


Should it matter in 2018 that an American politician named Mike Huckabee recently watched a film about Winston Churchill, a leader who’s been dead more than 50 years? Yes, because Mr Huckabee did more than simply watch Darkest Hour, the new film on Churchill. First, he drew his own conclusions. Then, he drew parallels between … Continue reading “The perils of teaching history through popular culture”

Read More

Was it really a big year for Arab women? Yes and it raises the bar for 2018

by Rashmee

Posted on December 29, 2017


  When people talk about 2017 being a good year for Arab women they normally point to Saudi Arabia’s decision to lift the driving ban. That was eye-catching. But there’s a great deal more. In Tunisia, Jordan and Lebanon, there was a massive boost to women’s right to be safe from physical, mental and emotional … Continue reading “Was it really a big year for Arab women? Yes and it raises the bar for 2018”

Read More

From spiritual harmony to the women’s movement, new narratives will emerge in 2018

by Rashmee

Posted on December 26, 2017 / The National


“Last year’s words belong to last year’s language,” wrote TS Eliot in the final poem of the set called Four Quartets. “And next year’s words await another voice.” The new year will, as it always does, bring out other voices. But will they be heard over the loud, angry cries of 2017? Is 2018 going … Continue reading “From spiritual harmony to the women’s movement, new narratives will emerge in 2018”

Read More

Trump’s security plan sees Middle East as dark, dangerous place

by Rashmee

Posted on December 24, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


The starkest of the many surprises in US Presi­dent Donald Trump’s National Security Strat­egy (NSS) is its unremit­tingly bleak, unseeing view of the Middle East. It’s a surprise only because one might have thought nearly a year as US president might have recalibrated Trump’s worldview. It hasn’t. Throughout the 55-page document, the Middle East is … Continue reading “Trump’s security plan sees Middle East as dark, dangerous place”

Read More

Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, UK and US