Tunisia is bright – with sun, flowers and the sudden flicker of hope as tourists start to return

by Rashmee

Posted on July 19, 2017


August, so they say, is the hottest month in the Tunisian capital, with temperatures averaging 27°C (81°F) all day, every day. Did they forget about June and July? Average temperatures seem to have hovered around 34°C (93.2°F), a guesstimate, of course, but then it’s been so infernally hot. Infernally hot and incredibly bright. With sun and … Continue reading “Tunisia is bright – with sun, flowers and the sudden flicker of hope as tourists start to return”

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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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Were gondoliers and gondola-makers of yesterday’s Venice the coal-miners of America today?

by Rashmee

Posted on April 17, 2017


One of the last gondola workshops in Venice is to be found near the Ponte San Trovaso, on the Fondamenta Nani. It’s the Squero San Trovaso, just north of the Zattere Vaporetto stop. I looked at the men in the boatyard, busily engaged on a site that is said to have opened 400 years ago, … Continue reading “Were gondoliers and gondola-makers of yesterday’s Venice the coal-miners of America today?”

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It’s worth visiting world’s first ghetto, where the very word came into being. Especially now

by Rashmee

Posted on April 14, 2017


If you’re visiting Venice, look away for a few hours from the beauty of the bridges, the light on the water, the poetry in stone of the city’s buildings. Head for the Ghetto, the world’s very first (known) experiment in organized exclusion of a whole community based on religion, race and fear-mongering. The word “ghetto” … Continue reading “It’s worth visiting world’s first ghetto, where the very word came into being. Especially now”

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Venice may be only city in which centuries-old paintings remain hyper-real today

by Rashmee

Posted on April 13, 2017


The truest line ever written about Venice may be from Peter Ackroyd’s biography of the city. “A Venetian of the 16th century, if not earlier, would have no trouble finding his or her way through the streets of the modern city,” Ackroyd writes in ‘Venice: Pure City’. “That is true of few other cities on … Continue reading “Venice may be only city in which centuries-old paintings remain hyper-real today”

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Banning electronic devices: Security or economic protectionism?

by Rashmee

Posted on March 26, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


Is the Trump administra­tion’s new travel ban — not on people flying out of the Middle East but on their electronic devices — a sneaky game of economic protec­tionism dressed up as security? It is a loaded question. Secu­rity is literally a matter of life and death. It is dangerous for laypeople to be overly sceptical of any government’s … Continue reading “Banning electronic devices: Security or economic protectionism?”

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Trump administration’s newest travel ban: not on people per se but their laptops!

by Rashmee

Posted on March 22, 2017


This blog was written within an hour of the news breaking on Tue, March 21. In substance though, many of the issues raised remain just as valid and the questions continue to puzzle the experts Imagine you’re an American journalist based in Abu Dhabi and you’re flying home at the weekend. Before you get on … Continue reading “Trump administration’s newest travel ban: not on people per se but their laptops!”

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The Thousand And One Nights quality of the reporting on Saudi King’s travels

by Rashmee

Posted on March 11, 2017


It’s rather amusing the way the western media is reporting the Saudi king’s month-long travels through Asia. Journalists are goggle-eyed at the massive amounts of luggage and the armies of people accompanying King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz. Why wouldn’t he? He’s rich and 81 and evidently has a mission – a remarkable pivot to Asia. … Continue reading “The Thousand And One Nights quality of the reporting on Saudi King’s travels”

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Everyone’s talking about George Orwell’s novel ‘1984’. Read his essay ‘Marrakech’ instead

by Rashmee

Posted on February 10, 2017


Everyone is going on about George Orwell and 1984 these days but I would venture to suggest that his essays are a whole lot better and possibly more germane to the moment in which we find ourselves. Especially ‘Marrakech’, which was first published in 1939, and is much less well known than some of his other … Continue reading “Everyone’s talking about George Orwell’s novel ‘1984’. Read his essay ‘Marrakech’ instead”

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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.