The Chinese aren’t coming to Tunisia. They’re already here

by Rashmee

Posted on July 22, 2017


Please note Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao’s bracing words to Tunisian Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui on July 20, 2017. China will strengthen cooperation with Tunisia under the One Belt, One Road Initiative, Mr Li said as he met the Tunisian minister in Beijing. Pretty anodyne, you might think. It’s what government types say to each … Continue reading “The Chinese aren’t coming to Tunisia. They’re already here”

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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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Lunch in a car dealership? The delights of life in Tunisia’s capital

by Rashmee

Posted on July 14, 2017


The F Caffe in Tunis is a zippy name for a 40-cover restaurant in the Fiat car dealership. It’s in the tony surrounds of Lac 1, near the American and British embassies. Other hip eating places abound nearby but F Caffe rather holds its own. For starters, it’s unusual. It’s not every day you go … Continue reading “Lunch in a car dealership? The delights of life in Tunisia’s capital”

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In Tunis, 1 litre of fresh orange juice costs just $1.30. Here’s why that’s a problem

by Rashmee

Posted on July 8, 2017


Tunisia is an orange mini-superpower. No, really. In 2017, its harvest of oranges tipped the scales at 550,000 tons, which is way above its normal take of 400 000 tons. That’s not comparable with the millions of tons produced by Brazil, the US, China and so on, but it still counts for a hefty amount of … Continue reading “In Tunis, 1 litre of fresh orange juice costs just $1.30. Here’s why that’s a problem”

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Happy 4th in Tunisia. US-Tunis ties really were once special but the future is unclear

by Rashmee

Posted on July 7, 2017


Diplomats say this sort of thing all the time and sometimes, it may even be true. This year’s July 4th party in the Tunisian capital really did underline the special nature of relations between the United States and Tunisia. Consider the unusual nature of the event. Tunisia’s young Prime Minister, Youssef Chahed, showed up. It … Continue reading “Happy 4th in Tunisia. US-Tunis ties really were once special but the future is unclear”

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In Tunisia, a sense of change infuses the air

by Rashmee

Posted on July 6, 2017 / The National


Summer in the Maghreb is generally thought to be a time when indolence finds respectability. Not so in Tunisia this year. The soaring temperatures are matched by a sudden surge of active hope that a long season of ill-luck may be turning. Foreign tourists are returning in greater numbers after Tunisia marked the second anniversary … Continue reading “In Tunisia, a sense of change infuses the air”

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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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Vogue Arabia adds perspective on women’s veil

by Rashmee

Posted on March 12, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


The launch of Vogue Arabia would have been just another sashay down the international publishing catwalk for the 125-year-old Vogue brand had it not been for the cover. Or, to be more specific, the words on the cover. It reads “re­orienting perceptions” while the luminous face of Gigi Hadid, an American model of Palestinian and … Continue reading “Vogue Arabia adds perspective on women’s veil”

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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.