Are these really bread riots in Tunisia? Have prices really gone up so much?

by Rashmee

Posted on January 13, 2018


You wouldn’t know it from the international media coverage but here’s the so-called price rise that’s supposedly bringing all these angry people onto the streets: petrol has gone up by 50 millemes per litre. Just 50 millemes. To judge how expensive that is, consider the following: The Tunisian dinar is sub-divided into 1,000 millemes. One … Continue reading “Are these really bread riots in Tunisia? Have prices really gone up so much?”

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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’”

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Reading a bowl of youpo noodles in #Tunis for evidence of China’s rise

by Rashmee

Posted on January 9, 2018


Does it say something about the new year that in the closing hours of 2017, one of the most comforting (and relatively cheap) meals in the Tunisian capital was offered by a Chinese restaurant? It is not a fancy place (in fact, it rejoices in the simple, clear name of “Chinese Restaurant”) but it offers … Continue reading “Reading a bowl of youpo noodles in #Tunis for evidence of China’s rise”

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#Tunis rings in the #New Year with roast chicken and snowy-scarved pastry saints

by Rashmee

Posted on January 1, 2018


For the third year running, I find myself in Tunisia as the old year dies and a new one is born. The security this time round was very tight with policemen conspicuously on patrol everywhere. Shops and restaurants were heaving (as were the roads, especially at the roundabout before Tunis’s biggest Carrefour). In the supermarkets, … Continue reading “#Tunis rings in the #New Year with roast chicken and snowy-scarved pastry saints”

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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”

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Christmas unsettled. A Christmas tagine rather than a Christmas tree!

by Rashmee

Posted on December 25, 2017


This is a very different Christmas for us. The Tunis house is in the process of being packed up and put into boxes large and small for dispatch across the seas. We don’t have a tree, decorations, a big Christmas dinner with family and friends to entertain. In some ways, it’s not much like Christmas … Continue reading “Christmas unsettled. A Christmas tagine rather than a Christmas tree!”

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The grim reality of comparing Tunis, Tunisia with New Delhi, India: quality of life

by Rashmee

Posted on December 18, 2017


We returned to Tunis from Delhi and saw the sky – clear blue, the sunlight shining brightly on the smiling capital of Tunisia, the traffic moving well along on the roads. And we sighed. As an Indian, there is no way to describe the pain of seeing Delhi as it is today. It is a … Continue reading “The grim reality of comparing Tunis, Tunisia with New Delhi, India: quality of life”

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Walid and Saida drive home the story of social & economic exclusion in #Tunisia

by Rashmee

Posted on December 12, 2017


Thanks to Carine Clert of the World Bank, there’s a good way to understand Tunisia’s situation six years after the Arab Spring. Ms Clert, who looks at social protection and jobs in the Middle East and North Africa region for the World Bank, has written about Walid, 30, and his wife Saida, 28. They have … Continue reading “Walid and Saida drive home the story of social & economic exclusion in #Tunisia”

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Trump could take a leaf from Ibn Khaldun’s book of civilisation

by Rashmee

Posted on December 6, 2017 / The National


Sitting in the Tunisian capital at the end of a politically and socially turbulent year, it feels entirely right and proper to peruse the Muqaddimah, the 14th century tome by the Arab historian Ibn Khaldun. He was a son of Tunis and an itinerant government official of great perspicacity. Ibn Khaldun served as a judge … Continue reading “Trump could take a leaf from Ibn Khaldun’s book of civilisation”

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What is civilisation, Ibn Khaldun, famous son of Tunis, wondered in the 14th century

by Rashmee

Posted on December 2, 2017


Sitting in Tunis it feels entirely right and proper to be perusing ‘The Muqaddimah’, the 14th century history book written by Ibn Khaldun. He was a son of Tunis, and a traveller of great perspicacity and imagination. Ibn Khaldun served as a judge in Cairo and a confidante (of sorts) to Tamerlane (Timur), cruel fearsome … Continue reading “What is civilisation, Ibn Khaldun, famous son of Tunis, wondered in the 14th century”

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