Art as defiance in the Middle East? Calligraphic expression might work best

by Rashmee

Posted on April 5, 2017


Art as defiance in the Middle East. It’s an interesting topic for discussion and Chatham House is doing exactly that today (April 5) by bringing together a Lebanese musician, a Syrian medical doctor who writes and a Palestinian visual artist. The stated aim is to examine the impact of conflict on the output of artists … Continue reading “Art as defiance in the Middle East? Calligraphic expression might work best”

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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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‘They brought it on themselves didn’t they?’ How Trumps’ war on Muslims is working

by Rashmee

Posted on February 4, 2017


“They brought it on themselves, didn’t they?” people say, in sorrowful response – these are good, honest folks in America, Britain and elsewhere – to news that US president Donald Trump had banned all refugees’ entry and that of people from seven predominantly Muslim countries. I heard people I know well say this. Then I heard it … Continue reading “‘They brought it on themselves didn’t they?’ How Trumps’ war on Muslims is working”

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Islam and Manuel Valls’ cultural battle for the heart and soul of France

by Rashmee

Posted on January 28, 2017


France’s Socialist Party presidential primary is tomorrow (Sunday, January 22) and it’s worth considering the effect of Europe’s perceived Islamification on one of its formerly leading contenders. I suppose Manuel Valls doesn’t matter much anymore, but still, this is fascinating. Back in the summer, the former French Prime Minister expressed an uncompromising view of Islam … Continue reading “Islam and Manuel Valls’ cultural battle for the heart and soul of France”

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Why is there angst over Trump’s appointments?

by Rashmee

Posted on December 15, 2016


It was Claire McCaskill, a Democratic senator from Missouri, who created a catchy name for the American administration taking shape in president-elect Donald Trump’s hands. In what sounded a little like a well-known luxury Italian fashion label, Ms MacCaskill branded the Trump line-up as “the G& G cabinet.” It does seem, she said dryly, “to … Continue reading “Why is there angst over Trump’s appointments?”

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What would Trump do after a lone-wolf attack?

by Rashmee

Posted on December 4, 2016 / The Arab Weekly


Whatever Abdul Razak Ali Artan’s motivations and inten­tions were when he deliberately ploughed his car into a crowd on Ohio State University’s campus, injuring 11, the young Somali man brought unwanted attention to that most vulnerable of vulnerable communities — ref­ugees. The renewed focus comes at a particularly sensitive time, with US President-elect Donald Trump preparing to … Continue reading “What would Trump do after a lone-wolf attack?”

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Thomas Mallon, Republican & novelist, says Hillary will be depressed if she wins

by Rashmee

Posted on October 28, 2016


Thomas Mallon matters – he’s a novelist who writes American historical fiction. Very well regarded historical fiction. And Mr Mallon really and truly dislikes Hillary Clinton. Mr Mallon, a disgruntled Republican disgusted by the party’s choice of nominee in Donald Trump, believes Mrs Clinton will win on November 8. But she will be depressed after, … Continue reading “Thomas Mallon, Republican & novelist, says Hillary will be depressed if she wins”

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Obama’s final UNGA as US president is a reminder of how much the world has changed

by Rashmee

Posted on September 21, 2016


Some say that this UN General Assembly (UNGA), the last that Barack Obama will attend as US president, is proof that the world has become more troubled, more fractious and less willing to collaborate. Some say that much of this is Mr Obama’s fault. He talked about red lines for Syria then didn’t bother to … Continue reading “Obama’s final UNGA as US president is a reminder of how much the world has changed”

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Ban Ki-Moon, Obama close out and most Americans still don’t care about UN confab

by Rashmee

Posted on September 20, 2016


Being physically present in the US does not make the United Nations’ annual jamboree, the General Assembly, seem any less remote. For most Americans, UNGA, the confab, might as well be on the moon for all they care. If it strayed into the popular consciousness at all this year, it was in terms of the … Continue reading “Ban Ki-Moon, Obama close out and most Americans still don’t care about UN confab”

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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.