Meerut’s mini metro E-rickshaw is a sign of changing times and not before time

by Rashmee

Posted on December 16, 2017


  The mini metro or E-rickshaw rushes around the traffic-clogged streets of Meerut, an interesting development for a north Indian city where planning is in short supply. I noticed the E-rickshaws rightaway – they were painted in individual and striking colours and were to be seen everywhere in the city. They’ve been around for two … Continue reading “Meerut’s mini metro E-rickshaw is a sign of changing times and not before time”

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Balance sheet: Trump Estates in Dubai. Ivanka Trump frocks & stilettos worldwide

by Rashmee

Posted on December 15, 2017


Off the back of news that the Ivanka Trump brand will have its first standalone store, consider the huge screens in Terminal 3 of Dubai airport. They show a Trump home, on “The Trump estates”. Obviously, Trump-branded real estate is not the same thing as Trump-branded frocks, stilettos and bangles. But the brand is the … Continue reading “Balance sheet: Trump Estates in Dubai. Ivanka Trump frocks & stilettos worldwide”

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Naresh’s story says a lot about the Great Indian Metamorphosis – or lack thereof

by Rashmee

Posted on December 14, 2017


Naresh and I are roughly the same age and his family and mine have known each other for 40 years or a bit more. That’s where the commonalities stop. Naresh never had any of the advantages I did. As a young boy he had polio and always limped after that. His parents were poor, uneducated, … Continue reading “Naresh’s story says a lot about the Great Indian Metamorphosis – or lack thereof”

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Hundreds of Palestinan Gandhis and Rosa Parks must stand and sit on principle

by Rashmee

Posted on December 13, 2017


There is only one course available to Palestinians now. They must adopt non-violent resistance. Hundreds of Mohandas Gandhis and Rosa Parks must stand and sit on principle, demanding justice from the oppressor. The Palestinian Gandhis and Parks have to stand their ground as they seek equal political and civil rights from Israel. There is no … Continue reading “Hundreds of Palestinan Gandhis and Rosa Parks must stand and sit on principle”

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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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Are US Republicans the party of the moral majority or of Donald Trump and Roy Moore?

by Rashmee

Posted on December 9, 2017


  When Al Franken resigns from the US Senate he will be the most prominent American politician so far to be felled by the swirling allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct. US President Donald Trump remains unaffected. Let us not forget that Mr Trump continued as the Republican Party’s presidential candidate and was subsequently elected … Continue reading “Are US Republicans the party of the moral majority or of Donald Trump and Roy Moore?”

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Arabs show they’re not defined by the Palestinian issue. Now, the world must prosecute their case

by Rashmee

Posted on December 8, 2017


  Nearly two years ago, I wrote a blog recording my scepticism about an overseas Iraqi man’s insistence that Arabs and Muslims were sick of being defined by the Palestinian issue. That was in April 2016. At the time, I admit I didn’t buy my interlocutor’s argument that Arabs have moved on from the Palestinian issue, that … Continue reading “Arabs show they’re not defined by the Palestinian issue. Now, the world must prosecute their case”

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Did you hear about Palestinian recognition of Texas as part of Mexico?

by Rashmee

Posted on December 7, 2017


It had to happen. The Palestinian National Authority announced that it would recognize Texas as a state of Mexico because it was violently annexed by the United States in the 1840s. “The territory north and east of the Rio Grande is very important to the Mexican people,” explained a PNA spokesperson. “Before American settlers showed … Continue reading “Did you hear about Palestinian recognition of Texas as part of Mexico?”

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Birtherism reborn as Hindu? Narendra Modi’s BJP takes lessons from Donald Trump

by Rashmee

Posted on December 5, 2017


The argument over Rahul Gandhi’s Hindu-ness sounds a bit like the debate over Barack Obama’s American-ness. More to the point, birthright. ** Does Mr Gandhi have the right to claim Hindu heritage when his mother is genetically European? ** Did Mr Obama have the right to claim American authenticity despite being visibly black? Both questions … Continue reading “Birtherism reborn as Hindu? Narendra Modi’s BJP takes lessons from Donald Trump”

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Greece deals judiciously with Western Thrace sharia law, a relic of the Ottoman empire

by Rashmee

Posted on December 4, 2017


It’s been nearly three weeks since the prime minister of Greece announced his government was going to do away with an extraordinary bit of imperial baggage – sharia law – that governs Western Thrace on the land border with Turkey. This state of affairs is a hangover from the Ottoman empire, as The Economist recently … Continue reading “Greece deals judiciously with Western Thrace sharia law, a relic of the Ottoman empire”

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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