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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Can everyone carry the water to Ed Husain’s burning ‘house of Islam’?

by Rashmee

Posted on January 11, 2015


“The house of Islam is on fire. The water needs to be carried by everybody, regardless of race or religion,” wrote Ed Husain in The Guardian. Yes. If they would be allowed to do so. Let me explain. Soon after the #charliehebdo attacks, a young woman contacted me with the offer of a penetrating piece … Continue reading “Can everyone carry the water to Ed Husain’s burning ‘house of Islam’?”

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European Muslims need political representation, so says Michel Houellebecq

by Rashmee

Posted on January 10, 2015


Michel Houellebecq (pronounced ‘wellbeck’) should be read – and praised or condemned only after that essential act. I say this off the back of news that Mr Houellebecq’s controversial new novel ‘Soumission’ (Submission), which imagines a France where a fictional Muslim party wins the French election in 2022, will be published in English in September. … Continue reading “European Muslims need political representation, so says Michel Houellebecq”

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Next big thing: Dumbphones smart enough to access the internet

by Rashmee

Posted on January 7, 2015


Dumbphones just smart enough to access the internet will probably be the next big thing. Microsoft has just announced a new entry-level mobile phone bearing the Nokia brand and it’s a steal at $29 before taxes. If I were in the ‘global south’ – Haiti, the Domincan Republic, Afghanistan, India, parts of the Middle East … Continue reading “Next big thing: Dumbphones smart enough to access the internet”

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Noam Chomsky’s defiant optimism is surreal, almost out of this world

by Rashmee

Posted on October 15, 2014


The Professor recounts, in conversation with TruthOut, Israel’s cold-blooded calculation in disengaging from Gaza nine years ago. He quotes the late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s close associate, Dov Weissglass’s public boast to the press. Mr Weissglass’s words are significant. He was the architect and chief negotiator of Israel’s ‘disengagement’, even as it remained the … Continue reading “Noam Chomsky’s defiant optimism is surreal, almost out of this world”

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Peace in our time? Noam Chomsky remains fierce but not without hope

by Rashmee

Posted on October 14, 2014


For all his fierce, unblinking, hard-eyed state of loving un-affection for his country’s policy on Israel, Noam Chomsky is not so cynical as to believe there is no hope. In a recent interview to TruthOut, on the publication of a new anthology of his writings (‘Masters of Mankind: Essays and Lectures, 1969-2013’, pub. Haymarket Books), … Continue reading “Peace in our time? Noam Chomsky remains fierce but not without hope”

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UK vote on recognition of Palestine. All change then? Extremely unlikely

by Rashmee

Posted on October 13, 2014


The UK is expected to vote on recognition of Palestine after parliament’s summer recess ends today (October 13). Whatever the result it’s hard to expect much attitudinal change across Europe on the issue. By attitudinal change, I mean, real change. It’s hard to be positive about the Palestinian issue, especially when someone like Noam Chomsky, with his … Continue reading “UK vote on recognition of Palestine. All change then? Extremely unlikely”

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Recognition of Palestine: Could Sweden trigger domino effect in EU?

by Rashmee

Posted on October 12, 2014


The British Parliament returns from recess tomorrow, October 13, and a vote on recognition of Palestine. International reaction will be predictably fiery, particularly in the US, if the result goes against Israel’s preferred option. Consider this extraordinary argument against recognition by Abraham Foxman in The Huffington Post. Mr Foxman, a Holocaust survivor who is National … Continue reading “Recognition of Palestine: Could Sweden trigger domino effect in EU?”

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Battling Islamic State: Boots on the ground. How about brains in the air?

by Rashmee

Posted on October 3, 2014


Heard the one about Iraqi pilots mistakenly delivering food, water and ammunition Islamic State (IS) militants on a mission that was meant to supply their own side? It’s a droll but true story and a uniquely illustrative sidebar to the ‘boots on the ground’ (brains in the air?) issue. NBC News had Hakim Al-Zamili, a … Continue reading “Battling Islamic State: Boots on the ground. How about brains in the air?”

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Soaring US bill for operations against Islamic State. Is it worthwhile?

by Rashmee

Posted on October 1, 2014


Eight weeks of the US bombing campaign against Islamic State (IS) and the bill is soaring. This must concern all of us – US taxpayers – greatly. Especially if it’s unlikely to do much more than temporarily halt the militant group’s progress to Erbil or Baghdad and help briefly protect 4,000 refugees without any prospect … Continue reading “Soaring US bill for operations against Islamic State. Is it worthwhile?”

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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.