The aspirational significance of baby names in restless times

by Rashmee

Posted on July 23, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


Baby names are a bellwether for the way people experi­ence politics: Intensely. Madly. Often times, precari­ously. So it was that in Canada, Justin Trudeau recently met Justin Trudeau. The first is a 2-month-old Syrian baby. The other is prime minister of the country that gave gracious refuge to the infant’s parents, Muhammad and Afraa Bilan … Continue reading “The aspirational significance of baby names in restless times”

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Turkey’s threat to turn on migrant tap is, like much of Erdogan’s words now, absolute nonsense

by Rashmee

Posted on March 18, 2017


Turkey’s irascible, intemperate and irrational president (now vying with America’s Donald Trump for the title of Supreme Czar of BadBlah) is trying very hard to scare Europe into giving him peeled grapes and whatever bright shiny things he might desire. These would include Europe meekly giving President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a pass on his repeated … Continue reading “Turkey’s threat to turn on migrant tap is, like much of Erdogan’s words now, absolute nonsense”

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Is the Scandinavian model the real face of today’s backlash to globalisation?

by Rashmee

Posted on March 3, 2017


Jeffrey Sachs, the economist and director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, recently said something pretty terrifying. He said the Scandinavian countries proved that the political upheavals of today are not mainly about economics. “All of the Scandinavian countries, and their neighbors in northern Europe, have right-wing populist parties, with some approaching power. And … Continue reading “Is the Scandinavian model the real face of today’s backlash to globalisation?”

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How united is the European Union on anything other than resisting #Brexit?

by Rashmee

Posted on December 17, 2016


It’s an important question. How united is the European Union on anything other than #Brexit? I don’t ask this in a partisan fashion, but because it’s worth considering the facts about European unity in a turning world. As the recent EU leaders’ summit in Brussels showed, the bloc is divided on key issues. These include … Continue reading “How united is the European Union on anything other than resisting #Brexit?”

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Slavoj Zizek, Melania Trump’s former compatriot, was right about the refugee issue

by Rashmee

Posted on November 11, 2016


After Donald Trump’s triumphant “Brexit plus plus” it may be appropriate to consider Slavoj Žižek’s views on refugees. Mr Trump, it’s fair to say, is not overly impressed by the concept of taking people into America, especially from non-Caucasian parts of the world where non-Christians make up the majority. And then there’s Mr Zizek. Slovenian, … Continue reading “Slavoj Zizek, Melania Trump’s former compatriot, was right about the refugee issue”

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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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How’s that? Ultra-right lost regional German election that went well for the far-right

by Rashmee

Posted on September 6, 2016


Consider the enormity of what happened in a relatively poor and obscure part of northeastern Germany on Sunday, September 4. In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, voters decided to show they were cross with one of their most famous daughters – Chancellor Angela Merkel. Mostly, because they weren’t sanguine about her decision to generously open Germany’s doors to … Continue reading “How’s that? Ultra-right lost regional German election that went well for the far-right”

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Refugee Olympic Team helps debunk myths

by Rashmee

Posted on August 14, 2016 / The Arab Weekly


  The Refugee Olympic Team is an inspired gimmick and, like any novelty item, it is likely to become less interesting the longer it hangs around. Would #TeamRefugee offer the same frisson — of shock and awe at human suffering and strength — in Tokyo 2020? Will the refugee team be considered as interesting a story at the end … Continue reading “Refugee Olympic Team helps debunk myths”

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#TeamRefugees #Rio2016 Rethinking the old world order & 1951 Refugee Convention

by Rashmee

Posted on August 8, 2016


It was a coincidence that Taiwanese-Australian Ray Chen was on the radio making his BBC Proms debut with Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor as I read about the first Refugee Team in Olympic history. What’s the connection, you might ask. It is this: Bruch lived and worked at a time of … Continue reading “#TeamRefugees #Rio2016 Rethinking the old world order & 1951 Refugee Convention”

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The heart of Europe bleeds. What can it do?

by Rashmee

Posted on July 31, 2016 / The Arab Weekly


The heart of Europe — France and Germany — has bled almost every other day since mid-July as a conse­quence of terrifying acts of violence and it may be tempting to see them as con­nected parts that form a whole. They are not. Contrary to how they may appear, the attacks are not linked, except possibly in this way — they … Continue reading “The heart of Europe bleeds. What can it do?”

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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.