The great game…in Africa

by Rashmee

Posted on February 10, 2020


Europe is fighting hard to be relevant to Africa, its nearest continental neighbour. Today (Feb. 10) is the Africa Union (AU) summit in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia and AU headquarters. And it’s drawn European Council president Charles Michel – he’s been in Addis since Sunday – for some two dozen bilateral meetings with African … Continue reading “The great game…in Africa”

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Two ‘I’s currently seem to define America

by Rashmee

Posted on February 6, 2020


Iowa and impeachment. In the first week of February, an impeached American president was acquitted by a partisan Senate and the first-in-the-nation US presidential election vote was beset by chaos. It would not be extreme to say that to many around the world, Iowa and impeachment currently define America. The two ‘I’s suggest impunity and … Continue reading “Two ‘I’s currently seem to define America”

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Leaders for life are as creative as novelists. They engage in world-building

by Rashmee

Posted on January 17, 2020


On Wednesday (Jan. 15) Russia’s president Vladimir Putin offered an apparently new tactic of democratic deconstruction or what scholars call constitutional regression. He raised the profile of a previously little-known body, the State Council, and suggested Russian presidents shouldn’t have as much authority as once they did. This raises the possibility that Mr Putin will … Continue reading “Leaders for life are as creative as novelists. They engage in world-building”

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This year’s Nobel peace prize really has gone to a peacemaker

by Rashmee

Posted on October 11, 2019 / Quartz


The 2019 Nobel peace prize has been awarded to Ethiopia’s prime minister Abiy Ahmed Ali for working to end almost two decades of conflict with neighboring Eritrea. The chair of the Nobel prize committee said the award is “for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to … Continue reading “This year’s Nobel peace prize really has gone to a peacemaker”

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Carrots are good - but UN also needs to wield a stick to tackle climate change

by Rashmee

Posted on September 25, 2019 / The National


The United Nations’ special Climate Action Summit notched up a win even before the first speaker took the microphone and Greta Thunberg issued a passionate broadside. On the evening before, the UN announced that Gabon would become the first African country to receive international funding to preserve its forests. The 10-year commitment of $150 million … Continue reading “Carrots are good - but UN also needs to wield a stick to tackle climate change”

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What is it about north African countries and leaders in cages?

by Rashmee

Posted on August 24, 2019


Sudan’s former dictator Omar Al Bashir made a second court appearance today (Aug. 21)  four months after widespread protests forced him from office. He peered out through a black metal cage as his trial for corruption continued. It was reminiscent of another ousted north African leader’s trial. That of Mohammed Morsi, ousted by the Egyptian … Continue reading “What is it about north African countries and leaders in cages?”

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Is the world going to notice the Chinese army a lot more in the future?

by Rashmee

Posted on August 21, 2019


Is the world going to notice the Chinese army a lot more? Yes, according to two experts at Chatham House, the independent policy institute in London. China, they say, is contributing more than ever before to UN peacekeeping. I was staggered to learn that China is the largest contributor of peacekeeping forces among the five … Continue reading “Is the world going to notice the Chinese army a lot more in the future?”

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Generalisations about women in politics don’t hold true

by Rashmee

Posted on August 14, 2019 / The National


Can the Brexit conundrum be solved by an all-female cabinet? And can a woman lead India’s main opposition Congress Party out of the political doldrums? We may never have the answer to either question. A British cabinet of women is no more than an idea floated on Sunday by Green MP Caroline Lucas. And the … Continue reading “Generalisations about women in politics don’t hold true”

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From Spain to Australia, world sees Trump as he is. A man who could incite another Rwanda

by Rashmee

Posted on August 7, 2019


Donald Trump’s media-whisperer, Kellyanne Conway, has been doing the rounds to explain that it’s racist to call the US president racist. That it’s a dangerous lie to say the president tells dangerous lies. Ms Conway is a fluent and accomplished master of spin. She has a way with words and has often, in the past … Continue reading “From Spain to Australia, world sees Trump as he is. A man who could incite another Rwanda”

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Read between the lines of Orwell’s essay Marrakech. It remains relevant

by Rashmee

Posted on June 25, 2019


The Arablit blog and its companion BULAQ podcast, both which cast a keen eye on the Arab world through the lens of literature, recently tackled a touchy subject. They looked at the reality of poorly portrayed Muslim and Arab characters in film, TV and literature. All too often, they are unbelievable and poorly-researched but did … Continue reading “Read between the lines of Orwell’s essay Marrakech. It remains relevant”

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