Horsing around and exhortations: World to Biden’s America

by Rashmee

Posted on January 28, 2021


In the blissfully quiet first week of Joe Biden’s presidency, there’s been a lot of horsing around as well as more serious exhortations from around the world about the United States. Mostly it’s about the challenges faced by the country. Donald Trump isn’t always mentioned by name but he hangs – like a pall – over … Continue reading “Horsing around and exhortations: World to Biden’s America”

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Memory and forgetting. Here’s why and how to remember the Nazis’ many many victims

by Rashmee

Posted on January 27, 2021


Every year, January 27 is given over to remembering the Holocaust but might there be rather more merit in the German state’s official designation of this day since 1996? For 25 years, Germany has called January 27 ‘Day of Remembrance for the Victims of National Socialism’. On January 27, 1945, Auschwitz, the largest Nazi extermination … Continue reading “Memory and forgetting. Here’s why and how to remember the Nazis’ many many victims”

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The pandemic has hit Palestinians harder because of the health apartheid

by Rashmee

Posted on January 25, 2021


On Sunday, January 24, Israel’s health minister Yuli Edelstein went on British television and disavowed any and all legal obligation to vaccinate Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. It was really a rather shameful performance by Mr Edelstein, who until then, had answered all the other questions put to him by Andrew … Continue reading “The pandemic has hit Palestinians harder because of the health apartheid”

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Hubris and humility: Remembering Ozymandias, ‘that colossal wreck’

by Rashmee

Posted on January 21, 2021


Just the other day Donald Trump was likened to Ozymandias, the Greek name for the legendary Egyptian pharaoh, at least in the sense that Mr Trump’s sketchy legacy was obviously crumbling in his last weeks in office. The Economist said its cover was meant to convey as much, even as it mentioned Ozymandias and Mr … Continue reading “Hubris and humility: Remembering Ozymandias, ‘that colossal wreck’”

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Slash and burn: Trump’s pyromaniac foreign policy moves on his way out

by Rashmee

Posted on January 20, 2021


Until the end, Donald Trump has remained true to himself (as well as the most churlish portrait of him). On his way out of the Oval Office, he’s lit wildfires of various sorts in the foreign policy sphere. It’s obvious that he wants to make life even harder for incoming President Joe Biden. (‘Take that. … Continue reading “Slash and burn: Trump’s pyromaniac foreign policy moves on his way out”

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Is that a nargisi kofta you’re chowing down with your pint?

by Rashmee

Posted on December 17, 2020


Coronavirus restrictions in England sent sales of a humble, often unregarded pub snack soaring. Across the land, pubs in “tier 2” tried to comply with rules that they only serve drinks to customers who consume a “substantial” meal. Amid much discussion over what constitutes a “substantial” pub meal, a government minister confirmed that scotch eggs … Continue reading “Is that a nargisi kofta you’re chowing down with your pint?”

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On the world stage, men and women leaders are merely players. They have their exits and entrances

by Rashmee

Posted on November 11, 2020


Many are offering a grim roundup of the disappointment being felt by some leaders and governments because Donald Trump won’t have a second term in the White House. (Click here and here for some examples of the type of commentary I’m talking about.) To which the right response is three-pronged and as follows: First, let’s … Continue reading “On the world stage, men and women leaders are merely players. They have their exits and entrances”

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Like Trump, the 7th century Byzantine Empire invoked God

by Rashmee

Posted on October 9, 2020


Somewhat like Donald Trump, who was recently moved to discern the hand of God in Covid-19 therapeutic treatments, the seventh century Byzantine Empire constantly invoked God. Harried by the Arabs from across their shared border, the Byzantines were intensely conscious of the force of divine intercession. This started before the Arab invasions. In the first … Continue reading “Like Trump, the 7th century Byzantine Empire invoked God”

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Donald Trump is doing God. Today’s America is quite like 7th century Byzantium

by Rashmee

Posted on October 8, 2020


On October 7, President Donald Trump said his coronavirus infection was a “blessing from God”, presumably because it enableth him to bring the world news of an unproven antibody cocktail being developed by the drug maker Regeneron. Mr Trump has already released his videotaped musings on Covid-19 therapeutic treatments, describing them as akin to “miracles … Continue reading “Donald Trump is doing God. Today’s America is quite like 7th century Byzantium”

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What was the logic of the Greek-to-Arabic translation movement?

by Rashmee

Posted on September 13, 2020


Why did the second Abbasid Caliph Al Mansur (r.754-775) initiate the Greek-to-Arabic translation movement? He was no scholar but there was a very particular reason to lay claim to the fruits of Hellenic thinking. Al Mansur had an interest in astrology and may have been keen to form a dynastic ideology. This was to be … Continue reading “What was the logic of the Greek-to-Arabic translation movement?”

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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