Qatar’s 2017 airlift of cows in the context of the coronavirus-induced backlash against globalisation

by Rashmee

Posted on May 26, 2020


When analysts write about a coronavirus-induced backlash against globalisation and its sprawling supply chains, I think of Qatar’s 2017 airlift of cows. It was a remarkable operation, often described as the largest airlift of cattle in history. And it sounded farfetched, this attempt to create a Wisconsin in the Arabian desert. But in July 2017, … Continue reading “Qatar’s 2017 airlift of cows in the context of the coronavirus-induced backlash against globalisation”

Read More

Eid under lockdown: Art for the interminable now, the pandemic era

by Rashmee

Posted on May 25, 2020


  The painting made its way around the locked-down world’s usual, no-touch channels of communication. There was Twitter, of course, but also WhatsApp, where people forwarded a picture of the painting to each other as an Eid greeting. It seemed to capture the moment. Of nearly two billion Muslims in the world, it is only … Continue reading “Eid under lockdown: Art for the interminable now, the pandemic era”

Read More

‘Sell city, buy country’? The pandemic won’t empty London, NYC

by Rashmee

Posted on May 14, 2020


Some very clever people are writing off cities. Not altogether, but quite substantially. Consider a new piece in Politico magazine by Parag Khanna, bestselling author and managing partner of the data and scenario-based strategic global advisory firm FutureMap. The pandemic “may cause fundamental shifts in our human geography,” Mr Khanna writes. “Why choose to stay in a … Continue reading “‘Sell city, buy country’? The pandemic won’t empty London, NYC”

Read More

It’s not the pandemic but Donald Trump that could kill off the two-state solution

by Rashmee

Posted on May 2, 2020


It’s not the pandemic but Donald Trump that could kill off the two-state solution, once and for all. Practically unnoticed by Washington’s worthies and elsewhere in the world, Israeli politicians recently offered bipartisan approval to America’s authority in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is both bad and good. In some ways, it imperils the two-state solution. … Continue reading “It’s not the pandemic but Donald Trump that could kill off the two-state solution”

Read More

Even a pandemic can’t stop the desperate flow of refugees to Europe

by Rashmee

Posted on April 19, 2020 / The Arab Weekly


In the circumstances, an EU humanitarian package might serve as a band aid but not much more. In the weeks since the World Health Organisation declared a pandemic, it’s become clear that the outbreak of disease can paralyse national economies but not the flight of desperate people across the Mediterranean to apparent safety. How else … Continue reading “Even a pandemic can’t stop the desperate flow of refugees to Europe”

Read More

It may take a pandemic to change the whole idea of national security

by Rashmee

Posted on April 15, 2020


Even in lockdown, the “make love not war” brigade must be hopeful, high-fiving each other over Zoom, in appropriate socially distant fashion. When this is over – a year, or two, or three  from now – countries may be too broke to spend on tanks and guns. The people, meanwhile, might be asking – fiercely … Continue reading “It may take a pandemic to change the whole idea of national security”

Read More

Leadership and the lessons from an empire in decline – in 10th century Baghdad

by Rashmee

Posted on April 14, 2020 / The Focus


The pandemic is the first global crisis in more than 50 years where no country is looking towards the US for leadership. Two things are vital during a global pandemic – a vaccine and leadership. A vaccine isn’t expected at least for a year – so what about leadership? Trump-led America is an empire in … Continue reading “Leadership and the lessons from an empire in decline – in 10th century Baghdad”

Read More

Leadership and the lessons from an empire in decline – in 10th century Baghdad

by Rashmee

Posted on April 9, 2020


This is the first global crisis in more than 50 years where no country is looking towards the US for leadership. If there’s anything that’s needed in a global pandemic it is a vaccine and leadership. A vaccine is not expected at least for a year, but what about leadership? Trump-led America is an empire … Continue reading “Leadership and the lessons from an empire in decline – in 10th century Baghdad”

Read More

Burqa bans apart, face coverings have gained acceptance during the pandemic

by Rashmee

Posted on April 7, 2020 / The National


Developments in Lombardy, the northern Italian region worst affected by the novel coronavirus, are rich in tragic irony. Over the weekend, it introduced a law to compel citizens to wear face masks outside their homes. But in December 2015, Lombardy became the first Italian region to outlaw face coverings in public offices and hospitals. Austria … Continue reading “Burqa bans apart, face coverings have gained acceptance during the pandemic”

Read More

If China were sued over the pandemic, the US should be over Iraq

by Rashmee

Posted on April 5, 2020 / The Arab Weekly


The pandemic is something that is referred to in law as an act of God. War is an act of man. News of a US intelligence report alleging Chinese fabrications about the coronavirus outbreak came in, coincidentally, the very week that marked the 17th anniversary of the American seizure of Baghdad International Airport. The intelligence … Continue reading “If China were sued over the pandemic, the US should be over Iraq”

Read More

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