Pakistan…Palestine: Sacred vs secular spaces in ummah politics

by Rashmee

Posted on August 29, 2020


  Does the “Arab street” still exist? I mean in the sense of the broad swath of Arab public opinion, passive, non-violent and emotionally attached to the idea of helping Palestinians achieve justice and self-determination. Does the politics of ummah still work? I mean in the sense of Muslim solidarity on certain core issues to … Continue reading “Pakistan…Palestine: Sacred vs secular spaces in ummah politics”

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How to read the ‘Arab street’ as America pushes rapprochement with Israel

by Rashmee

Posted on August 28, 2020


This week, Donald Trump’s official and unofficial secretaries of state – Mike Pompeo and Jared Kushner – fanned out across the Middle East and North Africa to push Arab-Israeli rapprochement in the aftermath of the August 13 Israel-UAE deal. The US-sponsored deal between Israel and the UAE was only the third such accord Israel has struck with … Continue reading “How to read the ‘Arab street’ as America pushes rapprochement with Israel”

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Time for the age of ‘postdevelopment’

by Rashmee

Posted on July 31, 2020


Development is a failed project, says Julia Schöneberg, and she should know. Dr Schöneberg’s research at the University of Kassel focusses on postdevelopment in practice, social movements and resistances, as well as decolonised approaches to knowledge production and pedagogy. Anyway, her piece in Open Democracy opens with a provocative quote from Aime Césaire’s essay titled ‘Discourse … Continue reading “Time for the age of ‘postdevelopment’”

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The war for Libya is not what it seems

by Rashmee

Posted on July 15, 2020 / The Focus


The war for Libya is getting hot again. The country’s eastern-based parliament has said it would “welcome” Egyptian military intervention in the civil war. The Libyan Parliament’s green light for outside meddling is supposed to be an attempt to end yet another country, Turkey, meddling in its affairs. Turkey has been supplying military hardware as … Continue reading “The war for Libya is not what it seems”

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Mars is the new moonshot. Here’s why

by Rashmee

Posted on July 14, 2020


Some are calling it “the summer of Mars”. Three missions from three different countries are headed for the red planet within a month. The US, China and the United Arab Emirates – a very new player in planetary exploration – are launching Mars missions. Why, one might ask, considering Mars is considered to be the … Continue reading “Mars is the new moonshot. Here’s why”

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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”

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Coronavirus picks economic winners and losers

by Rashmee

Posted on March 5, 2020


Coronavirus is an economic opportunity now that the disease is in 85 countries and territories, up from 50 a week ago. Some sectors such as home exercise bikes, hand sanitisers and virtual office software are booming. So Peloton, the company that makes exercise bikes, and Purell hand sanitizer-maker Gojo Industries are having a good first … Continue reading “Coronavirus picks economic winners and losers”

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Libya arms embargo is a ‘joke’, said a UN envoy. But it’s peace-making that is a farce

by Rashmee

Posted on February 26, 2020


Now that European foreign ministers have agreed on a new Mediterranean naval mission to enforce the widely breached UN arms embargo on Libya, it’s worth thinking what it might really mean. The mission, which will replace Operation Sophia that was derailed last year, is still to be finalised. A senior UN official recently called the … Continue reading “Libya arms embargo is a ‘joke’, said a UN envoy. But it’s peace-making that is a farce”

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Russia has fair-weather friends and allies in the Middle East

by Rashmee

Posted on November 30, 2019


Former Israeli foreign minister Shlomo Ben-Ami recently attempted to set everyone right on a crucial question: Is Russia the Middle East’s new hegemon? His answer was somewhat surprising. Russia is not the region’s new hegemon, he concluded. Never forget that its economy is the size of South Korea’s and its military capabilities significantly less that … Continue reading “Russia has fair-weather friends and allies in the Middle East”

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Regional tourism must move on from the Thomas Cook package

by Rashmee

Posted on September 26, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


Tour companies such as Thomas Cook were part of that effort to create an easily digestible narrative about foreign locales for Western consumption. Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt… the grim regional roll call of countries affected by the collapse of Thomas Cook, the world’s oldest travel company. The death rattle of Thomas Cook has been ­­heard over … Continue reading “Regional tourism must move on from the Thomas Cook package”

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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