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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Can the world afford changing the rules on refugees?

by Rashmee

Posted on August 4, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


If the Western world no longer feels obliged to provide refuge to people from poorer countries, at the very least it should cease destabilising Arab and African countries for geopolitical gain. The Trump administration has decided on the Temporary Protected Status given by the United States to approximately 7,000 Syrians. The designation, granted by the … Continue reading “Can the world afford changing the rules on refugees?”

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The US should explore new frontiers, not revisit old space-race triumphs

by Rashmee

Posted on July 23, 2019 / The National


Space, the final frontier, is having a bit of a moment. This year marks the 50th anniversary of man’s first Moon landing. Accordingly, nostalgia for the Apollo 11 mission is everywhere — on TV, in newspapers and magazines, and in an immersive app that promises that “we can all take part in the famous mission”, via augmented … Continue reading “The US should explore new frontiers, not revisit old space-race triumphs”

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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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To tackle climate change, we must first address the crisis in coverage

by Rashmee

Posted on June 18, 2019 / The National


This summer India experienced an intense heatwave that broke temperature records and affected two-thirds of the country. Even Finland has sweltered in weeks past, with the town of Oulu — just a degree shy of the Arctic Circle — registering 32.3°C in the first week of June. Meanwhile, parts of the American Midwest that were said to flood only … Continue reading “To tackle climate change, we must first address the crisis in coverage”

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Sunrise in the east?

by Rashmee

Posted on May 22, 2019


China’s infrastructure projects have been heavily scrutinized by the West and eastern competitors such as India, but much less attention has been paid to its attempt to shift the centre of gravity to all of Asia. Last week (May 15, President Xi Jinping hosted the inaugural Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations and in the … Continue reading “Sunrise in the east?”

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Donald Trump Vs the whole, wide world

by Rashmee

Posted on May 15, 2019


US President Donald Trump is waging war of one sort or the other against: China, Iran, Venezuela and Europe. And he’s looking for cooperation from an unlikely quarter – Russia. Mr Trump’s Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, recently travelled there in search of “common ground.” That sounds hopeful until one considers the reality: Washington and … Continue reading “Donald Trump Vs the whole, wide world”

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Secular versus sacred: Uighurs are in a hard place

by Rashmee

Posted on May 12, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


Trump’s America is engaged in trade negotiations with China and is unwilling to add the Uighurs to a long list of difficult issues. Much of the world, including Arab countries, stays silent on accusations that China is waging a campaign of assimilation against Uighur Muslims. The sultan of Brunei announces, after weeks of an international … Continue reading “Secular versus sacred: Uighurs are in a hard place”

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A post-American world order? Why this time really is different

by Rashmee

Posted on April 17, 2019


Daniel Drener, international politics professor at the Fletcher Scholl, has been unsparing in his view of what will happen with US foreign policy in the future. Professor Drezner wrote a piece in Foreign Affairs headlined “This time is different”. The sub-head was: “Why US Foreign Policy Will Never Recover”. Click here to read the whole … Continue reading “A post-American world order? Why this time really is different”

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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