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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The Arab world – a people and region in a flux

by Rashmee

Posted on June 24, 2019


The new BBC survey of 25,000 people in the Arab world is startling in its own way. It found more people than before, especially the under-30s, saying they are not religious. And it found a majority (except in Algeria) supportive of the idea of a woman as head of state. Click here for the story. … Continue reading “The Arab world – a people and region in a flux”

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Oman’s story shows Arab writers are finding their voice

by Rashmee

Posted on June 2, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


The way Harthi tells the story, Oman comes sharply into focus as a distinctive place and its people acquire a distinct personality. How much does the world really know about Oman and what does it know about Arabs? Little or nothing about Oman. Of Arabs, it is mostly based on stories told about them by … Continue reading “Oman’s story shows Arab writers are finding their voice”

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The Arab view of Iran doesn’t help it manage reality or change anything for the better

by Rashmee

Posted on February 12, 2019


There’s much merit in this rather frank view of the Arab world’s relationship with Iran. Hussein Ibish on Bloomberg Opinion notes that the Arab world blames Iran and its 40-year-old revolution for all its problems, but it would be a mess with or without Tehran’s help, True enough. Consider the way the Arab world is behaving … Continue reading “The Arab view of Iran doesn’t help it manage reality or change anything for the better”

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How Al-Farabi drew on Plato to argue for censorship in Islam

by Rashmee

Posted on November 12, 2018 / Aeon


You might not be familiar with the name Al-Farabi, a 10th-century thinker from Baghdad, but you know his work, or at least its results. Al-Farabi was, by all accounts, a man of steadfast Sufi persuasion and unvaryingly simple tastes. As a labourer in a Damascus vineyard before settling in Baghdad, he favoured a frugal diet … Continue reading “How Al-Farabi drew on Plato to argue for censorship in Islam”

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Davos and the Arab project

by Rashmee

Posted on January 28, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


The talkathon-cum-thinkfest that blazed to an end on January 26 at Davos had more leaders and executives from the Arab world in attendance than at any time since it began. The World Economic Forum, to give the high-achievers’ annual conclave its proper name, has been around in one form or the other since 1971. This … Continue reading “Davos and the Arab project”

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Arabs show they’re not defined by the Palestinian issue. Now, the world must prosecute their case

by Rashmee

Posted on December 8, 2017


  Nearly two years ago, I wrote a blog recording my scepticism about an overseas Iraqi man’s insistence that Arabs and Muslims were sick of being defined by the Palestinian issue. That was in April 2016. At the time, I admit I didn’t buy my interlocutor’s argument that Arabs have moved on from the Palestinian issue, that … Continue reading “Arabs show they’re not defined by the Palestinian issue. Now, the world must prosecute their case”

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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