The case for giving ‘bad’ gifts this year

by Rashmee

Posted on December 25, 2020


  If you’re reading this today, the headline probably caught your eye either because you’ve just received a few bad Christmas gifts or given them. Bad, in this case, meaning the definition that economist author of ‘Scroogenomics’ Joel Waldfogel offered in the early 1990s. Each Christmas, Mr Waldfogel moaned, we divert finite resources of energy, … Continue reading “The case for giving ‘bad’ gifts this year”

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How to party like it’s 2020

by Rashmee

Posted on December 8, 2020 / The Economist


  The holiday season may be here, but the traditional office party? Not so much. The holiday season may be here, but the traditional office party? Not so much. Social distancing and other pandemic-related restrictions have ruled out the usual end-of-year work celebrations. Gone are the staff lunch, after-hours drinks and team dinner. Remote workers won’t … Continue reading “How to party like it’s 2020”

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Amid the dreary state of Arab-Israeli relations comes Christmas cheer and a message of hope

by Rashmee

Posted on December 26, 2019 / The National


It being Christmas, there is a certain obligation to bring glad tidings, or at least as glad as is possible in a year marked by deepening discontent and divisions in many parts of the world. This despite the Palestinian-Israeli issue ramping up a contentious notch earlier this week when Fatou Bensouda, chief prosecutor at the … Continue reading “Amid the dreary state of Arab-Israeli relations comes Christmas cheer and a message of hope”

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In Bethlehem, a Christmas story with a modern message-and Jingle Bells in Arabic

by Rashmee

Posted on December 25, 2019 / Quartz


At the newly-renovated Church of the Nativity where, the story goes, Jesus, the Prince of Peace was born, pilgrims from around the world are gathering for midnight mass. But for some, the real celebration of peace happened last week, a 10-minute drive away from the church, in as humble a place as the stable where Christ was born. At Canary … Continue reading “In Bethlehem, a Christmas story with a modern message-and Jingle Bells in Arabic”

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The beginning of the end of American power? – Part I

by Rashmee

Posted on January 17, 2019


If you’re American it’s hard to imagine a happy new year in 2019. Let me rephrase that. If you’re an American foreign policywallah and aren’t a diehard Trump-supporter with murderous thoughts about migrants, Muslims and others, it’s hard to imagine a happy new year in 2019. It’s nearly the halfway point of Donald Trump’s unexpected … Continue reading “The beginning of the end of American power? – Part I”

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The Christmas story is told in the Quran

by Rashmee

Posted on December 24, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


Far-right parties in the West often portray Islam as at war with Christianity. What gets lost in the white noise is a key fact: Jesus is an important figure for Muslims, too. The Quran explicitly makes mention of Jesus, one of 26 prophets named in the Muslim holy book. A Quranic passage referring to the … Continue reading “The Christmas story is told in the Quran”

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Christmas unsettled. A Christmas tagine rather than a Christmas tree!

by Rashmee

Posted on December 25, 2017


This is a very different Christmas for us. The Tunis house is in the process of being packed up and put into boxes large and small for dispatch across the seas. We don’t have a tree, decorations, a big Christmas dinner with family and friends to entertain. In some ways, it’s not much like Christmas … Continue reading “Christmas unsettled. A Christmas tagine rather than a Christmas tree!”

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No need for a #Trump #FauxCrusade. Christmas is merry enough in US & elsewhere

by Rashmee

Posted on December 24, 2016


Given that Donald Trump has done a good job of stoking the anger of America’s majority white, mainly Christian population about the alleged liberal “war” on Christmas, let’s recognize a few facts: Everywhere in the world, Christmas time has become a collective Sabbath (click here to read a blog I wrote on the exact same … Continue reading “No need for a #Trump #FauxCrusade. Christmas is merry enough in US & elsewhere”

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This Christmas it’s Tunis cake, British favourite that’s back in fashion

by Rashmee

Posted on December 25, 2015


The revival of Tunis cake is a puzzling thing. Not because it’s unpleasant – what’s not to like about chocolate ganache-covered Madeira sponge – but because of its name. Why does Britain have a cake that takes its name from the Tunisian capital? Is it because of the plentiful availability of ground almonds in Tunis?  … Continue reading “This Christmas it’s Tunis cake, British favourite that’s back in fashion”

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It makes really good sense to postpone Christmas to February. Here’s why

by Rashmee

Posted on December 24, 2014


Over in Slate, L V Anderson has rather a brilliant idea. Let’s postpone Christmas. To February. Not just this year, but every year. Christmas should be in early February – preferably February 7 – not the end of December, she says. She offers some excellent reasons, all of them practical (and financially hard boiled). Right … Continue reading “It makes really good sense to postpone Christmas to February. Here’s why”

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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