When coughing became a tool of terror

by Rashmee

Posted on March 30, 2020


In Canberra, Australia, two men were arrested on March 28 for coughing and spitting in public. In Hail, Saudi Arabia, a man with coronavirus could face the death penalty after spitting on trolleys and doors in a shopping centre. In Blackburn, England, a 40-year-old man was jailed after threatening to cough and spit at a … Continue reading “When coughing became a tool of terror”

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No evidence pandemic is boosting xenophobia in Europe

by Rashmee

Posted on March 29, 2020 / The Arab Weekly


Post-coronavirus, both the left and the right may be increasingly in sync, albeit for different reasons. One might have thought the coronavirus pandemic would have been an instant and massive boost to xenophobia in Europe and this would be particularly true of Italy. For it is in Italy that the pandemic has taken its greatest … Continue reading “No evidence pandemic is boosting xenophobia in Europe”

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There is a Rumi quote for every moment, including the time of coronavirus

by Rashmee

Posted on March 27, 2020


There is a Rumi quote for every moment. For these times we live in: “Be patient  where you sit in the dark. The dawn is coming.” Truly, Rumi transcends timezones and the times. I saw this over the course of just one fortnight. Days ago, in Washington, D.C. there was this: And at a Tube … Continue reading “There is a Rumi quote for every moment, including the time of coronavirus”

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Coronavirus: Lessons from Chinese companies

by Rashmee

Posted on March 26, 2020


It was Axios, the US news website, that suggested there were lessons for American companies to learn from their Chinese counterparts in lockdown. But in actual fact, Chinese companies could be seen as a template for others, everywhere. As Philipp Carlsson-Szlezak, the Boston Consulting Group’s chief economist, told Axios, the lessons from China are abundant. … Continue reading “Coronavirus: Lessons from Chinese companies”

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How the pandemic is testing the solidarity of the European Union

by Rashmee

Posted on March 24, 2020 / The National


In Albert Camus’ novel The Plague, the narrator, a doctor, describes the determined, almost surreal air of normality that prevails even as the full force of an epidemic is about to hit the Algerian town of Oran. “Our townsfolk were like everybody else, wrapped up in themselves,” he says. “How should they have given a … Continue reading “How the pandemic is testing the solidarity of the European Union”

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In time of coronavirus, Taiwan has a doctor in the house (or the vice-president’s office)

by Rashmee

Posted on March 23, 2020


Taiwan’s treatment of the coronavirus pandemic is considered extraordinary and quite remarkable, tough, transparent and effective. Consider this. Even though 850,000 of Taiwan’s 23 million citizens live in mainland China and 400,000 work there, Taiwan has just 169 cases (as of March 23) compared to more than 80,000 in China. How did this happen? Two … Continue reading “In time of coronavirus, Taiwan has a doctor in the house (or the vice-president’s office)”

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In time of coronavirus, ISIS shows method in its murderous madness

by Rashmee

Posted on March 22, 2020 / The Arab Weekly


ISIS urged its followers to avoid Europe like the plague. The unfolding coronavirus crisis has elements of the surreal, one of which is the extremist group Islamic State’s “travel advice” to its members. In its al-Naba newsletter, the Islamic State (ISIS) urged its followers to avoid Europe like the plague. Literally. The “healthy should not … Continue reading “In time of coronavirus, ISIS shows method in its murderous madness”

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Cometh the hour, cometh the growth opportunity

by Rashmee

Posted on March 20, 2020


Three sectors are flourishing in the age of the novel coronavirus, Covid-19: New words and phrases New crimes of opportunity New openings for commerce Yesterday, I wrote about the crop of words and phrases already being harvested from the coronavirus outbreak. Click here to read it. If you don’t, here’s a reminder of some of … Continue reading “Cometh the hour, cometh the growth opportunity”

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Italians under lockdown are an example to us all, especially here in ‘hamstering’ Britain

by Rashmee

Posted on March 19, 2020


Eliara del Banco, mother of 12-year-old Alessandro, lives in Lucca, birthplace of the great composer Puccini and famous for its beautifully preserved Renaissance-period walls, historic city centre and cobblestoned streets. For the past nine days, mother and son have been in quarantine because on March 10, Italy became the first democratic country since World War II … Continue reading “Italians under lockdown are an example to us all, especially here in ‘hamstering’ Britain”

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If perfume companies can make hand gel, clothing firms can do protective gear for medics

by Rashmee

Posted on March 18, 2020


It was a coincidence that I heard Italian doctor Fabiano Di Marco talking about the deadly effects of the coronavirus on the medical community in Bergamo town, near Milan, the very day a worried London father described how his son and daughter-in-law – specialist doctors – had been deployed to deal with Covid-19 patients without … Continue reading “If perfume companies can make hand gel, clothing firms can do protective gear for medics”

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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