Baklava, frites, wine, cannabis, guns. The pandemic classified them as essentials but they’re indulgences

by Rashmee

Posted on May 22, 2020


In Turkey, baklava-makers were deemed essential workers during the coronavirus lockdown because Turks like to eat the layered, flaky pastry, moistened with syrup and sprinkled with nuts at all times. Belgium allowed its friteries to stay open even as it closed down other commercial activities because it deemed the sidewalk stands that serve up French … Continue reading “Baklava, frites, wine, cannabis, guns. The pandemic classified them as essentials but they’re indulgences”

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Coronavirus: Is Angela Merkel’s solution to EU’s problems feasible?

by Rashmee

Posted on May 19, 2020 / The National


The coronavirus crisis has put the European Union under some stress. This is partly triggered by a single judgment delivered in a court in Karlsruhe in south-western Germany. The ruling has put the eurozone economy on an emergency drip-feed of positivity and promises from European officials even as it raised questions among some about the … Continue reading “Coronavirus: Is Angela Merkel’s solution to EU’s problems feasible?”

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German economy is sickened by more than the virus

by Rashmee

Posted on May 15, 2020


What does it mean that Germany, Europe’s biggest economy has plunged into a recession? That times are hard, to use the platitude doing the desperate rounds on email, in Twitter DMs and in conversations, as people lose their jobs in so many sectors, in so many parts of the world. Last month, German economy minister … Continue reading “German economy is sickened by more than the virus”

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Xenophobia is stock-in-trade of Europe’s far right

by Rashmee

Posted on March 1, 2020 / The Arab Weekly


Until very recently, the threat posed by white supremacists was underestimated in Germany and across much of the Western world. It speaks to the tension of the moment that, when a car was driven into a crowd of people at a carnival parade in the small German town of Volkmarsen, the first thought was of … Continue reading “Xenophobia is stock-in-trade of Europe’s far right”

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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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Why Merkel took a massive bet on migrants as force for growth

by Rashmee

Posted on January 7, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


Year-end holiday festivities practically obscured something quite remarkable in Germany just before Christmas. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet agreed to new immigration laws to put before parliament. On a continent whose politics is poisoned by fear of non-white, Muslim immigration, the German cabinet relaxed the rules for jobseekers from beyond the European Union and offered … Continue reading “Why Merkel took a massive bet on migrants as force for growth”

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Is Tarek al-Wazir a face of Germany?

by Rashmee

Posted on November 4, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


Could a single German regional election be a hopeful template for tomorrow? Perhaps. Consider this. Hesse, Germany’s most prosperous region, voted October 28 amid election posters emblazoned with “Tarek statt GroKo,” which translates as “Tarek instead of GroKo.” The GroKo reference was to Germany’s fractious, federal grand coalition made up of the traditional parties of … Continue reading “Is Tarek al-Wazir a face of Germany?”

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Watch out for Hesse, Germany’s ‘most popular’ politician: Tarek Al Wazir

by Rashmee

Posted on October 27, 2018


Take a good look at that face. It’s Tarek Mohammed Al Wazir, a rising star in the German Green Party and the man in the spotlight when Hesse region goes to the polls tomorrow (Sunday, October 28). Mr Al Wazir, 47, is currently the most popular politician in Hesse according to opinion polls. He is … Continue reading “Watch out for Hesse, Germany’s ‘most popular’ politician: Tarek Al Wazir”

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The ‘other’ is hounded in Germany. Sound familiar?

by Rashmee

Posted on September 23, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


The sacking of a German domestic intelligence chief over his public comments on far-right unrest underlines the extent to which the migration debate is roiling Europe. It is turning governments, state agencies, cities, communities and family units into camps — Us versus Them, anti-migrant versus pro-migrant. The rivalry is over the merits of non-white, non-Christian migration to … Continue reading “The ‘other’ is hounded in Germany. Sound familiar?”

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Europe in the #Alternative #2017 of the space-time continuum

by Rashmee

Posted on December 28, 2017


Every year-ender ends on an uncertain note. The space-time continuum demands nothing less. Pay attention to the tone of all those web listicles, newspaper box items, editorials and year-ender features. They’re not definitive. How can they be? How can you measure events in a finite amount of time when time is not finite for all … Continue reading “Europe in the #Alternative #2017 of the space-time continuum”

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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