Nice one, Nur-Sultan

by Rashmee

Posted on October 31, 2020


‘Very nice’, Kazakhstan. It’s a master stroke. The country has adopted Borat’s catchphrase – “Very nice!” – for a new tourism campaign. That’s a much smarter move than back in 2006, when the Kazakh government expressed its fury – very expensively too, via adverts in American newspapers – about ‘Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for … Continue reading “Nice one, Nur-Sultan”

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It matters that Kazakhstan is championing a 9th century Islamic philosopher. Here’s why

by Rashmee

Posted on July 20, 2020


Just days ago, an online symposium on Al Farabi celebrated the Islamic philosopher’s 1150th year of birth. Hosted by the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies and Kazakhstan’s UK embassy, it was scheduled for 1400 BST / 1900 Nur-Sultan Time / 0900 EST. Note the timings. The symposium was scheduled to start at “1900 Nur-Sultan Time”, … Continue reading “It matters that Kazakhstan is championing a 9th century Islamic philosopher. Here’s why”

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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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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK