It may take a pandemic to change the whole idea of national security

by Rashmee

Posted on April 15, 2020


Even in lockdown, the “make love not war” brigade must be hopeful, high-fiving each other over Zoom, in appropriate socially distant fashion. When this is over – a year, or two, or three  from now – countries may be too broke to spend on tanks and guns. The people, meanwhile, might be asking – fiercely … Continue reading “It may take a pandemic to change the whole idea of national security”

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Six decades after independence, Middle East still looking for growth model

by Rashmee

Posted on March 8, 2020 / The Arab Weekly


Though a large youthful population would normally be regarded an economic blessing, it’s become the bane of the MENA region. It’s been 75 years since World War II ended and the idea of decolonising the Middle East and North Africa began to gain ground but, while formal colonisation ended about six decades ago, the region … Continue reading “Six decades after independence, Middle East still looking for growth model”

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When China sneezes, the world takes to its sick bed

by Rashmee

Posted on February 23, 2020 / The Arab Weekly


Regional tourism may suffer the debilitating effects of Covid-19, which can be passed through the air. The MENA region’s first confirmed coronavirus deaths ­— two Iranians in the holy city of Qom — are reminders of a two-pronged reality: the world is increasingly linked and it has a growing reliance on China. In the 19th … Continue reading “When China sneezes, the world takes to its sick bed”

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Russia has fair-weather friends and allies in the Middle East

by Rashmee

Posted on November 30, 2019


Former Israeli foreign minister Shlomo Ben-Ami recently attempted to set everyone right on a crucial question: Is Russia the Middle East’s new hegemon? His answer was somewhat surprising. Russia is not the region’s new hegemon, he concluded. Never forget that its economy is the size of South Korea’s and its military capabilities significantly less that … Continue reading “Russia has fair-weather friends and allies in the Middle East”

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Rebuilding Syria, one luxury hotel at a time

by Rashmee

Posted on September 22, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


The state of Syria is piteous after nearly a decade of conflict. An estimated 500,000 are dead; 12 million are internally or externally displaced. So, how about that busman’s holiday to Damascus? As of next year, it will be a very real possibility. The Chinese-owned, France-headquartered Louvre Hotels Group said it will manage two luxury … Continue reading “Rebuilding Syria, one luxury hotel at a time”

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MENA’s poor showing on Global Peace Index is hardly surprising

by Rashmee

Posted on June 18, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


Even before the crisis over Qatar and the attack by a white American man who opposed US President Donald Trump’s politics, it was clear the Middle East and North America were in a dangerously febrile state. The turmoil in those regions is not comparable in any way except for its deeply destabilising potential. Strangely enough, … Continue reading “MENA’s poor showing on Global Peace Index is hardly surprising”

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World more peaceful this year – except for Middle East & a N America bestrode by Trump

by Rashmee

Posted on June 7, 2017


You may not believe this but it’s true. The eleventh edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI), which ranks 163 independent states and territories or 99.7 per cent of the world’s population, is strangely soothing. In the past year, it says, 93 countries became more peaceful than before. Only 68 countries are less peaceful than … Continue reading “World more peaceful this year – except for Middle East & a N America bestrode by Trump”

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Time for MENA Americans to stand up and be counted

by Rashmee

Posted on October 9, 2016 / The Arab Weekly


Two-hundred-and-thirty years after the United States’ first constitutionally mandated census, the country wants to include a MENA category in its 2020 survey. The Middle East- North Africa option, if it comes to pass, is breathlessly described by commentators as a massive realignment of federal racial definitions. Its implications are immense. It will shrink the white … Continue reading “Time for MENA Americans to stand up and be counted”

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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