Even a pandemic can’t stop the desperate flow of refugees to Europe

by Rashmee

Posted on April 19, 2020 / The Arab Weekly


In the circumstances, an EU humanitarian package might serve as a band aid but not much more. In the weeks since the World Health Organisation declared a pandemic, it’s become clear that the outbreak of disease can paralyse national economies but not the flight of desperate people across the Mediterranean to apparent safety. How else … Continue reading “Even a pandemic can’t stop the desperate flow of refugees to Europe”

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Erdorgan waves his refugees trump card in Europe’s face

by Rashmee

Posted on February 28, 2020


Today (Friday, Feb. 28), Turkey’s president Erdogan has been speaking to US President Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron about the situation in Syria. The sub-text of any conversation with the Europeans is: Or else. Or else, we’ll release the refugees we hold into Europe. Mr Erdogan’s party, the Justice … Continue reading “Erdorgan waves his refugees trump card in Europe’s face”

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Can the world afford changing the rules on refugees?

by Rashmee

Posted on August 4, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


If the Western world no longer feels obliged to provide refuge to people from poorer countries, at the very least it should cease destabilising Arab and African countries for geopolitical gain. The Trump administration has decided on the Temporary Protected Status given by the United States to approximately 7,000 Syrians. The designation, granted by the … Continue reading “Can the world afford changing the rules on refugees?”

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The migration compact doesn’t help a fraught debate

by Rashmee

Posted on December 16, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


It’s being billed as the first international deal on the migration crisis but it’s not really an agreement to do much of anything. The UN Global Compact for Migration, the formal name for the document adopted December 11 in Marrakech, makes several declaratory statements. It also offers many sweeping suggestions but the compact does not … Continue reading “The migration compact doesn’t help a fraught debate”

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Love refugees? Is Britain redefining a fraught debate?

by Rashmee

Posted on December 9, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


On Black Friday, November 22, an unusual shopping experience was offered to Londoners. A pop-up store, set up by a charity in the heart of the British capital, gave shoppers the chance to buy gifts for refugees. People could choose from a range of products a refugee might find useful — relief items such as sleeping bags, … Continue reading “Love refugees? Is Britain redefining a fraught debate?”

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Ethiopia, UAE and Bangladesh: Sanctuary from the heart?

by Rashmee

Posted on July 26, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


Something quite remarkable with respect to refugees may be quietly under way in parts of the non-Western developing world. The Ethiopian government has assured Eritrean refugees they would not be forced to return to their country now that a peace deal has been signed to end the 20-year state of war. International law gives the … Continue reading “Ethiopia, UAE and Bangladesh: Sanctuary from the heart?”

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Why Europe seeks an ‘Australian solution’ to the migrant issue

by Rashmee

Posted on July 8, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


When European leaders talk of establishing “disembarkation platforms” for migrants in the Middle East and Africa, they are hoping to find an “Australian solution” to a hot-button issue. Here’s why. Australia’s policies towards unwanted migrants are tough, deeply controversial — and they have worked. Australia has all but become a no-go area for the uninvited. Even people … Continue reading “Why Europe seeks an ‘Australian solution’ to the migrant issue”

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‘Countries wanting to tackle migration should follow Switzerland’s lead and boost local economies rather than punish individuals’

by Rashmee

Posted on June 23, 2018 / The Independent


The European Union  desperately wants to agree on a plan to curb the influx of migrants, possibly by creating vast holding camps in Africa. Donald Trump’s America wants to frighten off migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador by locking them up and taking away their children. Neither will work but here’s a canny immigration control strategy that might. … Continue reading “‘Countries wanting to tackle migration should follow Switzerland’s lead and boost local economies rather than punish individuals’”

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Capsized Tunisian boat not just a tragedy but a template

by Rashmee

Posted on June 10, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


The Tunisian boat that sank on June 2 as it set off for Europe with a load of uninvited mainly North African migrants is a tragic reminder of the fixed poles of a twisting debate. These are as follows: Recrimination and hand-wringing are almost as useless as the flimsy vessels used to traffic people across … Continue reading “Capsized Tunisian boat not just a tragedy but a template”

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Time for refugees to return now that the Syrian war is winding down?

by Rashmee

Posted on June 7, 2018


On May 3, 2018 Bashar Al Assad’s government regained control of a key highway, the M5 linking Aleppo to the capital Damascus through Homs. It was the first time in years that the regime was in charge of that highway. It signified a great deal about the changed course of the war. After seven years, … Continue reading “Time for refugees to return now that the Syrian war is winding down?”

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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