Tajikistan: Stability Means More Than Prosperity

Tajikistan’s Emomali Rahmon With Russian President Vladimir Putin

Out of all the poor countries that emerged from the ashes of the erstwhile Soviet Union, Tajikistan stands alone as the poorest. While the papers surely talk about the rapid macroeconomic growth of the country, most of the ordinary Tajiks are yet to witness the brighter side of the economic progress.

Amidst such dismal scenario, back in November 2013, Tajikistan re-elected Emomali Rahmon as its leader, giving him a seven-year term at the office. Former chairman of a collective farm, Rahmon has been dominating the national politics ever since the country came into existence back in 1992 — he became the President in 1994, won for the second time in 1999, and then again in 2003 and 2006. It surely would have been a wonderful political resume had it not been for the absence of any serious political competition.

Question is, if there is rampant poverty in Tajikistan, why is everyone repeatedly giving one chance after another to Rahmon? Continue reading “Tajikistan: Stability Means More Than Prosperity”

Yemen: Chaos, Conflict And Revolution

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Yemen. The very name of this country brings many thoughts to one’s mind. It happens to be one of the oldest centres of civilization in the region, and is currently the second largest country in the Arabian Peninsula. If that does not impress you, Yemen is also the only state in the Arabian Peninsula to have a purely republican form of government, and was the first country in the region to grant voting rights to women.

A nice resume, indeed!

Sadly, of late Yemen has not made it to the papers for the right reasons. As harsh as it may sound, present-day Yemen is far from perfect.  Continue reading “Yemen: Chaos, Conflict And Revolution”

Using Comics To Counter Islamophobia?

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Depending on your socio-political views, you may choose to agree or disagree with me when I say: Islamophobia is in the air. Be it the USA, UK or even Myanmar, there are a good number of people out there who view Muslims as a community that is troublesome and refuses to integrate. In the midst of all this, it was a pleasant thing to read when Marvel announced that the leading character in their new comic book series will be a Muslim girl. Continue reading “Using Comics To Counter Islamophobia?”

Iran-US Nuclear Deal Signals A Gorbachev Moment For Rouhani

So Iran and the United States reached a deal about the nuclear stuff recently. Thus far, I have read many opinions and analyses about this historic event: Israel calls it a mistake of gigantic proportions, US and Iran are considering it to be a step in the right direction, rest of the world is watching, commentators and experts are either happy or unhappy depending on their political stance, and so on.

As of now, it is too early to judge whether the nuclear deal between USA and Iran is a good thing to happen or not. However, pros and cons aside, one thing is certain: with the new Rouhani government in place, the Islamic Republic is indeed headed towards some noticeable changes.  Continue reading “Iran-US Nuclear Deal Signals A Gorbachev Moment For Rouhani”