Tag Archives: Raffique Shah

Choosing fight over flight

By Raffique Shah
July 26, 2021

Raffique ShahI got vaccinated last week. I received the first of two doses of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine. I chose the drive-through option at the Ato Boldon Stadium because it is close to my home and I didn’t have to leave the privacy or comfort of my car to queue up at any stage of the proceedings, which is helpful to people who suffer with Parkinson’s and similar neurological disorders.

The operation was organised by Proman, a large project management corporation in the energy sector, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. Fazad Mohammed, the company’s manager of corporate communications, said they hoped to fully vaccinate 7,000 people in this initiative.
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Make poverty a punishable crime

By Raffique Shah
July 19, 2021

Raffique ShahEvery so often, and since Covid-19 struck, maybe all too often reporters in the mainstream media assail us with heart-rending stories of families living in abject poverty—you know the kind: mother with three-to-ten urchin-like children, no resident father or no explanation of his or their absence, crammed into a dilapidated shack that looks like it will collapse if you sneezed in it; the little faces staring into the cameras are poster-images for strife and famine in some God-forsaken distant land; and the cries are always the same… my children will starve to death… if only I had a house… no, I can’t afford to send them to school… we need food, clothes, books, electricity… and so on.
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Race rules in this wasteland

By Raffique Shah
July 12, 2021

Raffique ShahIn this racially-fractured society, in which we can agree on nothing of substance, nothing that might help the nation move forward, or, to stretch this from the ridiculous to the sublime, we are a people so deeply divided that we shall never find ourselves on the same side of a battle-line should some army of the insane decide to conquer Trinidad and Tobago by force, readers might justifiably ask who in their “right mind” would want to own, rule or otherwise lay claim to the cussed country?
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Black lies matter most

By Raffique Shah
July 05, 2021

Raffique ShahOne night recently, the latter part of the television news still being broadcast, I had half-an-ear tuned in to it as I multi-tasked, maybe checking out something on my tablet or the hard drive in my head. Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar was on-screen, more than likely addressing her supporters, and I half-listened to what she was saying. ‘…and then there is the NIB…that is insolvent…’ I muttered audibly, ‘That’s a lie!’ ‘Why do you say that?’ my wife Rosina asked. I switched my focus to her, and explained in detail why I said Kamla was lying.
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Joker, the Bard of Trinidad

By Raffique Shah
June 28, 2021

Raffique ShahI imagine that like me, most calypso aficionados first became aware of the existence of the late Winsford ‘Joker’ Devine when, in 1980, a virtually unknown calypsonian, ‘King’ Austin Lewis, emerged as a favourite for the calypso monarch title in his debut appearance, singing Devine’s record-breaking composition, ‘Progress’. The affable Austin didn’t win the title, running second to accomplished performer Lord Relator.
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A Labour Day story

By Raffique Shah
June 21, 2021

Raffique ShahWith this country’s history largely unwritten, and in many instances unrecorded, I shan’t be surprised if my column today reads like Greek hieroglyphics to most people.

Many of us have an interest in knowing where we came from, this potpourri of races that confuses us more than foreigners. Our only identification mark, I cite Meer and Fuchs, examining our language from a phonetic perspective, is the sing-song prosody linguists insist we expose when we speak.
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Small exports add up

By Raffique Shah
June 14, 2021

Raffique ShahI shall not dwell on the many options we have to produce some of the foods we consume and to reduce our heavy dependence on foreign foods for our survival. Far too many reports have been compiled by committees on this issue.

The fact that we have done very little to alter the food production equation in favour of local content or substitutes is a damning indictment against us all—from consumers who insist on foreign brands to farmers who cultivate or do not cultivate, depending on subsidies from government; from cooks who will not soil their hands preparing ground provisions for meals for adults who will die if they cannot get hold of foreign “fast foods” that are devoid of nutrition but laden with unhealthy ingredients and harmful additives that are addictive.
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Foods for your table

By Raffique Shah
June 07, 2021

Raffique ShahWarnings of food crises post-Covid-19 are dire. According to one study on global food security by the Centre for Strategic International Studies (CSIS), dated March 15, 2021, one year into the pandemic, ‘…at least four countries are facing…famine, …with 13 close behind…’ The study noted that one year ago, the UN World Food Programme executive director David Beasely, warned the UN Security Council of ‘famines of biblical proportions’ and of possibly 270 million ‘people experiencing crisis levels of hunger’.
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Departing on arrival day

By Raffique Shah
May 31, 2021

Raffique ShahIn the event that you may have just awakened from a Rip shocking it might seem to you, it’s not just T&T; the world is at war…has been for almost one and a half years.

Just so you get right, we have already lost more than 400 lives in the war against Covid-19, with many more wounded, tens of thousands dislocated. Globally, some 3.5 million souls have returned to God, or wherever such poor buggers go, and mankind’s forces have suffered an estimated 170 million light-to-moderate casualties.
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Respect conventions of war

By Raffique Shah
May 24, 2021

Raffique ShahAn amazing contradiction that is embedded in the dissemination of information via technology that seems to evolve at a dizzying pace is how easy it is to fool massive numbers of people into believing glaring lies. Disinformation, a craft that is as old as civilisation itself, which has been used in warfare and in politics from ancient times to today, remains a weapon of mass confusion in the armories of sovereign states as much as parties that could, and have, catapulted many of them into power against immense odds.
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