Sunday, August 03, 2008

Qat for You

I had only been in the country a few minutes when I noticed a man with a gigantic growth bulging out of his cheek. The swelling was enormous, it was so bulbous it practically had its own heartbeat.

BBC NEWS | Programmes | From Our Own Correspondent | Kicking Yemen's qat habit.

Before you get the wrong idea, it is qat that is bulging out of the cheek! Qat is a plant very popular in Yemen. When chewed it acts as a mild stimulant. What is new is that the Yemeni government is trying to crack down on this habit.

The government claims that qat is bad for its people leading to health problems and loss of productivity. Critics respond that one in three Yemenis is unemployed anyway and qat is an important part of the economy. While the government in Yemen is attempting to curb qat, the government in Kuwait is cracking on internet ‘crime’. Both governments are walking a fine line and could use much wisdom to protect both personal freedom and the public good.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Qat is an addictive drug with unpleasant health and social effects. The Yemeni government is fighting an uphill battle against qat, but in the long run if they are able to reduce the consumption of qat, it will definitely be for the better of the people and the economy.