Thursday, January 04, 2007

Back on the qat

Qat men relaxing, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Qat was banned by the Islamic Courts, but now the foreign sponsored Transitional Federal Government have taken over the country, backed by their Ethiopian friends, the use of qat is now allowed. Can't be them trying for a little bit of popularity at the cost of the nation's long term health and stability, can it?

Qat is said not to be addictive, which is all very well but when grown men spend every afternoon of the week with their mates chewing the qat, spending all the family's money on their fix, when they get irritated and angry when they miss their fix, when the plastic bags in which it is sold are left to litter the countryside and when all the qat has to be imported, does it matter that it is not addictive?

Here is a den of qat chewers in the Somaliland capital, Hargeisa, where it has never been banned.

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