A word about Qat [Archives:2003/653/Letters to the Editor]

July 24 2003

Ali Hussein
[email protected]

There was a line in the article “The Qat: means for work and richness ut a water exhausting agricultural phenomenon” that I found disturbing and hypocritical. The line is: “The one who chews qat feels strength and activity and concentration in mental works and protects the Yemeni society from drug addiction”.
First, qat is a drug. Second, many Yemenis are addicted to it. There are Yemenis who keep their families starving so they can buy qat to satisfy their habit (i.e. their addiction). This you cannot deny.
Qat is like gambling, alcohol, and other drugs. All of these tear apart families and are time-consuming as well as money-consuming. If the Messenger(PBUH) had known of the Yemeni's qat addiction he would have banned the drug.
Farmers use their land to grow massive gardens of qat instead of growing valuable plants such as those that bear vegetables, grains, and fruits.
The youth spend a long portion of their day to attend qat sessions instead of looking for jobs, studying, and working.
Qat is something that should be dealt with and illegalized as well as the alcohol that is sold in Aden, Al Hodeida, and other cities.
Every Yemeni that wants to live life economically secure must give up their qat and stop going to other countries to look for jobs. They are lucky to have land and to have opportunities to create jobs. They don't live under oppression like the Palestinians and Iraqis.
When will we ever return to our golden age when education was valuable and that we were the most advanced? When will we reclaim our title as Felix Arabia?