How do I live without qat?! [Archives:2006/975/Community]

August 24 2006

By: Mohammed Albadani
[email protected]

I told my friend that I ever never chew qat, but I still think I am living. Actually, I do not know the kind of life he was talks about.

I ask qat chewers: What is the benefit of chewing Qat? They all reply with the same answer which is: Chewing qat is “another life.” Maybe there is an imaginary life they claim, but every one of us prefers living in fantasy where we are free from problems such as fighting, war and bloodshed. But this kind of life destroys the real one which Allah created. As he said in His Holy Quran, talking to his angles, “I will create a successor on the earth (Allah, the greatest, spoke the truth).”

My Indian professor analyzed the average working hours for Yemeni's and found it is just two to three hours per day . He said the only reason for this is chewing qat. And Afaf Sho'eib, the Egyptian actress, posed the question, “If 99 percent of the Yemenis chew qat ,then who will build the country?”

Most catastrophic is when the “devil tree” became more important than families. Many times I hear workers in the morning start their praying for Allah to help them gain some money that day. Do you know what for? The answer will be wrong when one says for buying food for their families or medicine for the sick. Nevertheless, we are sure they need money for buying qat. Moreover, when the Yemenis meet each other the first question is always, “Did you buy qat and where are you going to chew?”

Most heartbreaking in Yemen is that when you ask someone about his family or about current circumstances, his answer must be, “If there is money to buy qat, everything will be okay.” He means that everything other than qat is not important .

Finally, we hope it would not be correct when the American ambassador in Yemen stated one day that Yemen will not improve. (O Allah, we pray to you, do not make the world gloat over our grief.)