New web site aims to fight the spread of qat use with information [Archives:2008/1175/Local News]

July 24 2008

SANA'A, July 23 ) In an attempt to stop the spread of qat chewing among youth, the Generations Without Qat Committee on Wednesday launched the e-site to help open young peoples' eyes to qat's effects upon mental, physical and societal health.

“This web site is one of the mediums we use to spread awareness among youth about the damages and diseases that result from chewing qat,” committee head Layla Al-Faqih noted. “The site targets youths because they are the new generation and the builders of Yemen's future. It's easier to keep them away from qat now because most of them aren't addicted to it yet,” Al-Faqih added.

Throughout the summer, the Generations Without Qat Committee will conduct an awareness campaign targeting six schools in three Taiz governorate districts.

The campaign will include photographic exhibitions, brochure distribution and publicly posted-signs. “We'll first introduce the committee to youths and then elaborate our activities to include many governorates,” Al-Faqih explained.

According to a statement the committee released this week, this is the first web site in Yemen to discuss the damages and diseases resulting from qat use. The site includes a network to connect Yemeni youths with young people in other parts of the world. The committee also has invited academics and experts to talk about dealing with qat and its effects upon society as a whole.

In addition to dealing with the medical problems resulting from qat use, the site also contains several other forums dealing with cultural, religious and social issues concerning qat chewing. The site also lists links to published investigations and stories about qat, as well as conferences and workshops that deal with the topic.

The Generations Without Qat Committee was established in February 2007 by the National Youth Cultural Center in Taiz.