The cursed qat tree [Archives:2005/818/Letters to the Editor]

February 21 2005

Ahmed Al Thamari
[email protected]

I strongly believe that qat is the cursed tree mentioned in the Holy Quran.

Many people would argue that qat should not be considered as drugs, but what is the difference. Both qat and drug lead their addicts to the same end (hell).

A low / middle income Yemeni, would spend large or most of his income in buying qat, leaving if anything left for his family and children needs such as food, education and health.

Qat is waste of time for the large portion of Yemeni population who chew / eat it. It tighten its chewer to it. It dominate its chewer thinking, planning and future. A qat chewer would exhaust his mental and physical abilities in obtaining qat, rather than improving his family awful leaving condition. Everyone of us know several people of his relatives or friends who are in this horrifying situation.

I was in a visit to my beloved country Yemen last December, and I felt very sad to notice that the whole afternoon of most of Yemenis are dedicated to qat. The afternoon is considered as one of the busiest time in most of the world capitals, but in Sana'a it is considered as the time for relaxation with qat. Does this tell anything about the reason behind the lag behind of our country?

Aren't we able to see that it is a cause of several problems? Do not we need to do some thing about it, or it remain part of our holy social habits that should be treated with full respect?

I hope to see soon a massive campaign in Yemen media, educating Yemenis of the bad effects of qat on their life and future and to see more restrictions on consuming qat until Yemen become a country free of qat.