Youth Forum Contribution:Qat tree [Archives:2004/752/Education]

July 5 2004

By Tammam Ali
Fourth secondary school, Science

Qat was first discovered by one of the Yemeni goatherds when he was pasturing his goats. In Yemen today qat is equally popular among men and women; about 70% men are addicted to qat and 30% women also.
Why do people like qat? Some people say it is good for their health. Others say that it helps them to relax. Yet others say that it helps them to concentrate in their work, and some think it prevents over-eating. However, studies have proved that people who chew qat are likely to get diseases. On the other hand, those people who disapprove of qat say that the land which is used for growing qat could be used for growing crops. They add that the people who work on the land would be better employed if they produced some thing useful – not something totally counter-productive as qat.
On the whole, qat is not a good thing. People could live quite happily without qat and the time and money which is wasted for chewing could be more usefully spent in producing food crops.