Yemen: khat fueling or holding back revolution?

Posted on February 12th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

khatYemen's opposition has repeatedly drawn tens of thousands to the streets to protest against President Ali Abdullah Saleh's three decades of autocratic rule in recent weeks, but by noon the protesters quietly vanish. Many head straight to the souk, or market, to buy bags of khat, the stimulant leaf that over half of Yemen's 23 million people chew daily. Some activists maintain, however, that khat serves as a social lubricant that helps fuel the opposition movement.

"Sure we use Facebook like kids in other countries, but a lot of the protests that were organized, students planned at khat sessions. Khat has a positive role in political mobilization," said Fakhr al-Azb, a 23-year old university student.

Khat, Yemen's top cash crop, is assailed for sucking dry dwindling water resources, and dominating land that could be used to grow food or export crops. Saleh launched a campaign against the leaf a decade ago, but Yemenis still spend millions of dollars a day on it. (Ha'aretz, Feb. 10)

Photo by Eesti

 

Comments

Revolution and Khat - interesting post GGR!

naturalist's picture

This is the most khat has been in the spotlight, *politically* that is, in my lifetime. And thank you for pointing it out as I wouldn't have picked up on this.

Nice work folks!

Comment by naturalist on Feb 13th, 2011 at 10:30 am

Recent comments

Who's new

  • John Veit
  • YosephLeib
  • Peter Gorman
  • jpproject
  • garrick beck