Connect to share and comment

A reported blog about all things Middle East and North Africa.

A day without qat: Can Yemen do it?

Plucky Yemeni netizens call for a day without qat. Will it work?
Yemen qat withoutEnlarge
A Yemeni vendor displays qat leaves, a popular local mild narcotic plant, for sale at an outdoor market in the Yemeni capital Sanaa. (MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Qat, an ever-green plant with narcotic properties, is Yemen's pasttime. Can Yemenis go a day without it? 

That's what one group of Yemeni netizens is trying to accomplish: a day without qat in their drug-stricken country. Online activists called for today to be the day without qat, whose leaves are chewed for hours at a time by the majority of Yemen's adults. A World Bank report estimates that a quarter of working hours are spent chewing, according to the Economist

More from GlobalPost: Yemen: hungering for better

Check the Twitter hashtag #noqatJan12 for the campaign's progress. This Storyful page also has an excellent overview of what Yemenis are saying about their day without qat. 

More from GlobalPost: Don't go bar-hopping in Yemen

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-casbah/day-without-qat-can-yemen-do-it