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khat posts

Opinion: Dutch khat ban smacks of racism

Opinion: Dutch khat ban smacks of racism Jan 16th, 2012 at 10:00AM: The Dutch government recently announced that it will ban the use of khat, a narcotic leaf widely chewed in the Horn of Africa and Yemen. I've written about khat before. I've spent four months in Ethiopia, especially Harar, a city in the eastern part of the country where chewing khat (pronounced "chat" in the local languages) is part of many people's daily lives. It's a mild drug that makes...

The Argobba: visiting a little-known African tribe

The Argobba: visiting a little-known African tribe Apr 15th, 2011 at 2:30PM: Ethiopia is home to dozens of different ethnic groups and tribes. Some have populations numbering in the millions, while others have only a few thousand. One of the smallest tribes is the Argobba, a Muslim people scattered in villages across eastern Ethiopia. The Argobba number only about 10,000, yet they're determined to be counted in Ethiopia´s government and are fighting to preserve...

Qat culture in Harar: East Africa's favorite legal high

Qat culture in Harar: East Africa's favorite legal high Apr 7th, 2011 at 9:00AM: Every afternoon in Harar, you see men walking along carrying plastic bags filled with leaves. Hararis aren't big fans of salads; they're chewing these leaves for a completely different reason. It gets them high. Qat (pronounced "chat" in Harari, Amharic, and Somali) is a narcotic leaf from a fast-growing bush found all over the Horn of Africa and Yemen. It's legal and hugely popular in this...

Khat: the legal high of East Africa

Khat: the legal high of East Africa May 20th, 2010 at 4:00PM: East Africa is addicted to leaves. Khat (also pronounced "chat" or "qat") is a leafy shrub found in the mountainous areas of East Africa. It's a major cash crop for Ethiopia and a popular high in the whole region. For the Somalis, as well as the Hararis in Ethiopia, it's a social drug and a way to relax. It's also popular in countries further afield such as Yemen. In a Muslim society, khat...

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