A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Yemen Bans Qat in Aden on Weekdays. Does Anyone Expect This to Work?

Authorities in South Yemen (the areas controlled by President Al-Hadi rather than the Houthis) have decided to ban the importation of qat into the city of Aden on weekdays. Qat, of course, is the mildly narcotic leaf chewed daily by many Yemenis, and there is no question that its use reduces efficiency and productivity.

The Hadi government, while claiming to be the internationally recognized government, recaptured Aden only with the help of Saudi and GCC troops. does it really feel confident that it can break a national habit quickly? Or is this perhaps an outburst of Saudi-influenced puritanism?

While wishing them luck, count me as a skeptic until I see it working.

No comments: