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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Is that spelled 'Ghat' or 'Khat?'

You may or may not have heard of 'Khat.' I first heard of it when I was living in Saudi Arabia. Some of my Saudi friends would talk about it in hushed tones and say that it was 'haram' (forbidden). I eventually pieced together that Khat is a kind of plant usually chewed in the Middle East and East Africa and has addictive qualities. Unlike Saudi Arabia, in Djibouti it is legal and most men will chew it on a regular basis. Having never used it myself, I can't describe the feeling, but I can describe the effect it has on the downtown area. Basically, from early to late afternoon, downtown is virtually devoid of people. Apparently, after purchasing their Khat, everyone retires to secluded areas and enjoys the Khat experience. I really should go no further because there's no way I could describe the phenomonem better than this article by Esquire magazine published last year. Please check it out:

http://www.esquire.com/features/ESQ0906KHAT_182

4 comments:

  1. Hi Russ
    Came across your blog by accident and thought that I should read a little of it.
    Interesting blog.
    I have also seen a documentary on tv a few months ago about the use of Khat/Ghat. Reminds me of the coca leaves of South America.
    Enjoyed reading your blog. Agrigato.

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  2. Thanks for the comments. Feel free to read and comment anytime.

    Russ

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  3. Happy New Year!
    How are you? I went to see my parents during new year holidays.
    I've been looking forward to reading your blog.

    Your friend from Japan,
    fumafuma

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  4. Hey, Fuma!

    How are you? Thanks for posting to my site. Please continue to do so and check back in often for updates.

    ReplyDelete