Men selling Qat
Qat (or khat or gat) is a mildly stimulating leafy plant that when chewed produces a mild euphoric, amphetamine-like high. By midafternoon all over mainland Yemen, as well as Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti, Kenya and Socotra, many men, some women too, stop what they’re doing to begin the evening qat session. Many within Socotra believe that qat makes them more productive and have accepted it as a daily part of life. In fact, Yemen has chewed itself dry and is starving itself to death - with most of the country’s water supply rapidly drying up in order to keep qat farms fertile, and vegetable and coffee farms being ripped out and replaced by the more profitable qat. Qat is ingrained as such a part of life that many Yemeni aren’t aware of just how controversial Qat is considered to the outside world, although the younger generation is beginning to recognize the problem.