Old Sana’a: bricks and gingerbread
Yemen’s capital is known for its dense streets of brick buildings with white icing. There’s nothing like it anywhere else. But there’s another curious and unique thing about Sana’a: all the men in town have bulging cheeks!
Why all the bulging cheeks? The reason is qat, Yemen’s national addiction. Qat leaves are slowly masticated into a ball for several hours, leading to a bulge. Some will tell you it’s mild as coffee and others claim it is destroying the Yemeni nation. It is illegal in Canada and the US, but freely available in the UK.
I sampled the national addiction to judge for myself. At first I felt silly, like a farm animal grazing on its cud, but soon began to understand the appeal. I came to the same conclusion as my friend MLE who lives in Sana’a (and wrote an excellent article on the subject) : “Qat: bad for Yemen, good for me.”
A bit of qat is all it takes to make the tiniest wheelbarrow seem comfy
Cheekful of raisins or cheekful of qat?
Tags: Sana'a, Streetlife, Yemen