Is this the real life?

4 commentsUncategorized

Our barters for a traditional dagger were met with an unwaveringly vacant stare.

Or is this just fantasy? Sana’a, the ancient capital of Yemen, is caught in a time-warp. When I visited it a few months ago, I thought I may have entered the 19th century, or the 5th, or the 25th. It’s a mere hour ahead of Beirut, but when I left it twenty four hours later I felt utterly jet-lagged.

Imagine an entire population high. No not on life, or joy, or music. High high, as in doped up. You can see the men walking with heads tilted to one side and wonder why until up close you realize one cheek is round like an apple.

Well the content of that cheek is an herb called qat, a legal and very potent hallucinogen. It is consumed as part of a daily ritual (think afternoon tea) that is practiced nationwide, by men adolescent and older with very few exceptions. Yemeni men “store” this in the sides of their mouths and then get high on their own saliva at the expense of all sense of reality, ambition, and ultimately progress.

{ 4 comments }

Corinne Frenzel August 26, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Meedz, I want to share this on FB but can’t here, how do I do it so it comes up with the image? This picture you took is so vivid and sad…it seems like another world.

Meedo August 27, 2010 at 12:54 am

Just copy the link and paste it into Facebook… I’m implementing an easy “share” button soon. x

Corinne Frenzel August 26, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Meedz, I want to share this on FB but can’t here, how do I do it so it comes up with the image? This picture you took is so vivid and sad…it seems like another world.

Meedo August 27, 2010 at 2:54 am

Just copy the link and paste it into Facebook… I’m implementing an easy “share” button soon. x

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