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A Prohibition Sign Against Khat And Weapons, Hargeisa, Somaliland

A Prohibition Sign Against Khat And Weapons, Hargeisa, Somaliland

HARGEISA, SOMALILAND - NOVEMBER 30: a prohibition sign against khat and weapons, khat is a stimulating plant chewed by men in social occasions and for keeping themselves awake in Somaliland, a former Somali province that declared independance right after the Somali Civil War in the early 1990's, but whose independence is not internationally recognized yet, on November 30, 2011 in Hargeisa, Somaliland. Khat or Qat is sold and consumed everywhere in Somaliland. Ethiopian khat is grown in the Kaffa area, while it is sold in Harar in the East. People buy the kht leaves in order to chew them up, and in Somaliland they actually swallow the leaves (whereas people in other khat-consumer countries do not).
Khat leaves contain a drug made up of two alkaloids which have psychotropic effects. These substances cause excitement, euphoria, and loss of appetite and sleepiness. It is very appreciated by workers, long journey drivers and students, because it enhances concentration and muscular force. Some scientists reckon that khat is as powerful as amphetamines. It is somewhat addictive and some of the biggest users have been reported prone to withdrawal symptoms.
More than the substance itself, it is the particular context of its use that makes khat attractive. Khat brings openness and mental clearness, enabling easier relationships with fellow consumers. Khat-chewing get-togethers are considered a habit that contributes to the creation of social and cultural identity, but too much khat can lead to people becoming crazy.

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Photo prise le 10 novembre 2011 (© Eric Lafforgue Photography / Flickr)

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 somaliland, somalia, africa, horn of africa, horizontal, prohibition, carrying, official, law, public, buildings, space, drawing, red cross, outdoors, exterior, hargeisa, hargaysa, hargeysa, weapon, firegun, machine gun

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