[QODLink]
Witness
Qat Barons of Sheffield
An ancient Yemeni tradition is maintained in the unlikely place of north England.
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2009 10:21 GMT



Watch part two

Director: Amani Zain

Sheffield, the south borough of Yorkshire is famous for steel and coalmining. In the 1950's and 60's thousands of Yemeni's migrated to Sheffield to find work. They now make up a large part of the community there. 

But in a land so far away from home, they have maintained an old tradition to bring them back to their roots … chewing qat.

Qat is a leafy narcotic that contains cathinone, a natural amphetamine which is banned in some countries like the United States. Luckily for Britain's Yemenis, qat is legal in the UK. Chewing qat is one of their favorite ways to relax, socialize and enjoy their cultural heritage.

It is estimated that 90% of Yemeni men chew qat. Some claim a qat session is like a game of golf, a time when contacts are made and business deals sealed.

Yemeni-born f
ilmmaker Amani Zain went to Sheffield to find out more about this ancient tradition. She gained exclusive access to a men's only social club where chewing qat is the main attraction.

She listened as they spoke about the joys of chewing and socialising with their friends. But she discovered elsewhere that not everyone in the Yemeni community agrees that this ancient custom is a good thing.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.