Black-market cigarettes

Tim Elfrink wrote this dramatic summary of the recent history of cigarette smuggling as a source of terrorist income for the Miami New Times.

Posted by Jon on July 7, 2009 at 07:48 AM in Afghanistan, Iraq, Ireland, North Korea, Tobacco, United States | Permalink

Medical use of opium in 9th-cent. Baghdad (book review)

Matthew S. Gordon (Miami University, OH), reviewing Selma Tibi, The Medical Use of Opium in Ninth-Century Baghdad, in Social History of Alcohol and Drugs 22/2 (Spring 2008): 297-298.

Posted by David Fahey on August 11, 2008 at 07:50 PM in Book Reviews, Iraq, Opium | Permalink

Alcohol returns to Baghdad

The (London) Independent reports the return of alcohol to Baghdad, shops owned by Christians and drinkers who sometimes now are willing to risk consuming alcohol in public. Iraqi breweries haven't reopened, so all the beer is imported. For more, see here.

Posted by David Fahey on July 8, 2008 at 07:55 PM in Alcohol (general), Iraq | Permalink

Baghdad liquor sellers reopen

Improved security has allowed Baghdad liquor sellers to reopen their businesses. Most of the liquor sellers are Yazidis, members of a pre-Islamic Kurdish sect, or Christians. For details, see here.

Posted by David Fahey on May 27, 2008 at 12:12 PM in Alcohol (general), Iraq, Religion | Permalink

Iraqis drink more tea than the British

Despite their troubles, the Iraqis drink 1219 cups of tea per capita, slightly more than the Irish at 1214 cups and considerably more than the British at 994 cups. Although the British remain big tea drinkers, they now consume only 5% of the world's tea. In 1955 they drank, along with the Irish, a third of the world's tea. For more, see here.

Posted by David Fahey on April 29, 2008 at 10:23 PM in Britain, Iraq, Ireland, Tea | Permalink

Growing opium in Iraq

Opium has not been grown in Iraq until recently. Now it flourishes amid the orange groves in Diyada province northeast of Baghdad. For more, see here.

Posted by David Fahey on January 20, 2008 at 09:38 AM in Iraq, Opium | Permalink

Baghdad blast targets liquor sellers

The Baghdad blasts that targeted liquor sellers hit mostly Yazidis who recently have replaced Christians in the liquor business (as most Christians have left Iraq). The Yazidis are a small sect that live mostly in the Kurdish north. As Muslims aren't supposed to drink, they don't sell alcoholic drink. Obviously, a fair number of Iraqi Muslims buy alcohol when they can. For more, see here.

Posted by David Fahey on December 20, 2007 at 08:32 PM in Alcohol (general), Iraq, Religion | Permalink

Iraq's alcohol business

Selling and drinking alcohol is still legal in Iraq, but since the rise of religious parties in this predominantly Muslim country, the trade has come under severe pressure.

Aside from legal restrictions, many liquor shops have been bombed in the past four years. Some who dared sell alcohol from their homes have been killed by religious militias, which use fear and intimidation to keep liquor out of areas they control.

Still, that has not deterred all traders or customers.

Read more here.

Posted by Cynthia on September 19, 2007 at 08:11 AM in Alcohol (general), Iraq, Licensing and Legislation, Prohibition, Religion | Permalink

Liquor business is dangerous in Baghdad

Although the sale and consumption of alcohol is legal in Iraq, those who sell it--generally Christians or Yazidis in take-out stores--risk being killed by Muslim militias. Liquor stores are closed during Ramadan. Most customers are Muslim, although Islam prohibits drinking alcohol. For more, see here.

Posted by David Fahey on September 15, 2007 at 02:25 PM in Alcohol (general), Iraq | Permalink

Illegal alcohol problem for American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq

According to the New York Times, illegal alcohol has helped fuel violent crimes by American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. For more, see here.

Posted by David Fahey on March 13, 2007 at 07:42 PM in Afghanistan, Alcohol (general), Iraq, United States | Permalink