The paper tells that the Somali community in the UK comprises of British citizens who were born in Somalia or those British citizens whose ancestors were from Somalia. The United Kingdom is the home to the largest Somali population in the Europe. As per the 2001 Census, the number of Somalia born residents in the UK stood at 43,532. Also, as per the Office for National Statistics, on March 2010, the number of Somalia born immigrants within the UK stood at 108,000. In a historical perspective the earliest Somalis arrived in the UK as seamen and merchants. Some Somalis also arrived in the UK during the 2nd World War, along with the Royal Navy. The Civil War in Somalia in the 90s witnessed a large scale immigration of Somalis to the UK, who constitute the majority of the Somali community at present living in the UK. Though a great number of Somalis have given way to many success stories in the UK, it is a fact that the Somali community within the UK faces many social problems and challenges at present. Khat chewing is one big problem being faced by the Somali community in the UK. It goes without saying that Khat chewing has a long standing cultural, historical and social tradition in the Somali community. Khat consumption is legal in the UK and it is mostly sold at the commercial establishments known as mafrishes. Amongst the Somali community Khat chewing is recognized to be a legitimate indulgence, and is not detested like alcohol and varied other forms of drugs. However varied professionals and health professionals do believe that the long term Khat usage is giving way to many health and social problems within the Somali community in the UK. The voices against the Khat usage have begun to arise within the Somali
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The paper takes a look at the history and demography of the Somali community residing in the UK, delves on the origins of Khat, its history in relation to the Somali community and how it is addictive. In the end there are recommendations aimed at tackling the problem of Khat addiction in the Somali community…
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