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Poppies Replace Tourists in Egypt
CSN ^ | 4/26/14 | Langdendonk

Posted on 04/27/2014 1:27:38 PM PDT by mgist

Mohamed and his companions are nervous. The poppy field they have tended for the past six months is almost ready for harvesting, the small, bright flowers waving in the breeze. Inside the plant's pod is a sticky-white substance: raw opium. When harvested it will net each of them $2,850.

Poppy cultivation takes off

Opium has been consumed in Egypt since antiquity, but the growing of poppies is a recent development.

Joseph Hobbs, a professor of geography at the University of Missouri and the author of the only scholarly work on the Sinai's opium culture, says that poppy cultivation there began in the early 1990s. Until then, opium had been smuggled from Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, before the Syrian Army – then occupying Lebanon – began cracking down on poppy farmers in Bekaa.

The Sinai Peninsula had the right climate and terrain: soil that doesn't become waterlogged, and mountains to shield the fields from the wind. It also offered the protection of lawlessness. In his 2010 study, "Troubling Fields," Hobbs estimated that the Sinai at that time contained 476 poppy fields.

Since then, growing opium has become virtually risk-free. Egypt's 2011 revolution chased police off the streets, creating a security vacuum in which drug seizures – mostly hashish and heroin smuggled in via the Sinai Peninsula – dropped to almost nothing.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: egypt; heroin
The Muslim Brotherhood is known to be behind drug trafficking and I doubt the bedouins can be involved in the trade without their complicity. The article is willfully or ignorantly omitting this information.
1 posted on 04/27/2014 1:27:39 PM PDT by mgist
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To: mgist

In Egypt’s fields the poppies blow
Between the pyramids, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the calls to Muslim prayers below.

2 posted on 04/27/2014 2:20:49 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy
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To: mgist

Nothing personal—strictly business.

3 posted on 04/27/2014 2:35:16 PM PDT by SgtHooper (This is my tag!)
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4 posted on 04/27/2014 2:37:31 PM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: mgist

Opium would be a low-profit crop if it weren’t illegal.

5 posted on 04/27/2014 4:15:23 PM PDT by heartwood
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