I know I lived in the middle east during the target years, but I am pretty sure I had nothing to do with the increase in alcohol consumption. Never mind that I was in Beirut every three weeks, or that I smuggled in so much booze that my friends started calling me Han Solo…
ISLAM: SURVEY, ALCOHOL USE IN MIDEAST-AFRICA +25% IN 5 YEARS
(ANSAmed) – PARIS, FEBRUARY 23 – Statistics provided by research group Euromonitor International reported a constant increase in the use of alcohol in several countries where the Muslim religion, which prohibits the use of any product capable of affecting behaviour (drugs included), is dominant. Quoting the survey, Le Monde reported that between 2005 and 2010 the average consumption by the French dropped from 104.2 litres of alcohol per year to 96.7, while in the same period in the Middle East and Africa area it increased by 25%, from 11.7 billion litres to 15.2 billion. Tasting a beer while ‘twitting’ with Tunisian and Egyptian protesters ”is a characteristic of the globalised youth, educated, with desire for individual freedoms”, according to the director of research, Marlous Kuiper, who added that in countries such as Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, the consumption rate is directly linked to tourist flows.
During the 5-year survey period the Turks increased from 18.3 to 20.5 litres per person, UAE citizens from 30.4 to 36.8 litres. In Algeria, where alcohol is not prohibited except during Ramadan (6.8 litres per year per person in 2010), consumption increase by 7% in terms of value and 3% in volume. Even in Tunisia, where despite the lack of prohibition the purchase of wine or whisky is viewed as socially inappropriate behaviour, between 2004 and 2009 money spent on alcohol increased from 27.8 to 44.8 million dinars, or from 18 to 31 million euros.
In Saudi Arabia and in Iran, where the prohibition is official and severe, people drink alcohol free beer. In Iran figures increased by 40% per year, from 61.9 million litres in 2005 to 338.7 million in 2010. In the kingdom the demand for non alcoholic beer increased from 67.6 to 113.3 million litres per year. it is impossible to assess the consumption of smuggled and illegally imported alcohol. (ANSAmed).