alcohol in muslim/ middle eastern countries

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East alcohol in muslim/ middle eastern countries

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11. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3290 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

kcmartin is wrong - the muslims who formerly lived under Soviet rule are a special case. I take personal offence at hir statement

The majority of Muslims apparently eat pork and drink alcohol -- all but the very fundamental religious ones.

because if at all it is only true for the countries and nationalities mentioned:

the former Soviet Republics of Bashkhortostan and Tatarstan which are big Muslim enclaves) we frequented probably 20 Azerbaijan, Uzbekh and Kazakh cafes

and to some extent the former Yugoslavia.

The reason for this is that Soviets undertook big efforts to reduce islam to a cultural heritage. They absolutely discouraged any religious behaviour for over 70 years. They send Russian settlers into the area and transported away pious and educated muslim men (ie the "priests"), slowly intruducing the russian ritual of male bonding over vodka and a slice of bacon.

The above process however did not happen in the ME. A fairly large number of non-fundamental and non-religious muslims in the Arab world do not eat pork for cultural reasons. And while a large number of them drink alcohol, they still refrain from doing so in public. Personally I have met many non-fundamental muslims who refrain from drinking alcohol, just because they are faithful.

To get back to the OP question:

It is forbidden to drink alcohol in Iran. Importing it is illegal too. Don't do it, the punishments are severe and your embassy will not be able to help you if you get caught. You'll need to do without it unless you have some very good friends and are invited to a private party. Same should be true for Pakistan, but I am not sure.

Alcohol is readily available in Turkey, either as beer or in spirit form (Raki). Same for Jordan. And in Egypt almost every hostel serves beer. Hotel bars have stronger stuff, but it is expensive.

Yugoslavia should be the same as in the rest of Europe.

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