Our secretary's gone to Mecca and there's a sheep in my neighbour's yard

by Jane November. 06, 2011 1767 views

It's Eid Al Adha - the second Eid after Ramadan and the one where everyone slaughters a goat or cow if they can afford it.

Fortunately, most people don't kill their animals in the street in these parts anymore, the problem was leaving all the entrails, blood etc. and not thinking to clean up - an amazing attitude.

I was a bit surprised to see a sheep just down below my flat in my neighbour's yard this morning. It's a 2000 dhs fine if caught, so they were discreet about the killing and they did clean up pretty well, thankfully. I definitely did not want to be seen taking the slaughter pics - I was sitting on my kitchen bench leaning out the window above.
I considered asking for photographic permission, but given the illegal nature, the cultural & language difficulties and the attempt I'd have to make to reassure I wasn't about to report them, made it all just a bit too hard.

I read the cost for having your animal slaughtered in the paper the other day - a pittance. About the equivalent of $10 for a goat - & cut into 4 pieces; $15 for a sheep - also cut into 4 pieces; $20 for a cow - cut into 8 pieces. People are supposed to take their animal to these official slaughterers, and as in true form, the newspaper doesn't actually say where the butcher might be. I guess the journalists assume everyone knows.

My guess would be the fish/meat section of the souq, and there was a huge traffic problem driving past the Al Ain downtown souq today, but I didn't see any animals, although I was behind a toyota truck with a lot of manure on the rim of the tray.

Oh, and it's great our secretary has the opportunity to go to Mecca.

There's a lot of other stuff in the yard too!

Oh, a sheep, I said out aloud to myself, the tomato plants, and the TV.

Or is it a goat?

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Jane 9 years, 9 months ago

Thank you so much for sharing all these thoughts. My thinking is that the killing, slaughtering, sacrificing, etc (which word to choose?) is no different from any other celebration - of thanks for life, I guess - think American Thanksgiving, Christmas festivities - 'oh God' & even the traditional Sunday Roast!
And, I grew up with cows.

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Mawey 9 years, 9 months ago

you are a fantastic writer. thanks a lot for sharing this little gem of insight into a total different world; it was shocking and amazing the same time. for me, this whole killing an animal to offer to the gods (or THE god or whatever godzilla theses days) is something so completely outdated, so amazingly historical that i need to be reminded every day that i am a cultural chauvinist to think like this, since 90% of the world still does these slaughters, jews and muslims and i think hindus and absolutely least but not last christians. and to pout about them is the most stupid reaction i could have.

so, thanks for this. the normalty of it. the neighbourhoodliness. the matter-of-factliness of your report. your emotions to all this... somewhere packed behind your expressions, bolstered into the cotton of this every day madness we call reality.

i must write more about ma'wey's brutal, bloody, insane world of rituals and irrationalism. but right now, he is resting, after his belowed me'wal has been married away. let's give him a day or two to recover. :-)

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
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