Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Unpleasant, But Necessary

Last week was Korbani Eid, hence the nauseating, but obligatory blog entry.

Korbani Eid celebrates the Old Testament story of Abraham's command from God to sacrifice his son on a mountain top, but at the last moment receiving a reprieve from God and sacrificing a lamb instead. Except in the Islamic version of the tale it is Ishmael, not Isaac, is the offering. Consequently, each year around this time-precisely ten days after the sighting of the moon-each family will slaughter some type of livestock, with the more affluent showing off by buying cows and the poorer purchasing goats. The odd other species pokes up occasionally. My passing a camel in Gulshan Two the day before Eid warranted a second look; I briefly considered tapping on the door to the house and inquiring what time they planned on slaughtering their hairy beast, but decided it was too morbid.

If I thought that was morbid, I wasn't prepared for the actual Eid day. Eid dawned bright and sunny with an obvious festive feeling pervading the air. It could have been Halloween, with children in mismatched clothes and decrepit beggars running from house to house to gape at the slaughtering and beg for a dripping chunk of meat for their "goody bags."

Within seconds of stepping out of my apartment building I was assualted by the smell of fresh meat wafting gently down the streets of DOHS Baridhara. However, I bravely continued down the main road.

A glance to the left revealed a a couple of massacred cows being hacked to bits by some ambitious shirtless men.

I swallowed and continued on.

A peek to my right revealed a similar scene, but this poor beast had a small crowd watching the fun, rather like an audience at a movie theater enrapt in a new thriller.

By the time I made it to Gulshan Two, my breakfast was threatening to my a re-entrance. Resolutely I stared ahead, only two see two gleeful men on a motor bike zip past, one proudly wielding a curved knife with a rusty red blade.

Then my tears came.

Eid Mubarak!


  1. I would change your title to "unpleasant and UN-necessary."

    Oh, that they would come to know the Lamb of God, who took away the sins of the world!

    Where do they get that it was Ishmael? Which Bible are they reading?

  2. The problem is they're reading the Koran, not the Bible (that is, the small minority that can read Arabic do).