عيد مبرك سعيد Eid Mobarak Said!

November 18th, 2010

So yesterday was the Eid el-Kabeer.  It is the the biggest holiday in the Muslim calender.  It is in honor of Abraham, who is considered to be the first Muslim.  Abraham was asked by God to sacrifice his son Ishmael (in Jewish and Christians traditions it is Isaac), but as Abraham was about to sacrifice his son, God sent a sheep to be sacrificed instead.  So, on the Eid, all Muslim families, if they can afford it, are supposed to slaughter a sheep.  My family slaughtered two.  Yes, that’s right, I witnessed the slaughtering of two sheep.  And I took pictures.  I don’t think I’ll post a whole lot because they are a little shocking.  When a sheep’s throat is cut, there is a lot of blood.  I think it’s a little bit comforting to know that before the sheep is killed you have to say a prayer thanking God for this wonderful gift.  That’s part of what makes meat halal, the prayer before the animal is killed.  For those of you who don’t know, halal meat is basically the equivalent of kosher meat.   A Muslim is supposed to eat only meat that is prepared according to certain guidelines, it has to be killed by having it’s throat cut with a very sharp knife, which is considered to be the most humane way to kill an animal, you must say a blessing before you kill it, and all the blood has to be drained out afterwords.

Interestingly, not only do they eat the meat, but also many of the organs.  In fact, the day of Eid you eat the organs for lunch and dinner.  That’s right, I helped my mother make heart, liver, and fat kabobs, which we then ate on sandwiches.  For the record, I tried my hardest to eat my whole sandwich, but I just couldn’t do it.  Even with copious amounts of chili power, cumin, salt, and pepper it was still rough going down.  When my host sister said “You don’t have to eat the whole thing if you don’t want to,” I was like, “l-Humdullah!!” (Thank God!).  Then I ate about three oranges to get the taste out of my mouth.  It wasn’t that it’s really nasty and gross.  The smell is actually pretty decent and the texture is surprisingly firm, and in no way slimy or gross, but there was something about it that I just didn’t like.  I find that with all red meats, and organs from red meat animals there is something about it that I just don’t like.  It has definitely reaffirmed my devotion to vegetarianism when I return to the states.  However, if I had to rank them, I would rank sheep meat over beef.

Actually, Eid reminded me a lot of Thanksgiving (which is next week!!).  My entire host family got together, including the brothers that don’t live at home.  One brother is married and has a beautiful little girl, I was really happy to see them.  Another similarity is that my mother is busy cooking all day, which is the same at my house for Thanksgiving.  In fact, she has been busy cooking all day today too, so it’s even more similar.  At my house we start cooking the day before Thanksgiving to make everything we want to have at dinner.  I was very happy with how the day went.  I slept like a baby too.  I didn’t really do anything all day, but I was still exhausted.  I think it was a crash from the huge adrenaline rush I got during the sheep slaughtering.  It was quite shocking at first, and my heart rate was WAY up for a long time that day, especially because there were still buckets of organs sitting around, and the sheep carcasses hanging from the ceiling.  But, I’ve made my peace with it all, which I’m proud of.  If people want to eat hamburgers and chicken fingers this is what has to happen.  Anyway, I have the rest of the week off from school!!  I think I will use this time to study, write term papers, and go on adventures with my friends.  Hopefully, I’ll get to go to the exotic gardens in Salé, or maybe the Chellah (Roman ruins in Rabat).  Maybe I’ll just go ice skating with my host sister.  Who knows?  I’ve got several days to plan all this out. 🙂

2 Responses to “عيد مبرك سعيد Eid Mobarak Said!”

  1. Lauraon 18 Nov 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Quite the adventure. I’m proud of you
    <3

  2. Grasshopperon 24 Nov 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Your blog about EID was extremely entertaining. I am glad that you have an adventurous nature. Thru Eid Al – Kabeer, you have come across a religious festival that not too many people around the world either know of or about, and are completely oblivious to its familial attributes, just like a Big Sumptuous Thanksgiving feast.

    I hope that your Hosts have been great to you. You are an ambassador to all those students and people that harbor negative ideas due to complete ignorance. So share your experience and knowledge as much as you can, and with as many folks as you can come across. Way to go!

    I am very proud of WOOSTER, not only because I am an Alum, but due to its ability to change lives in such an emphatic way!

    A Proud Scot!!! – 2005.

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