Monday, November 7, 2011

Bad Day to be a Goat

Eid al-Adha

Warning: if you are sensitive about animals, this may not be to your taste.

Mark likes goats. We even had a goat for about a week when we lived in Crockett, CA. Her name was Bonnie and she ate our weeds, and everything else. But Bonnie didn't get along with Snickers and she missed her buddy Clyde so we gave her back. Eventually, I'm sure, Bonnie was sold to someone from Mexico and we all know what happened after that. And we had sheep on The Nature Conservancy's River Fork Ranch in Genoa. When I asked our rancher JB who he sold the sheep to he said that Muslims liked them.

What are all these wheelbarrows doing
in downtown Abu Dhabi?
The goat parade.

Today is the second Muslim Eid  (pronounced "eed") holiday or festival. The first one, Eid al-Fitr, marks the end of Ramadan, and today Eid al-Adha celebrates Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his only son. I remember reading this Old Testament story in my Catholic Children's Bible.

Everyone dresses in their finest clothing, the women with lots of sparkles on their abayas, fancy high-heeled shoes peeking out the bottom, and lots of jewelry and makeup. They were all over the malls yesterday; I saw a young girl at the LuLu Hypermarket in a long gown decorated with rhinestones that made my USMC birthday gown look like a peasant dress.

They gather in an open field or a mosque for prayer. Yesterday evening at dusk we drove near the palaces of the Sheikh and Crown Prince, and we saw many cars parked where people presumably were gathered in parks so that they could pray at sundown, when the holiday began. It ends at sundown tonight. Unfortunately for me photography is prohibited in that area, as it is in a great many places here.

This Ein holiday is also one of gift giving and feasting, and families who can afford to do so sacrifice an animal, usually a goat or sheep, to commemorate Abraham's sacrifice of an animal in place of his son. The meat is then shared with other family members and the poor.

So Mark and I were looking for the carpet souks this morning, which are not too far from the Abu Dhabi slaughterhouse. There is a sign nearby warning that it is not permitted to slaughter animals outside the slaughterhouse.We noticed a couple men driving empty wheelbarrows. "What the -- ??" I thought. Then I started seeing more men, then the goats. Ah! I remembered . . . they're getting their animals for the feast! It was just too good a photo opportunity to pass up.

By the time we were leaving a lot of people were arriving to buy their goats and sheep. Cars began to slow and block traffic. And the honking began ...

So enjoy the following photos, if you are OK with them.

Not everyone was lucky enough to own a wheelbarrow.

These guys were unloading goats and sheep out of their pickup.

He noticed me taking photos of him; I could sense his pride
as he skillfully flipped and displayed the animal.
Enjoying the ride.

1 comment:

Judy & and Torben Bentsen said...

Just wish I could grow a goatee........are you having fun yet? We are in Portabelo with pooring rain wondering if we have fun.