L3id Kibir (Warning – This post contains graphic pictures of animals being killed)
The Islamic holiday of L3id Kibir is a little combination of Thanksgiving, the 4th of July, and Christmas….
Thanksgiving, because it’s a time of feast and each family has their own sheep (though they actually butcher the sheep here).
4th of July, because they all sit out on the roof and BBQ said sheep.
And Christmas, it’s an exciting time and you can feel the build up to L3id. It’s the biggest holiday there is in Islam. Kids get out of school, parents get work off, it’s a time of celebration and family.
My first L3id started early as it was my job to help get the sheep and wheel the poor guy back to the house. It wasn’t a long trip, but it felt a little like the Green Mile and as we walked back I got the impression that our sheep knew what was coming.
For our L3id we also had to purchase a goat because my host grandmother was coming and she has some health issues that won’t allow here to eat the fatty meat of the lamb.
So the time finally came to sacrifice and we all headed up to the roof to do the job. It was fairly quick and I wouldn’t say there was much suffering, but it was still a bit of a shock for a guy that’s used to buying his meat at King Soopers.
Next came the butchering as Rachid, Brahim, and I went at the sheep and goat. We skinned and gutted them both while the women cleaned the meat and other “edible” parts. When all was done we left the two animals to dry out a bit and took a stroll to the local café to celebrate a job well done.
Following the café we got a chance to BBQ up some tasty kebabs and eat a little sheep and goat sandwiches. Overall, the meat was pretty good but I can’t say the same for the stomach, intestines, brains, and other “edibles”. The rest of the week, families slowly work their way through all the meat that they have and ignore any recommendations for a balanced diet. It’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner! If you’re lucky you might get some fruit after the meat!
Overall, I really enjoyed my first L3id. Everyone is in a really good mood and you have to respect a culture that makes you do sacrifice yourself. Somehow I don’t see it catching on in the US.
CBT (Community Based Training) is now finished and I am writing this post from my new site. I’ll have much more to say about that soon, but wanted to get this post up and hopefully I will tell you all about my site soon. All is well here and I’m loving the fact that I am in the place I will be for the next two years, Inshallah. I’m hoping to get my own house within the next month and that should allow me to have more consistent internet access and a more consistent schedule.
I hope all is well in the states and as always, please let me know what you are up to.
Oh, and I hope you have/had a very happy Thanksgiving!