From Sheep To 2nd Breakfast by 10:30am

al-Mshairfeh, Jerash, Jordan

This is the day, Eid al-Adha, that Muslims believe the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham in English) was supposed to sacrifice his son Ishmael (in Judeo-Christian tradition, it’s the other son, Isaac) in Mecca (not Mt. Moriah, as it is in the Old Testament), when an angel intervened and told him to sacrifice a ram instead. In honor of Abraham’s extraordinary willingness to obey his Lord, Muslims go on Hajj to Mecca at this time to sacrifice a sheep there, or try to sacrifice one at home as they can afford to. Megan was so fascinated by the stories and pictures of Auntie Viv’s Eid al-Adha in the village that she went with me to see for herself. That’s her on the right with the big cheerleader smile! So we got up early with Dar Radhi for a fabulous breakfast that included homemade olive oil, home-cured olives, and homemade apple and fig jams, and went out to see the slaughter.
Dar Mohammad and Dar Radhi both sacrificed a sheep apiece. There was great enthusiasm about watching every step of the way. I remember that when Auntie Viv was in the village, everyone was trying to keep the littlest kids, Ziad and Saddeen, away from the sacrifice so they didn’t see the sheep die, but not this time. This year, everyone watched every minute of it, except for Megan and I, who got a real ribbing from the Jordanians for not being able to take it.


All of this was watched by Grandpa Abu Saleh with great sanguinity.
Later, when one of his sons asked him why he wasn’t helping with the sacrifice, Abu Saleh turned to me and said, “Why should I have to help? I did this for years for these guys! I paid my dues, now it’s time for them to do it! Why shouldn’t I sit and watch?”

Auntie Viv was much missed in the village this Eid al-Adha, because when she was visiting, we chopped meat with Umm Anis and the other women, but this year Megan just took pictures, and I kept her company, while everyone worked to chop up the sheep…

From Megan and Maryah do Eid al-Adha in Mshairfeh

…deliver bags of meat to all the houses in the neighborhood, and then fry some up for our second breakfast!

From Megan and Maryah do Eid al-Adha in Mshairfeh

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