كل عام وانتم بالف خير

May you and yours be well all year.

Eid al-Adha
Mshairfeh, Jerash, Jordan

This is the most important holiday on the Islamic calendar, when Muslims honor Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his first-born son (Ismail in Islamic tradition) to honor the one true God. Like Abraham, every Muslim household that is able sacrifices a sheep, goat, camel, cow, water buffalo or whatever it is that is husbanded locally. At least once in their lives, every able Muslim should try to go on Hajj and perform this sacrifice on Mount Arafat in Mecca, where Abraham is thought to have done so in Islamic tradition.

From Thanksgiving Weekend in Mshairfeh

It is also traditional to visit family and neighbors, and exchange the traditional blessing: kul 3am wa antum bikhair (May you be well all year). You usually get sweets, too, and the traditional Arab coffee, unsweetened and sharp with cardamom, served in small, bowl-like cups.

From Thanksgiving Weekend in Mshairfeh

It’s generally very hot, but as the cups are shared, you must not blow your germs on it to cool it, but rather swirl the coffee in the cup. When you’re done, return the cup, and if you don’t want another, shake it as you give it back.

From Thanksgiving Weekend in Mshairfeh

Among others, we went to visit Nasri’s oldest niece, Suha, to see her newborn son, Asil. Hadeel simply adored the little guy, and couldn’t keep her little fingers off his face.

From Tareq Learns to Butcher

When we returned, Nasri was sacrificing one of their goats. Their oldest son Tareq is 17, almost a man himself, and Nasri used the occasion to teach his son how it’s done, as Abraham taught Isaac and Ismail. To see it in detail, check out my web album, captioned with explanations.

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