Thursday, 20 December 2007
"buddies" and insight
I have received a lovely Award from Wake Up and Smell the Coffee. I love the avatar for the award. I pass this on to some of my buddies: jmb, Sicily Scene, ian, sir james, kaycle, and Dulwichmum. I think that’s all I’m allowed, the rest of you know who you are!
The following article is from October 2007. It reflects the poor crops that I noted in an earlier post, along with other uncertainties. I can tell you that the celebration is taking place in full form. This may give you some further insight into the culture I think.
Eid al-Adha uncertain in Morocco
Faced with his country's agricultural and economic troubles, King Mohammed VI may decide to cancel this year's celebration of Eid al-Adha.
By Imane Belhaj for Magharebia in Casablanca – 10/12/07
Sacrificial animals are expensive, and their quality is poorer than previous years due to poor grazing conditions.
Moroccans are discussing the possibility that Eid al-Adha may be called off this year due to a poor harvest and the relative lateness of recorded rainfall. King Mohammed VI, as Commander of the Faithful, possesses the ability to suspend the observation of the holiday if there is sufficient cause.
A representative of the High Scientific Council said the king may cancel Eid for reasons such as drought, insufficient livestock to meet demand, or excessive economic hardship. The previous king, Hassan II, called off the animal sacrificing in 1981 and 1996 because of severe drought.
Opinions vary widely on the issue; housewife Zaynab Belhaj told Magharbeia that Eid al-Adha "is an establishment where the intention is, by slaughtering the sacrificial animal, to get closer to God, and it is an occasion which certain poorer families can enjoy after having sold what is costly and precious in order to acquire an Eid sacrifice animal once a year. Therefore, I think that this occasion is a sacred one which families must hold on to at whatever price."
Secretary Thaouria Zaydouh shared her opinion. She said Eid and its rituals are indispensable to her and to her children, "because we have the best times as a family gathered together".
Zahra, a civil servant, said the occasion "constitutes a financial burden, given the increase in cost of animals for sacrifice, which can sometimes go as high as 3,000 dirhams. These costs weigh heavily on families, particularly those that are poor and can only get by through borrowing in order to buy a sacrifice." She added: "I am sure that this year will see another rise in the price of sheep, and speculators will have a great opportunity to squeeze the citizens."
Young newlywed Ibrahim told Magharebia: "It doesn't matter whether Eid is called off or not. I'm going with my wife to Agadir for a few days, and we’ll think about sacrificial animals next year, God willing."
Credit companies are mindful of the potential cancellation of the holiday and have avoided their usual publicity campaigns concerning special loans for the occasion.
The Ministry of Agriculture announced that the supply of Eid animals this year is enough to meet demand, with almost 4.9 million heads of livestock.
The ministry statement pointed out, however, that although the supply of sheep and goats will be able to cover the demand, the quality of the animals on offer will be somewhat lower than last year, given the shortage of feed due to a poor growing season marked by drought and price increases.
Regarding prices, the agriculture ministry explained that they will be determined according to supply and demand, and would vary according to quality, breed, age and region.
The ministry said Eid sacrifices would have positive economic and social repercussions, particularly in farming communities. Sales are expected to reach 7 billion dirhams, a large share of which would go to rural areas, contributing to the income of breadwinners and stimulating the local economies.
**This content was commissioned for Magharebia.com.