Eid al-Adha in the Village of Al-Graen

Today is Eid al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice, in the Islamic calendar. It commemorates Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son. So, as a reminder of that, it is traditional to sacrifice a sheep on Eid. According to the Sunna, or tradition of the Prophet, it is also tradition to visit family.

The previous evening, I learned that steel wool lit on fire can double as fireworks if you swing it around.


I spent the night in the unrecognized village of Al-Graen, with the family of Ali Abu Sheita. In the morning Ahmed, Ali’s brother, slaughtered two sheep: one for his family and one for Ali’s.


“They must be sharp!”



“In the name of God the Beneficent, the Merciful”




Skinned and washed, now Ali and his sons remove the guts, take a massive machete and turn it into cookable portions.




A handprint on the door is supposed to protect the home.

And finally:


~ by Josh on December 8, 2008.

4 Responses to “Eid al-Adha in the Village of Al-Graen”

  1. Eid Mubarak to you and your family and the families in your post 🙂 Interesting that they use a handprint of blood on the door as protection. I wonder if this is a remnant of the story of Moses (Musa) in which he warned the Hebrews to smear blood on the front of their homes so as to ward off the angel of death when he came in fulfillment of God’s punishment to Pharoah, one of the plagues that finally convinced Pharoah to set them free.

    Ya Haqq!

  2. كل سنة و انت طيب…
    the sacrifices are always much fun. here in cairo practically every corner was covered in blood and animal heads, and little kids were running around with handprints all over everything. good pictures!

  3. […] al-Rafaya (former president of the council), Ali Abu Sheheita (at whose home I taught English), and Atia al-Athameen (from the village of Khashm […]

  4. […] back on the past two years, the last Eids have seen me in the unrecognized Bedouin village of al-Graen, where I slaughtered sheep with the family of Ali Abu Sheheta, and in Yemen, where Rach and I spent […]

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