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Friday, December 29, 2006
Eid memories
I was in Egypt one summer during Eid al-Adha. I must have been eight or nine at the time. I had overheard that the sheep that we had just bought was going to be slaughtered. I begged and pleaded to be allowed to see the slaughter, but my grandmother refused. I moped for a while, hoping that she'd feel sorry for me and let me go but it didn't work.

So I went to my grandfather who suggested that this was something that I would probably not want to see, but he left the final decision up to me. And of course I decided that it was something I HAD to do.

Grandfather obliged and two days later I found myself downstairs in the make-shift backyard with some of the other neighborhood kids. The butcher came with his knives and started sharpening them in front of us. The sheep was dragged by its hind legs, held by two men and my eyes were not prepared for what they were about to see.

With one swift swing, the butcher cut the sheep's throat. Blood started spurting. Another swift swing took off its entire head, blood gurgling upwards. I can't really remember what happened afterwards. Between hiding my face in my hands and the fainting soon afterwards, everything just seemed a blur. One of the things I DO remember is the butcher blowing hard into the sheep's neck and I'm 100% convinced that I saw its body blow up like a balloon.

My grandmother was so angry at my grandfather for exposing me to this. Poor man didn't hear the end of it for weeks.



Thoughts shared by Carmen at 9:43 PM
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Who: Carmen

xx-something egyptia-yorker who's spent over half her life stuck in two worlds not of her own making. unable and unwilling to fully embrace one identity over the other, she created (is trying to create) her own place in the world where people love each other unconditionally, irrespective of artificial boundaries, and where dancing merengue is as necessary to life as breathing air.

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