For the past couple of weeks I have mostly stuck to the greater Cairo area. It has been nice exploring the city more and more and getting to finely feel comfortable with some of the streets of Cairo. Of course their is something unexpected around every turn, but over all I am definitely starting to feel comfortable in this city. Also with the weather cooling off, it makes the daytime and the nighttime much more enjoyable. Its strange how 70 degrees can feel very cold. With makeup classes happening on Saturdays now due to all the time we lost during the student strike the workload has been a bit more heavy and concentrated. This has definitely cut back on touristy activities and trips that we would be able to do.
However, This coming weekend is a holiday called Eid al-Adha. Al-Adha is is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide to honor the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to God, before God intervened to provide him with a sheep to sacrifice instead. The holiday is celebrated by the
“Sacrifice of peoples best halal domestic animals (usually a cow, but can also be a camel, goat, sheep or ram depending on the region) as a symbol of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his only son. The sacrificed animals, called Uḍhiyyah (Arabic: أضحية, also known by its Persian term, “al-Qurbāni”), have to meet certain age and quality standards or else the animal is considered an unacceptable sacrifice. This tradition accounts for more than 100 million slaughtering of animals in only 2 days of Eid. In Pakistan alone nearly 10 million animals are slaughtered on Eid days costing over US$ 3 billion.”
Also during this time many Muslims start their long pilgrimage to Mecca. As we don’t plan to do any animal slaughtering it will definitely be interesting to experiance the festival and witness the sacrificing. During the time off though, I am going to take a trip to Luxor Egypt which is about an eight hour train ride directly south down the Nile. We plan to visit the Valley of The Kings and the many other monuments that are their. While down there, if there is time, we will also go to Aswan and Abu Simbal, which is a UNESCO world heritage cite. I will post when I get back and hopefully have many pictures to put up!
Below are web cites where I got some of the information concerning Eid. If you are interested check them out or do some googling.