Friday, 19 November 2010

How was Eid for you: no blood and mayhem?

When I lived on the Ras Al Hamra block, there was a man at PDO club whose job it was to trap the stray cats. My sister was Enemy no. 1 to poor Pakistani Cat Trapper. Since she was OBVIOUSLY higher up on the way they veiw things around here, she could get away with impeding his livlihood. Every time she saw a cat trap she'd scare the cats away from being fooled by it, and if no one was around, she'd kick his little rickety old trap off the beach cliff.

Where it would smash to bits on the (albeit sandy) beach below.

Often, he would see her do this, and narrow his eyes at her, as if wishing evil things to befall her.

Now I am against cats being shot to death as much as anyone else, and think my little sister cute and brave for taking on the cat trapper, but as weird as Oman is, I know that cat trapper got paid per cat he got, and that was money to feed his likely VERY impoverished family back who knows where. So I was torn between the poor man working for his living, and the abismal cruelty of his job towards animals.

I am Muslim, so I am not at all torn about Eid sacrifices, provided the families do not waste the meat. But I am against shooting them in the legs before they die.
APPARENTLY, in MOP's vilage, the Eid cows stampede sometimes.

Then all the villagers break out their guns (we are talking some PRETTY ancient rifles now, I mean, ones used in Nizwa when Sultan Taimur took over from Imam Ghalib and Bertram Thomas roamed Oman).

So if you ever see a cow stampede in the mountains followed by a bunch of screaming Omani men clutching ancient (not very accurate) rifles and ceremonial silver daggers...

Don't ask.
It means only one thing:
IIIIIIIIiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit's Eid

Anyways, they (the cows) leap over farm after farm, and the Omani families can't catch them, so they shoot at them before sacrificing them.

MOP [seeing my horrified face] clarifies: "Just their legs."

OPNO: "I don't think that's halal [allowed in Islam]."

MOP [typical boy, enjoyed describing the gore]: "You know the iron peg wound into the ground that attached to the rope around the cow's neck? When the cow bolted and made a run for it, it came right out of ground and impaled their leg."
OPNO [was eating shua at that very moment]: "Haraam [sinful]. Poor cow."
MOP [looked confused]: "No, no, habibati. Not the cow. The cow was fine. It got away until they pegged it in the legs." [OPNO glared at him which he took no note of.] "No, A VILLAGER got his leg impaled when the cow stampeded."
OPNO [eyes wide, spoke the following gravely, and drily (dry as unbuttered toast)]: "I'll tell [insert sister's name] not to set the cows free in [insert MOP's village's name]. Seeing as their freedom means a fearful, torturous death, and the possible impalement of Omani villagers."
MOP [laughed at OPNO]: "You're the one who wanted to spend Eid in the village."

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