- The Plate
Soaring Food Prices Make Muslim Holiday Meatless for Many
The holy days of Eid al-Adha include the ritual slaughter and sharing of fresh meat. But many Egyptian families can't afford it this year.
It’s a little after six on a Monday morning, and already the butcher shops of Cairo’s Sayeda Zeinab neighborhood are hives of frenzied activity.
Busy since dawn, when mosques roused the faithful from their beds, teams of sweating young men corral sheep from streetside pens and then dispatch them with a quick slit to the throat. Once drained of their entrails, the carcasses are hastily skinned, hosed down, and hung from jagged hooks to dry.
For the master butchers of Egypt, the days leading up to the celebration of Eid al-Adha are ones in which their entire yearly profit might rest. Preparations have been in full swing for several weeks now. With thousands of beasts to slaughter, old knives have been