This blog's main topics are the political situation in Tunisia and all the activities surrounding the election of the Constituent Assembly that was held on October 23rd 2011. You will also find interviews and discussions that I conducted with politicians and bloggers from the Revolution. All this from a Canadian perspective in Tunis.
lundi 7 novembre 2011
Tunisia celebrates Eid al-Adha for the first time without Ben Ali
The last moments of these two sheep...
Sunday and Monday are holidays as Tunisia celebrates
Islam’s most important religious holiday of the year: Eid al-Adha. For two days,
city streets will be deserted and most if not all restaurants and businesses
will be closed.
For those not familiar with the ritual, this
celebration commemorates the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his
son Isma'il as
an act of obedience to God, before God intervened to provide him with a sheep
to sacrifice instead. For this reason many Muslims celebrate by slaughtering a sheep and
feasting on it with their families.
This celebration is held during Hajj, an annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Depending on the
country, the manner of celebrating Eid al-Adha can have variations: the sacrificed animal may be a sheep, a lamb,
a cow or a goat. In Tunisia, most people chose a sheep and purchase it a few
days or weeks before the holiday. Sheep are frequently seen and heard all
around the cities in the week preceding Eid al-Adha.
if the number of slaughtered sheep has increased since last year (900,000 vs
830,000 in 2010), businesses are slow in many parts of the country due to
recent floods.Bad weather has also
affected the price of cattle. A young man visiting his family for the holidays discussed prices, “the
average cost is between 250 and 400 dinars. After shopping around a bit, I
found a merchant that sold me two good sheep 265 dinars each”.
The two sheep a couple of hours later
The Arab world
Not surprisingly,Eid al-Adha 2011 has a special
connotation for Tunisia, Egypt and Libya who celebrate it for the first time
since the fall of the regimes that ruled their countries. This isn’t the case though
for other Arab countries still in the throes of a revolution.
The ABS-CNS news website summarised the situation in an article depicting the violent confrontations that occured in many countries such
as Syria and Yemen. In Syria, instead of going to pray at a mosque, many people protested
in the streets demanding the departure of president Bachar al-Assad. Pro-democratic
militants reported that ten protestors had been killed. In Yemen,
manifestations began after morning prayers in approximately 30 cities.
Finally, a slip-up (article in French) on Saturday by the Tunisian
television chain El Wataniya.
As they were airing archival shows related toEid al-Adha celebrations, the program ran images of a
singer paying tribute to former dictator Ben Ali! The
station quickly issued an apologetic statement and promised to sanction whoever
was responsible for this gaffe.