Friday, November 27, 2009

Eid al-Adha - "Festival of Sacrifice"

In Egypt today, and all across the Muslim world, they are beginning a 3-day celebration. Following is a definition of this holiday I found in Wickepedia. On the first morning, each family will sacrifice an animal, usually a goat, sheep or bull, depending on what they can afford. Then the families share the meat with others, especially the poor people who cannot afford their own. One-third of the animal’s meat is consumed by the family, while the other two-thirds are given away to friends and the poor Islamic residents of the community, respectively.

During the weeks before this festival you can see groups of animals everywhere. Large groups of sheep, goats and bulls can be seen in places all along the streets. As a foreigner here, it is sometimes quite a shock. For a week or two prior to the festival, one might have a neighbor that buys one of these animals. You get used to seeing it around. Then all of a sudden, you wake up one morning and the animal is gone. Or worse, you look out your back window and see what is about to happen, or has already happened to the poor thing.

I took all of the pictures above from the internet, as I could not bring myself to take pictures of the actual animals I saw in the streets.

(Definition from Wickepedia)
Eid al-Adha - "Festival of Sacrifice" or "Greater Eid" is a holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. It is also celebrated by the Druze, an esoteric non-Islamic faith, whose origins stem from Shiite Islam.

Eid al-Adha is the latter of two Eid festivals celebrated by Muslims, whose basis comes from the Quran.[1] Like Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha begins with a short prayer followed by a sermon.

Eid al-Adha annually falls on the 10th day of the month of Dhul Hijja of the lunar Islamic calendar. The festivities last for three days or more depending on the country. Eid al-Adha occurs the day after the pilgrims conducting Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia by Muslims worldwide, descend from Mount Arafat. It happens to be approximately 70 days after the end of the month of Ramadan.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Our school vs. the Sudanese school in soccer

Our son Levi in action.

This is all of our students that participated with their coaches.

Last Wednesday evening, a huge group of parents, teachers and children from our school loaded up and headed to a very poor area of Cairo. In this area, called "kilo arbau wa nuss" is located the Sudanese school that my husband works with. Because we have such close connections with this school, our son's school plays them in soccer every year. We had four different games: A 1st-3rd grade team, a 4th-6th grade team, a jr. high/high school girls' team, and a jr. high/high school boys' team. It is something both schools look forward to every year. Even though the kids from these two schools come from very different backgrounds and cultures, the love of football, or soccer, as we call it in America, brings them together.

The Sudanese kids won two games, and our school won two games. So, things worked out for the best. The most wonderful thing about these games though, was the good sportsmanship shown on both sides. In a time where the competition of the World-cup is heating up and tempers are flaring, these kids showed more maturity and self-control than I have seen out of full grown men. I am very proud of the kids from our school. People all over the world could learn a great deal from their examples.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Just a Lazy Day In Egypt

Last Saturday was just a lazy day for us here. We all enjoy those days where we don't even get out of our pajamas and we are able to just lie around the house. It was just a little cool outside so we had our windows shut, but the sun was shining in making the apartment very cozy. I was sitting in our living room working on lesson plans for school, and Levi and Miss Kitty were lying on the sofa. Next thing I know, I look over and both of them are asleep. I grabbed my camera and took some really sweet pictures of the two of them. I especially like the one where Miss Kitty's foot in on Levi's nose, and it didn't seem to phase him a bit.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Not Your Every Day Egyptian Sky

Ninety-five percent of the time, the skies here in Egypt are cloudless and blue. (That is besides the pollution.) But, a couple of nights ago I shot these pictures from my balcony. The clouds were rolling in and the lightening was beautiful. Unfortunately, there was no thunder. It is very rare to see rain clouds and lightening and hear thunder here. One can actually go a year or more without them. Ever since that night, it has been cloudy off and on, the air is getting cooler, and it has even rained pretty hard a time or two. It is nice to finally have a break from the constant heat. The top picture is what the sky usually looks like, then the bottom two are the rain clouds moving in.