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  • prequel

    "Top blog/Renato Obeid's World/Today's pick: This rambling weblog is worth reading not so much for its satirical posts but more for its insight into the minutiae of life in Lebanon, including the etiquette of road accidents and how to hire a taxi.” -Jane Perrone, The Guardian

    Monday, October 23, 2006  
    In scenes that bring to mind Borat’s Kazakhstan, little Kurdish looking kids used to sell sheep on the side of the highway in Beirut in the run-up to the Muslim holiday of Eid el Adha (which commemorates Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac for God but ending up sacrificing a ram in his stead after God stops him at the last minute) and is often marked by the ritualistic sacrificing of sheep.
    I remember a service I was in stopping so the driver could haggle for a sheep (the price was about a hundred thousand Lebanese liras as I recall).For some reason or other, the sale didn’t occur which was good because I didn’t want to share the service with a sheep.
    But the driver was still determined to acquire a sheep and told me that it would be a nice treat for his son to pet the sheep for the few days remaining until Eid.
    ‘’Yeah great’’ I thought to myself ‘’he’ll pet it for a few days, get attached to it and then you’ll kill it – I hope you have a good pension plan for your old age because that kids going to hate you for ever!’’.

    A hundred thousand liras for a live (albeit soon-to-be-dead) sheep is quite a bargain when you consider that the going price for a dead goat is a hundred US dollars.
    A Lebanese/Australian friend of mine told me how peasants in her Western Bekka village used to push a live goat into the paths of passing vehicles driven by unsuspecting expats home for the summer and then demand a hundred dollars compensation for the dead goat from the driver.
    I asked her whether such a ruse worked and she replied that it had already cost her three hundred dollars.
    That was in 1991 and I’m no longer in contact with goat girl so I don’t know whether it’s still happening but I suspect that one wouldn’t abandon such a lucrative goat pushing career in a hurry.

    12:30 am

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