The night before the feast: animalia in Cairo
|A young camel for sale in the souk in Nasr City.|
Impromptu butchers shops have cropped up on major intersections, the fumes from a hundred thousand minibuses curing the slabs of beef, lamb and goats' meat that hang in the open air.
Beside the butchers, shepherds in dirty gellibayas care for the next batch of carcasses – fat-tailed sheep, blank-eyed goats and unperturbed cattle huddle together, tethered by the roadsides in readiness to be sacrificed for tomorrow’s feast. The meat will be distributed evenly between the family, the poor and the freezer.
|Sheep on a Cairo roadside, awaiting a buyer.|
The day before, observant Muslims fast in preparation, parents buy their children party hats and new clothes, and tomorrow?
“Tomorrow, the streets will run with blood,” is the ghoulish refrain in the lead-up to the feast.