In December of 2008 Brian Hartenstein and family left America for an adventurous life overseas to live and work throughout Asia, raising three daughters with a sense of wonder and awe at the possibility of the world. It is now 2016 and the adventure continues back home in Oregon. This blog remains as a time capsule to that period. Thank you so much to all our friends around the world. Please stay in touch. We miss you all!
Saturday, July 6, 2013
Cutting Off the Head of a Goat
The men arrive early in the predawn light, driving out in the desert in trucks and jeeps and pulling the goat by ropes. They are dressed in white robes and sandals, firing their rifles and AK-47s in the air. Brandishing knives. Cheering. Chanting. Dust covers their feet. There are no women to be seen.
A cloth is laid in the sand and the goat is held by boys. A man with a knife begins to tear at the animals throat, slicing from ear to ear while the beast cries and bleats in shrieks and the men raise their arms and scream in wild delight.
The decapitated goat is left to bleed out into the sand.
From here the men shore the skin, break off the legs, and slice the portions of meat, pausing only to lay red carpets on the loose ground, kneel and face the east, and lay prostrate to chant and pray.
All the while, even the bones are cooked.
It was a long day driving in the desert to bleed and taste this goat, watching the Saudis cry and wail and scream for the coming of the EID. Then we drove back in silence.