by Sarah al-Mutairi
Eid Al-Adha fell upon my birthday this year. Every year, my family wakes up extra early and heads to the mosque for Fajr (dawn) prayer. We drive down to my grandmother’s home in Jahra, Kuwait. Always dressed in our best for Eid day, like a scavenger hunt for greetings, we make our way around the neighborhood and wish our extended families a happy Eid. Lunch is in the courtyard, held by a rope against the diwaniya (a space where men normally gather, typically in bedouin households door.
I felt a lot of controversy about our traditions coming from the west and even from Muslims who are against the sacrifice of such. We ensure that the animal is an adult, in good health, and the tools that are used have been sharpened – for animals are slaughtered every day, and some may not have the luxury of quick, clean death. The meat is then distributed into three ways, one third for relatives/friends/neighbors, a third for the household, and a third for the needy—regardless of their faith.
These photos are special to me because they were shot mainly outside of my grandmother's house, and my father had originally asked for me to shoot them through a window inside—not wanting his daughter to casually be on the street in this part of Kuwait. After failing to achieve a proper shot, I urged for his permission to join them outside. This made me very, very happy. It was a big step for us.
This work appears in Khabar Keslan Issue 0. MEDIUM.