Libya: Eid Al – Adha 2008

With the recent spate of inertia that hit the Libyan blogosphere a few months ago (and continues to do so) and which a reader on Highlander’s blog calls LDS (for Libyan Disappearing Syndrome ). I did not think that there would be much blogging this Eid. But glancing through Khalid’sAll Libyan blogs’ aggregator I was heartened to notice a few posts cropping up here and there to break the dry spell.

Today’s post is therefore very much a spur of the moment thing. It has no plan nor structure but I like to think that those are usually the best, don’t you?

We are in the first day of Eid, and on a day like this my household is usually very busy with cooking and barbecuing and whatever else Libyan families usually do over the big Eid. Usually I also dread the preparations that precede it and the whole process until the house is clean and tidy because it involves a lot of hard work and diplomacy in negotiating around the various personalities involved. Yet at the same time I love the fact that we are all together, children, aunts and uncles, siblings, grandparents and parents and the house is resonating with laughter and fights.

However, this year, unlike any other year, the happiness is subdued which I feel is reflected in the very brief posts published by most of the Libyan bloggers. For example:

Mr Madi,
and even uncharacteristically Highlander all barely manage a classical greeting and/or card.

A few elements have I believe contributed to this general feeling of melancholy floating around. The first is the global economic crunch.

Even though Libya has no credit card economy or mortgage problem to speak of, I think a copycat syndrome is at play here and market prices on commodities have risen astronomically.
The second factor is the high level of influenza activity this winter season. In my opinion this year’s strain is lethal with many cases in hospital. Why am I so sure? It’s because our entire household ( like most Libyan families) is bedridden and this has never happened before, usually it is the most immuno-compromised only that fall ill but this time all did and we have a self imposed quarantine at home.
Thirdly there’s an ongoing mini epidemic of ‘blue tongue’ disease in domestic cattle/sheep which has driven the price of sheep beyond the reach of ordinary Libyans at least in this side of the country. Basically many of us could not afford to buy a sheep this year. AngloLibyan speaks for many when he says :

“Speaking to my family back in Libya last night, they told me that they along with many people this year decided not to get a sheep because of two reasons, the news of the blue tongue disease that is apparently affecting many sheep in Libya at the moment and the other reason is because of the greed of people selling the sheep who have increased their prices much higher than usual,[ref]”

On the other hand Khalid Jorni as usual has a unique approach and he reminds us what this Eid is about also in his post ‘Hajj’.

“I’ve been following the day of Arafah on television today. The pictures are so beyond description, they just grab you by the front of your shirt and say: “hey inattentive!, are you ever coming? Here everyone has come, the Asian, the Caucasian, the Arab, the African… What is taking you so long? Making and saving money? Is that what you worship now?”

Between wondering about the price of meat and the human and animal diseases we almost forgot the annual pilgrimage to Mecca…

Despite the slightly passive attitude, I find that the Libyan voices are still there, warm and affectionate in the various comment sections, where they are all still interacting, in addition to wishing each other Eid Mubarak (a happy Eid).

So here I am joining my voice in wishing everyone a Happy Eid Adha inshallah and to get well soon too and here is hoping that the ice that’s been gripping the blogs melts a bit and we hear from everyone more often. The world is after all listening to ALL the voices!

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