When Meabh Quoirin addressed the crowds on the driveway of The Dusun Resort, she mentioned a festival.
MEABH: We know you’ve given up your time especially at a special festival time to be with us here. It means the world to us.
Meabh was referring to the Festival of the Sacrifice [referred to in Spain as the Festival of the Lamb]. Wikipedia’s generic description is as follows:
Affluent Muslims who can afford it sacrifice their best halal domestic animals (usually a cow, but can also be a camel, goat, sheep, or ram depending on the region) as a symbol of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his only son. The sacrificed animals have to meet certain age and quality standards or else the animal is considered an unacceptable sacrifice. In Pakistan alone nearly ten million animals are slaughtered on Eid days costing over US$2.0 billion.
Wikipedia also provides an origin story for this ritual sacrifice, which is observed by numerous faiths, worldwide.
One of the main trials of Ibrahim’s life was to face the command of God to sacrifice his dearest possession, his son. The earliest Islamic traditions identify Isma’il (Ishmael) as the son who was sacrificed. When Ibraham attempted to cut his son’s throat on mount Arafat, he was astonished to see that his son was unharmed and instead, he found an animal which was slaughtered. Ibraham had passed the test by his willingness to carry out God’s command.
What was a little strange about Meabh’s comment was that the festival hadn’t started yet. The first day of the festival was only due to start on the evening of August 10th.
4 thoughts on “Nora Quoirin and the Festival of the Sacrifice”
The above video was recorded on the 10th of August, the eve of Eid al-Adha. Eid al-Adha marks the end of the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. August 10 was also the beginning of a week long school holiday here in Malaysia. The rescuers, being mostly muslims would most likely be preparing to return to their family hometown. Those who had applied for leave probably had to forego that to continue the search for Nora.
It was recorded early in the morning of August 10th, yes. The festival begins in the evening.
There’s no big festival really. We would go back to our hometown to be with our elders, and all our siblings and their families would gather there too. It’s more of a family gathering/reunion, like Thanksgiving Day. People here had already started going back to their hometown on the 9th Aug, to beat the heavy traffic. There is a huge difference between the way Malaysian muslims celebrate Eid Al-Adha and the way it’s celebrated in Mecca in Saudi Arabia. In Malaysia, it’s a family gathering. Meabh must have known that some rescuers had to forgo their family time to search for Nora.
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