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Rising sheep prices leave merchants, worshippers in bind

Citizens complain of steep JD180 price tag ahead of holiday

Sheep are corralled into a pin ahead of Eid Al-Adha in this undated photo. This year, people have expressed anger at the rising price of sheep with some saying they may not be able to take part in sac
Sheep are corralled into a pin ahead of Eid Al-Adha in this undated photo. This year, people have expressed anger at the rising price of sheep with some saying they may not be able to take part in sacrifices. (Photos: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Several citizens recently spoke to Jordan News and were concerned about an increase in the price of sheep used for sacrifices this year ahead of Eid Al-Adha.اضافة اعلان

During the celebration, it is traditional for Muslims to slaughter a sheep or goat to reflect and honor Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail for God.

Citizens who spoke to Jordan News said that this year, especially during the difficult economic situation, they have found that the price of sheep is higher than usual. Many said that the government and merchants should find real solutions to lower the price of sheep.

Sulaiman Awamleh, a 40-year-old citizen, told Jordan News that "animal sacrificing is a ritual that I cannot skip. I highly believe in the importance of animal sacrifice even, if the prices are higher than usual and even if I do not have the money to do so."

"It is a priority for me and for my family,” Awamleh said. “If we were to choose between sacrificing an animal for eid or buying new clothes, we would choose sacrificing no doubt."

"I do agree that prices are higher this year; and that our commitments are bigger, although we do not have much money but at the same time we cannot do anything," he said. "We always demand that the government sympathize with us and monitor the prices, but it does not. Personally, I have decided to sacrifice no matter what — I have no other choice."

However, despite the sacrifice being an important tradition in Islam. Other citizens said that they simply cannot afford to take part his year. Tala Ahmad, a 38 year-old mother, told Jordan News that "I am not willing to sacrifice this year. God knows that I wanted to, but I cannot afford to do so."

"Sacrificing would cost me at least JD180, and under such hard circumstances JD180 is a significant number,” she said. "We have many commitments: rent, electricity, and water bills, and of course our needs for eid. It is such a hard period for us that I pray it passes easily."

Ahmad added that "if it was less than JD180, I would have surely sacrificed, but I can confirm to you that sacrificing is now (only) for rich people who can afford to pay JD180 at one time."

In 2018, a report found that just JD468.24 was the average monthly income in the Kingdom. In addition, a UNICEF report from last summer found that the number of families subsiding on JD100 or less per month doubled during the pandemic.

A sheep merchant told Jordan News that prices have actually increased this year. Yahya Abdallat, a merchant, told Jordan News that "I cannot deny that sheep sacrificing prices are a little bit higher this year."

Abdallat explained that "this increase in prices is due to significant increase in fodder prices." Fodder is used to feed livestock and usually consists of hay or straw.

"There is also another reason behind the increase, which is the monopolization of sheep by some big merchants," he said. "These merchants control the prices of sheep and we cannot do anything in this regard."

"Until now, there is a low demand for sacrificing. Usually people prefer to sacrifice in the last day of eid to push merchants to decrease the prices," he said.

"I cannot blame people for doing this; merchants and citizens both suffer a lot and I can feel their struggles and sufferings. I pray that upcoming days are better for everyone."

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