Feature: Soaring prices dampen Eid al-Adha joy in war-torn Yemen-Xinhua

Feature: Soaring prices dampen Eid al-Adha joy in war-torn Yemen

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-06-12 21:18:45

by Murad Abdo

ADEN, Yemen, June 12 (Xinhua) -- Eid al-Adha, a joyous occasion for Muslims across the world, has become a bitter reminder of the dire economic conditions plaguing Yemen after more than nine years of unrelenting conflict.

As the festive season approaches, the exorbitant prices of sacrificial livestock have cast a shadow over the celebrations, leaving many Yemenis unable to partake in the traditional rituals.

On the outskirts of the southern port city of Aden, livestock traders have observed a significant decrease in residents' willingness to buy Eid sacrifices this year compared to previous years.

Fatima Mohamed, a mother of five, voiced her despair as she surveyed the livestock market.

"Every year, I look forward to Eid as a time of joy and togetherness," she lamented. "But this year, the prices are simply beyond our reach. How can we celebrate when we can barely afford to put food on the table?"

Across the war-ravaged Arab country, similar stories echo through the streets. Abdul-Aleem Galal, a livestock trader in Aden, shook his head solemnly as he recounted the dwindling demand for sacrificial animals.

"Families that once eagerly awaited this occasion now turn away, their faces etched with disappointment," he said. "The cost of importing livestock from neighboring countries, coupled with the plummeting value of our currency, has made these traditions a luxury few can afford."

Walid Ali, another livestock merchant in Aden, said that the escalating prices have impacted even locally sourced livestock from other neighboring provinces owing to high transportation expenses and increasing fuel costs.

In the local market, the price for a single sheep or goat hovers around 180 U.S. dollars, a cost that remains unattainable for many families grappling with the repercussions of the country's prolonged conflict.

"I scoured the livestock markets with money in hand but ultimately returned home empty-handed, unable to afford the exorbitant prices," Salah Mahmoud, an Aden-based employee, recounted his fruitless quest to procure a sacrificial animal.

Mahmoud, along with thousands of fellow Yemenis, will be forced to resort to purchasing poultry on the morning of Eid, a symbolic gesture to maintain the tradition of sacrifice.

The exorbitant costs of sacrificial animals have become an annual challenge plaguing Yemen, a nation torn asunder by the ravages of war and economic strife. The country's plight has been compounded by the division of its economic system between the warring factions in Aden and Sanaa, further exacerbating the hardships endured by its citizens.

Yemen's descent into turmoil began in late 2014 when the Houthi group seized control of the capital, Sanaa, prompting a Saudi-led military intervention months later. This sparked a civil war that has since escalated into a humanitarian crisis, according to the United Nations.

Millions have been displaced, facing the specter of famine, disease outbreaks, and a severe lack of basic services after years of relentless bombing and economic collapse.