Feature: Afghanistan preparing to celebrate Eid al-Adha amid economic hardship-Xinhua

Feature: Afghanistan preparing to celebrate Eid al-Adha amid economic hardship

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-06-16 09:06:30

KABUL, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Like their fellow Muslims around the globe, the people of Afghanistan are preparing to celebrate Eid al-Adha by sacrificing animals and distributing meat to needy families in the upcoming week.

Eid al-Adha, the annual religious festival in the country, will to fall on June 17, authorities announced on Saturday night.

However, the high rate of unemployment and poverty has drastically reduced the purchasing power of Afghan people, hindering their ability to shop as they desire for the festival.

"I am wandering in the bazaar but could not buy a sheep because of the high price. With the prices going up, no one can buy," said Rahmatullah, a resident of Afghanistan's capital Kabul.

At the animal market on the western edge of Kabul, Rahmatullah, 28, sought to buy a sheep to sacrifice on the first day of Eid al-Adha. "In the past, we bought a sheep at 16,000 or 17,000 afghanis (about 229 to 243 U.S. dollars) but this year it is 19,000 to 20,000 afghanis," he muttered.

"The economic situation of Afghanistan is worse. I would otherwise have already bought a sheep," said Rahmatullah, the breadwinner of a nine-member family.

"The people are facing worse economic hardship because of unemployment and the impoverished economy of Afghanistan," Rahmatullah complained.

Livestock seller Khan Mohammad also expressed dissatisfaction over the low demand and his meager income, as the number of customers had not met his expectations.

Mohammad bought 22 cows from the villages to sell in Kabul ahead of Eid al-Adha, but the cattle market, according to him, is a flop.

"I paid 70,000 afghanis for each cow, but buyers demand to pay only 60,000 to 65,000 afghanis. I am at a loss," Mohammad, 35, told Xinhua.

Lamenting on the poverty and economic hardship, the livestock supplier said he had sold only five cows over the past week, whereas last year ahead of the festival, he sold 10 to 12 cows every day.

Afghans, according to aid agencies' reports, are facing acute food insecurity and urgently need humanitarian assistance. One-fourth of the people in Afghanistan go to sleep hungry every evening, the Afghanistan office of the World Food Program on Friday.

Eisa Khan, a 48-year-old soft drink seller, is another victim suffering from poverty.

He said he could not buy anything for the festival and cannot sacrifice an animal either. "We are suffering. Our children are suffering. They (our children) want us to sacrifice an animal but we can't," said Khan, the father of an eight-member family who earns about 200 afghanis daily.