I had the worst day – until I got back to my apartment.

I walked out of the elevator and before I could even get to my door, I was handed a bag of meat by my Arab neighbors.

Yes, a BAG of MEAT.

I stared at it, and said, “Thank you, but why?” They only speak Arabic, but the father told me haltingly, “For Christmas.”

Is there an eid coming up that I don’t know about?* Not that I’m at all complaining, but I’ve got a bag of meat sitting in my kitchen with no explanation attached.

* During Eid al-Adha, Muslims slaughter a lamb to symbolize the lamb Abraham sacrificed instead of his son Ishmael. The meat is divided into three parts: The family retains one third of the share; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbors; and the other third is given to the poor and needy. Nowadays many Muslims donate money to the poor because, as my friend Aso said, “what’s a poor person going to do with 10 pounds of lamb that’ll go bad the next day because he doesn’t have a fridge?”

In any case, Eid al-Adha was in October, so I really have no idea why my roommate and I have a kilo of fresh meat (lamb? beef?) in our kitchen.


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