Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Animal sacrifices as part of the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha have combined with rain in Dhaka to form rivers of blood in the streets of the Bangladeshi capital
Poor drainage in the city makes flooding a regular fact of Dhaka life. But the problem is rarely illustrated as vividly as it was recently, after thousands of sheep, goats and cows were slaughtered. One of the two holiest events in the Muslim calendar, Eid al-Adha commemorates the willingness of the prophet Abraham to sacrifice his son at God’s request. Authorities in Dhaka said that they had established hundreds of designated sacrifice spots in the run-up to the festival to make it easier to clean away blood and animal carcasses. But local media said that most residents eschewed the special areas, preferring to make sacrifices in their garages or on the streets outside their homes. The result was a nightmarish blending of blood and water that filled streets and narrow lanes across Dhaka. “I felt I was walking through a post-apocalyptic neighborhood,” said Atish Saha, a Dhaka-based artist. “To be honest, I was scared. It was an image of mass violence that shouldn’t ever be experienced.” Particularly jarring was said to be the sight of families, including infants, wading into the flood in celebratory “Eid day” moods. “It made me speechless,” he said.