Butchers in the Egyptian capital of Cairo are preparing to cater fresh meat to families for the Eid al-Adha festivities which begin on November 6.
According to Holy Scriptures, Eid al-Adha marks the event where Prophet Abraham willingly obeyed God’s request to sacrifice his son Ismael, but was told at the last minute to replace the child with a sheep, lending to the tradition of sheep slaughtering.
This year, however, business during the Eid holidays isn’t as prosperous as it used to be due to the toll the revolution took on the country’s economy.
"[Sales] have gone down fifty percent. Of course it's gone down because of the informal souks and because of the imported meat. That's reduced the sale of local meat. But that has also reduced the prices. Prices were very high because we have very low [meat] production in Egypt. So sales are now down fifty percent. One reason is the revolution, and the other is the imported meat that comes from Ethiopia," says shop owner Abdul Basset.
A rise in prices hasn’t stopped shoppers from stocking up for the holidays.
"Yes it's expensive, but we've become accustomed to buying meat. There's no way you can have the main Eid holiday without meat. It's a necessity," said Madame Afaf.
Araby, a butcher at Baqaly’s butcher shop says that families this year have purchased smaller sheep to slaughter but actually pre-purchase meat to use in meals.
An entire live animal is estimated to cost around $251 as meat sells for $5 a kilo.
The spike in meat costs is tough on Egyptians, as 20 percent of the population live on under $2 a day, according to the World Bank.
Abdul Basset - butcher shop owner
Madame Afaf - shopper