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MEAT PACKS FOR EVACUEES, POOR

Displaced Marawi folk won’t miss Muslim holiday celebration

FEAST OF SACRIFICE Muslim families gather for prayers and meals at Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City to celebrate Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice, on Tuesday. —GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

COTABATO CITY—Members of Islamic Relief Philippines, a faith-inspired international group, butchered 43 cows at the halal slaughterhouse here on Tuesday so these could be distributed to more than 1,800 families still living in tents in Marawi City.

Maryann Zamora, speaking for Islamic Relief Philippines, said the distribution of “qurbani” meat on Wednesday and Thursday was in time for the celebration of Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice, observed by Muslims around the world.

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Qurbani (“udhiyah” in Arabic) describes the sacrifice of an animal to Allah during the period of Eid al-Adha, a Muslim holiday which marks the completion of the annual hajj pilgrimage.

During Eid al-Adha, the second most revered annual Muslim holiday after Eid al-Fitr, livestock are slaughtered as a sacrifice. This ritual reflects Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, to follow God’s command.

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President’s message

President Duterte, in his message to Muslims during the celebration of Eid al-Adha, said the sacred feast “serves as a reminder of the fulfillment that is found in sacrifice.”

“Today, we do not only commemorate the admirable act of being obedient to one’s God, but also to celebrate the significance of faith in our pursuit of meaningful transformation,” the President said.

He hoped Muslims would be more inspired “to embody courage and conviction in all of the challenges we face as a nation.”

“Together, let us foster greater unity and harmony across people of various faiths,” Mr. Duterte said.

Hope, contentment

Zamora said Islamic Relief Philippines would distribute 3,870 kilograms of Qurbani meat “to the most vulnerable, crisis-affected families still living in tents and temporary houses” in Marawi.

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“We hope that this initiative will bring hope and sense of contentment to the displaced families and would remind everyone to renew our faith in Allah, just like what Prophet Ibrahim did,” Omar Rahaman, Islamic Relief Philippines head of mission, said in a statement.

Rahaman said non-Muslim families in Marawi would also receive meat packs.

More than 27,000 people have yet to return to 24 villages in Marawi—the “ground zero,” or the main battle area during the five-month fighting between government troops and Islamic State-inspired gunmen that laid siege to the city last year.

More than 3,000 families in Zamboanga City also received meat packs from Filipino Turkish Tolerance School (FTTS).

Ismail Kullap, FTTS school director, said 3,420 meat packs were distributed to poor residents of Zamboanga, among them fire victims in the villages of Labuan, Kasanyangan and Sta. Catalina. —WITH REPORTS FROM CHRISTINE O. AVENDAÑO AND JULIE ALIPALA

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TAGS: Eid al-Adha, Eid al-Fitr, Feast of Sacrifice, Marawi, Philippine news updates
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