1 Jan 2007

PR# 2007-004

ISAF soldiers donate sheep for Eid

SHARAN, Afghanistan – On Friday, ISAF troops and the Paktika Provincial Government gave a gift of 14 sheep to eight tribal and mullah elders in North West Paktika in celebration of Eid ul-Adha.

Eid ul-Adha, the Muslim festival of sacrifice is celebrated as a commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son for God and is celebrated on the tenth day of the month of Zul-Hijja (31 Dec. 2006). This holiday marks the end of the Hajj. Those who can afford to will sacrifice domestic animals. The meat is distributed amongst their neighbours, relatives, and the poor and hungry. Communities make a concerted effort to see that no Muslim is left without sacrificial food.

In order to be a good neighbour and demonstrate support to Islam, ISAF troops in Paktika gave the sheep as gifts. Mohammed Akram Khpalwak, Governor of Paktika selected elders throughout Paktika who could best share the sheep with needy families.

On the day before Eid the Sharana Provincial Reconstruction Team and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry, met with government officials and the eight local tribal and mullah elders. The tribal elders expressed their gratitude for the sheep and the presence of ISAF troops in Afghanistan.

“We, in Paktika, are happy that the Coalition is here and we understand the need for their presence. We know they respect Islam and are only here for the benefit of the people,” said Mohammed Shah, an elder from Mata Khan. “The Coalition does not stop people from praying in mosques, instead they help build mosques and madrassas.”

At the conclusion of the meeting the group went outside where the sheep were given as gifts of friendship and respect. There were four districts represented and each received three sheep. The elders planned to take the sheep home and invite the local poor families over for a feast to celebrate Eid.

ISAF units throughout Paktika took part in similar events.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/