A national survey has suggested that between twenty and thirty percent of Tunisians will not be able to afford to buy a sheep ahead of this year’s Eid Al Idha celebration.
According to a June survey by the National Consumer Institute (INC) rising prices, combined with the plummeting value of the dinar are limiting the majority of people’s access to the traditional Eid sacrifice and feast.
Speaking to Tunisia Live, Ministry of Agriculture’s spokesperson, Anis Ben Rayana, said “sheep prices are 300 to 450 dinars ($136 to $204)“. With the average Tunisian monthly salary of 649 TDN (approximately $294 USD), this means the average family will spend approximately half of the main earner’s salary on their Eid sheep if they can afford one at all.
The Director Responsible for Animal Production, Mnawer Sghayer at The Tunisian Union of Agriculture and Fisheries (UTAP) told Tunisia Live that the overall cost of this year’s Eid’s celebration was likely to prove beyond the reach of many Tunisian families. Against a grim economic climate, the start of the school year and the ancillary costs of the celebration, Eid was likely to take a toll on family budgets that many were nervous about bearing.
Speaking to Tunisia Live, General Secretary of the Tunisian Union of Imams, Fadhel Achour said that “it’s not a [religious] obligation. Borrowing of money or sharing the cost with someone else is not allowed under Islam. One has to buy it from his own pocket.” He continued, “The government is unable to preserve the dignity of its civilians and to provide them with their needs.” Achour commented on: “the fall of the value of the Dinar, poverty and the deterioration of people’s purchasing power are causing tensions and protests in the regions.”
According to the Mufti of the Tunisian Republic, this year’s Eid will commence next Monday, September 12, 2016 which corresponds to, 10 Dhu Al Hajjah 1437 the year Al Hijri.”
Zaineb is a journalist in the Tunisia Live newsroom. She speaks Arabic, French and English.