By KIRAN MALIK-KHAN, Connect Contributor
Muna Ali was beaming as she served Eid-ul-Adha dinner for her guests. Ali, was one of the many Muslims in town celebrating the Islamic holiday on September 24, 2015, marking the end of Hajj, the spiritual journey to Mecca. The three-day event also commemorates Prophet Abraham’s near sacrifice of his son, Ismael.
Ali, who hails from Khartoum, the cap-ital of Sudan has been in Fort McMurray for 10 years, and was hosting the annual party; adorning the table was a traditional holiday Sudanese dinner.
“We make salata, which is a potato salad, and mulah, an entree made with spinach and dry okra, a novelty item made with the top portion of the okra. The bread is called kisra, which is similar to naan, but takes hours to make, because the texture is hard to master,” explains Ali.
Ali, and about 20 Sudanese families in Fort McMurray, acquire the spices for cooking from Sudan depending on each other’s visiting family members to bring them in. Rounding out the feast was Kamonuia, a lamb intestine dish, made especially for Eid, and lamb shaya, which is a sautéed entrée eaten with Basmati rice.
Alla Abbas, Ali’s friend joined her for the Eid party. An ambulatory care department clerk, Abbas has been in Fort McMurray for four years. She grew up in Canada, and said, she wished people would understand Sudan better.
“We are a friendly, and hospitable people. And, very respectful of other religions unlike what media portrays to ruin the image of Muslims. Sudan is predominantly Muslim, but that’s 60 per cent. We live side by side with our Christian friends, who make up the other 40 per cent,” said Abbas.
Shaza Eisa agrees. She moved to Fort McMurray seven years ago. A geologist, she used to work for Syncrude Canada before taking time off.
“We didn’t have many Sudanese families when I moved here. I miss my family back home, but now, it’s great to come together here, especially for Eid,” shared Eisa, who was dressed in a traditional Thobe – a long garment, about 4.5 metres long, wrapped around the body, and as a hijab, the Islamic head-scarf.
“We don’t want people to believe what television feeds them. Talk to us,” added Abbas.
– Connect Weekly –