News: ANSF, ISAF celebrate Eid al-Adha
Story by Spc. Cardell Brown
CAMP NANTHAN SMITH, Afghanistan - Soldiers from the Afghan National Security Force in partnership with the International Security Assistance Force hosted a four day Eid al-Adha celebration at Camp Nathan Smith this week.
The celebration was attended by Afghan-American contractors, ANSF, ISAF and Afghan workers for the camp.
The celebration originated as an idea of Daud Nafey, an Afghan-American who works at CNS as a contractor. The 411th Civil Affairs Battalion, based out of Danbury, Conn., and now attached to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, turned Nafey’s idea into a reality.
“We strive to ensure that our connection is always strong between the ISAF and the local communities,” said Capt. Donald Harris, company commander, 411th Civil Affairs. “We work with the Afghans everyday and we want to share in their culture.”
The four day celebration at CNS included activities such as a feast, a traditional animal sacrifice, exchanging presents, and Afghan games. The celebration ended in the same manner as it began, with a food and fun.
An Afghan band also performed on both the first and last day of the Eid celebration. The music enticed everyone to dance and experience another part of the Afghan culture.
“Eid is all about welcoming people and it doesn’t matter who they are,” said Kristin Kauffmann, civil affairs, 411th Civil Affairs.
Kauffmann also spoke extensively about bridging the cultural gap and making a solid effort to understand one another.
“Hosting the celebration shows the respect we have for their culture and religion. We simply hope that this experience will be shared with other Afghan citizens,” she said.
One of the most important parts of the holiday is animal sacrifices. The animal may consist of a cow, goat or sheep, said Kauffmann.
“We sacrifice animals because Abraham sacrificed a ram instead of his son by Allah’s design,” said Hamidullah Amiry, language assistant for the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team.
“The sacrifice consists of dividing the animal into three parts and distributing one part to the poor, another to your neighbors, and keeping the final part for yourself,” said Kauffmann.
“This celebration that is a very big deal for Afghans everywhere,” said Amiry. “We feel that as long as the Americans are respecting our religion and culture we should do the same for theirs. That’s why this celebration will have a good effect throughout the entire country.”