IDB sacrificial meat project available to Muslims worldwide

JEDDAH — The president of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has urged the national and international media to help raise awareness of the Saudi Project for the Utilization of Haj Meat, which is managed by the bank.

Addressing journalists from within and outside the Kingdom at the bank’s headquarters here Wednesday, IDB President Dr. Ahmad Mohammed Ali said everyone in the world living anywhere with access to the Internet can log onto to make use of the project.

“Payment can be made by credit card and the person will be informed through an SMS on his mobile when his request — Hady, Odhiya, Sadaq, or Aqiqa — is carried out on his behalf,” he said.

“The website is operational all year round. We know that in many Western cities Muslims cannot perform these rituals in their houses so we have established this site to enable them to utilize the project,” the bank’s president explained.

This year the price of a sacrificial meat coupon has been fixed at SR430 (US$115 or 84 euros). The coupons can be purchased at Saudi Post offices, Al-Rajhi Bank branches, Al-Amoudi Foreign Exchange bureaus and at offices of Al-Haj and Al-Muatamir Society in Makkah and around the Kingdom.

The project has made provision for 700,000 sheep and 10,000 cows and camels.Ali explained that sacrifice under the project is not only Shariah-compliant, but also healthy, hygienic and environment-friendly.

He said 400 religious scholars are involved in the project and 700 veterinarians examine the animals before the sacrifice. Since its inception in 1403H (1982), the project has managed to utilize and distribute more than 15 million livestock amongst the poor in the Kingdom and in 27 other countries.

Foreign media representatives expressed their appreciation for the project. Aziz Kadribegovic, Chief Editor of Preporod Islamic fortnightly in Bosnia Herzegovina, told the Saudi Gazette that when he performed Haj more than 30 years ago, sacrificial meat was buried in the sand because of the lack of a utilization facility.

“Since the establishment of the IDB project things have improved a lot,” he said, adding: “Not only is slaughtering taken care of in a clean and hygienic way, but it also goes to needy people in different countries around the world.”

Abdelsattar Barakat, Al-Ahram correspondent in Athens, Greece, said he was sure that the 600 Greek Muslims who have come for Haj this year would appreciate the project since it is “so good and useful”.

Amela Hubjerhatic, of TV Sarajevo, said she welcomes the project for “many reasons”, adding that it takes care of the meat in a proper way.

Her husband, Muhammad Hubjer, a retired military officer, found the project “beautiful and fantastic”. He said: “In Bosnia Herzegovina a sheep costs more than twice what it costs under the project.”