Dermawan Berqurban, Berkahnya Bahagiakan Dunia

Greeting Atambua through Qurbani

26 August 2018

ACTNews, ATAMBUA – The scorching heat of the sun and the dusty air didn’t stop the people of Atambua, Belu Regency, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) from celebrating Eid-ul-Adha. Just a day after Eid, Thursday (8/23), the distribution of qurbani meat from Hidayatullah mosque to remote areas continued. Two cow carcasses were loaded onto a black pickup trucks. Few minutes later, Global Qurban – Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) team, alongside a few of the locals, hopped onto the truck.

“May I join?” asked Algi, hopping onto the truck, followed by other kids. They are young worshippers from Hidayatullah mosque who joined the qurbani meat distribution to Sukabitetek Village, East Tasifeto sub-district, Belu Regency.

At 2 p.m., the truck left Hidayatullah Mosque, rolling on the asphalt road. The truck had to move slowly to avoid hitting and of the locals’ pets, including dogs.

“Local customs are strongly upheld here. For example, if you hit a dog, you will have to pay for its price, even more. If the dog is breastfeeding, you’ll have to pay for the pups’ price too. You have to give more money. It’s better to drive carefully,” said Muhammad Imam, one of the locals.

On the truck, we feast our eyes on Atambua’s scenery that is full of hills. On our right and left sides, houses were quite widely separated from each other with dry, barren land in between. Cattle, goats, chickens, and pigs were seen roaming freely around the street. Here in the Muslim-minority region, a pig could be more expensive than a goat.

After fifteen minutes, our truck got to the hilly area. The scenery was filled with dry trees and barren land. It seemed that this area had been scarcely showered by rain and affected by water crisis.

“We’ll arrive in a few minutes, brother,” said Miko, one of the locals who was with me on the truck, the rocky road marked our entrance to Sukabitektek. With the help of Sukabitektek villagers, we unloaded the carcasses as the truck was parked near the village mosque. It is the only worshipping facility for Muslims in the village. Beside the mosque, the men were cutting up the carcasses and the women were cleaning the area.

“The Muslims here are a minority, mostly former East Timorese. There used to be only ten families; now there are twenty-seven families. Most of them are new Muslim convers. We had to get out of East Timor and chose Indonesia during the 1999 referendum. We got out carrying nothing with us. We moved from one place to another before we settled here on this waqf land in 2006,” explained Harun Mutohari, a former East Timorese living in Sukabitetek.

After having a chat with the locals and praying Asr, our team went back to Hidayatullah mosque to take more carcasses. Two more carcasses were taken from Hidayatullah mosque were transported to Aitaman and Haekrit Village. These two villages are also mostly inhabited by former East Timorese.

In the warm afternoon sun, the truck moved along the dry land of Atambua. The road to Aitaman was also rocky like the road to Sukabitetek. It took 30 minutes to reach the village. The scenery of this village is similar to that of Sukabitetek: all dry and parched. But Aitaman village now has a water-well funded by waqf from Global Wakaf – ACT.

As time was running out, our team didn’t talk much with the locals. Happiness was reflected on their faces as they received qurbani meat in the form of a whole carcass.

“This is the first time we send whole cow carcasses. Usually we send the meat in packages. By sending cow carcasses, the people can gather and work together and cut up the qurbani meat,” said Imam.

The sun was sinking. The team continued to Haekrit Village, another village inhabited by former East-Timorese people. The condition in Haekrit was much worse than Sukabitetek and Aitaman: the road was more difficult to travel, electricity hadn’t reached the area, and clean water was scarce. As we entered the village, wooden stilted houses were seen. Women were seen carrying jerry cans and standing in line to get clean water from one of the water-wells un the village.

“Alhamdulillah, our families and all Muslim villagers here are thankful for the qurbani donation from Global Qurban. We are glad that there are people who care about us here,” said Ali Abdullah Duru, one of the former East Timorese who live in Haekrit.

It was getting darker, and Global Qurban team bid farewell to the people of Haekrit Village to send more qurbani meat to regions around the border. In total, 115 cows were distributed since the day of Eid until Friday (8/26) in Belu and Malaka regency. Such was Global Qurban’s effort in delivering qurbani happiness, visiting remote villages throughout Atambua until sundown. []


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