What made Dhaka’s streets run red this Eid?
Areas of Dhaka were flooded with blood-red water this Eid, as heavy rain and the annual sacrifice of animals mixed together in the streets.
News outlets and twitterers all over the world shared photographs of scarlet streets and citizens struggling to avoid the flow. The wave transpired after animal sacrifices for Eid al Adha combined with rainfall and poor drainage, causing rainwater mixed with animal blood to fill the streets.
Dhaka resident and artist Atish Saha told the Guardian he “felt I was walking through a post-apocalyptic neighbourhood,” and called the incident an “image of mass violence”.
But others stressed that the flooding was limited to a few streets – and expressed dismay that the international press focused on the localized incident in its reporting on Bangladesh.
“I believe this needs to be called out… There’s more to Bangladesh than this,” Farah Maliha, a Dhaka resident, told Al Bawaba.
“It's just 2 hours and 200 meters of roads. We have amazing, powerful and beautiful stories to represent from Dhaka and all over Bangladesh. These trashy media making a hot price from news about something as insignificant about Bangladesh makes me sick.”
Maliha said that most people in Dhaka weren’t directly affected by the waters, and that it was cleaned up by the municipality after two hours, returning the Eid holidays to normal despite the rains.
It’s the first time this has happened in Dhaka during the Eid celebrations. And while some outlets reported as if the whole city was running with rivers of blood, the problem was predominantly caused by excess rainwater and was confined to a few areas of the city.
The incident was also used to amplify islamophobic sentiments from some quarters, with tweeters calling the slaughtering of animals for Eid “barbaric”.
Drainage can be a problem in Dhaka city, and local media reported that the government had taken precautions to avoid problems by designating particular areas for the slaughtering of animals during Eid. Many citizens, however, defied the warnings and held celebrations in their own neighborhoods.
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