Ramadan tents and zakat
My friend invited me to join him as we went to the souk mawashi. Dubai translates this as the 'Cattle Market' in the English on the sign, but, in addition to (a few) cattle, there are (mostly) goats and sheep and a few camels. So Livestock Market would be a better translation. But Dubai never asked me, so 'Cattle Market' is the official English name.
At the souk, my friend asked, 'How much?' and, when they told him, he said the price was more than double what it was last year. And, more to the point, more than the supermarkets are charging.
So we went to a supermarket, where the goats were much cheaper than at the souk, and bought two goats.
My friend observed, 'This now Ramadan. Before, every Ramadan, souk mawashi full, but now empty. Crisis big problem for Dubai. Africa, souk mawashi all full during Ramadan.'
(Of course, I have no idea how he knows what's really happening in the African souk mawashi, but I would have said, 'Maybe it's the fact that the supermarkets are much cheaper;' however, I wasn't asked.)
Then we took the two goats to the Public Kitchen, something I first heard of in "A Christmas Carol", where the rich had mansions with large kitchens and servants, but the poor had no kitchen, so they had to take their food to a public kitchen.
For Ramadan, many Muslims buy a goat or two, 20 kilos or so of meat, and take it to a public kitchen. As in A Christmas Carol, even if they have a small kitchen, it's cheaper to use the public kitchen. After the goat is cooked, they donate it to feed the poor.
Every Muslim who can must give zakat to help the poor, and so they provide the goat and rice that the Ramadan tents serve to anyone who comes by.
My friend gave me a big package of chicken and rice to take home and eat tonight between sunset and 3 am, and Sunday, he, along with all the other Muslims who have enough money to buy food to feed the poor during Ramadan, will take meat and rice to one of the institutions that distribute the food to all the free Dubai Ramadan tents.