The family has always kept livestock. Animals graze and thus keep grasses in check, fertilize vegetables, feed on some of the farm’s output, and contribute all sorts of domestic resources. Sheep, for instance, provide milk, cheese, and meat, and their wool is used in traditional carpet weaving and in clothing. Chicken lay eggs either for consumption or for hatching chicks, and both chickens and eggs can be sold be sold or exchanged for fish and other produce.

“At the farm,” Amir Qudaih says, “we have between fifteen and twenty sheep that walk around freely, graze, and are fed mostly by the wheat we cultivate. Once a year, during Eid al-Adha, we slaughter one sheep. We portion the meat in three parts: one for the family, another for relatives and friends, and the last we give to poor people. Eid al-Adna is a celebration of devotion, kindness, and equality.”

“Our chickens,” Amir continues, “roam around and sometimes mix with the neighbor’s chickens, but we can recognize them. In the morning, we have to listen carefully: as the chicken lays its egg, it shouts. The first one to get to that chicken gets the egg. The kids are usually first.”

A few years ago, the family built a chicken coop, where they also keep pigeons and store firewood for cooking.

Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory, 2021