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Day 118: Sylhet

Sylhet, Bangladesh 
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The engaging Abdul Rahman, who became a poultry magnate in the Midlands before returning to Bangladesh to build homes for his family.
Michael Palin - HimalayaThe conversation veers from the Pinteresque, 'Do you know Bewdley?' to the Pythonic, 'The only word I knew was "garlic".'

This didn't help when he got his first job, in a steelworks. When a workmate asked him how old he was, he had to guess at what he meant.

'I gave him my tongs.'

The man asked him again how old he was.

'Then I give him my overalls.'

Eventually, Abdul Rahman learnt English well enough to attempt his first, and perhaps most important, deal. He sold a chicken he'd bought for two shillings and sixpence to someone for ten shillings. By the end of the next year he was a poultry magnate, selling 12,000 birds a week, and, in the process, becoming the first official halal butcher in England.

With colourful hand gestures he illustrates why he considers halal killing to be superior.

He mimes a man holding a chicken.

'English way, squeeze and pull. We think this is a cruel way.' He pauses again, mouth open wide.

'Muslim way, you cut like this. Very sharp knife, quick throat, let the blood out, and she very nicely sleep. This is halal way.'
Choose another day from Himalaya


  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 118: Sylhet
  • Country/sea: Bangladesh
  • Place: Sylhet
  • Book page no: 267

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