It was the day before one of the biggest Muslim holidays of the year, and the Rababeh family was in a panic.
They had ordered hundreds of sheep, goats and cows to slaughter for their customers in observance of Eid al-Adha, a holiday commemorating the prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail at God's behest, and God's ultimate decision to let Ibrahim slay a sheep instead.
But now the family was scrambling to avert a crisis. Local officials had declared a few days earlier that, this year, the Rababehs' Lebanese Butchers Slaughterhouse would not be granted the special event permit they were required to have to accommodate their hundreds of expected customers. And now the town had placed a police barricade out front to block customers from walking through the slaughterhouse doors.