TEMPO.CO, Islamabad - A Pakistani charity in the teeming coastal metropolis of Karachi is serving up a rare treat for the city's Muslims ahead of their fast for the holy month of Ramadan - ostrich meat.
Expensive and seldom eaten in Pakistan, ostrich is deemed exotic in the mainly Muslim nation of 208 million people.
Volunteers stewed the red meat in cauldrons and served it in a chickpea curry to more than 500 residents before dawn broke on Tuesday, May 7, when Pakistani Muslims began their month-long Ramadan fast.
"Keeping in view of this deprivation, (wealthy) people supported us and like the previous year, we offered those dishes which even a middle-class person cannot afford, let alone the poor," said Zafar Abbas, the general secretary of the Jafaria Disaster Management Cell Welfare Foundation.
Abbas said the plan is to offer deer and other expensive cuisines in coming days during Ramadan, when practicing Muslims abstain from eating, drinking and smoking during daylight hours.
The move is likely to be welcomed by those who stuffed themselves with ostrich meat.
"It felt very nice. I had never eaten (ostrich)," said van driver Mohammad Hussain. "It was so wholesome that I feel no need to eat for the next two days."