In this modernization and digitalisation, there are some traditions that still attract people arising their nostalgia of the past days when life was simple and straightforward and the Ramadan cannon is among those traditions.
Despite development, Ramadan cannons still attract many people who visit and take pictures with them in remembrance of cultural heritage associated with Ramadan’s Iftar and Suhoor. Traditionally, cannons were fired to announce ending of Suhoor and breaking of fast long before loudspeakers and other digital gadgets were common to do the same duty.
Many residents, especially children take memento photos with them while security personnel deployed with cannons help children take pictures with them. Saleh Gharib, a researcher in culture and tradition said that Ramadan cannon was very old dating back since the establishment of the state of Qatar and “despite urban development state has kept the tradition alive.”
“The role of cannon today as compared to the past has changed a lot. In the past all areas and cities where the cannons were installed, depended upon them either for Iftar or Suhoor. Today, no one depends on them. There are TV channels, there are mosques’ loudspeakers and many other means. The authorities are still keeping them alive to maintain heritage and strengthen cultural values,” he added.
“We are keen to visit cannons with our children. The cannon are still the same but have become more modern with the passage of time and scientific advancement,” Gharib said.
Authorities had chosen the placing of Ramadan cannons or places had some historical importance, he said: “They choose places like Katara because it is by the sea and there are many activities held there and also because it is not residential area as the bang of cannon fire is very loud for people living in populated areas,” he said.
“I like seeing cannons because it reminds me of the old, golden days when life was not so complicated. My children too love Ramadan cannons as it is a new and strange phenomenon for them who always use digital gadgets for information,” said Abdel Azizi, a citizen.