“The method of firing the cannon was to announce it was iftar time, because at that time there were no watches on hands and clocks in houses,” said Dr. Mohamad Ouedi, professor of Modern Arab History at the Institute of Diplomatic Studies in Saudi Arabia. “Also, modern technology, such as devices that amplify sound, did not exist at the time.”(see full article)
In many areas of the Arab World, including Doha, this tradition continues, so we went to participate. We arrived about 20 minutes before sunset. There was one family there, but many others arrived very quickly, and within 10 minutes, quite a crowd had gathered. There was a group of military there in charge of the event. They were passing out candy to all the children. It was gummy candy, which Burke thought was vitamins, or he thinks vitamins are candy. Hmmm... Travis was interviewed by a French journalist, who asked why we were there. As he stated, we want to expose our children to the culture we are living in so that they can be aware and appreciate others.
Uncooperative attempts at a picture
We were the mean parents who didn't let our kids climb onto the cannon.
But we did let them play in the dirt.
Loading the cannon
There was a gun fire first to signal for the cannon to fire. I found this picture from the Gulf Times showing the firing of both.
I was glad I had the kids plug their ears. I didn't because I was taking pictures, and my ears were ringing for a few seconds following.
This was actually the first picture Travis took. The lens fogged up due to 75%+ humidity.