Thursday, June 25, 2015

Ramadan 2015, Day 6 & 7 – Coffee and a Ramadan Cannon

A while ago I noted in a blog post about how Qataris usually do not tell people about upcoming events or good fortune until after it occurred (or notify you with only a little time in advance, such as with wedding invitations). I just received an announcement that a friend of mine has a new son. I was with that friend at the St. Regis Ramadan Tent two days ago and at no time did he mention that he was expecting a baby, nor at any time in the last 9 months did he mention that his wife was pregnant. People new to the area may find it surprising that such things are kept secret but it is not meant as any kind of slight, it is custom to keep impending good fortune secret from everyone.


So last night I decided to go visit the Ramadan Cannon. The military sets up cannons in various locations (one is at the State Mosque, I’ve been told another is near D-Ring and Al Matar street) and blast the cannon to announce the end of fasting for the day. I try to see the cannon at least once during each Ramadan.

On the way I saw many men gathered at a mosque preparing for an iftar meal provided by the mosque. Many mosques and charities have set up tents or eating areas throughout the city so that people can have free iftar meals.

There were lots of people at the State Mosque to watch the cannon. Families enjoy the event because beforehand the soldiers let children climb on the cannon and people can take photos (somewhere under all these kids is a cannon).

It’s also a nice view of the city from the Mosque.

Eventually as sunset approaches the soldiers and security clear everyone away to a safe distance.

They wait for the right time at which point a solider fires a flare pistol, then . . .


It is loud! If you’re a bit sensitive to noise you should cover your ears or stay further back. In prior years my ears would ring for about 5 minutes after the blast but this year I kept my ears covered.

While children love climbing on the cannon staying around to watch it fire might not be for toddlers. These little girls were really scared by the blast and were screaming and crying (poor things).

I then ate iftar in the car. I had brought a bottle of water, dates and some bread with me as there was no way I was going to wait even longer by driving home or to a restaurant. Many others also brought water and some food with them.


Later I was at the mall buying some shoes. At the till they asked if I wanted a coupon:

Why yes, I’d love a free coffee at Tims, thanks for asking. :) I was planning to go there after buying the shoes anyway so this was a great coincidence.

Now I haven’t had coffee for the last week and I knew that the Tims was out of decaf (because I was there yesterday, why no I don't think I go to Tims a lot, why do you ask?) but I wasn’t going to turn down a free coffee so I asked for double-milk to water it down a bit.

Twenty minutes later I was buzzing! It was like I had a double-espresso or something. Once you go off coffee it really doesn’t take much caffeine to make an impact. I was still wide awake at 1am.

Luckily no caffeine withdrawal today. I was pretty sure one small coffee wouldn’t do it.

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