19th century Ramadan canon again in use in Aswan

23-05-2018 11:00 AM

Muhammad al-Aswani



One of the most popular traditions during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting, has been the use of Madfaa al-Iftar, a ‘cannon’ that was fired at sunset to announce to the faithful that they could break their fast. That was, of course, when towns were much smaller in size and much more quiet than today, so a canon ball fired would be sure to create a resounding noise heard by everyone.

Egypt’s southernmost city, Aswan, was among the cities that boasted a Ramadan canon. Two years ago, however, it went into disuse owing to maintenance problems. This Ramadan, however, it has been repaired and put back to good use in its old location in front of al-Tabya mosque.

According to Aswan Governor, General Magdi Hegazi, the cannon story was manufactured in Germany in 1819, and was used during WWII in Alexandria. It was moved to Aswan in the 1960s.

The cannon is operated with gunpowder, and is connected to batteries to give an electric spark to fire it.

Watani International

22 May 2018


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