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Ramadan cannon signals end of fast, brings back old memories

By Muath Freij - May 23,2019 - Last updated at May 23,2019

Ramadan cannon placed at the Amman Citadel (Photo by Muath Freij)

AMMAN — Surrounded by his family members, Omar Karaeen was surprised to hear the sound of a cannon being fired at the time of Iftar.

Karaeen said the Iftar cannon “cherished memories”.

“When I was a kid I used to hear the Ramadan cannon. We used to depend on it to break our fast. It was a great time,” he told The Jordan Times.

This year, the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM), in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and the Jordanian Armed Forces-Arab Army, introduced a cannon to announce the time of the breaking of the fast in a symbolic gesture to remind people of their old time.

Ibrahim Hashem, the communications director at GAM, said the idea of using a cannon dates back to the Mamluk Sultanate, some 580 years ago.

“A cannon started to be used during Ramadan in the early days of Transjordan in Amman and other Jordanian cities. At the time, life was simple and there were no signs of modern life and the city was small as well,” Hashem told the Jordan Times in a phone interview.

The cannon was placed at the Amman Citadel, in the heart of the capital.

During the 1960s and 1970s, the use of a cannon came to an end with radios and TVs, according to Hashem.

“This is a symbolic gesture and we wanted to revive this old tradition,” he added.

Waseem Bakeer, from Irbid, said that there was also a cannon placed on a hill in the northern governorate.

He commended the idea of bringing back the Ramadan cannon, calling on officials to bring back this kind of tradition to each Jordanian city.

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