Al-Musaharati: A Traditional Profession in Qatari Society

  • Publish date: Friday، 22 April 2022 Last update: Thursday، 23 March 2023
Al-Musaharati: A Traditional Profession in Qatari Society

Young men beat drums with a loud noise that calling to awaken the fasting people and remind them of the virtue and blessing of the Suhoor before entering the time of dawn to mark the birth of a new day of the blessed Ramadan.

These young people are trying, through their simple efforts, to revive this Ramadan custom, which was linked to the month of Ramadan in the past and to which people have taken a profession that is in keeping with God's gracious face. Despite the societal changes and the urbanization that has affected all parts of the country, there is still the goodwill of the youth to maintain this profession or Ramadan custom.

Heritage researcher Atiq Al Sulaiti told Qatar News Agency (QNA): "In the State of Qatar, the profession [of Musaharati] prevailed and then started to return in some areas, a profession that was necessitated by the circumstances of the people at a time when people slept early than now and needed to be awakened by suhoor during the month of Ramadan before dawn. Hence, the seasonal profession [of Musaharati], which is closely linked to the holy month of Ramadan."

Al-Sulaiti added, "It is customary for a volunteer from the Al-Farij neighborhood to wake people up. He borrowed a drum from the popular group in the neighborhood, or he is one of its members. There were a number of magicians who roamed Doha. Among the most famous of these were "Salim Bu Halum, Karam, Saad Bin Awad, Saad Bin Nayem, Rashid Al-Mas, and Idris Khairy."

He said some young people practice the profession of Musaharati as part of their heritage in order to emulate the old Musaharati and preserve their heritage today. He praised the restoration of this Ramadan custom in places where people are living, such as Souq Waqif, the General Foundation for the Cultural District (Katara), and some areas, including al-Dafna, which has been continuing this practice for several years now.

For his part, Mr. Faisal Al-Tamimi, a researcher in heritage, said in a similar statement to QNA that the Al-Dafna area in Doha still maintains the presence of the Musaharati throughout the holy month of Ramadan, as the work of the Musaharati started in the same area in 1985, with the beginning of the construction of some residential neighborhoods in the area. As a member of the Qatari National Ensemble for Folklore at the time, he, along with a group of other members, including Mu'ath Al-Qahtani, Ahmed Rashid, and the artist Ahmed Abdul Rahim, launched the first Musaharati in the area, and worked in this profession continued until 1995, that is for ten years, after which the members of the troupe stopped their profession, and they returned to work in the same profession once again with the beginning of 2013, explaining that they are still keen to continue in this profession.

"Each group in the State of Qatar had its own Musaharati, some more than one, depending on the size of the group and the population," al-Tamimi said. "The Musaharati starts its tour about two hours before the date of capture," he said, adding that in the past, the people of the group relied on the sound of the Musaharati while passing near their homes to wake them up to prepare their suhoor and eat it well in advance of the dawn call to prayer.

"The team members experience great interaction with the people of al-Fraij as they pass in front of houses," said Ahmed Abdul Hameed, a member of the Musaharati team. "This makes us continue on our feet for a long distance so we can meet the children who welcome us, and see the drawing of joy and happiness on their lack of happiness in seeing us while doing the play."

Follow us on our Whatsapp channel for latest news