Ramadan in Saudi Arabia: The Musaharati tradition

Musaharati’s job is to wake worshippers for their suhoor meal. (SPA)
Updated 24 May 2019

Ramadan in Saudi Arabia: The Musaharati tradition

  • The Musaharati profession is one of the oldest Ramadan traditions in Al-Ahsa in the Kingdom’s east

Despite the march of modern technology, old Ramadan traditions continue to die hard for Muslims in the Kingdom’s largest province.

The job of Musaharati is the name given to the person who walks and beats a drum in residential areas to wake worshippers for their suhoor meal. In the Eastern Province, where the custom remains a deep-rooted part of the holy month, the drummer is known as Abu Tabila.

The fasting month is not complete in Al-Ahsa governorate without him roaming the streets before dawn prayers. Adults and children often come out of their homes or peer from windows to watch Abu Tabila pass by beating his small drum while reciting prayers.

The Musaharati profession is one of the oldest Ramadan traditions in Al-Ahsa, and every town has its own Abu Tabila. He goes about his business until the end of Ramadan and people offer him money, gifts, sweets, and best wishes for Eid.

Although modern phone apps can alert worshippers, Al-Ahsa communities continue to adhere to time-honored ways.

Omar Al-Faridi, director of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) in Al-Ahsa, said that Abu Tabila was known for his traditional folk clothes and boisterous voice.

Former director of the Al-Ahsa Archaeological and Heritage Museum, Walid Al-Hussein, described the beat of Abu Tabila’s drum as “unique and splendid,” and a sound that evoked the true spirit of Ramadan. 

GEA and Misk launch ‘Entertainment Pioneers’ program

Updated 26 June 2019

GEA and Misk launch ‘Entertainment Pioneers’ program

RIYADH: The General Authority for Entertainment (GEA) launched its “Entertainment Pioneers” program, in partnership with the Initiatives Center at the Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Foundation (Misk).

The program aims to prepare citizens, and especially fresh graduates, to work with the most renowned international companies in the field of entertainment, to gain experience, develop their skills in the field, and enable them to integrate this sector and contribute to its development and prosperity.

The program is part of GEA’s strategy to develop the sector of entertainment in accordance with the best international standards, and to provide it with qualified national competencies in this field, to meet the objectives of the Quality of Life program, a basic part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

The first stage of the program will kick off in collaboration with a leading American entertainment company that employs 44,000 people worldwide, and that has a record of more than 30,000 entertainment programs and 100 festivals, with its sales surpassing of 500 million tickets per year.

In addition, various international companies are participating in the event, in order to train Saudis in the tasks of planning, organization and management of entertainment programs and projects.

As part of its plans to develop and increase the size of local content in the entertainment sector, GEA is launching several other initiatives to train Saudi cadres develop their skills, and to integrate the job market especially in small and medium enterprises in the field of entertainment.

For registration a webpage was set on the link: https://misk.org.sa/fellowship/services/live-nation/