Ramadan in Saudi Arabia: The Musaharati tradition

Musaharati’s job is to wake worshippers for their suhoor meal. (SPA)
Updated 24 May 2019
0

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. 


Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz Al-Ohali, rector of King Faisal University (KFU) in Al-Ahsa

Updated 21 September 2019
0

Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz Al-Ohali, rector of King Faisal University (KFU) in Al-Ahsa

Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz Al-Ohali has been the rector of King Faisal University (KFU) in Al-Ahsa since April 2017. 

He is also a member of the board of trustees of Prince Sultan University in Riyadh. Previously, he served as the dean of the faculty of graduate studies at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Dhahran. 

He also was the vice dean of graduate studies, the undersecretary in charge of the deanship of scientific research, and the general coordinator of the Basic and Applied Research Program in the Research Institute at KFUPM.

Al-Ohali was the director of Aafaq (Horizons), a 25-year plan to improve higher education opportunities for women, boost scientific research and tackle the Kingdom’s shortage of scientists in critical fields. The initiative was announced in 2009 by the Education Ministry.

He holds a Ph.D. in nuclear physics from the US, and has participated in more than 40 research papers.

On the occasion of Saudi National Day, Al-Ohali said all KFU staff members and students are “proud of the history of their country, and they are happy with the services provided to them in their university, including equipment and technologies that allow them to reach opportunities of academic and scientific excellence.”

He praised the Saudi government’s support and care for the KFU since its establishment in 1975.