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Morocco: Nafar, the special town crier that works annually during Ramadan

Naoufal Boukhriss, Nafar in Rabat   -  
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A Nafar, also known as a town crier, is a seasonal profession that emerges annually during Ramadan.The Nafar works for one month and stops their work once Eid al-Fitr is declared.

The Nafar is a man who walks the paths and alleys in the early hours of the morning, starting at three am.

The Nafar plays a certain tune with a long trumpet-like instrument to wake people up for the suhoor meal before Muslims start their day of fasting during Ramadan.

Nafar is the Moroccan way of calling someone who does this job, but the name of this profession differs from country to country. It shares the same name as the instrument in Moroccan Arabic.

This craft, once a widespread Ramadan tradition in the past, has become rare today, as it has gradually disappeared with the emergence of technology and new urban areas.

"This (Nafar) is currently only found in the old city. As for the upscale neighborhoods, most of them do not accept the presence of the Nafar, because they say that they have a phone and an alarm clock that they use," explained Naoufal Boukhriss, who works as a Nafar in Rabat.

As a symbol of tradition, Boukhriss usually wears a special set of traditional clothes before he goes on his rounds in the old city. He dons a long shirt or "Jallaba", a headpiece or 'Tarbouch", leather slippers "Belgha" and white socks.

While walking through the alleys, Boukhriss plays a special tune that notifies people of the time of suhoor, which is different from the ones they perform inside the mosque.

Boukhriss considers this work as a reward from God. In return, residents thank him with food, sugar, or a share of money.

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