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Moroccans celebrate ‘special towncrier’ who works only during Ramadan

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Moroccans have continued to celebrate a “special towncrier” otherwise known as “Nafar”, who works only during the Ramadan period.

The Nafar, Naoufal Boukhriss, whose seasonal job lasts for one month and ends once Eid al-Fitr is declared, signalling the end of the holy month, is seen as a rare occupation as he “walks the paths and alleys in the early hours of the morning, starting at three am,” alerting faithful to the morning prayers and the Suhoor which is the meal to be taken before commencement of the day’s fasting.

According to Boukhriss who operates in the ancient Moroccan city of Rabat, 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,” he said.

“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,” Boukhriss explained.

Local media reports that 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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Veteran Nigerian entertainer Charly Boy vows to divorce wife if Kamala Harris doesn’t win US presidential election

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Veteran Nigerian entertainer, Charles Oputa, popularly known as Charly Boy, has vowed to divorce his wife of 47 years if US Vice President, Kamala Harris, does not emerge victorious in the US presidential race in November.

Charly Boy, who is called Area Fada, made the vow in the wake of President Joe Biden’s recent decision to step down as the Democratic Party’s candidate and endorsement of Harris as the party’s flagbearer.

Charly Boy who posted the vow on his Instagram page, said he strongly believes that after Barack Obama became the first Black male President, the time is ripe for America to elect its first female President.

The activist described Harris as his “crush” and emphasized the significance of her potential presidency for both the U.S. and global politics.

Writing in Pidgin English, Charly Boy said:

“If dis my crush, Kamala Harris no win the USA presidential election, I swear, I go divorce my wife of 47yrs.

“After the first Black Male President, America deserves the first Black Female President. Sorry rednecks. Dats how we Roll,” he added.

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Culture

19th edition of Egyptian Book Fair attracts summer visitors to Alexandria

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The 19th edition of the Egyptian Book Fair currently holding in the coastal city of Alexandria has seen thousands of summer visitors flocking into the country for the two-week event which will run until July 28.

The event is held at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the modern Library of Alexandria, an elaborate piece of architecture which opened in 2002.

Media reports say “stacks upon stacks of books are lined up on the shelves, tables and walls as over 77 publishers are participating at this year’s fair while an entire section is dedicated to children’s literature.

Mohamed Soliman who leads cultural outreach at Bibliotheca Alexandrina, told journalists that some visitors are bringing their children to the book fair for the first time.

“The two-week exhibition will feature 160 cultural events involving around 600 artists and intellectuals,” Soliman said in a statement posted on the library’s website said.

Ahmed Diouf, director of Koutoubia publishing house, also said there are increasingly more events in the book fair every year.

“The exhibition is growing. You see new events every year, along with new publishing houses.”

“The timing of the book fair is convenient for visitors from out of town who are already streaming into Alexandria,” said Yousef Shammah, who is touring the exhibition.

Shammah said he was impressed with the variety of books on display.

“As for the prices, I think that they are neither expensive nor cheap given that prices have generally gone up,” he added.

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