The last minute before Iftar in Tartous is a moment of intense anticipation. Fathers with their children wait in the cool of the day at the northern side of the Kornish (The sea esplanade) to watch the firing of the cannon. A 2" cast iron tube is inserted in a barrel filled with sand and a dynamite bomb of some sort is placed inside the tube (mortar like). The cannon man (as he's known) keeps an eye on the Baladiet Mosque Minaret for the signal (Green fluorescent lights) to light a cigarette, take a short drag and puts the wick on fire. With the explosion comes the words from the Muezzin: Allah Akbar (God is Greatest) indicating the end of fasting and everyone hurries home to grab their first bite after long hours of waiting with the rest of the family at the Iftar table.
Just another day of Ramadan 2006 in Tartous, Syria.