Saudi Arabia launches Quran recitation and Adhan competitions for Muslims around the world

Two competitions calling for the “most beautiful and influential voices” from around the world to recite the Quran and perform Adhan have been officially opened by Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Entertainment. (Supplied)
Updated 22 May 2019
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Saudi Arabia launches Quran recitation and Adhan competitions for Muslims around the world

LONDON: Two competitions calling for the “most beautiful and influential voices” from around the world to recite the Quran and perform Adhan have been officially opened by Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Entertainment, according to a tweet from its chairman Turki Al-Sheikh.

According to a statement on the competition's website, the Quran and Adhan Awards “aim to to provide a rich Islamic experience to the world by highlighting the diversity of the cultures of the Islamic world, which is reflected in the different methods of reciting the Quran and raising the Adhan.”
Organizers of the competitions also hope to encourage a better understanding of the Quran and its recitations among Muslim youth, as well as promoting the nature of Islam which “rejects extremism and intolerance in all its forms.”
Applications for both competitions opened on May 22 and will close on June 22. Filtering of applications will take place until August 22, with live performances taking place throughout August and September and the winners declared in October. Registration is open here.
The competition is part of a packed schedule in 2019. The GEA has launched an ambitious program of events planned on a scale never before seen in the Kingdom in the throughout the year, with traditional and culturally significant local events featuring prominently in the plans.
In January, the GEA chairman Turki Al-Sheikh said: “Competitions are an important element of entertainment, the most important will take place during Ramadan and will be of an Islamic nature, with the supervision of Islamic scholars.
“The first competition will be for the most beautiful reciting of the Holy Qur’an, and competitors from all over the world are invited. The first prize will be SR 5 million.
“The second Islamic competition is for the athan (call for prayer). In addition to receiving a large prize of SR 2 million, the winner of the first prize can also look forward to raising the athan in the Prophet’s Holy mosque,” he added.

 


Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

Updated 26 June 2019
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Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

  • 40 works by Edvard Munch go on display for first time in Middle East

DHAHRAN: A dynamic Saudi cultural center is to showcase the works of one of the world’s most famous painters in an exhibition-first for the Middle East.

Forty pieces by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, best known for his iconic “The Scream” painting, will go on public display at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra).

The special exhibition, titled “Landscapes of the Soul,” is the latest in a series of high-profile cultural events to be staged at the showpiece exhibition in Dhahran.

Developed by Saudi Aramco with the aim of stimulating knowledge, creativity and cross-cultural engagement, Ithra’s theater, museum, exhibition hall and art gallery complex forms a key part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan to promote culture and entertainment.

The Munch exhibition, which runs until Sept. 3, portrays the artist’s personal life experiences of misery, love, despair, loneliness and reflections of the soul, through his distinctive works.

“It is such an honor to host and introduce to Saudi Arabia, and indeed, the Middle East, the work of the world-renowned artist Edvard Munch,” Rania Biltagi, Ithra’s head of communications and partnership, told Arab News.

Munch’s (1863-1944) original exhibition has been located in Oslo, Norway since 1963, and the Saudi display is being staged in Ithra’s Great Hall in partnership with the Munch Museum in Norway.

As well as a lithograph version of his most famous painting “The Scream,” other works on show will include “Summer Night. The Voice,” 1894, “Self-Portrait,” 1895, and “The Sick Child,” 1896.

“A moment that stood out from the opening was when speaking to a couple visiting the exhibit, they mentioned that they were Norwegian and working in Saudi,” Biltagi said. “They explained that they had never had the chance to visit the Munch Museum in their homeland and what an unexpected pleasure it was to be able to see Munch’s work in Saudi.”

Biltagi added that the event epitomized the aim of Ithra in providing a platform to bring together cultures as well as people.

The center, featured in Time magazine’s list of the world’s top 100 places to visit, is a pioneer on the Kingdom’s culture and arts scene, organizing a variety of events, performances, programs and experiences to suit all ages and backgrounds. Previous exhibitions have included a focus on Saudi contemporary art, Leonardo da Vinci, and installations symbolizing creativity and innovation.