RIYADH: The countdown to the final stage of competition has begun in the Etr El-Kalam (Perfume of Kalam) program, focusing on Qur’an recitation and the call to prayer, which will be broadcast on the Saudia TV channel.
Organized by the General Entertainment Authority, the competition is scheduled to start on the first day of Ramadan.
“More than 40,000 people applied from different countries of the world, and 36 participants qualified. It will be launched in the blessed month of Ramadan and broadcast on the Saudia TV channel,” tweeted Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the board of directors of the GEA.
The competition, which began its early stages in 2019, aims to showcase beauty in recitations of the Qur’an and the call to prayer.
About SR12 million ($3.2 million) in prize money is on offer — one of the largest financial awards in talent competitions around the world.
The prizes for the most beautiful Qur’an recitation are divided as follows: First place will receive SR5 million, second SR2 million, third SR1 million and fourth SR500,000.
In the call to prayer contest, the winner will receive SR2 million, followed by SR1 million for second place, SR500,000 for third and SR250,000 for fourth.
Famous Qur’an reciter Fawaz Al-Kaabi said that competitors will face several important challenges, including observing the provisions of intonation, letter exits, endowment and beginnings, which must be reviewed by experts before competitors take part in the event.
Al-Kaabi, who is also a teacher at the Holy Qur’an Memorization Society in Al-Ahsa, told Arab News: “One of the benefits of the competition is to break the barrier of fear and dread in a person from the audience, which contributes to enabling him to speak, read and express with better and better fluency day after day.”
The competition is distinguished by its precise criteria and a jury that enhances competitiveness, with qualification stages through which top talents reach the final stages.
The jurors are specialized in judging Qur’anic competitions. Judges include muezzins from the Two Holy Mosques, key Qur’an reciters from around the world and famous international competition assessors.