RIYADH: Fifty contestants from 23 countries across four continents have qualified for the finals of the international Qur’an recitation and adhan competition to be aired on the “Otr Elkalam” TV show.
The competition, which is being supervised by the General Entertainment Authority, will be broadcast during Ramadan on the MBC TV channel and the Shahid digital platform, with prizes amounting to more than SR12 million ($3.2 million).
The initial registrations for the contest were opened on Jan. 4 and the online platform saw more than 50,000 contestants sign up from 165 countries.
Potential contestants uploaded audio clips for the competition — which is the largest of its kind in the world — in a bid to get through the online stages and earn a place on the show.
After having passed the electronic qualifying phases, the contestants are scheduled to appear for the finals in Riyadh before an arbitration committee during the forthcoming holy month.
The “Otr Elkalam” competition is the first initiative in the world to organize a joint contest between the recitation of the Qur’an and the call to prayer at the same time.
It is designed to highlight the rich diversity of cultures in the Islamic world, and the vocal methods of reciting the Qur’an and raising the call to prayer.
The jury consists of Sheikh Ahmed Nahas, the muezzin of the Grand Mosque in Makkah; Sheikh Mishari bin Rashed Al-Afasy, a well-known reciter and imam of the Grand Mosque in Kuwait; Abdul Rahim Nabulsi, secretary-general of Reciters and Teaching Recitation in Morocco; Bahloul Saeed Abu Arqoub, an expert in maqamat and a judge in international Qur’anic competitions from Libya; and Sheikh Ahmed Mansour, leading reciter of Al-Azhar Mosque in Egypt.
In addition to the main jury, Sheikh Adil Al-Kalbani, former imam of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, will serve as general supervisor of the competition, and Fahad Al-Andas, an imam and preacher at the King Faisal Air Academy for 27 years, will be the secretary-general of the competition.