Today, 1 Ramadan, the first episode of Otr Elkalam (Scent of Speech) TV show, dedicated to the international competition of the Holy Quran and the call to prayer (adhan), organized by the General Entertainment Authority (GEA), was launched. The episode, which was broadcast by Saudia TV, Channel One, at 5 pm, Riyadh time, in addition to the Shahid Platform, included a number of Quranic recitations and the call to prayer for the 12 members of the jury. The episode also presented the concepts of recitation development and how to teach the maqamat, in addition to the criteria of the jury taken from fixed descriptions of the recitation of the Prophet (PBUH), including beautiful voice, intonation, the extension of recitation, and other precise criteria for the largest competition of its kind in the world.
The Holy Quran and call to prayer competitions are the first initiative in the world to organize a joint competition between recitation and the call to prayer, as it succeeded in attracting some of the best reciters and muezzins in the world, which confirms the Kingdom’s leadership in launching quality competitions in various fields. The value of the prizes is more than SAR 12 million ($3.2 million), which is the largest award in the recitation of the Holy Quran and the call to prayer in the world and one of the largest awards in the world targeting talented people in their fields.
The process of selecting participants in the two branches of the competition was not easy. From the first moments of announcing the acceptance of recorded audio clips to participate in the competition, more than 40,000 videos from 80 countries were uploaded, and it took a long time to sort them out by the jury formed from the most prominent assessors of international Quranic competitions. Consequently, 36 finalists were nominated, 18 for the recitation branch, and 18 for the call to prayer branch.
The participants in the competition go through several stages. In the preliminary qualifiers that start tomorrow, Sunday, 36 participants in the recitation and call to prayer branches will compete to move to the next stage, and 12 participants from each category will qualify for the quarter-final qualifiers. The competition continues until the number of participants reaches 6 from each category for the semi-final stage. In the last part of the show, the best 4 reciters and 4 muezzins qualify for the final, and each participant then undergoes the last test before announcing the name of the winner in each category.
The first episode of the competition, whose general supervisor was Sheikh Adel Al-Kalbani, witnessed examples of Quran recitation and call to prayer for some members of the jury, who include imams and muezzins from the Two Holy Mosques, which gives the competition a cognitive dimension through evaluating the contestants and highlighting the observations and modifications for the benefit of all those interested in reciting the Holy Quran and delivering the call to prayer.
Azzam Al-Omran, the representative of the GEA, said that the competition is one of the initiatives announced by the Chairman of the GEA’s Board of Directors, Turki Al-Sheikh, in which he welcomed the participation of Muslim contestants who enjoy beautiful voices from all over the world, in addition to the highly experienced jury in readings, maqamat, vocal pitches and language.
Otr Elkalam is the largest competition for Quran recitation and call to prayer in the world in terms of the amount of prizes, the jury, and the number of contestants that exceeds 40,000. The GEA provides a rich and varied experience, aimed at encouraging Quran recitation and intonation and introducing the beauty and tolerance of Islam.