RIYADH — Saudi Arabia is witnessing these days the events of the final qualifiers for the international Holy Qur’an and Call to Prayer competition, organized by the General Entertainment Authority and aired on Otr Elkalam (Scent of Speech) TV show.

A total of 36 contestants from different countries compete for the best voices in reciting the Holy Qur’an and delivering the Islamic call to prayer, which is raised by a muezzin at prescribed times of the day in mosques all over the world.

The competition is in its second phase of the final qualifiers. The first phase ended a few days ago and the quarterfinals began with the contestants competing for a slot in the semifinals.

The semifinals will see 12 contestants — six in each category — competing to qualify for the finals. Four contestants will compete in the finals for prizes worth a total of SR12 million ($3.2 million).

Contestants from different nationalities participate in the competition. The quarterfinals included contestants from Saudi Arabia, the UK, Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya and Iran.

All the contestants went through the preliminary qualifying stages that started in 2019 with more than 40,000 contestants from 80 countries around the world who participated via the Internet before coming to compete in the final qualifying rounds in Saudi Arabia.

The competition is judged by a jury of 13 members specialized in the sciences of the Qur’an, maqams and vocal pitches. The jury members are from Indonesia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Libya, Pakistan, Egypt, Lebanon, Kuwait and Senegal.

The competition is the first initiative of its kind in the world, combining the Holy Qur’an recitation and the Call to Prayer in one competition with valuable prizes. It is shown on Otr Elkalam (Scent of Speech) show on Saudi TV and Shahid streaming platform daily at 5 p.m., Riyadh time.

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