50,000 contestants from 165 countries for international Qur’an recitation, adhan competition

February 06, 2023

Saudi Gazette Report

RIYADH — The second edition of the International Qur’an and Adhan Competition (Otr Elkalam) began with sorting the contestants, and those qualified in the first stage will be nominated to the second round of the competition, which is the largest of its kind in the world.

More than 50,000 contestants, from 165 countries of the world, have been registered to participate in the competition when registration was opened on Jan. 4. The General Entertainment Authority (GEA) is organizing the competition, which has prizes worth a total of SR12 million, the largest prize money for such a competition in the world.

The contestants have to go through four stages, three of which are electronic, in which they are nominated based on their level of performance via the website. The fourth stage will be in person in front of the jury and viewers in the Otr Elkalam TV show, whose episodes will be broadcast during the holy month of Ramadan on the MBC and the Shahid digital platform.

The participation process begins with applicants registering via the competition website and uploading an audio clip for evaluation by a jury, which in turn nominates candidates over another three stages of qualification before finalists are selected. The competition enables the contestants to register in both Arabic and English on its website, through easy steps that involved opening a personal account, which includes their data and means of communication, to facilitate their screening and nominate the winners to the next stage of the competition.

Through the competition website, the contestants will get to know whether they are qualified for the following stage of the competition. They will also be able to review the audio files that they uploaded at various stages.

The contestants are sorted in each stage of the competition by specialized jury committees that work on evaluating the contestants in the tracks of the Qur’an recitation and adhan according to specific criteria that take into account transparency, integrity, impartiality, intonation skills, performance, and control of phonetic characters.

The Otr Elkalam competition is the first initiative in the world to organize a joint competition of the recitation of the Holy Qur’an and the call to prayer at the same time. The competition aims to highlight the beauty and aesthetics of voices in reciting the Holy Qur’an and raising the call to prayer.

The objectives of the competition also include spreading the correct concepts of reciting the Qur’an and raising the call to prayer, through the directives of the jury taken from the fixed descriptions of the reading of the Prophet (peace be upon him) according to accurate criteria that take into account intonation, good voice, and performance.

The competition also seeks to show the richness and diversity of the cultures of the Islamic world and the vocal methods of reciting the Qur’an and adhan. First presented in Ramadan last year, the contest introduces the world to the tolerance of Islam, the rich diversity of the cultures of the Islamic world, and the vocal methods of reciting the Qur’an and raising the call to prayer. It also aims to support, empower, and celebrate creative and talented people.

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