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The final qualifiers were Saudi Abdulrahman bin Adel and Moroccan Ahmed Al-Khalidi. (Supplied)
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The final qualifiers were Saudi Abdulrahman bin Adel and Moroccan Ahmed Al-Khalidi. (Supplied)Next
April 15, 2022
JEDDAH: Contestants from Saudi Arabia and Morocco have made it through to the next semi-final stage of a prestigious call to prayer and Qur’an recitation competition.
Viewers around the world watching the 11th episode of the “Otr Elkalam” (“Scent of Speech”) TV show saw Abdulrahman bin Adel and Ahmed Al-Khalidi progress in their respective categories in the final qualifier phase of the international contest, organized by the General Entertainment Authority.
Saudi entrant Bin Adel qualified in the athan (call to prayer) class after securing enough votes to beat off Egyptian rival Mahmoud Ali Hilal.
Bin Adel’s vocal performance captivated the audience and members of the jury, moving imam of the Grand Mosque of Kuwait, Sheikh Mishary Al-Afasy, to tears.
In the competition’s Qur’an recitation category, the jury and audience were divided between the performance of Moroccan contestants Abdullah Barkady and Ahmed Al-Khalidi. But Al-Khalidi, imam of the Andalus Mosque, who reads the Qur’an using Braille, managed to edge the vote.
The competition is now in its second phase of the final qualifiers, with 12 contestants – six for each category – competing for the semis. Only four will qualify for the final stage to compete for prizes worth a total of SR12 million ($3.2 million).
The 13-member jury is made up of judges from Indonesia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Libya, Pakistan, Egypt, Lebanon, Kuwait, and Senegal, specialized in the Qur’an, maqams, and vocal pitches.