Quran recitation and call to prayer competition

Al-Anbat -

OtrElkalam (Scent of Speech) is an international competition organized by the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) and targets talented people in the fields of reciting the Holy Quran and the call to prayer (Adhan).It is the largest competition of its kind globally, as more than 40,000 participants from 80 countries around the world applied to participate in it, 36 of whom qualified for the final stages from several countries. It is the first competition in the world to combine the two categories of reciting the Holy Quran and the call to prayer in one program.

The competition will be broadcast in a pre-recorded program on Saudia TV, Channel One, during the month of Ramadan 2022 AD/1443 AH, under the name (OtrElkalam) TV show. There will be 19 pre-recorded episodes over 19 days, and the final episode will be broadcast live in which the winners will be announced during the show.

The goal of the Competition

The competition, which began its early stages in 2019, aims to highlight the beautiful voices in reciting the Holy Quran and the call to prayer. It is also part of the initiatives of the General Entertainment Authority that seek to highlight talents in their fields. This competition specifically stems from the principle of glorifying the Holy Quran and the call to prayer and highlighting the aesthetics of the voices and maqamat (a system of scales, habitual melodic phrases, modulation possibilities, ornamentation norms, and aesthetic conventions) for Quran reciters and muezzins.

Competition prizes

The total value of the competition prizes amounts to SAR 12 million ($3.2 million), which is the largest prize in the world in this field.

The prizes for the best Quran recitation are divided as follows: first-place SAR 5 million ($ 1.33 million), second-place SAR 2 million ($ 533,000), third-place SAR 1 million ($ 266,000), and fourth-place SAR 500,000 ($ 133,000). The prizes for the best call to prayers are divided as follows: first-place SAR 2 million ($ 533,000), second place SAR 1 million ($ 266,000), third-place SAR500,000 ($ 133,000), and fourth-place SAR 250,000 ($ 66,500).

Competition criteria and jury members

Since its launch in 2019, the competition has been distinguished by its precise criteria and its jury that enhance competitiveness through stages and qualifiers through which qualified talents reach the final stages. The committee is made up of a specialized team in Quranic competitions, including the muezzins of the Two Holy Mosques, the world's top reciters, and renowned international competition assessors.

There are 13 members in the jury, including the Secretary-General of the competition, which makes it the largest jury in the history of Quranic competitions. This reflects the universality, enormity and importance of the competition. All members of the jury specialize in particular areas, including specialists in the call to prayer, the recitations, and maqamat. They all work to evaluate the contestants according to precise and clear criteria that ensure equal opportunities for all contestants.

Division of contestants

The General Entertainment Authority made it possible for all contestants from all over the world to participate in the competition through simple and easy registration procedures that did not require travel.The participants went through four online qualifiers before they reached the final stages, which will be shown in the (OtrElkalam) TV show.

36 contestants from both categories (Quran recitation and the call to prayer) qualified for the final stages, with 18 contestants for each category. The competition takes place during the episodes of the TV show until the finalists qualify for the final episode, which will be broadcast live on Ramadan 19, 1443 AH, in which the winners of the competition will be crowned.

Contestants’ nationalities

The 36 contestants came from 15 countries: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Morocco, Yemen, Britain, Switzerland, Bahrain, Malaysia, Syria, Turkey, Libya, Iraq, Algeria, and Iran.

Contestants qualified for the second stage

From 36 contestant, 24 contestant from both categories qualified for the second stage.

Quran recitation category

Osama Abu Zaid – Yemen

Younes Mustafa Gharbi - Morocco

Mohammed Mujahid - Bahrain

Dr. Mohammed Al-Awadi - Egypt

Barkady Abdallah - Morocco

Ahmed Al-Khalidi - Morocco

Mohammed Ayoub Asif - Britain

Osama Al-Silawi - Iraq

Izzat Al-Sayed Rashid - Egypt

Mutasim Billah Al-Asali - Syria

Essam Abdulhafeez Al-Rubai - Libya

Seyed Jassem Mousavi - Iran


Call to prayer category

Khalil Saeed Benshi - Syria

Abdel-Fattah Ali Jahider - Libya

Mohammed Nahas - Saudi Arabia

Arkan Samir al-Qaisi - Iraq

Abdul Rahman bin Adel Mohammed - Saudi Arabia

Mahmoud Ali Hilal - Egypt

Sayed Mohammed Yassin Arsheed - Syria

Anas Al-Rahili - Saudi Arabia

Mohsen Kara - Turkey

Anas Sahloul - Saudi Arabia

AlbijanCelik - Turkey

Ibrahim Al-Zahrani - Saudi Arabia



Competition stages

The first stage:6 episodes, in which 36 reciters and muezzins compete, and one contestant from each category comes out as a quarter-finalist of each episode.

The second stage (the quarter-final): 6 episodes, in which 24 reciters and muezzins compete, and one contestant from each category comes out as a semi-finalist of each episode.

The third stage (the semi-final): Two episodes, in which 12 reciters and muezzins compete, and one contestant from each category comes out as a finalist of each episode.

The last stage (the final):An episode in which the first four places in each category, four reciters and four muezzins, compete.

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