Quran recitation and call to prayer competition
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.
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.
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
●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.