Moroccan Younes Mustafa Gharbi won World’s biggest Quran recitation competition held in Saudi Arabia. Gharbi took $ 1.33 million prize money home.
Britain’s Mohammed Ayoub Asif came second, winning $533k. Bahrain’s Mohammed Mujahid secured the third spot, taking home $267k, while Iran’s Sayed Jassem Mousavi was fourth and received $133k.
“Otr Elkalam” (“Scent of Speech”), kicked off on the first day of the fasting month of Ramadan and was broadcast on the Al-Saudiya TV channel.
In the azaan (call to prayer) competition, Turkey’s Muhsin Kara and Albijan Celik secured first and second places, winning $533K and $267k, respectively.
The Saudi pair of Abdulrahman bin Adel and Anas Al-Rahili, came third and fourth, bagging $133k and $66,666, respectively.
Turki Al-Sheikh, head of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority, crowned the first-place winners and said the event would return next year with a new set of competitors from around the world. He also thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their unlimited support for the authority.
More than 40,000 participants from 80 countries applied to participate in the qualifying stage of the competition that started in 2019. Thirty-six contestants qualified for the final stages — 18 participants for each contest — hoping to be recognized as the best in their specialty and looking for a chance to share the $3.2 million combined prize money.
The prestigious competition is notable for its precise judging criteria, with a set of distinguished jurors. The 13-member judging panel included muezzins from the Two Holy Mosques, key Qur’an reciters from around the globe, and famous international competition assessors.