Dubai, July 10: As many as 82 countries and Muslim communities across the world have so far agreed to participate in the 16th session of the Dubai International Holy Quran Award, which is slated to run from Ramadan or August 1 to 20.
Chairman of the award organising committee Ibrahim Bu Melha said this year would see the first participation of Ireland with the youngest contestant, an eight-year-old boy. “This is the first time for Ireland to compete in the global contest with a very special participant who memorises the Holy Quran in full despite his young age.”
The 9-category award, held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is aimed to serve the Holy Quran and promote the general standard of the Quranic performance. This year the organising committee had contacted over 160 countries for participation. “Big prizes await toppers: The first winner will be awarded Dh250,000 and the second Dh200,000. The third winner will take home Dh150,000 and the fourth winner Dh65,000, while each winner till the 10th position will receive Dh5,000 less than the winner just above him. The other participants will each get Dh30,000,” he said.
Members of the judging panel have also been elected for both the main international competition and the most beautiful recitation contest. These include Sheikh Mohammed Kharuf - Syria, Sheikh Ali Alhafashi - Yemen, Sheikh Ahmed Alsudais – Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Faraj Alshazli – Egypt, Sheikh Mustafa Touri – Senegal, as well as the tuneful voices judge Sheikh Ahmed Altrabulsi - Kuwait.
“All the jury members are experienced in judging international Holy Quran awards worldwide,” said Bu Melha, who is also Adviser to the Ruler of Dubai for Cultural and Humanitarian Affairs.