Cairo: An annual international competition for the Holy Quran is due to begin Friday in Saudi Arabia with a pool of prizes worth SR4 million.
The 43rd edition of the International King Abdulaziz Competition for the Holy Quran memorisation, recitation and interpretation, will take place at the Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest site in Mecca, for 11 days with the participation of contestants from 117 countries.
The event is organised by the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance and held under the auspices of King Salman bin Abdulaziz.
This year’s competition has seen the value of its total prizes raised to SR4 million with the top winner to claim SR500,000, according to Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance Abdelatif Al Alsheikh, the supervisor-general of the event.
“The competition’s committees have finalised their preparations for receiving the 166 contestants and 50 escorts from 117 countries,” he added in media remarks.
The prestigious competition is named after late king Abdulaziz, the founder of Saudi Arabia. The kingdom, Islam’s birthplace, organises several religious competitions.
Earlier this year, SR3.3 million worth of prizes were given away to Quran reciters at a national competition in Saudi Arabia.
The King Salman Prize for Quran memorisation, recitation and interpretation was also organised by the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs in March.
Initially, more than 3,000 male and female contestants from across the kingdom entered the qualifying stages.
Later, 58 male and 47 female competitors qualified for the finals. Members of the jury listened to the recitation finalists and picked 18 males and 18 females as the winners.