Riyadh skyline. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Cairo: Around SR3.3 million worth of prizes have been given away to reciters of the Holy Quran at a national competition in Saudi Arabia, a government minister has said.

The King Salman Prize for Quran memorisation, recitation and interpretation was organised by the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs.

Initially, more than 3,000 male and female contestants from across the kingdom entered the qualifying stages, Minister of Islamic Affairs and Call Abdelatif Al Alsheikh said at the final ceremony of the event Saturday night in Riyadh.

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, he added.

The final ceremony for feting the female winners was held under the auspices of King Salman’s wife Princess Fahda bint Falah and attended by wife of the Riyadh governor Princess Noura bint Mohammed as well as a number of princesses and academics, Okaz newspaper reported.

The ceremony coincided with another Saudi competition with SR12 million worth of prizes up for grabs.

The “Otre El Kalam” is a major international competition for reciting the Holy Quran and making Adhan or the Islamic call to prayer.

Fifty contestants from 28 countries qualified to the finals, which commenced on Thursday, the first day of the month of Ramadan, the Saudi news agency SPA reported.

The competition, a celebrated Ramadan TV show, is organised by the state General Entertainment authority in Saudi Arabia, Islam’s birthplace.

The contest aims to spotlight brilliant reciters of the Quran and prayer callers or muezzins as well as to acquaint the world with moderate Islam and diverse Islamic cultures.