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Wednesday May 22, 2024

Palestinian-American participates in Quran recitation, Azan competition

By Muhammad Saleh Zaafir
March 27, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Palestinian-American contestant Yasser Omar Shaheen, a Hollywood film and television scriptwriter, was a participant in the latest episode of the international Holy Quran recitation and Azan competition.

Shaheen entertained the viewers with his melodic voice and distinctive recitation of the Holy Quran. The Otr Elkalam TV show, which is being supervised by the General Entertainment Authority and is broadcast on MBC1 and Shahid digital platform, has a total prize pool of SR12 million ($3.2 million).

Shaheen said: “My life is a mixture of memorising and reciting the Holy Quran and writing scripts in Hollywood, where I have supervised the production of more than 130 programmes, produced 14 documentaries, and contributed to several shows on TV channels of Arab and Islamic countries.”

He enjoys teaching Muslim children the verses of the Holy Quran and the rules of intonation in mosques in Dallas, Texas.

Shaheen also works as a faculty member at San Jose University in California. Several competitions resulted in his participation in Otr Elkalam and its first episode featured 32 contestants from around the world. It also focused on last year’s winners of the Quran recitation and Azan competitions, Younes Gharbi from Morocco and Mohsen Kara of Turkiye, respectively.

The Otr Elkalam competition is designed to highlight the rich diversity of cultures in the Islamic world, and the vocal methods of reciting the Quran and raising the call to prayer. More than 50,000 entrants from 165 countries were whittled down to 50 for the final stage, which is held in Saudi capital Riyadh.

Another selection process by the main jury then left 32 contestants, 16 for each competition.