Iranian Quran reciter Yunes Shahmoradi tops at Saudi Arabian competition

April 8, 2023 - 18:4

TEHRAN – Iranian Quran reciter Yunes Shahmoradi has taken first place in the recitation category at the Otr Elkalam International Competition, which is organized in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

As the world’s largest Quran recitation and call to prayer (athan) contest, the Otr Elkalam competition is organized by the General Entertainment Authority (GEA).

Shahmoradi was awarded 3 million Saudi riyals ($810,000), the organizers announced on Friday.

Abdulaziz Al-Faqih from Saudi won second place and received 2 million Saudi riyals, while the Moroccan reciter Zakaria Al-Zirk took third place with one million Saudi riyals.

The jury selected Abdullah Al-Daghri from Morocco as the winner of fourth place, giving him 700,000 Saudi riyals.

In the athan category, first prize worth 2 million riyals was given to Mohammed Al-Sharif from Saudi Arabia, while Diaa Al-Din bin Nazar Al-Din from Indonesia was picked as runner-up with a cash prize of one million Saudi riyals.

Raheef Al-Hajj won third place with a cash prize of 500,000 Saudi riyals and Ibrahim Asad from England took fourth place with a cash prize of 300,000 Saudi riyals.

Since its inauguration in 2019, the competition has been distinguished by its precise criteria and jury that enhance competitiveness through stages and qualifiers through which qualified talent reaches the final stages. 

The committee is made up of a team specializing in Quranic competitions, including the muezzins of the Two Holy Mosques, the world’s top reciters, and renowned international competition assessors.

There are 12 jury members in the first phase of the competition, to which is adjoined the secretary-general of the competition, who is present in its second phase, giving this event the largest jury in the history of Quranic competitions. 

All members of the jury specialize in particular areas, including specialists in the call to prayer, recitations, and maqamat. They all work to evaluate the contestants according to precise and clear criteria that ensure equal opportunities for all contestants.

Photo: Iranian Quran reciter Yunes Shahmoradi (C) with the organizers after accepting the grand prize at the Otr Elkalam International Competition in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on April 7, 2023. (

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