RIYADH, Saudi Arabia /PRNewswire/ — About ten years after his experience with Egyptian and Liverpool player Mohamed Salah on the banks of the Rhine in Basel, northwest Switzerland, the Saudi contestant Abdulaziz Al-Faqih in the Otr Elkalam show, one of the initiatives of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority, recalled the memories of his first days in the ancient European city. Salah was one of the worshipers who used to follow him during Tarawih congregation prayers in Ramadan 2013 at the Islamic Center Mosque in the city, which is the third largest Swiss city in terms of population after Zurich and Geneva.
Basel, which overlooks two of the most prominent Western European countries, namely France and Germany, was the first foreign experience for Al-Faqih and the Salah. The city was a starting point for the two young men to achieve success. Salah scored 20 goals with the Swiss team, which accelerated his move to the English club, Chelsea, then Liverpool, through Fiorentina and Rome, and he won the best player award in England and Africa several times. Al-Faqih followed another path of success in the Department of Recitations at Umm Al-Qura University and became one of the contestants for the largest prize for Quran recitation in the world.
Although Al-Faqih had his first foreign experience with Mohamed Salah, the latter was not the first Mohamed to influence Al-Faqih’s life. Al-Faqih was also influenced by Mohammed Ayoub, the former imam of the Prophet’s Mosque. Al-Faqih simulated Ayoub’s spiritual and reverent Hijazi recitations, which helped to introduce him to other experiences in many countries, most notably Germany, Bahrain, France, and the United Arab Emirates.
The Otr Elkalam show has allocated prizes totaling $3.3 million to the winners, which is the largest financial prize in the history of international competitions of this kind. The first winner in the Quran recitation track receives $800,000, while the first winner of the adhan track receives $534,000. The show is broadcast daily during the holy month of Ramadan on MBC and the Shahid digital platform.