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Algerian stakes claim with soulful performance

17-year-old Hamame among the top performers so far at Dubai International Holy Quran Award

Dubai: The Dubai International Holy Quran Award (Dihqa) has begun on a soulful note with several powerful performances over the first two nights of the annual competition.

The 21st edition of the contest that began on Friday has 100 candidates participating for the first time in its history.

One of the biggest competitions of its kind, in terms of prize money and participation, Dihqa is a dream platform for young memorisers of the Holy Quran from across the globe.

One such youngster is 17-year-old Algerian contestant Yousuf Hamame, who left the audience in awe with his soulful rendition of the Holy Quran on Saturday night.

Hamame, who has participated in several international competitions, said that it was always a dream to take part in Dihqa.

“Taking part in such a prestigious competition is a dream of all Quran memorisers, it is an ultimate experience for all of us who are here,” said Hamame, who completed memorising the 114 chapters long holy book at the age of nine.

Hamame, who inspired the audience with his beautiful recitation, said that Dihqa has become a key milestone for Quran memorisers thanks to the high quality of the competition.

“Dubai Quran competition is one of the highest platforms to perform, and I am so happy to be here. Meeting and interacting with so many competitors from across the world is a great learning experience,” said Hamame who wants to grow up as an Islamic scholar as well a surgeon.

Hamame comes from a family dedicated to Quran, with his father also having fully memorised the holy book, while his younger brother also on the verge of completion of memorisation of the Quran.

Other notable performers over the last two days include 21-year-old Asghari Mana from the Philippines and Mohammad Abdullah Bin Azidin from Malaysia.