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Dubai: The main attraction of the 16th Dubai International Holy Quran Award (DIHQA) got underway with a bang as young participants from different parts of the world gave judges little to choose from.
While all the participants on the day one of the contest did well to please the enraptured audience and judges alike, one young man from Bangladesh did stand out with his flowing recitation and velvety voice.
Ainul Arefin,19, from Bangladesh was the second participant on day one to come on stage and he quickly established his superior quality of recitation.
With three questions for each contestant randomly picked by the participants themselves, the Dhaka-based Islamic studies student eased through it all without a blink.
-I m very happy with my performance and Iím confident that I have done well to stay on top, rest is in Allahís hand,- said the confident young man who has participated in several international Quran recitation competitions..
Another young man who came close to Arefinís performance was Abdur Rahman Mohamoud Faris from Jordan, who also presented a pleasing performance but stumbled at the final hurdle when he a made minor mistake.
This yearís first contestant on stage Abbas AbdinNasir Muallim Ahmad was from UK. The 16 year old by far had the most soothing voice, but knows his chances are slim thanks to his more than one mistakes.
-This is my first time in an international competition and I was a bit nervous initially which resulted in a few mistakes but Iím happy with my performance and I hope the judges have liked it,- said Ahmad, who has been learning Quran since the age of four.
The teenager, who is among the few younger participants, thanked the authorities for giving him a chance to come to Dubai and mingle with participants from around the world.
The contest, which is held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is true reflection of the cityís cosmopolitan nature.
The packed auditorium at Dubai Chamber, where the contests have been traditionally held, was microcosm of Dubaiís myriad communities living together in perfect harmony.