In Kuala Lumpur, the twenty-first international Koran reading competition opened on Sunday (12 August) in the presence of the Supreme Head of State of Malaysia, his Majesty Sultan Ahmad Shah.
LV Arrival of His Majesty Tuanku Haji Ahmad Shah Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Abu Bakar of Malaysia (2 SHOTS)
MV Tableau of Islamic history (2 SHOTS)
MV Men with swords
LV Battle enacted (4 SHOTS)
MV Soldiers bearing nameboards and flags of competing nations (2 SHOTS)
LV King greeting competitors (2 SHOTS)
CU Conductor conducting chorus
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Background: In Kuala Lumpur, the twenty-first international Koran reading competition opened on Sunday (12 August) in the presence of the Supreme Head of State of Malaysia, his Majesty Sultan Ahmad Shah.
SYNOPSIS: Thousands of people gathered in the Merdeka Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday (12 August) for the opening of the annual three-day competition. This year competitors from nineteen countries are taking part in the event designed to strengthen Moslem unity throughout the world. The new Supreme Head of State of Malaysia, His Majesty Sultan Ahmad Shah, officially opened the competition. This was one of his first official duties since he was proclaimed King four months ago following the previous monarch's death in March. The main feature of the opening ceremony was a colourful religious pantomime about man's search for worldly and heavenly joy.
The theme of this year's competition is "Knowledge and Reasoning the Basis of Faith". The Prophet Muhammad once said: "The faith of a person is incomplete if his reasoning is not perfect." The competition organisers consider this theme to be particularly appropriate as Moslems will soon he entering a new century -- the fifteenth century of Hirjah -- during which science and technology will feature even more prominently in their lives. Although the participants will be competing for substantial cash prizes and a free trip to Mecca, this is no ordinary competition. When a Moslem reads the Koran he considers himself to be worshipping, for he is repeating the words of God. the Koran is the source of Islamic belief and is the only book in he world which has not been altered since it was revealed fourteen hundred years ago.
King Sultan Ahmad Shah greeted the competitors -- who for the first time included representatives from Senegal. Each country is entitled to send on male and one female reader, though many countries have not sent entrants for the womens section. Last year's womens champion, Hajjah Rogayah Sulong will be defending her title, but the reigning mens champion will not unfortunately be able to compete this year. The competitors will be judged by one local and eight foreign judges. Participants draw lots to decide which of the selected passages they will rad and are judged on pronunciation, intonation, fluency and melodiousness of voice.