In the Sudan, President Ja'afar al-Nimeiry was among 5000 people who gathered at Khartoum's Friendship Hall on Monday (12 December) for the country's second Koran recitation contest.
LV AND CU: contestant speaking from rostrum (2 shots)
SV: President Ja'afar al-Nimeiry seated (right)
SV: audience seated listening.
CU: woman contestant on platform chanting
CU: young male contestant chanting and audience listening (2 shots)
SV: judges and others seated.
SV: young children reciting and audience listening. (2 shots)
SV AND CU: President Nimeiry and religious leaders presenting awards to winners. (2 shots)
CU ZOOM OUT: Nimeiry shaking hands with officials after being presented with copy of Koran.
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Background: In the Sudan, President Ja'afar al-Nimeiry was among 5000 people who gathered at Khartoum's Friendship Hall on Monday (12 December) for the country's second Koran recitation contest.
SYNOPSIS: These competitions are held in many different parts of the Moslem world and are intended to highlight the importance of the Koran in religious life. For this occasion president Nimeiry -- seated on the right -- donated 50,000 Sudanese pounds (58,400 U.S. dollars) in prize money and promised to double the amount next year.
Slowly but surely women are taking on more active roles in the public life of Moslem countries and the traditional arts are no exception to this trend. Followers of Islam have warned recently against making their own interpretations of the Koran -- it is regarded as inviolable in its purity and all attempts to alter this view are seen as a distortion of the truth.
These Yemeni experts were among the competition judges -- taking careful note of the performances from young and old alike. Koran recitation is a complex skill, in which memory, voice, intonation, diction, fluency and the Tajwid or rules of recitation are taken into account.
And for the winners the exhilaration of an award -- this year presented by President Nimeiry himself.
Most moslems memorise passages from the Koran and those who master the complete book are said to enter communion with absolute reality.