ALGIERS – Saturday, 16 December 2023 (APS) – The final phase of selections for the 1st International Algerian Electronic Maqraa Competition kicked off on Saturday in Algiers, as part of the 1st National Meeting on Distance Quranic Teaching themed “Algerian Electronic Maqraa: From Creation to Development”, with the participation of 19 countries.

In his speech on this occasion, the Minister of Religious Affairs and Wakfs, Youcef Belmehdi reported that “nearly 800 participants took part in this competition, the first of its kind, representing 19 countries including Tunisia, Libya, Australia and Great Britain”

“800 candidates of several nationalities took part in the pre-selections, over two months, via the Algerian electronic Maqraa with the guidance of accredited teachers in the ten Holy Quran readings,” said the Minister, stressing that “70 candidates qualified for the final phase of these selections launched this Saturday as part of the first National Meeting on Distance Quran Teaching.”

“Candidates will compete remotely in seven (7) categories, including recitation and chanting of the Holy Quran, recitation and tajweed of half the Holy Quran and tajweed of the Quran without recitation,” explained Belmehdi.

“Three winners in each category will be selected and awarded at the closing ceremony scheduled for next Monday,” he continued.

The “Maqraa” digital platform was created in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic to teach the Quran remotely to pupils in Algeria and other countries around the world.

Recalling the creation of a platform dedicated to the Algerian Maqraa in 2022, the Minister described this as “another milestone” likely to strengthen the role of zaouias, Quranic schools and mosques that teach the Holy Quran.”

“The electronic Maqraa platform currently has 30,000 subscribers of different nationalities,” he said.

The platform is supervised by professors with degrees in all ten readings, said Belmehdi, announcing that in future it will be upgraded to a school and then a university.