Talent show Munshid Al Sharjah is looking for its next star as it kicks off with auditions on August 21 in seven Arab countries and online.
The competition is returning for its 14th season with the goal of finding the next nasheed star from the Muslim world.
The Islamic chanting talent contest, which is organised by Sharjah TV, an affiliate of Sharjah Broadcasting Authority, will be held at Al Majaz Amphitheatre in the emirate.
Regional fame, which often leads to successful tours and albums, will be awaiting the winner, who will be crowned Munshid Al Sharjah.
The online nasheed auditions will run from August 20 to September 3, with those wanting to participate asked to send a video to www.munshidsharjah.ae. In-person auditions will be held in seven Arab countries from August 21 to September 4, from 8am to 8pm at the following venues:
1. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia at Dallah Volunteer Organisation (Al Rihab District) on August 21
2. Algeria, Algeria at Dar El Quran Sheikh Ahmad Sahnun (Bir Murad Rais) on August 23
3. Muscat, Oman at Middle East College Hall (Seeb District) on August 25
4. Fes, Morocco at Commune de Fes (Majlis Al Madina) on August 27
5. Amman, Jordan at Kaloti Development Centre (Al Rabya) on August 28
6. Cairo, Egypt at Al Jazeera Higher Educational Institution on September 1
7. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates at Sharjah Radio and Television Authority on September 4
Requirements to audition for Munshid Al Sharjah
1. Nasheed: Select a nasheed with purposeful content
3. Dress code should be suitable
4. Age should be between 20 to 35
Who are the audition judges?
1. Mohammed Ghazali and Faisal Al Labban in Jeddah
2. Kamel Rezzoug (Winner of Munshid Al Sharjah in 2014) and Abdul Rahman Bu Hubaylah in Algeria, Algeria
3. Omar Al Beriki and Ibrahim Al Munziri in Muscat
4. Mohammed Khalafawi and Murad Steito in Fes
5. Ayman Ramadan and Abdulkader Nasser El Dine in Amman
6. Osama Allam and Mahmud Hilal in Cairo
7. Ahmad Al Mansouri and Taresh Al Hashimi in Sharjah
Who was the last season's winner?
Last season, Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, crowned Zakaria Al Zirek from Morocco as the winner of season 13 of Munshid Al Sharjah. Ahmed Samreen from Jordan came in second place and Aseel Jaber from Algeria took third.
Last season's vocal trainers
Last season, three vocal coaches guided the aspiring nasheed stars on their journey. They included acclaimed Iraqi musician and composer Waseem Faris, season four finalist Mustafa Hamdo from Syria and Egyptian music producer and composer Sherif Mohsen.
Judging panel of Season 13
Advice to all contestants was offered on stage by three arbiters, renowned Tunisian singer Lotfi Bouchnak, who is referred to as Tunisia’s Luciano Pavarotti and known for his religious chants, as well as Sufi singer Sheikh Mahmoud El Tohamy, who is behind Madrassat Al Inshad (School of Chanting) in Egypt.
The two were joined by Ahmed Bukhatir, who is from Sharjah, and is considered the UAE's chanting ambassador. Bukhatir began his chanting career in 1989 and released his first album at the age of 20, titled Entasaf Al Layl, in 2000.
Also, during last season, alongside Munshid Al Sharjah, the organisers put together a family-oriented Sharjah Munshid Festival outside Al Majaz Amphitheatre. Offering a wide range of activities and competitions, the festival included children’s entertainment, games, food stalls, daily shows, an outdoor cinema, and a screening of past seasons of Munshid Al Sharjah.