Egyptian performer Yahya Nadi wins Munshid Al Sharjah season 14

Final marked an exciting end to the nasheed competition, held at Sharjah's Al Majaz Amphitheatre

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After a night of fierce competition, Munshid Al Sharjah drew to a close with Yahya Nadi, from Egypt named the winner by Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah.

Six contestants from across the Arab world competed in the final of the nasheed, or Islamic chanting, contest at Al Majaz Amphitheatre. The others were Muhammad Al Rifai from Iraq, Muhammad Al Masha'leh from Jordan, Issa Shammout from Syria, Abdullah Al Omari from Lebanon, and Muhammad Al Wafi Idris from Libya.

While Nadi was awarded a cash prize of Dh200,000, the runners-up, Lebanon's Al Omari and Libya's Idris, received Dh100,000 and Dh75,000 for second and third place respectively.

Scroll through images of the final night below

With a population of more than 100 million and two previous Munshid Al Sharjah winners, Egypt is certain to offer a warm welcome to Nadi. After winning the competition, Nadi told The National: “Upon my return to Egypt, I am expecting an unprecedented welcome home from the Egyptian people. It is going to be an incredible welcome.

“In the years to come, I will be a different person. Through my involvement with Munshid Al Sharjah, I have gained a lot of valuable knowledge that will serve me well in my career. I shall work hard in the next few years.”

Meanwhile, Al Omari burst into tears when it was announced he came second. The father-of-two vowed to name his daughter, aged two months, in honour of the competition.

Third prize winner Muhammad Al Wafi Idris from Libya at the finals of the 14th Munshid Al Sharjah. Ruel Pableo for The National

“It was during my wife's labour that I was notified that I had been shortlisted in Munshid Al Sharjah. I resolved then to name my daughter The Magnificence of Sharjah, should I be selected for the top three spots.

“Achieving such a feat would be of great benefit to Lebanon. If the Lebanese officials do not take action, I will step in to help out with the help of past Lebanese finalists."

Although Idris, 30, came third, he said all the finalists deserved to win. “I find it extremely hard to express my feelings now. My heart isn't entirely filled with joy because every single finalist had the ambition to win. They have all become my friends and deserve to be winners, given their amazing voices.”

Back home, Idris is a songwriter and composer. “Ramadan advertisements and singing patriotic songs make up most of my work in Libya,” he added.

Despite their elimination, the other three finalists, Al Rifai, Al Masha'leh and Shammout, considered their participation a true success and an honour.

Al Rifai added: “The victory in my eyes comes from my father's surprise visit to watch me at the finals.”

The vocal coach Waseem Faris, an acclaimed Iraqi musician and composer, explained what it took to stand out from the crowd. “In order to become an artist, singer or musician, one must improve his knowledge of music, voice performance, solfege, music theories and maqamat," he said.

"It is also essential to learn international music for which there are many interesting schools of music. They must hone their listening skills as well. Besides, mentoring singers is essential in building their skills, just as sports coaches train athletes.”

The final was capped off with a special performance by Humood AlKhudher, a Kuwaiti singer and music producer known for albums including Fekra and Aseer Ahsan. He mesmerised the audience with a selection of his most famous songs.

A jury consisting of Tunisian singer Lotfi Bouchnak, Egyptian master of Islamic chanting Mahmoud Al Tohamy and Emirati Munshid ambassador and nasheed singer Ahmed Bukhatir praised the contestants' performances for showing the public the beauty of the art form, and its messages and values.

At the end of the final night, Sheikh Sultan also honoured the programme's sponsors with the Munshid Al Sharjah shields, including Sharjah Asset Management, Sharjah Media City (Shams), and Sharjah Co-operative Society.

Updated: December 26, 2022, 12:17 PM
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