Competing against 70 kids for the title, Ibrahim surprises judges with his Arabic oratory skills and went on to win the title.
Wearing a traditional Bisht and a Kandoora, eight-year-old Ibrahim Fahim Shabandri walked up to the stage on the last day of the Al Multaqa Ramadan Forum with charm and confidence. Competing against 70 kids for the title of ‘Preacher of the Nation’, the Indian boy surprised judges with his Arabic oratory skills and went on to win the title.
Ibrahim Fahim Shabandri
Speaking in front of a largely Arabic-speaking audience, the young lad hailing from Bhatkal, Karnataka, showcased his grip over spoken Arabic. His father, Faheem Ahmed, believes the award provides children with greater motivation to learn the Arabic language.
Ibrahim is a student of Quran memorisation at the Ibn Khaldooni. His father told Khaleej Times: “This is a very happy moment for our family. His success is the result of a lot of hard work and commitment and we are proud of his achievement.”
The competition was held as part of the 13th edition of the annual Ramadan Forum, hosted by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), under the patronage of Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation.
Aimed at unearthing promising talents to support them in their endeavors to be the leaders of the future, the contest this year will include a new category featuring religious sermons in English.
The jury overseeing the evaluation of contestants included Sheikh Omar Saad, Senior Preacher at the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities, who will act as the supervisor of the jury committee; Sheikh Ahmed Abu Saud, Imam at the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities; Bader Jumaa, a Professor of Arabic language at Omar Bin Al Khattab Model School; and Lewis Bullock, an official at Dubai Culture.
A total of 12 students were selected in the run up to the finals in the areas of religious sermon and classical poetry recitation.
Mohammed Al Hashemi, Head of the forum’s organising committee, said, “The competition aims at attracting promising talents in the field of religious sermon and poetry recitation. It also aims at strengthening the ability of students in the areas of public speaking, to boost their self-confidence and to help nurture their spirit of leadership. We are very pleased with the turnout so far. It motivates us to work harder in taking this competition to new heights for the upcoming editions. In the future, we will ensure that schools in the country are informed well in advance so we are able to reach out to a maximum number of gifted students.”
Participation in the contest is limited to boys between the ages of six and 11 years.