Record entries for Islamic arts fest
Abu Dhabi, April 2, 2008
A record number of people have entered this year's Al Mahabba Awards Festival for the Islamic arts in Abu Dhabi.
Amongst the 200 entrants from 28 countries is Bahraini singer Khaled Abdul Qader.
The awards, now in its third year, honour and promote art that expresses love for the Prophet Mohammed.
The dates of the ceremony have been moved back to April 24 to 26, to accommodate the large number of submissions.
Abdul Qader spends his days working for Japanese firm Yokogawa as an environmental health and safety engineer.
However, when he is not working, he likes to make music that celebrates Islam and tackles the problems facing Muslims today.
He has entered the song category and faces stiff competition from more 40 other entries.
His song, "Rifak Al Darb," discusses the deeds of the Prophet Mohammed and what he requires of his followers.
Other categories in the competition include film, advertising, television, documentary, literature, photography, visual arts, Personality of the Year and Event of the Year.
The festival is to take place under the patronage of Abu Dhabi crown prince Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the honorary president.
Submissions have been sent to a committee of experts on Islamic art in London, who will pick out the pieces that most inspire Muslims to express their love for the Prophet Mohammed.
Other entrants of note include Egypt's Hamada Hilal, Australia's Brotherhood band and media personality Amr Khaled, with two TV programmes.
To view the submissions or to find out more, visit www.mahabba.tv.