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SOMALIA: UAE blocks Somali and Qatari citizens from Quran recitation contest in Dubai

Somali citizen, Ismail Omar Madar, blocked from competing at Dubai Quran recitation contest in Dubai, UAE.

DUBAI (RBC Radio) United Arab Emirates (UAE) Government on Monday blocked two young Quran recitation contestants from completing the competition held in Dubai.

The two young Quran recitation program participants were from Somalia and Qatar.

The Somali citizen, Ismail Omar Madar, has returned to Hargeysa today after he was informed that he could not continue to contest under the name of Somalia bu UAE officials who run the contest in Dubai.

Mr. Madar told local media that he felt the decision came following the position taken by Somalia Federal Government on the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and the Saudi allies including UAE.

“Since Somalia declared its position to not side with Saudi and UAE against Qatar, there was suspicion against Somalis. When the media reported the Qatari delegation visited Mogadishu [the capital of Somalia], UAE officials told us to leave the competition.” he said.

The Somali competitor was nearly to win his prize at the Quran recitation contest held each year during the Holy Ramadan Month.

The decision to block the two young competitors caught many Somalis by surprise, particularly those who regard such competitions as free from politics.

Somalia Government last week took neutral position following the diplomatic row between Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt on one side and Qatar on the other side after the four countries severed ties with Qatar accusing of terror support, an allegation Doha rejected.

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