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Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Al-Azhar International Caricature Competition

Al-Azhar International Caricature Competition

     Owing to its twofold message as a mosque and a university, Al-Azhar plays vital roles in religion, science, thought and culture. And in line with this message, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Prof. Ahmad Aṭ-Ṭayyeb stresses the fact that Islam calls for peace, tolerance, human fraternity and coexistence. So, towards sustaining cultural, intellectual and creative diversity around the world, Al-Azhar opens the door for the expression of human values and principles and for drawing a bright future for the whole world. Within this perspective, Al-Azhar Center of Education Development for International Students, which has often contributed to the propagation of moderate mainstream Islamic culture and thought, seeks to discover true talents and to help invest them. Therefore, the Center - headed by Professor Nahla Al-Saidy - launches Al-Azhar International Caricature Competition for the first time under the sponsorship of His Eminence, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and under the general supervision of Al-Azhar Deputy Grand Imam.

Principles of the Competition:

1. Sustaining Al-Azhar's global message, which aims to propagate a culture of coexistence and peace and to confront extremist and deviant thought throughout its long history that spans more than a thousand years

2. Emphasizing that Islam does not fight arts, but rather guides and directs them towards elevating human senses.

3. Throughout history, religion and art have been two major components of human culture: religion elevates the soul, and art purifies feelings and emotions.

4. Art, in disciplining feelings and emotions, is a common human language. It also serves as a bridge between cultures, bringing nations closer to one another.

5. Caricature is thus a universal language that is understood and enjoyed by all. It is not less important than other media of expression. For one picture can be more expressive than a thousand words.

6. Confronting the ideas of offensive cartoons by emphasizing the fact that caricature as an art sustains values of love, brotherhood, and tolerance.

7. The competition comes in response to the call of both the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and the Pope of the Catholic Church, and their recommendation that the Human Fraternity Document for World Peace and Coexistence become the subject of research and reflection in a way that helps in bringing up new generations that maintain goodness and peace and that defend human rights everywhere.

Competition Objectives:

1. Emphasizing that Islam calls for peace, tolerance, fraternity, and acceptance of the others, and not violence, extremism or terrorism, as alleged by Islamophobes.

2. Making use of this popular art to correct the distorted image of Islam.

3. Disseminating the principles promoted through the historical Human Fraternity Document for World Peace and Coexistence.

4. Raising a multicultural and multinational generation that defends moderate thought and tolerant human values ​​and principles through cartoons.

5. Gearing full attention and care towards Al-Azhar international students, especially those who are creative cartoonists.

Competition Categories:

First Category: Caricature Drawings

The caricature competition revolves around a number of values ​​and principles advocated by the Human Fraternity Document for World Peace and Coexistence, which can be represented through the following themes:

1. The core of all religions is to believe in God and to worship Him

2. The danger of religious, nationalist, and intolerant extremism

3. The importance of awakening moderate religious sentiment

4. Religions have never instigated wars or aroused feelings of hatred and hostility

5. Every human being is entitled to the freedom of faith, thought, expression, and practice.

6. Justice based on mercy is the basis of a decent life

7. Dialog, mutual understanding, and the propagation of the culture of tolerance are solutions to social problems.

8. Protecting the places of worship is a duty promoted by all religions.

9. Abhorrent terrorism is not a product of religion.

10. The concept of citizenship is based on equality in duties and rights.

11. Having good relations between east and west is of great importance to both.

12. Recognizing women’s right to education, work, and political paritcipation

13. Children have the rights to receive proper familial upbringing, nurture, education and care

14. Protecting the rights of the elderly, the vulnerable and those with special needs is a religious and societal necessity.

Kindly use the link below to read the Human Fraternity Document for World Peace and Coexistence:


Second Category: Portraiture (Non-Caricature)

This section revolves around drawing portraits featuring both the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Prof. Ahmad Aṭ-Ṭayyeb and His Holiness, Pope Francis of the Vatican together.

Competition Terms:

1. A participant can submit up to three drawings in each category.

2. The cartoon size should be A3 or A4, and the total submitted file size should not exceed two megabytes.

3. Works are submitted in JPG (300 dpi) format.

4. A participant sends a brief CV (a maximum of three lines), address, and full bank account details.

5. The artist’s name, nationality, and country must be given.

General Terms:

1. The work must be original and has not been submitted in any other competition.

2. The competition organizers have the right to propagate the event by publishing the participants’ works in magazines, newspapers and/or on posters and electronic websites inside and outside Egypt without prior permission from the participants.

3. Rules of non-caricature portraiture are to be observed.

4. It is necessary that the portraiture reflect the amity and brotherhood that characterize the meetings of the Grand Imam and His Holiness the Pope.

5. The referees’ decisions are final and may not be objected.

6. All the participants whose works are accepted shall receive certificates.

7. A booklet containing the works and names of participants and their bios, will be issued.

8. The selection and judging committees shall exclude works that do not comply with the terms of the competition, or that do not respect endorsed values ​​and principles.

Important Dates:

Submissions are sent by email to by no later than Thursday, July 15, 2021.

Winners will be announced on Tuesday, August 17, 2021 through Al-Azhar electronic portal and the media channels. The date of Al-Azhar First International Caricature Forum will also be announced.

The forum includes a major celebration for handing out prizes and honoring winners and participants. Workshops on the basics of caricature and portraiture will be held for the foreign students at Al-Azhar under the supervision of a group of distinguished artists and professors of art. Works of the students participating in the workshops will be featured in an independent exhibition on the final day of the forum. The distinguished students will be awarded certificates of appreciation, and there will be ten incentive awards, each award is worth $100.

Competition Awards:

First: Awards of the Caricature Competition:

There will be appreciation certificates from the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar to the winners of the first three positions.

First winner: $1500.

Second winner: $1500

Third winner: $1500

Three incentive awards, $250 each.

All winners get the shield of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif

Second: Awards of the portraiture (Non-Caricature) Competition:

There will be appreciation certificates from the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar to the winners of the first three positions.

First winner: $1500.

Second winner: $1500

Third winner: $1500

Three incentive awards, $250 each.

All winners get the shield of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif

Third: Awards for International Students at the End of the Forum Proceedings:

There will be appreciation certificates from the forum president to the distinguished students.

There will be ten incentive awards; each award is worth $100.

* President of the forum: Prof. Nahla Al-Saidi

* Technical Supervisor: Artist Ismael Abdou

* Forum Coordinator: Dr. Mostafa Fareed

* For more information:

* Contact details:               01122197970

                                            01090077698 (WhatsApp)

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