The Muslim Grammy Awards? New event to spotlight Islamic stars

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We’ve heard of the Grammys, the BRITs, the VMAs and the MOBOs, but now there’s an awards show to spotlight a different kind of talent.

A groundbreaking new awards ceremony, The Music of Muslim Origin & Media Awards 2013 (the MOMOs), will celebrate the achievements of Muslim artists, entertainers and media professionals later this year.

With categories such as “Best Nasheed” (Islamic vocal music), “Best Muslim TV Show” and “Best Muslim Presenter” the awards will put a spotlight on global Islamic talents.

The MOMOs were launched by the GNA Academy, a Muslim music and media event organizer based in the UK, and the ceremony will be held in British city of Manchester in December 2013.

But a few nominations for the awards have already been decided.

The awards ceremony will celebrate not only UK talent but the best Muslim performers from across the globe.

Among those slated for recognition at the MOMOs are Maher Zain, a Muslim Swedish singer of Lebanese origin, and South African-born Zain Bhikha, both internationally renowned artists nominated for “International Male Solo Artist of the Year.”

Critically acclaimed Denmark-based group Outlandish has been nominated for the “Best Nasheed” category.

The initiative is the brainchild of Esharat Nasar-Ahmed, who told news website Your Middle East, “There has been little or no opportunity to showcase or celebrate the huge achievements Muslims have and are making to the music and media industry.

"This inspired me to create the MOMOs in order to create a universal platform that will bring Muslim talent to the forefront. Not only to celebrate and showcase but to also educate and raise awareness of Muslim contributions throughout history,” he added.

An awards ceremony to recognize Muslim talent is unprecedented, Zain Bhikha said in a post on the MOMOs Facebook page: “I'm very honored to be recognized as a nominee in this groundbreaking MOMO Awards event. I think we need creative works to bring people together and share ideas that will ultimately join heart and make this world better.”

The awards ceremony also includes categories to celebrate Muslim media, including “Best Muslim TV Show” and “Best Muslim presenter.” The public are invited to nominate their favorites.

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