The Ministry of Justice, Awqaf, and Islamic Affairs held on Wednesday its annual celebration of the winners in its Quran memorization and recitation contest at which His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah was the guest of honor. In a speech to the gathering of the contestants, their families and relatives, and numerous government officials, the Minister of Justice noted that this was the 17th year that the ministry honored young people who had excelled in memorizing and reciting the Holy Quran. Up to 2640 contestants took part in this year's contest, he said, out of whom 1767 reached the final eliminations round and those were pared down to 173 winners from both sexes. In a similar speech, head of the Secretariat Affairs at the ministry, Abdulmohsen Al-Jarallah Al-Kharafi welcomed the increasing number of female contestants and listed the Secretariat's efforts in promoting the status of women in society, through the launching of many campaigns under such banners as Alimony and Child Support, Marriage Counseling, Women and Means of Self-Support. Moreover, he said the Secretariat had issued a Declaration for Protection of Women from Family Violence. The celebration included showing a short documentary on the history of the contest, after which His Highness the Amir gave out valuable prizes to the winners.