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Young Prodigies Compete To Learn ‘Koran By Heart’

Filed by KOSU News in Art & Life.
August 5, 2011

For years, young people have descended on Cairo, Egypt during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan for a nerve-wracking competition, where they attempt to recite the Koran from memory.

Filmmaker Greg Barker chronicles the experiences of three children and their fellow competitors in the HBO documentary, Koran By Heart.

In the film, children as young as 7 take to the microphone before a panel of elder judges. And many competitors, despite having memorized the entire Holy Book, cannot speak Arabic.

Competitors are judged not on only on their accuracy, but also on their delivery, their adherence to recitation rules called Tajweed and their ability to improvise melody. [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

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