Young Prodigies Compete To Learn 'Koran By Heart'

2010 competitor Rifdha Rasheed. Her attempt to win an international Koran recitation competition is chronicled in the HBO documentary Koran By Heart. i i

2010 competitor Rifdha Rasheed. Her attempt to win an international Koran recitation competition is chronicled in the HBO documentary Koran By Heart. Courtesy of HBO hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of HBO
2010 competitor Rifdha Rasheed. Her attempt to win an international Koran recitation competition is chronicled in the HBO documentary Koran By Heart.

2010 competitor Rifdha Rasheed. Her attempt to win an international Koran recitation competition is chronicled in the HBO documentary Koran By Heart.

Courtesy of HBO

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.

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