“My parents told me to learn the Qur’an before anything else…” Djamil, 10 of Senegal

“… But if all Muslims understood the Quran, there would be peace on earth…” Master Aboubacar, Djamil’s teacher

One of Islam’s most revered traditions, Koran recitation reaches its pinnacle at the world’s preeminent recitation competition in Cairo, where Muslim children come from across the globe to perform in front of a panel of prominent judges. Contestants as young as seven are ranked against kids more than twice their age for both their comprehensive memorization of the 600-page text as well as their improvised melodies. A diverse spectrum of Muslims competes for top prize: Ten-year-old Senegalese entrant Djamil navigates the competition alone while his community anxiously awaits his results; Rifdha, from a small island in the Maldives, enters as one of the competition’s few female participants; and Nabiollah, from rural Tajikistan, mesmerizes judges with his angelic voice in spite of not speaking Arabic.

Following these talented youngsters from their intense preparation regimes through the rigorous rounds of the tournament, director Greg Barker creates both an inspirational competition film and an engaging survey of the unique experiences of Muslim children throughout the world, using the cultural crossroads of the international competition to examine the issues facing of the next generation of Muslims.

~ Ian Hollander

My children LOVED this film. They were inspired by these extraordinary children. They enthralled by Nabiollah’s perfect memorization and beautiful voice, inspired by Rifdha who had big dreams and cried when confusion and nerves got the better of Djamil. If you have not watched this documentary, then I urge you to.

Check out the movie’s website and it’s Facebook page.