‘Koran by Heart’ is next film in Muslim Journeys series


Talented 10-year-olds
are followed as they 
compete to recite Koran

LEWISTON — The Lewiston Public Library will be showing the second film in the Muslim Journeys film discussion series on Thurs., Sept. 3 at 6:30 p.m. with a screening of “Koran by Heart.” This program is free, open to the public and no registration is required.

Directed by Greg Barker, “Koran by Heart” captures the drama of the 2010 International Holy Koran Competition in Egypt by following three extraordinary 10-year-olds who have dedicated their lives to honoring their families, countries and culture through memorization of the religious text. This annual event takes place over two weeks during the month of Ramadan, with most of the young contestants fasting and engaging in competition rounds that can last until three in the morning.

In addition, Barker journeys through the Muslim world, chronicling the lives and motivations of these three remarkably talented children as they face uncertain futures amid the controversies and divisions that engulf their regions=

“Koran by Heart” captures touching moments of them at home with their families, where they open up about life and religion, academic dreams and career aspirations. 

The film offers a compelling and nuanced glimpse into the pressures faced by the next generation of Muslims, which are often similar to those faced by non-Muslim students. Their motivation and perseverance give insight into the beauty and meaning Muslims find in the Koran and in the act of recitation.


Reza Jalali, coordinator of multicultural student affairs at the University of Southern Maine, will serve as the facilitator for the programs and will be leading discussions following the showing of the films.

The other films to be shown in the series include “Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World” (Thurs., Oct. 1), and “Islamic Art Spots” (Thurs., Nov. 5). All showings will be held at LPL at 6:30 p.m.

The Muslim Journeys series explores diverse perspectives on the people, places, histories, beliefs and cultures of Muslims in the United States and around the world. It is being presented with support from the Maine Humanities Council and is being co- sponsored by the Auburn Public Library and LPL.

For further details on Muslim Journeys, contact the Adult & Teen Services desk at LPL by phone at 513-3135 or via email at [email protected] For more information about the work of the Maine Humanities Council, see www.mainehumanities.org or call their office in Portland at 207-773-5051.