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Yazdan Reads Eliot

Yazdan Isfahani has come a long way since his days at a refugee camp in Holland. He was two years old when he arrived there with his parents. After living in a tent for two years, the family moved to Britain. On his arrival, the four year old boy did not know a word of English, yet a few years later, he has become the winner of a nationwide schools’ poetry recital competition.

Ten year old Yazdan was among 12 children short-listed after beating 1500 pupils from state and private primary schools across Britain in 57 rounds of competition, in which children were asked to pick one poem to perform in front of a panel of judges. Eventually he emerged the winner in the final round which was televised. The competition aims to reinvigorate the lost art of poetry recital in British schools.

T.S. Eliot's Macavity by Yazdan Qafouri

Yazdan had chosen a poem by T.S. Eliot, about a cat called Macavity, which he performed with great enthusiasm, flair and confidence. But his talents do not end there. He plays the piano, sings, acts in school plays and is also interested in philosophy. He has become a star overnight: his pictures and interviews have been published in many newspapers, he has taken part in various radio programmes, been invited to several university events to display his talent, and his name is easily found in Google.

In this multimedia report, we are invited to Yazdan’s home in the northern city of Middlesbrough to visit him and his family, including his grandparents who have come from Iran especially for the competition, and we hear his winning poetry recital.

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