Tuesday, 20 April 2010

A Gift against all odds

Azerbaijan is a country that has seen a lot of hardship since the break up of the Soviet Union. It became embroiled in a war with neighbouring Armenia, which left many people as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and together with other problems this has kept the population in poverty and hardship. Many families are living in one room, often cooking in hallways and sharing toilets with several other families. They struggle to achieve life’s essentials.

Nigar comes from one such family. Born in 1994, she is the eldest of three children who share one room in a hostel with their parents. A World In Need sponsor took her on, enabling her to go to school, giving her hope that the future might be better than the present.

But Nigar has something that many other children do not have, a natural gift that sets her apart. Nigar plays the piano beautifully, well enough to be a concert pianist. A World In Need representative who visited Azerbaijan heard her play, and later wrote, “I cannot express it with words, she’s just brilliant! I believe she will be awarded on international level in the coming years.” A student at the High School of Arts in Baku, Nigar has a growing reputation and has played before her country’s president.

In July, WIN is bringing Nigar to Britain so she can take part in the Tunbridge Wells International Young Concert Artists Competition. While she is here, she will also give recitals, raising much needed funds for our work in her country and giving us a wonderful opportunity to hear an emerging talent.

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