In 2013, American singer Jennifer Grout auditioned for the talent show “Arabs Got Talent” where she made it to the final round and won wide acclaim in the Arab world. Just a year prior, her life had drastically changed. She had graduated from university in Canada and celebrated with a summer vacation in Morocco. It was there that she was struck with the kindness and hospitality of the Moroccan people. Hearing all the local mosques simultaneously calling for prayers filled her with inner peace and joy. She decided to undertake an in-depth study of Islam and eventually converted. She is now married to a Moroccan man with whom she has a daughter.
Ms. Grout is back in the news today, this time for her recitation of the Quran. The National reports that her recitation of Ayat al Kursi (The Throne Verse) – the 255th verse of the second surah of the Quran, Al Baqarrah – has garnished hundreds of thousands of views on social media.
“I really had no idea they would become so popular,” remarks Ms. Grout. “I get messages from people saying things like ‘you’re famous in Pakistan’! As far as the recitations go, I’m still in my imitation phase. The recitations are all done in the style of Mohammed Siddiq El-Minshawi, whose recitation techniques I admire very much.”