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Sunday, Nov 23, 2014

Once Bullied for His Stutter, British Teen Musharaf Asghar Brings Class to Tears With Speech

  • (Photo: Screen Grab via YouTube/YorkshireLad19)
    Musharaf Asghar
November 5, 2013|9:50 am

In a triumphant move over his acute stammer which used to get him bullied in high school, a British teen moving on to college delivered a farewell speech in front of his classmates and teachers that made it difficult for them to keep their eyes dry.

The teen, Musharaf Asghar, was a character and student in a British documentary television series called "Educating Yorkshire," which chronicled the lives of students and staff at Thornhill Community Academy, a high school equivalent in the diverse Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.

Much like Colin Firth's character in the 2010 movie, "The King's Speech," Musharaf's struggles with his stammer is highlighted in a YouTube clip from the series and ends with him thanking his teachers and classmates for cheering him on to the point of graduating with a pass in his oral English exams.

Musharaf's inspiring speech, which has gone viral, has since brought the teen high praise for his bravery and perseverance.

"My stammer has been a problem for me since I can remember, and I think I was about five years old when people started noticing it was a bit different to a normal stammer that goes away as people get older," the teen wrote in The Guardian after his speech had become popular.

"It has meant that at various points in junior school and during year 7 at Thornhill I got bullied, but as soon as the school found out they really hammered down and made sure the bullying stopped there and then. After that my school life was amazing and I can't think of anywhere I would rather have gone to school," he added.

Before delivering his moving speech, Musharaf is seen in the video being coached by his English teacher Mr. Burton on how to pass his oral English exams with Margaret Atwood's poem, The Moment which reads:

The moment when, after many years
 of hard work and a long voyage
 you stand in the center of your room,
 house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
 knowing at last how you got there,
 and say, I own this,

is the same moment when the trees unloose
 their soft arms from around you,
 the birds take back their language,
 the cliffs fissure and collapse,
 the air moves back from you like a wave
 and you can't breathe.

No, they whisper. You own nothing.
 You were a visitor, time after time
 climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
 We never belonged to you.
 You never found us.
 It was always the other way round.

As Musharaf struggled with the poem, Mr. Burton decides to borrow a tactic from "The King's Speech" by letting the teen listen to music as he read aloud and it worked. He described that as his "most amazing moment".

"The most amazing moment for me was when I finally managed to speak in Mr. Burton's class. I was preparing for the oral part of my English GCSE. It was worth 20% of my overall marks and I was getting really stressed out about it. Then Mr. Burton suggested I practice (sic) in front of him, using headphones. My speech is better with people I know anyway, but I felt so free when I put the headphones on I was able to get my words out clearly," he said.

"I'm really happy and proud to be on telly (television) as I hope it gives other people with a stammer the confidence to have a go at public speaking. My speech is getting better every week. Everyone at college gives me time, but I'm getting quicker anyway so they don't miss their bus while they are listening to me. I still won't be applying for any call-center jobs yet though," wrote Musharaf.

Source URL : http://www.christianpost.com/news/once-bullied-for-his-stutter-british-teen-musharaf-asghar-brings-class-to-tears-with-speech-108078/