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Blind Britain’s Got Talent contestant Sirine Jahangir ‘never forgot’ Simon Cowell’s face

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Sirine Jahangir’s parents ensured she saw as many beautiful things as possible before she became blind.

Trips to Disneyland were scheduled between the endless hospital appointments around the world in their sadly unsuccessful attempts to save her sight.

Among rainbows and the smiles of her family, one other image is seared on Sirine’s memory: Simon Cowell’s face.

No wonder the 14-year-old was shaking with fear as she walked on to the BGT stage for her audition – on the show tonight – in front of TV’s Mr Nasty.

Sirine, who went blind aged nine, says: “I remember watching Simon on television and thinking he looked scary. It sounds like he’s quite different now, he’s definitely nicer.”



Sirine Jahangir’s parents ensured she saw as many beautiful things as possible before she became blind

The moment Sirine and her parents realised she had a serious eyesight problem was when she dressed up as a pirate one day, aged five.

As soon as a patch covered her right eye she could no longer play – because all vision had already gone from her left.

Four years later, despite agonising medical procedures, Sirine also lost all vision in her right eye.

But Sirine’s life is far from a sob story.



Sirine never forget the image of Simon’s face

She says: “When I lost my sight, I like to think I got new gifts. I used to like dancing, but when I became blind I spent more time singing and playing piano.

“So although I was trembling with nerves when my dad walked me on the BGT stage, I just hope I can prove to other visually impaired people they don’t need to give up their dreams.”

Sirine has been greatly inspired by her idol Andrea Bocelli.



Sirine Jahangir is a 14 year old blind singer from London

In October 2018, when the star was in Britain to perform at Princess Eugenie’s wedding, he wanted to meet Sirine.

The pair immediately hit it off, Sirine says: “Andrea and I had an instant connection, because we’re both blind and have an immediate understanding of facing the same kind of difficulties. He gave me advice, which was ‘never give up, never stop singing’.”

Sirine’s parents Kafeel, 48, and Ghizlane, 40, who live in north London with her and sons Zayn, 13, Aydin, six, are proud of her strength.

Kafeel, a property developer, recalls: “The news from ophthalmologists was never good.



Sirine lost her sight at the age of nine

“We tried everything, even having her treated in India for six weeks and injections into her eye. But we felt helpless. When she was nine, Sirine was playing a game on her iPad and holding it very close to her face as she always did.

“Suddenly she came over, handed me the tablet and said she couldn’t play it any more. That was the moment I knew her sight was gone. I took myself into another room of the house to have a cry.”



Andrea Bocelli is a huge fan of Sirine’s

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Shrine remembers becoming colour blind, being unable to see in bright or dim light, being able to see strong contrasts… and then nothing.

She says: “Because I wasn’t born blind, memories of what I saw before I was nine are beamed in to my imagination.”

“If I do well on Britain’s Got Talent, it’s really not because I want to live the life of a celebrity. I’m doing it because I hope to have a bigger platform to spread a positive message about blindness and because I honestly love playing piano and singing. Music is my vision.”





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