Thursday, December 8, 2016

Anni Zhang, Littlejohn’s Daughter Rescued from China, to Perform at Carnegie Hall

Women's Rights Without Frontiers | Forced Abortion Is Not A Choice |
Littlejohn and Anni on a family vacation in Yosemite.
In the video, a 13-year-old girl’s fingers fly over the piano keys. She’s playing Chopin’s Étude Op. 10, No. 5, full of joy. It seems from the expressive playing she’s lived a life along the same cheerful theme.
But the girl is Anni Zhang, daughter of imprisoned Chinese dissident Zhang Lin. Faced with a future of no education and life in a Chinese state-run orphanage, Anni endured inhumane treatment by the Chinese government before fleeing to America, leaving behind language and family alike.
Today, Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, and her husband Robert, are raising Anni as their own daughter. Littlejohn stated, “We are so proud of Anni. She is flourishing, both as a pianist and as a top student. Her father, Zhang Lin, was trained as a nuclear physicist, and Anni has inherited his strength in math and science. Her story is an example for all those who struggle against the odds. Through our help and her own hard work, Anni is a witness to the hope of a new beginning and to the beauty, brilliance and infinite value of Chinese girls.”
In February, Anni’s video was chosen as winner of an international competition for a chance to perform in New York’s Carnegie Hall later this month. Incredibly, Anni achieved such recognition despite the fact that she had only been playing piano for two years when she competed.
“I never thought I would make it to Carnegie Hall, but with help from my American parents (Reggie Littlejohn and her husband, Robert), my teacher (Matt Wang), and God, I made it,” she said.
Click here to listen to Anni’s competition video, Chopin Etude Op. 10, No. 5./w
And ‘made it’ she has, in more ways than one: according to Chinese law, Anni should not only have stayed in China, but she never should have lived at all.
Anni was born the second daughter in her family in violation of the One Child (now Two Child) Policy, meaning Anni’s family had to endure persecution to keep their daughter. Family Planning Police came daily to pressure Anni’s mother to abort her. Anni’s father was able to get permission for Anni’s birth only after a long and difficult struggle. Read more.


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