(Persia Digest) – Bahareh Jahandoust is a woman who performs the art of naghali, or the presentation of a story from an epic poem. She is an experienced player and believes that the situation for women in this field is much better now than it was ten years ago.

Jahandoust has the experience of twenty years of naghali and performance in seven countries. Speaking to ISNA, she said: “Today, naghali by women is recognized and their numbers have also increased. We are in a much better place than we were ten years ago. Our work is better received, because it brings femininity to the soul of storytelling.”

The artist stated: “Conditions for naghali are better today and it is looked upon as a more intellectual art. Children are also becoming interested and I have many students who have been doing naghali for many years. This interest by families and children in the ancient art is very attractive for me.”

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She added: “All in all, things have improved as compared to past years, both because of support by organizations and authorities in charge and also the society’s approach to the “Shahnameh” Book of Kings, and nagahli in particular.”

Jahandoust added: “I am very happy to be involved in naghali as an Iranian woman. Performing it and teaching it over the years has always been very gratifying for me.”

Persia Digest (PD) reports that naghali is the ancient art of storytelling in Iran and has always played an important role in society. Epic poems are narrated by the naghal, mainly from the “Shahnameh” tales on the heroes of Persia.

Naghali was inscribed at the sixth session of Unesco's intangible cultural heritage on 27 November 2011.

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