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Mongol History Inspires Sadeqi’s Play

Maneli Hosseinpour performing in the playManeli Hosseinpour performing in the play

Playwright, theater director and actor Qotbeddin Sadeqi’s play currently on stage in Tehran, is inspired by a historical book that has survived from the early years of the Mongol era in Iran (1219-1335).

Titled ‘Pearl’ (in Persian Morvarid), it opened at Iranshahr Theater on May 9 and will run through June 9 each evening at 7:30 pm, according to Tiwall (tiwall.com), a website on cultural programs. Sadeqi, 65, has written the script.

Direction and dramaturgy is also by him. The cast are theater director and actress Maneli Hosseinpour, 31; script writer, director and actor Soroush Taheri, 35; theater director and actor Mohammad Reza Azadfard, 36; and Shima Hakimpour. Pearl is on stage at Nazerzadeh-Kermani Hall of the theater located next to Iranian Artists Forum on Iranshahr Street. In his introduction to the play, Sadeqi says: “One approach in national theater and honoring it is to engage in historical works and find inspiration from authentic history books.

”To write the script, he referred to ‘Tarikh-e-Jahangosha’ (History of the World Conqueror), an exceptionally detailed account of Mongol invasions and rule in Iran written by Persian historian Ata-Malik Juvayni (1226-1283). The book is unquestionably the most authoritative account of the sudden rise and expansion of Mongol rule in the 13th century.

“Ata-Malik Juvayni served Ogedei Khan, the 3rd son of Genghis Khan, as a historian,” Sadeqi noted. 

Literary Masterpiece 

Juvayni’s book, considered also to be one of the masterpieces of Persian prose literature, deals with Genghis Khan, who founded the Mongol Empire, and also the reigns of his three successors.

Juvayni, the narrator, was in the service of the Mongol governors of northern Persia and knew personally many of the chief actors in the stories he told.

In writing the work he was able to draw on the recollections of his father and grandfather on the Mongol Empire.

He was in the company of Hulagu Khan when he captured the stronghold of Ismailis in Alamut region in December 1256. The book “is among the few that narrate the terrifying events and describe the characters involved.

Sometimes Juvayni reveals intensely bitter events that we find often hard to accept and digest,” Sadeqi said. About the plot he added: “The story is based on a true historical event narrated by Juvayni.

In the play, I’ve tried to offer a dramatic account of the fall and rise, fear and bravery and joys and sorrows in the bygone era.” The story revolves around an Iranian woman who represents wisdom and resilience in the play. With confidence and bravery, she stands against the marauders.

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