Puppet show director Javad Zolfaqari dies at 59

April 28, 2011 - 0:0

TEHRAN -- Veteran puppet show director Javad Zolfaqari did not survive to see the end of the performances of his puppet show “Samak Ayyar” at Tehran’s Molavi Hall.

Zolfaqari died of liver cancer at his home on Wednesday morning. He was 59. His “Samak Ayyar” had a special performance on Tuesday however he could not attend the show due to his illness.
He waited so long to perform his latest puppet show, “Samak Ayyar”, which went on stage when he no longer was able to attend the performances.
“We loose, then we wake up. We get used to this situation of loosing someone in order to wake up,” puppeteer and puppet show director Zahra Sabri told the Persian of ISNA while she was crying.
“That is enough! What is the reason that we do not abandon our bad habits? I’ve talked with everybody from officials to those who only hear his name. Must we be certain that someone is dying before we begin to receive our financial and spiritual support?” she lamented.
On Saturday, Deputy Culture Minister for Artistic Affairs Hamidreza Shahabadi paid a visit to Zolfaqari while he was hospitalized in the Shariati Hospital. He sent a condolence message over the demise of Zolfaqari.
In an interview with the Persian service of ISNA, veteran children’s stage director Hassan Dadshokr called the establishment of Noruz-e Honar Institute by Zolfaqari as one of his important achievements.
“He established the institute with his own finances and facilities. The institute focused on translation and publications of works in the field of puppet theater. He devoted all his life to puppet theater,” he said.
“His non-Iranian friends and puppeteers send their messages to Zolfaqari from around the world with hopes of his recovery,” stage director Fahimeh Mirza-Hosseini told ISNA.
Renowned figures like John McCormic (Ireland), UNIMA President Dadi Pudumjee (India), Larry Hunt (U.S.), Tere Marichal (Puerto Rico), Faizan Peerzada (Pakistan) and Jean-Luc Penso (France) and several other artists and fans from around the world sent messages to Zolfaqari before his death.
“Samak Ayyar”, “Ali Baba and 40 Thieves of Baghdad”, “Almas Friends”, “Siavash” and “Farangis” are among his brilliant puppet shows.
Photo: Iranian puppet show director Javad Zolfaqari in undated photo