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Middle East
Ancient Iranian power sport gets boost
Gyms with roots that predate Islam and aim to instill physical and spiritual purity are having a resurgence.
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2012 05:49

The Iranian zurkhaneh, or "house of strength," is more than an octagonal pit where men exercise, box and wrestle, practicing varzesh-e bastani or "ancient sport".

It is a communal ritual space where men have come to refine their physical and moral character since pre-Islamic times. Though the zurkhaneh hosted competitions with professional wrestlers, it also served to educate amateur athletes in tenets of Sufi-oriented purity.

Now, the houses of power are undergoing a resurgence.

Imran Khan reports from Tehran.

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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