Humayra (1938–), vocalist performing Persian classical singing (avaz) and lyrical songs and one of the last female vocalists performing in the Gulha programmes under the directorship of Davud Pirniya. Born into an affluent family from Azarbayjan, her maiden name was Parvana Amir Afshari. Despite the severe opposition of her family, she entered the musical profession and soon took advantage of a golden opportunity given her to study with ‘Ali Tajvidi. Discovering in her his favourite vocalist, Tajvidi composed works for her voice, among which mention may be made of one performance that is regarded as one of the monuments of Persian classical compositions recorded to date. Entitled Grant me Patience (Sabram ‘ata kun) the lyrics of this performance, were composed by Rahi Mu‘ayyiri the orchestration and vocals are magnificent. Subsequently she worked with Parviz Yahaqqi, the most popular violinist among the young generation of musicians of the time. They married in 1967 and their marital life lasted for some eight years until 1976. Accompanied by Tajvidi and Yahaqqi, and with Bizhan Taraqi as the lyricist of the majority of the programmes of this series, Humayra employed her brilliant vocal talent for classical music (with Tajvidi) and romantic melodies (with Yahaqqi) with a poetical and, to some extent, a sentimental and hyperbolic expression. From 1974-75 onwards, despite the criticisms voiced by her former colleagues and masters, she made use of her talent mostly in the performance of popular and generally superficial lyrical songs, performances which brought her enduring popularity. Following the 1979 revolution, she was cast into prison for several months. In 1985 she secretly fled Iran and has ever since been active as a vocalist in the United States. There, besides many attempts made to perform and revive works belonging to the remote past, a Sufi mood is reflected in her recent songs. Some musicians and musicologists liken her personality to that of Maria Callas (1923-1977), the famous operatic soprano of the twentieth century and regard her voice to be one of the best voices in the Gulha programmes.