Tuesday, March 5, 2024

‘5 million Iranians expected to visit Iraq for 2022 Arba’een pilgrimage’

With Covid-related restrictions eased worldwide, up to five million Iranian pilgrims are expected to visit Iraq later this year to join the massive march of Arba’een, which marks the 40th day after the anniversary of the third Shia Imam’s martyrdom, an official says.

Ali Mar’ashi, who heads the medical center of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization, said officials were making preparations for the presence of between four to five million Iranian mourners in Iraq for Arba’een in September.

Around 1,500 medical workers will also be dispatched to Iraq for the occasion, he added.

Earlier this month, Iraq lifted visa requirements for Iranian pilgrims seeking to take part in the Arba’een rituals as part of a deal signed between the two neighbors during a visit by the Iraqi interior minister to Tehran.

Iraqi land borders had been closed due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

Arba’een takes place 40 days after Ashura, the 10th day of the lunar calendar month of Muharram, which commemorates the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad, at the Battle of Karbala in the year 680 AD.

In what has been known as the world’s largest gathering, millions of Muslim mourners set out each year on a symbolic 80-kilometer-long walk that begins from the holy city of Najaf in Iraq to the holy city of Karbala, which is home to Imam Hussein’s shrine.

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