Millions of Shiite Muslims march towards the Holy city of Karbala in Iraq to participate in Arbaeen mourning ceremonies.

Middle East/ َAccording to an Iran Press report, huge numbers of Shia Muslims are walking to the Iraqi city of Karbala to take part in Arbaeen mourning ceremonies, which is an annual Shiite Muslim religious observance that occurs 40 days after the Day of Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (peace be upon him), the third Shiite Imam.

In fact, Ashura is the culmination of a 10-day annual mourning period in the lunar month of Muharram for Imam Hussein, who was a grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and was martyred along with 72 of his family members and companions in 680 A.D. in a land that is known today as Iraq, after they refused to pledge allegiance to the tyrannical ruler of the time, Yazid.

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The Battle of Karbala between a small group of supporters and relatives of Imam Hussein (PBUH) and a larger military detachment from the forces of the caliph represents a war between good and evil.

Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) is the symbol of resistance against oppression. The choice made by Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) and his small group of family members and companions (peace be upon them), has been a source of inspiration for not just Muslims but for all of humanity, throughout history.

Each year, Shiite Muslims from Iran and other regional countries attend the Arbaeen ceremonies held in the Iraqi city of Karbala, where the shrine of Imam Hussain  (Pbuh) is located.

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Iranian official: About half-a-million visas issued by Iraqi authorities for Arbaeen mourners

Iranian pilgrims traveling to Iraq by land, can choose from three border crossings, Shalamcheh, Chazzabeh and Mehran. This year’s Arbaeen falls on October 30.

On October 23, Iranian Police Commander highlighted the facilities provided for pilgrims visiting Iraq during Arbaeen season and said no security problem has been reported along the common borders with the Arab country so far.

It is also important to mention that on October 14, Hossein Zolfaghari, the head of Iran's central Arbaeen headquarters, has told Iran press  that more than 550000 people have so far registered for the Arbaeen march  with Iraqi authorities issuing half-a-million visas for the mourners so far.

Further more, in an interview with Iran Press on October 13, Iran's health minister, Hassan Ghazizadeh Hashemi, emphasized that up to 17000 people, including 10000 medical and nursing staff, divided into 40 different groups, will provide medical services from eastern to western borders of Iran, and throughout Iraq along the route taken by the mourners and pilgrims. The health minister added: "They will provide for the medical needs of Arbaeen mourners."


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