Iraqis warmly welcome Iranians traveling to Karbala for Arbaeen
Hundreds of thousands of Iranians are heading this year to the holy city of Karbala to observe Arbaeen.
Iraqis are warmly welcoming hundreds of thousands of Iranian nationals who are traveling to the holy city of Karbala to observe Arbaeen, an event that falls 40th day after the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein, the third Shiite Imam, and draws millions of pilgrims from around the world to visit the gold-domed shrines of Imam Hussein and his brother Abbas.
This year, the ceremony falls on September 17.
Following reported issues with the transit of Iranian pilgrims to Karbala, located around 100 kilometers (62 miles) southwest of Baghdad, the Iraqi government and citizens are trying to regulate the situation and overcome the challenges.
Trying to find a solution, Iraqis have been heading toward the border crossings using their own cars as much more people are trying to enter the country now than in past years a week before Arbaeen rites.
Between one and 1.5 million individuals were expected to enter Iraq through Iranian land and air borders.
Every year on Arbaeen, millions of mourners flock to Karbala from around the world; large groups travel on foot toward the holy city to participate in the largest annual Islamic gathering on earth.
Imam Hussein and his 72 companions were martyred in the Battle of Karbala in southern Iraq in 680 AD after a courageous fight for justice against the much larger army of the Umayyad caliph, Yazid I.