Iraq expects over 30 million Arba’een pilgrims to Karbala this year

2023-09-05 19:29:58
Iraq expects over 30 million Arba’een pilgrims to Karbala this year

The number of pilgrims flocking to Iraq to participate in this year’s Arba’een march will exceed 30 million, the governor of the holy city of Karbala predicts.

Nasif al-Khatabi said that over 14 million pilgrims had arrived in Karbala by Saturday.

He also predicted that the number of Arba’een pilgrims will increase by 50 percent from the 21 million recorded last year to more than 30 million people this year. "This year’s Arba'een procession is set to the biggest in recent years."

Arba’een marks the end of a 40-day mourning period for the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS), the third Shia Imam, and his 72 companions in the Battle of Karbala in southern Iraq in 680 AD.

It brings together millions of people from across the world who undertake an 80-kilometer walk between the holy Iraqi cities of Najaf and Karbala.

The pilgrims pay tribute and renew their allegiance to Imam Hussein (AS), the all-time icon of fighting injustice, oppression and despotism, during the annual event, which is one of the largest religious congregations in the world.

Khatabi said Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani directly supervises the successful holding of the Arba’een commemoration.

Four million Iranians in Iraq

Iran’s Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said that nearly 3,800 million Iranians have so far passed the border with neighboring Iraq and that more than 2,300 million have returned to the country.

Speaking in the southwestern Khuzestan Province, Vahidi added that a significant number of the Iranian pilgrims will return home by Saturday.

Thousands of makeshift tents and special stands are providing pilgrims with free services including food and accommodation along the way. They are put up by volunteers who provide pilgrims with free-of-charge food, beverages, accommodation, medicines, etc.

Volunteer doctors also offer free health services to those who may have experienced a heat stroke, or other health conditions associated with such long walks.

According to Iraqi media reports last week, nearly 13,000 stands have been set up to offer free services to the pilgrims this year.

Iranians have also erected almost 3000 stands both in Iran near western and southwestern borders with Iraq and also en route to Karbala in Iraq, according to Tasnim news agency.


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