Najaf governor: Iraq trying its best to offer hospitality to Iranian pilgrims

October 13, 2019

TEHRAN – Luay al-Yassiry, governor of the shrine city of Najaf, has said Iraq would try its best to serve Iranian pilgrims during the Arbaeen season, which marks the 40th day after the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS).

In an interview with Tasnim published on Sunday, Yassiry highlighted the religious affinities between Iran and Iraq, saying, “Today, the two nations of Iran and Iraq are standing side by side, mourning for Sayyid al-Shuhada (Imam Hussein) and we should say that Imam Hussein (AS) will gather all of us together.”

He said as the governor of Najaf, his personal home is full of Iranian pilgrims and “it is an honor for every Iraqi, especially the people of different cities of Najaf Ashraf Governorate, to serve the pilgrims of Imam Hussein (AS) from all over the world.”

“Not only do our homes host the pilgrims of Amir al-Mu’minin (AS) and Imam Hussein (AS), but also our hearts and arms are open to welcome the Iranian pilgrims,” Yassiry stated.

“We do our best to provide the best services to the pilgrims of Imam Hussein (AS) in the cities of Najaf and Karbala so that they can return to their countries after their pilgrimage in full health,” the local official stated.

The Arbaeen march, which is the largest religious gathering in the world, comes 40 days after Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the third Imam of Shia Muslims and the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

This year, Arbaeen falls on Saturday, October 19.

Each year, a huge crowd of people flock to Karbala, where the holy shrine of Imam Hussein (AS) is located, to perform mourning rituals.

According to a report, more than 3 million Iranian pilgrims had registered to participate in the Arbaeen march by Thursday.

This year, visa requirement was removed for the pilgrims as a “positive step” toward paving the way for Iranian pilgrims visiting the neighboring country.

Last year about 1.8 million Iranians took part in the ceremony. This is while in 2011 only 50,000 took the trek to Karbala which shows a great surge in the number of pilgrims taking the long walk to pay tribute to the third Shia Imam.

MH/PA

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