Jahangiri thanks Iraqis for Arbaeen season hospitality

October 19, 2019

TEHRAN – Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri has expressed gratitude to the Iraqi government and nation for their warm hospitality during the Arbaeen season.

“Hosting such number of pilgrims, given certain infrastructural shortcomings, is a difficult job and the Iranian government and people thank the government and nation of Iraq for their hospitality,” Jahangiri said on Saturday, in a meeting with Governor of Najaf Luay al-Yassiry.

He also said the gathering of millions of devotees of Imam Hussein (AS) from different sects and religions and countries during the Arbaeen season is a show of friendship, solidarity and unity in the Islamic world, Mehr reported.

The Iraqi governor, for his part, said his country is proud to host the Arbaeen pilgrims, particularly those from Iran, adding that the religious ceremony has played a big role in strengthening the Baghdad-Tehran ties.

Arbaeen, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, comes 40 days after Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS), who is the third Imam of Shia Muslims and grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

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

According to reports, more than three million Iranian pilgrims have traveled to Iraq this year to attend the mourning rituals.

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

‘Exceptional event’

Jahangiri, who joined the Arbaeen pilgrims on Saturday, told reporters that providing services for such a huge number of pilgrims is beyond the capacity of governments and described the Arbaeen gathering as an “exceptional event” in the world, Tasnim reported.

Some have estimated that over 20 million people gather in Karbala to mark the Arbaeen ritual.

Leader of the Islamc Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on September 18 that “the Arbaeen march is an extraordinary phenomenon not only in our era but also throughout history.”

He added, “We cannot find such a gathering and movement that takes place every year more enthusiastically than the previous years.”

MH/PA

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