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Thousands of Shia Muslims flocked to the Iranian capital on Monday to mark Arbaeen, as entrance to the Iraqi city of Karbala, considered a holy city by Shia, remained restricted, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Pilgrims flooded the main roads leading to the Abdol Azim al-Hasani shrine, with local authorities blocking traffic in the area to allow participants to travel on foot.
Many services were offered to attendees along the way, including mobile COVID-19 vaccination centres for those who had not yet been innoculated.
"God willing, we will all go to Karbala together next year," said pilgrim Tohid Nokoukerdaran. "They turned this place into Karbala. And we will go to Karbala next year, God willing."
One of the largest religious gatherings in the world, Karbala’s Arbaeen ceremony marks the 40th day after the martyrdom of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Hussein Ibn Ali.
Pilgrims travel annually to the holy city, where his tomb is located. However, since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Iraq has limited the number of foreign visitors allowed to enter for the ceremony.
SOT, Hossein Salami, Commander of Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (Farsi): “These crowds have all come to demonstrate the legitimacy of the fight against oppression as well as the fight for justice. And the US is the epitome of oppression. This roaring sea is all about fighting arrogance, it is about eradicating the oppression that all the oppressors of the world, including the Americans, are inflicting on the Muslim and oppressed nations of the world. This is the message of resistance; it is [Imam] Hussein’s way.”
SOT, Zahra Mahdavi, Arbaeen pilgrim (Farsi): “Until two years ago, I used to attend the Arbaeen Walk every year. I have not been able to attend it for two years because of the coronavirus pandemic. I said that this is an opportunity for me to review the memories of Karbala.”
SOT, Mohammad Gholi Tari Goli, Arbaeen pilgrim (Farsi): “We Muslims, we Shiites, we, the people of Iran, are always sympathetic and empathetic. And my message is that we always have integrity and no one can break our union.”
SOT, Tohid Nokoukerdaran, Arbaeen pilgrim (Farsi): “The difference between this year’s Arbaeen ceremony is that some people were able to go [to Karbala]. Imam Hussein invited them. Some others could not join them. God willing, we will all go to Karbala together next year. It was our fate. Now, as we could not go to Karbala, everyone came here and established service stations for pilgrims. They turned this place into Karbala. And we will go to Karbala next year, God willing.”
#Iran #Arbaeen #Karbala
Video ID: 20210927-049
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