In an interview, Ms. Hana al-Hasanawi, a member of the Karbala provincial council, noted the importance of the Arba’in pilgrimage and the large gathering of people who are travelling on foot toward the Holy Shrine of Imam al-Husayn in Karbala, saying “The Arba’in pilgrimage in which millions of people are participating in is not only limited to Iraq but rather it has a wide scope and has become a global event.”
She added that today, the hearts of the lovers of Imam Husayn from around the world are focused on Iraq and the eyes of people from around the world, especially the Muslim world, are looking toward Karbala.
Referring to the extensive media focus on the pilgrimage, she said that the Arba’in pilgrimage is recognized throughout the world and the increase in the participation in this pilgrimage is a sign of the universality of this phenomenon in this current historical era given the events occurring in the world.
Ms. al-Hasanawi added that every year the number of pilgrims participating in the Arba’in pilgrimage increases, especially the number of foreign participants and we are witnessing a large number of foreign pilgrims in the pilgrimage.
She referred to the establishment of Arba’in mawkibs [an organization/family/group of individuals that set up tents and stands of food, water, and tea to serve the visitors of Imam Husayn on their walk to Karbala] by pilgrims from other countries alongside Iraqi mawkibs and said that previous Iraqi pilgrims were responsible for serving pilgrims but in the past few years, Iranians and even groups from some other countries have established mawkibs along the route to Karbala.
The member of the Karbala provincial council praised the establishment of mawkibs and provision of services by the Iranians and said, “Iranian mawkibs, especially in regard to the provision of accommodations and catering to the pilgrims, have been highly successful, and this is a sign of their good management and of the unity of these mawkibs.”
Ms. al-Hasanawi expressed hope for the increase in bilateral cooperation between Iran and Iraq in the coming years and said that Imam Husayn is the focus of unity and solidarity in the Islamic ummah and we must recognize these capacities in the Islamic world as much as possible.
She referred to the presence of people of various sects and religions in the Arba’in pilgrimage and added, “Today, Imam Husayn and his discourse has spread throughout the whole world and the presence of various religions in this grand ceremony will become a model for the international community in the name of the ‘Master of the Martyrs.’”