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Iraq preparing to mark Arbaeen

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Iraq is preparing to mark Arbaeen, the 40th day after the martyrdom anniversary of the Third Shia Imam, Imam Hossein. Millions have already arrived in the country to attend the ceremonies. Among them are many Iranians who have shown a strong participation in this year’s Arbaeen.
In fact, the turnout of Iranians in this year’s Arba’een is expected to break last year’s record. But this year’s ceremonies are specifically important because the Shias are using them to promote a campaign against ISIL Takfiri terrorists. Iranians have also established one of the biggest hosting houses for Arbaeen pilgrims on the road from Najaf to Karbala. The Mawkeb Imam Reza run by young men who refer to themselves as the “Youth of Imam Khomeini” provide food and beverages for pilgrims. Meanwhile, a number of Iranian actors, directors and performers have established a theater which holds performances depicting the battle of Karbala and the martyrdom of Imam Hussein. The play is performed five times per day – and is viewed by 2000 people each time. According to the Iranian embassy here in Iraq, up till December 6th – over a million Iranians had poured in to take part in this year’s Arba’een pilgrimage. With three days left for Arba’een – people here say there’s plenty of room for those figures to add up!

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