September 25, 2023

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Arbaeen pilgrimage extends Iran-Iraq cultural ties, social unity

TEHRAN – Over the past decade, the Arbaeen Walk has brought about numerous changes and advancements in the economic and cultural aspects of regional countries, however, its significance as a powerful force of civilization often goes unnoticed and receives little attention.

  The Arbaeen commemoration, which has been taking place since the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (AS), has gained global attention in the past decade due to the significant increase in the number of pilgrims attending the event, ISNA reported on Monday.

Every year, Iran’s eastern border serves as a gathering place for pilgrims who make a stop in the country on their journey to Iraq. The coming together of different cultures and people from various backgrounds, year after year, can result in a beautiful fusion of ideas and traditions. This mixing and intertwining of cultures can give rise to new cultural creations and advancements.

During the years when the Arbaeen rituals were constrained due to the coronavirus outbreak, numerous touching videos and mournful elegies were created by Iranian and Iraqi eulogists, as they conveyed their longing and sense of loss caused by their forced separation.

Every year, Iranians express their gratitude to the people of Iraq in their heartfelt Arabic elegies, honoring their exceptional hospitality. In turn, the Iraqis graciously extend an invitation to their Iranian guests to participate in various mourning rituals, eagerly expressing their sincere anticipation. 

The Arbaeen Walk has given rise to a deep cultural yearning within the religious literature and eulogizing of the both nations that was previously unknown. 

Furthermore, in the past few years, Mashhad has become a welcoming host to an increasing number of Iraqi visitors who flock to pay their respects at the shrine of Imam Reza (AS) during the concluding days of the lunar month of Safar.  

This could mark the beginning of a rich cultural connection between both nations, paving the way for a lasting cultural bond.

The intermingling and coexistence of Shia pilgrims during the Arbaeen Walk can create a unique opportunity for cultural activists from different countries to come together and foster a sense of familiarity. 

Additionally, the various cultural groups’ activities along the path further contribute to this enriching experience. 

As a result of this familiarity, a plethora of international and regional cultural productions have emerged, ranging from captivating documentaries and notable films to impactful critical cultural events. 

This will lead to even greater progress and impact on Shia culture. In recent years, several cultural centers have emerged in a number of countries such as Iran, Iraq, and other neighboring nations, all inspired by the Arbaeen event.

The event serves as a unifying force, strengthening the bond between popular groups from Iran and Iraq, fostering a sense of togetherness. Throughout the year, the bond of unity and friendship will endure, leaving lasting and cherished memories of the pilgrimage in the hearts and minds of the participants.

That’s why, in spite of the numerous obstacles, countless individuals strive relentlessly each year to embark on the journey to Karbala for Arbaeen pilgrimage.


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