SHAFAQNA – Iraq’s interior ministry has ordered related bodies to facilitate issuing visas for pilgrims traveling to the Arab country for Arbaeen.
Jamaleddin Shahrestani, an official with the Astan (custodianship) of Imam Hussein (AS) holy shrine, said that according to the ministry’s directive, pilgrims can receive visas at airports and border crossings, Noon news agency reported.
Issuing visa for Arbaeen pilgrims will begin on Wednesday, October 11 and continue to November 9.
Arbaeen, which is one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, comes 40 days after Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of the third Shia Imam, Imam Hussein (AS).
Each year, a huge crowd of Shias flock to Karbala, where the holy shrine of Imam Hussein (AS) is located, to perform mourning rites. Many of them also visit Imam Ali’s (AS) holy shrine in Najaf.
In the past few years, around 20 million pilgrims from all over the world, including Iran, took part in the mourning ceremonies in the Iraqi holy cities marking Arbaeen.
This year, Arbaeen falls on Thursday, November 9.