1m Ar­baeen pil­grims to en­ter Iraq via Sha­lam­cheh

Iran Daily - - Society - By Sadeq De­hqan & Leila Imani

Sha­lam­cheh bor­der in Khuzes­tan Province, south­west of Iran, is the best cross­ing point for Ira­nian pil­grims march­ing to­ward the holy Iraqi city of Kar­bala to per­form the rit­u­als of Ar­baeen, said manag­ing direc­tor of Ar­vand Free Zone.

Es­maeil Za­mani told Iran Daily that nec­es­sary steps have been taken to pro­vide var­i­ous fa­cil­i­ties for Ira­nian pil­grims trav­el­ing to Kar­bala dur­ing the pe­riod.

He said Ar­baeen pil­grims have used Sha­lam­cheh bor­der cross­ing to travel to Kar­bala over the past six years, adding $5 mil­lion is in­vested an­nu­ally to cre­ate in­fra­struc­tures and of­fer suit­able ser­vices to the pil­grims march­ing to­ward Kar­bala for Ar­baeen rit­ual.

The of­fi­cial said about 700,000 Ar­baeen pil­grims crossed into Iraq from Sha­lam­cheh last year, while the fig­ures for the past two and three years stood at 600,000 and 400,000 re­spec­tively.

Za­mani noted that a large num­ber of pil­grims from Pak­istan and other coun­tries en­ter Iraq from Iran and Sha­lam­cheh bor­der an­nu­ally.

“Ad­e­quate se­cu­rity has been pro­vided for pil­grims and ef­forts are un­der­way to pre­vent any ten­sion,” he said.

He re­it­er­ated that suit­able com­mu­ni­ca­tion fa­cil­i­ties have also been es­tab­lished in Sha­lam­cheh, adding free Wi-fi net­work would be avail­able to pil­grims dur­ing the pe­riod.

Ar­baeen — one of the most revered re­li­gious oc­ca­sions on the Is­lamic cal­en­dar — marks 40 days since Ashura when Imam Hus­sein (PBUH), the grand­son of Prophet Muham­mad (PBUH) and third Shia Imam, was mar­tyred in the plains of Kar­bala along with 72 of his com­pan­ions over 13 cen­turies ago.

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