Alwaght- Hundreds of thousands of people from around the world continue their trek to the Iraqi holy city of Karbala for the annual congregation commemorating Imam Hussein, the third Shiite Imam and the grandson of Prophet Muhammad.
The marches started about two weeks ago and will come to their peak next week which marks Arbaeen, the fortieth day since the martyrdom of Imam Hussein in Ashura.
During the religious festival, hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life will make millions in the culmination of Arbaeen march to Karbala for pilgrimage.
The pilgrims are from round the world, mainly from Shiite communities of various countries.
After Iraq, Iran tops the list of the marchers with an annual number of over 3 millions.
Authorities expect a larger number this year, possibly 5 million. They say the 3 million record has already been smashed.
The congregation marks a show of unity of the Shiite world and blurs the lines between nations.
Foreign pilgrims have been flowing to Iraqi through Iran from such countries as Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Pakistan.
Over five border crossings between Iran and Iraq, including Shalamcheh, Chazabeh in the south and Mehran in the West, have been active and serving pilgrims.
Iran’s IRGC Commander General Hussein Salami on Friday visited Mehran Border Crossing and promised that the Revolutionary Corps will provide all it can to serve the pilgrims to the last day of the religious gathering.
On the Iraqi side, authorities say the movement is fluent, through it is a congestion.
Media outlets stationed their reports in Karbala to cover world’s largest human congregation. The press secretary of Iraq’s Arbaeen Commission said that over 3,700 Iraqi and foreign reporters are set to cover Arbaeen.
September 6 marks the culmination of the marches and the day of Arbaeen, and some 20 million people are expected to commemorate the “guiding light and salvation ship” Imam Hussein, the man who fought for freedom against rule of oppression and sacrificed himself to a slogan he strongly believed in: “If you do not have any religion, then at least be free in your life.”