Shia pilgrims received best assistance from KRG: Iranian envoy in Erbil
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iran's Consul General in Erbil Nasrollah Rashnoudi announced on Friday in a press conference that Iranian pilgrims in Iraq celebrating Arbaeen received the best assistance from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
“For providing all the services to our pilgrims, we thank the KRG, the governor of Erbil, and all the people of Kurdistan,” the diplomat stated.
Meanwhile, Erbil Governor Omed Khoshnaw – who also attended the presser – said that last year was a new experience for the first time to welcome pilgrims.
“It ended very successfully to the satisfaction of the pilgrims and the Iranian government,” Khoshnaw added.
He also noted that pilgrims are provided with convenient services from Haji Omaran border crossing to the Sherawa checkpoint, such as shelter, food, water and map directions from guides.
Moreover, he revealed that they visited Iran last month and the Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli expressed his gratitude to the people and the KRG for providing all these services to the Shia pilgrims.
“500,000 pilgrims are expected to enter the country through the Haji Omaran border crossing, and two to three thousand pilgrims pass through it daily, according to Iranian officials," Khoshnaw stated.
On Aug. 19, Iranian Deputy Interior Minister Seyed Mohammad Mir Ahmadi visited the Haji Omaran border crossing and thanked the KRG authorities for their assistance.
Kurdistan 24 correspondent Tayfour Muhammad reported on Aug. 19 that the first Shia pilgrims had arrived at the Haji Omaran border crossing.
From there, they moved on to other Iraqi cities, Muhammad added.
Observed forty days after Ashura, Arbaeen is a major Shia religious holiday.
Arbaeen commemorates the life and martyrdom of Imam Hussein, who was the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad and a central figure in Shia Islam.
Shia Muslims believe Imam Hussein and his 71 followers were killed by the army of Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad in the year 680 CE in Karbala, Iraq, making the city an annual destination for more than 20 million Shia pilgrims.