HOLY SAMARRA, Iraq: With the observation of anniversary of
martyrdom of Al-Imam Al-Hasan Al-Askary (AS) on Safar 8, the two month
and eight day-long Husseini mourning period ended.
Main ceremony of the occasion was held at the holy shrine of Al-Imamayn
Al-Askariyain in Samarra which is being rebuilt after it was twice
destructed at the hands of terrorists.
Some four million mourners gathered at the shrine to commemorate
the martyrdom anniversary for the first time since bombs ripped apart
the sacred golden shrine, according to Haydar Al-Yacoubi, an official
from Samarra, who quoted security sources.
Many among the pilgrims who streamed to the ruins of the shrine
praised their Sunni hosts. They said tribal leaders in the area had
put up tents filled with free food, drink and medical care along the
roads leading to the holy site. Pilgrims said the security presence
was so strong that they spent the day without fear.
Most pilgrims made the trip in packed buses, some traveling 14
Hassan Jawad , however, who's 40 and blind, walked 75 miles from
"This pilgrimage is part of our national reunification," he said. "How
beautiful for all Iraqis — Shiite and Sunni — to share a common
Other grand majalis and processions to mark the occasion were
witnessed in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, United
States, United Kingdom, Tanzania, Egypt, Nigeria, UAE, Kuwait,
Bahrain, Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Malaysia and many other