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Photographer's Note

Travels on the Silk Road:

Karbala may not be situated near the Silk Road proper but there were certainly caravans that travelled from Baghdad to Basra in medieval times and before. Kerbala is one of the most important places for Shi'ite pilgrims, after Hadj and after Najaf. For travel in Iraq you need a visa, so it was a Pilgrim's visa for our small group of tourists. Yes, it's true, Iraq is no longer at war, tourism is possible if difficult, people relax even if almost all families have had a price to pay in the past. Numerous security checkpoints keep up law and order.

Karbala with its two shrines for Abbas and Huseyn that died here in the battle against the Umayiad Khalif Yazid-I, impresses even the non-Muslim by its sheer size and splendor. The town and the two mausolea had to be rebuilt after the sacking in 1802 by Wahabits from the South by the Sunnite Ottoman rulers (thanks, Wikipedia).

This is a snap shot on the way from the Hotel Jawash to the sanctuaries. See Map: View for the location. You may note that Old mixes with New (the skeletal hand of Al-Abbas is exhibited in the domed structure; air conditioning and energy efficient light bulbs are in evidence).

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Additional Photos by Dietrich Meyer (meyerd) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 106 W: 52 N: 651] (1626)
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