Photographer's Note

Travels on the Silk Road:
The picture shows one of the malls inside the shrine of al-Abbas in Kerbala. Shiite pilgrims arrive by bus from Iraq and the neighboring countries, some even from the Emirates, Pakistan and Afghanistan. They may be tired and therefore have a rest before entering the inner sanctum.

Note the red light: I was told that it is a symbol of the blood shed by Husain ibn-Ali at the battle of Kerbala against Caliph Yazid I. The battle took place on 10 Muharran 61 (Islamic calendar; October 10, 680 AD). In Kerbala there are two shrines close to each other, that of al-Abbas and the main shrine of al-Husain (see "Map:view").

We were tourists on a "Religious Tourism" group visum. The polite and friendly religious guards at the entrance of the sanctuary had no problem with us and just made sure that the women put on an abbaya which they provided and a head scarf. The right to photography could be negociated and it had to be done in a discreet fashion.

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Additional Photos by Dietrich Meyer (meyerd) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 106 W: 54 N: 651] (1628)
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