Ashura In Iraq

by: Hayley Beal


Hanin is 17 and lives in Baghdad, Iraq. She has brown hair and brown eyes. She's tall. She is really nice, and fun, and smart. She speaks Arabic and English fluently. She is an only child. She invited me to celebrate Ashura with her and her family.


Prophet Muhammad's grandson Hazrat Imam Husain Ali was massacred with the rest of his family and other followers. Which happened on the 10th day of the month of Muharram (mid-October -- mid- November). Ashura means 10.


Sunni and Shia Muslims observe the holday very differently.


In Iraq, Shia Muslims commemorate this day as a day for grieving and mourning.

We went with her family to a mosque where poems were recited to remember the death and suffering of Imam Husain. These poems included marsiya, noha, latmiya, and soaz. Then, we all chanted "ya Husain" will listening to the beating of drums. Also we listened to someone retelling the story of the battle. After we watched as some people carry around taziyeh , mini mausoleums of Imam Husain, which they burried in Karbala, a city 60 miles from Baghdad, where Imam Husain was killed.

Started on the 10th day of Muharram and lasted 3 days.

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American Holiday

Because it is an Islamic holiday it did not remind me of a holiday we celebrate in America. But, I guess its kind of similar to Good Friday, where Christians commemorate the crucifixion and death of Jesus, even though we don't celebrate it as intensely as Ashura is celebrated.