Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mourning of Imam Hussein, ctd.

Hello Readers!

Remember when, back in December, I posted about Ashura? Well, the mourning of Imam Hussein's death is still happening, and yesterday and today consisted of ceremonies as large as the one on the 10th of Muharram. Because I am on winter break, I was lucky enough to actually be able to attend both of these events with my host family.

Today is the 20th of Safar, the second month of the Islamic calendar. It is also the day that Imam Hussein was finally buried, 40 days after his death. His grave is in Karbala, in present-day Iraq.

On this day, the mourning began at night. My host parents and youngest host sister left at 5pm, but the rest of us went around 8 or 9. After a brief stop at the souq to pick up some abayas that were being repaired, we went into a large hall filled with many women. A man on a screen (there in the men's room) was giving a lecture in Arabic. After a while, he told the story of Imam Hussein, and there was the sobbing that usually happens. We also saw live footage from Karbala, where there were apparently 20 MILLION  people gathered.
After the lecture, my host sisters and I walked out of the Muttrah Soor to see some statues. Basically, people put these up as what essentially have the same purpose as wishing wells. People throw money, ranging from 100 baisa to 20 riyal. These statues are parts of scenes related to the death of Imam Hussein. There are also poles that people tie ribbons on as prayers.

After viewing the statues (and being given the inevitable tea), we went to watch a play about Imam Hussein (put on by some girls about my age) and finally went home. We reached home at about 1:15 am!!

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