Hojat-ol-Islam Mohammad Mehdi Imanipour, head of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization (ICRO), made the remark at the closing ceremony of the 8th edition of the Arbaeen International Award, held on Monday at ICRO’s headquarters here in the Iranian capital.
He said the Arbaeen procession shows Islam’s Rahmani (compassionate) face which rebuts the Islamophobic attempts aimed at tarnishing the religion’s face.
The cleric added that in today’s world with an intensifying “war of narrations”, there is need for stronger emphasis on issues like fraternity and friendship in the Arbaeen march.
Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Mehdi Esmaeili was also among the participants at the ceremony.
Those taking part in the 8th Arbaeen International Award are from 20 countries.
They have submitted works about Arbaeen in such fields as photos, films, travel accounts, books and social media.
ICRO has organized the Arabeen Award since 2014 with the aim of reflecting the manifestations of this international religious event to the world.
Wherever words cannot convey the greatness of a message, the best communication medium would be the language of art. That is why ICRO decided to hold the international award annually in the categories of photos, videos, and travelogues, with the aim of spreading the message of Arbaeen and Ashura.
Arbaeen, which is one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, comes 40 days after Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of the third Shia Imam, Imam Hussein (AS).
Each year, a huge crowd of Shias flock to the Iraqi city of Karbala, where the holy shrine of Imam Hussein (AS) is located, to perform mourning rites on Arbaeen.
The pilgrims, mainly from Iraq and Iran, travel long routes on foot to the holy city.
In September 2022, a large number of people from different countries took part in the Arbaeen rituals, setting a new record.