My heart beats for Hussain: March of Arbaeen

Sahar Alfatlawi, Reporter and Public Relations Officer

An annual march where millions of Shia Muslims mourn the tragedy of Karbala. The March of Arbaeen, translating to the “fortieth” represents the death of Imam Hussain, his family and his companions, who were either killed and beheaded or taken as prisoners by the Yazidi army.

Sahar Alfatlawi

This past October 28, three Shia mosques; Jame Hakimi Alzahra Corporation, El Hussein Community center and Bab Ul Ilm Islamic center host their annual march in remembrance of  Arbaeen. Starting off at Al Zahra, Muslims would walk 3.2 miles to the El Hussein Community center stopping by for food and refreshments then continuing with a 1.2-mile walk to Bab Ul Ilm Islamic center. Throughout the 4.4 mile march, a “Ya Hussain” banner was tied on a jet and flown above the marchers while flyers and roses were passed out to local residents, educating them on the history of the march.


Sahar Alfatlawi

Not only is the Arbaeen used to mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, but to remember those murdered by Saddam Hussein, al-Qaeda, and Isis. During the Iraqi presidency of Saddam Hussein and later the control of al-Qaeda and Isis, Shia movements were suppressed in fear of overthrowing or gaining independence. However, the death of Saddam Hussein and the defeat of both terrorist extremists groups have allowed Shias to express themselves through their traditional Islamic theology and traditions.

As the sun came down, the marchers returned back to their respectable masjids and enjoyed a heartfelt lecture in remembrance of the Arbaeen. And although they face constant criticism in regards to prejudice and false information, the Shias were proud that they were able to inform their local residents of the true meaning of following the Shia Islamic belief.