Karbalā’, Iraq

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Karbalā’, Iraq

Region: Karbalā’ is located in the Karbala Governorate

Geographic Coordinates: 32.616700, 44.033300
Temperature Range: 5.0°C to 45.0°C (41°F to 113°F)
Climate: Hot summers and mild winters with occasional rainfall.
Population: 690100
Language: Arabic

Karbalā’ is a city in Iraq that holds a significant place in the hearts of Shia Muslims. The city is located 100 kilometers southwest of Baghdad and has a population of around 700, 000 people. Karbalā’ is renowned for being the site where Imam Hussein was martyred during the Battle of Karbala in 680 AD. Every year, Millions of Shia Muslims from all over the world come to Karbalā’ to commemorate Ashura, Which marks Imam Hussein’s death. The commemoration lasts for ten days and ends with a large procession where mourners beat their chests and backs with chains.

Apart from its religious significance, Karbalā’ also has several historical sites worth visiting. The shrines of Imam Hussein and his half-brother Abbas ibn Ali are among the most important pilgrimage sites for Shia Muslims worldwide. The city also has museums that showcase various artifacts related to Islamic history such as Al-Abbas Holy Shrine Museum. Additionally, There are parks like Al-Hindiya Park where visitors can relax or have picnics with their families. Karbalā’s economy mainly relies on agriculture due to its location in Mesopotamia or the land between two rivers. Crops grown here include wheat, Barley, Cotton sugarcane and dates.

In conclusion, Karbalā’ remains significant not only to Shia Islam but also serves as an important cultural hub within Iraq due to its rich history and cultural heritage. Its historical sites, Museums, Parks and gardens make it an attractive destination for tourists from all over the world.’

Important Landmarks

Landmarks and Attractions in Karbala

  1. Imam Hussain Shrine
  2. Abbasid Palace
  3. Al-Turath Mosque
  4. Al-Qibla Mosque
  5. Al-Hindiyya Water Wheel
  6. Bab Al-Qibla Gate
  7. Bab Al-Taqi Gate
  8. Bab Al-Faraj Gate
  9. Bab Al-Salam Gate
  10. Bab Al-Baghdad Gate

These landmarks and attractions showcase the rich history and culture of Karbala, attracting visitors from all over the world to experience their significance firsthand.

Noteable History

  1. The Battle of Karbala, which took place in 680 AD when Imam Husayn, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, was killed by the forces of Yazid I.
  2. Imam Husayn himself, who is considered a prominent figure in Shia Islam as he sacrificed his life for justice and truth during the Battle of Karbala.
  3. The Abbasid Caliphate, which ruled from Baghdad but had a significant presence in Karbalā’. They constructed many important structures such as mosques, palaces, and markets.
  4. Al-Mukhtar al-Thaqafi, a revolutionary leader who fought against the Umayyad Caliphate after they killed Imam Husayn during the Battle of Karbala.
  5. Several shrines located within Karbalā’, including Imam Hussain Shrine, Abbas ibn Ali Shrine, and Al-Qasim Mosque – all important pilgrimage sites for Shia Muslims.
  6. During their rule over Iraq (1534-1918), Ottomans constructed many buildings such as schools and hospitals in Karbalā’.
  7. Saddam Hussein’s regime targeted Shia Muslims who visited shrines like those found in Karbalā’, leading to many deaths.
  8. Every year millions participate in Arbaeen Pilgrimage to visit imam Hussain’s shrine on foot from Najaf to karabla’a

These events have significantly impacted not only Iraqi history but also Islamic culture today.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Imam Hussain Holy Shrine
  2. Al Abbas Holy Shrine
  3. Karbala Museum
  4. Al-Hindiya Waterfall
  5. Maqam al-Imam al-Mahdi
  6. The Battle of Karbala Site
  7. Al-Anwar Hussainiya Mosque
  8. Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf (about an hour away from Karbala)

Sports Teams

  1. Karbala has a rich history of traditional sports such as archery and horse racing.
  2. In recent times, football (soccer) has become the most popular sport in the city.
  3. The Al-Shorta SC is one of the oldest and most successful football clubs in Iraq, founded in 1932.
  4. Another notable team is Al-Hussein SC, established in 1979.
  5. Both teams have won several domestic titles and participated in international competitions.
  6. In addition to football, basketball has also gained popularity among young people in Karbala with several local clubs participating in national tournaments.
  7. The city also hosts annual sporting events such as marathons and cycling races.
  8. However, due to ongoing conflicts and security concerns, many sports activities have been disrupted or canceled altogether.

Cultural Events

  1. Arbaeen Pilgrimage – This is the largest annual gathering of Shia Muslims in Karbala, which marks the end of a 40-day mourning period for Imam Hussein, a revered figure in Shia Islam.
  2. Ashura Commemoration – This is another important religious event that takes place in Karbala, where people commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussein and his followers.
  3. Karbala International Theatre Festival – This festival celebrates theatre and performing arts from around the world and attracts artists and performers from different countries.
  4. Al-Hussein Cultural Festival – This cultural festival celebrates the life and legacy of Imam Hussein through various cultural activities such as music, poetry, art exhibitions, and traditional food.
  5. Al-Quds Day Rally – This is an annual event that takes place on the last Friday of Ramadan to show solidarity with Palestine and support for their cause.
  6. Eid al-Fitr Celebration – The end of Ramadan is celebrated with feasting, praying at mosques or public spaces like parks or stadiums across Iraq including Karbala.
  7. Mawlid al-Nabi Celebrations – The birth anniversary celebration of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is held annually by Muslims worldwide including Iraqis living in Karbala city to celebrate his life accomplishments through religious sermons & lectures followed by processions on streets with recitation & singing praises about him (peace be upon him).


  • Masgouf is a grilled fish dish that is popular in Iraq and can be found at many restaurants in Karbalā’.
  • Kebab, which consists of grilled meat skewers, is also a staple food item in Iraqi cuisine.
  • Dolma is another popular dish that involves stuffed vegetables such as grape leaves, eggplant, and peppers filled with rice or meat.
  • Al-Khaima Restaurant is known for its traditional Iraqi dishes like masgouf, kebabs, and dolma.
  • Al-Masbah Restaurant serves fresh fish caught from the nearby Euphrates River and specializes in seafood dishes.
  • Al-Furat Restaurant is another popular seafood restaurant that specializes in grilled fish dishes like masgouf.
  • Al-Hayat Restaurant offers delicious kebab platters served with rice and salad.
  • Abu Shaker Bakery & Sweets Shop sells traditional Iraqi sweets like baklava, qatayef, and kunafa and is a famous bakery shop.

Please note that this list does not include all options available but rather provides a sampling of some of the most well-known local cuisine choices based on online sources.

Parks and Recreation

  1. Al-Hurr Park
  2. Al-Abbas Holy Shrine Park
  3. Karbala Sports City
  4. Al-Rasheed Park
  5. Imam Hussein Square
  6. Euphrates River Walkway
  7. Al-Furat Island Park

These places offer visitors a range of activities such as walking paths, picnic areas, sports facilities like football fields and basketball courts as well as scenic views of the Euphrates River. Visitors can also enjoy shopping at local markets or just relax amidst greenery away from the city hustle-bustle at these parks.


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