The Road to Arbaeen follows the journey of the world's largest annual pilgrimage to Karbala, Iraq.


The Arbaeen Pilgrimage marks the end of a 40-day mourning period following Ashura, the religious ritual that commemorates the death of the Prophet Mohammad's grandson Imam Hussain. Imam Hussain became a martyr during the Battle of Karbala [680CE] where he fought against the Yazid armies.


Arbaeen is the largest number of people fed for free and largest group of volunteers serving a single event in the world. Up to 25 million pilgrims take the 75km journey from Najaf to Imam Hussain's shrine in Karbala, while some walk 700km from Basra in Southern Iraq.


Arbaeen has been banned many times, including by Saddam Hussein who believed the walk of peace would be weaponised and pilgrims would revolt against his dictatorship. Arbaeen remains set against the tense backdrop of the Iraqi geopolitical scene and is a target for numerous terrorist attacks. In 2018 alone, Iraqi intelligence foiled over 300 Daesh related attacks.


Arbaeen offers a positive narrative of resilience, solidarity, and faith. Surprisingly, Arbaeen remains almost unknown to the world, and there continues to be widespread criticism of the media blackout surrounding it.


Ongoing Project [2017-Present]

Father grandfather and grandchildren stand at their date palm plantation in rural Al Hillah Iraq during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournali
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Safa and his family stand against the backdrop of their family date palm plantation. “I have been hosting a mokeb since Saddam Hussein left. Before that we had secret housing inside the palm jungle - we’d hide pilgrims underneath palm leaves. I’m proud to say I was against Saddam. I know my son will continue our Arbaeen duty”.

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Safa and his family stand against the backdrop of their family date palm plantation. “I have been hosting a mokeb since Saddam Hussein left. Before that we had secret housing inside the palm jungle - we’d hide pilgrims underneath palm leaves. I’m proud to say I was against Saddam. I know my son will continue our Arbaeen duty”.

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Children play in Kefal river during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Children play in a local river near Kefal

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Children play in a local river near Kefal

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Rural date palm fields reflecting on the river at dusk in Al Hillah Iraq during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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A rural pilgrim route in Al Hillah, Iraq at dusk. Pilgrims continue to walk late into the night, some walking from as far as Basra to reach Karbala. [2017]

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A rural pilgrim route in Al Hillah, Iraq at dusk. Pilgrims continue to walk late into the night, some walking from as far as Basra to reach Karbala. [2017]

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Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a Muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Over 15 million Shia pilgrims arrive in Karbala every year to visit Imam Hussain's Shrine. It remains the world's largest annual peaceful gathering.

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Over 15 million Shia pilgrims arrive in Karbala every year to visit Imam Hussain's Shrine. It remains the world's largest annual peaceful gathering.

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Iraqi military man who fought ISIS Daesh prays in Najaf during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Sayed (35) spent five years fighting Daesh as part of the voluntary Iraqi military service. This year he returned home after being shot multiple times in the shoulder and shin. Sayed’s grandfather and father fought against Saddam Hussein, and his family are well-known fighters, “Our volunteer Iraqi troops are very strong and guided by our local religious leaders who ordered us to fight. Even now I feel ready to go to war if I’m needed, this is how I function now. Give me two hours, and I’ll be there”

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Sayed (35) spent five years fighting Daesh as part of the voluntary Iraqi military service. This year he returned home after being shot multiple times in the shoulder and shin. Sayed’s grandfather and father fought against Saddam Hussein, and his family are well-known fighters, “Our volunteer Iraqi troops are very strong and guided by our local religious leaders who ordered us to fight. Even now I feel ready to go to war if I’m needed, this is how I function now. Give me two hours, and I’ll be there”

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Iraqi army general who fought ISIS with his sons at home in Kefal during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Jamal was a General in the Iraqi army for five years. In March 2018, he was gunned down in the stomach by Daesh and was found on a roadside by Iraqi troops.


“Many people see us Iraqi men as fighters, as military men. Yes I’m fighting for my country but I’m also a father and I’m fighting for my children, for peace”. 

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Jamal was a General in the Iraqi army for five years. In March 2018, he was gunned down in the stomach by Daesh and was found on a roadside by Iraqi troops.


“Many people see us Iraqi men as fighters, as military men. Yes I’m fighting for my country but I’m also a father and I’m fighting for my children, for peace”. 

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Within moments of entering Imam Ali's Shrine in Najaf, I saw an elderly woman sitting in her wheelchair. As most people were seated on the floor or lying on blankets, she was instantly noticeable. She had come from Afghanistan with her brother [who stands behind her in the photograph] - it was their first Arba'een. Their journey to Karbala will be an unusually long one for them, requiring an immense amount of effort. Her brother explained that once he is tired and weak from pushing her in the wheelchair, she will push him. I was so moved to see such a powerful sibling bond. I asked him to place his hands on her shoulders and for her to place her hand on his. It was at this moment that she began to weep.

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Within moments of entering Imam Ali's Shrine in Najaf, I saw an elderly woman sitting in her wheelchair. As most people were seated on the floor or lying on blankets, she was instantly noticeable. She had come from Afghanistan with her brother [who stands behind her in the photograph] - it was their first Arba'een. Their journey to Karbala will be an unusually long one for them, requiring an immense amount of effort. Her brother explained that once he is tired and weak from pushing her in the wheelchair, she will push him. I was so moved to see such a powerful sibling bond. I asked him to place his hands on her shoulders and for her to place her hand on his. It was at this moment that she began to weep.

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mother daughter inside imam hussain shrine cry and mourn during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Mother and daughter mourn for Imam Hussain at the entrance to his Holy Shrine in Karbala, Iraq

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Mother and daughter mourn for Imam Hussain at the entrance to his Holy Shrine in Karbala, Iraq

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Children jump and pray during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Iraqi children perform at their mokeb shelter on the outskirts of Najaf, Iraq during the Arbaeen Pilgrimage.

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Iraqi children perform at their mokeb shelter on the outskirts of Najaf, Iraq during the Arbaeen Pilgrimage.

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Pilgrim at wadi-al-salaam cemetary during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Pilgrims stands in Wadi-al-Salaam (Arabic for ‘Peace Valley’), an Islamic cemetery located in the Shi’a holy city of Najaf, Iraq. It is the world’s largest cemetery, covering over 1,500 acres and containing tens of millions of bodies. After Daesh, burials rose to almost 250 a day.

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Pilgrims stands in Wadi-al-Salaam (Arabic for ‘Peace Valley’), an Islamic cemetery located in the Shi’a holy city of Najaf, Iraq. It is the world’s largest cemetery, covering over 1,500 acres and containing tens of millions of bodies. After Daesh, burials rose to almost 250 a day.

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Iraqi women bake bread at dawn dressed in abaya in Al Hillah Iraq during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Women bake prepare the day's bread supply known as khubz [Iraqi flatbread] at a mokeb on a rural route to Karbala, Iraq during the Arbaeen Pilgrimage. Every morning local Iraqis prepare the day’s food and sweet teas for pilgrims - all of which is free. Some Iraqi families set aside up to 20% of their annual earnings to serve pilgrims walking Arbaeen. [2018]

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Women bake prepare the day's bread supply known as khubz [Iraqi flatbread] at a mokeb on a rural route to Karbala, Iraq during the Arbaeen Pilgrimage. Every morning local Iraqis prepare the day’s food and sweet teas for pilgrims - all of which is free. Some Iraqi families set aside up to 20% of their annual earnings to serve pilgrims walking Arbaeen. [2018]

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Flag bearers walk through the highway to love in Karbala during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Flagbearers carry their nation's flags as well as black flags that signify the mourning of Imam Hussain.

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Flagbearers carry their nation's flags as well as black flags that signify the mourning of Imam Hussain.

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Inside Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a Muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Imam Hussain's Shrine in Karbala

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Imam Hussain's Shrine in Karbala

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Iraqi woman and children pilgrims stand at mokeb tent in Najaf during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Fatam has been running mokeb tents in Najaf during Arbaeen since the fall of Saddam Hussein. She’s in charge of the women’s tents and her son, who recently returned from the military, is responsible for the men’s tents. Iraqi families contribute up to 20% of their annual income to support pilgrims over the 40 day pilgrimage. Fatam’s family provide showers, bathrooms, bedding, tea and three meals a day.

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Fatam has been running mokeb tents in Najaf during Arbaeen since the fall of Saddam Hussein. She’s in charge of the women’s tents and her son, who recently returned from the military, is responsible for the men’s tents. Iraqi families contribute up to 20% of their annual income to support pilgrims over the 40 day pilgrimage. Fatam’s family provide showers, bathrooms, bedding, tea and three meals a day.

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Iraqi mother at home in abaya in Kefal during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Zainab and her family have hosted pilgrims during Arbaeen for generations, including under Saddam Hussein’s regime when Arbaeen was banned. For the past five years, while her son fought Daesh in Northern Iraq, she has hosted it alone in Kefal. Her son Jamal returned home in March 2018.

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Zainab and her family have hosted pilgrims during Arbaeen for generations, including under Saddam Hussein’s regime when Arbaeen was banned. For the past five years, while her son fought Daesh in Northern Iraq, she has hosted it alone in Kefal. Her son Jamal returned home in March 2018.

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chai seller in iraq during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Chai seller on the Highway of Love serves pilgrims as they near the Holy city of Karbala.

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Chai seller on the Highway of Love serves pilgrims as they near the Holy city of Karbala.

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Brothers reflection in window at midday on the highway of love to Karbala during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Brothers on the road from Baghdad to Karbala

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Brothers on the road from Baghdad to Karbala

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Iraqi children play behind a mokeb in Najaf Iraq during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Local Iraqi children, belonging to a family who housed pilgrims during Saddam Hussein's 24-year dictatorship, play behind a mawkeb tent. Under Saddam's government, pilgrims wishing to walk Arbaeen would risk being killed or imprisoned for a minimum of two years. Local Iraqis living between Najaf and Karbala offered shelter to pilgrims by marking their homes to signal they were safe. They would provide food, shelter and safe passage through the night.

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Local Iraqi children, belonging to a family who housed pilgrims during Saddam Hussein's 24-year dictatorship, play behind a mawkeb tent. Under Saddam's government, pilgrims wishing to walk Arbaeen would risk being killed or imprisoned for a minimum of two years. Local Iraqis living between Najaf and Karbala offered shelter to pilgrims by marking their homes to signal they were safe. They would provide food, shelter and safe passage through the night.

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Iraqi child queue for free food with his mother in abaya during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Mother and child on the final day of Arbaeen in Karbala. They were queuing for breakfast, which is served for free to pilgrims throughout the pilgrimage.

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Mother and child on the final day of Arbaeen in Karbala. They were queuing for breakfast, which is served for free to pilgrims throughout the pilgrimage.

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Women pilgrims outside Zaynab Hill in Karbala during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Women queue at the entrance to Zeynab's Hill in Karbala, Iraq.

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Women queue at the entrance to Zeynab's Hill in Karbala, Iraq.

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Mother and daughter from Iran wearing abaya and hijaab during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Iranian mother and daughter in Najaf, Iraq

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Iranian mother and daughter in Najaf, Iraq

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Mokeb children from Iraq pray and cry in Karbala during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Iraqi children pray for Imam Hussain in a local mokeb tent in Karbala.

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Iraqi children pray for Imam Hussain in a local mokeb tent in Karbala.

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Family husband wife pilgrims sleeping on colourful blankets in Karbala during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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On the night of Arbaeen pilgrims sleep in a semi-abandoned building lit with occasional floodlights. Surrounding the entrance and over three floors were families sleeping, swaddled in blankets. Occasionally you would find a person praying or a family sharing biscuits. The family pictured were part of a large group of Shia pilgrims - only a couple were still awake. I left the building at 2 am, and the family had not moved, they were no doubt exhausted by their walk to Karbala.

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On the night of Arbaeen pilgrims sleep in a semi-abandoned building lit with occasional floodlights. Surrounding the entrance and over three floors were families sleeping, swaddled in blankets. Occasionally you would find a person praying or a family sharing biscuits. The family pictured were part of a large group of Shia pilgrims - only a couple were still awake. I left the building at 2 am, and the family had not moved, they were no doubt exhausted by their walk to Karbala.

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Iraqi pilgrims wear chador abaya to queue for food at mokeb in Najaf during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Women queue up for food at a makeshift kitchen in Najaf, Iraq. Local Iraqis offer fresh meals, water, places to sleep and many other amenities for free. Some families set aside as much as twenty percent of their annual earnings.

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Women queue up for food at a makeshift kitchen in Najaf, Iraq. Local Iraqis offer fresh meals, water, places to sleep and many other amenities for free. Some families set aside as much as twenty percent of their annual earnings.

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Iraqi woman pilgrim prays at Imam Ali shrine at night during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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A pilgrim praying at Imam Ali’s Shrine, the father of Imam Hussain, in Najaf.

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A pilgrim praying at Imam Ali’s Shrine, the father of Imam Hussain, in Najaf.

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Pilgrims wait outside the city Karbala at night during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Pilgrims wait to enter the city of Karbala during the Arbaeen pilgrimage.

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Pilgrims wait to enter the city of Karbala during the Arbaeen pilgrimage.

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Pilgrims walks the highway of love to Karbala during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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In 2016, a suicide truck bomb killed over 80 people on the route from Baghdad to Karbala and it remains a target for ISIS bombers. Tens of thousands of security personnel and Shia militiamen are deployed around the perimeters of the shrine as well as on all roads leading to Karbala, about 80 kilometers southwest of Baghdad. I was inspired by the resilience and bravery of the pilgrims, who returned despite the threat of terrorism.

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In 2016, a suicide truck bomb killed over 80 people on the route from Baghdad to Karbala and it remains a target for ISIS bombers. Tens of thousands of security personnel and Shia militiamen are deployed around the perimeters of the shrine as well as on all roads leading to Karbala, about 80 kilometers southwest of Baghdad. I was inspired by the resilience and bravery of the pilgrims, who returned despite the threat of terrorism.

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Women from Iran wearing abaya and dust mask in Najaf during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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A group Iranian girls stand outside their mokeb in Najaf.

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A group Iranian girls stand outside their mokeb in Najaf.

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Father and son pilgrim stand in date palm jungle in Al Hillah during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Father and son stand on the edge of their date palm field in Al-Hillah

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Father and son stand on the edge of their date palm field in Al-Hillah

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Flag bearer pilgrim walks through date palm jungle in Al Hillah during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Flag bearer on the road from Hillah to Karbala

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Flag bearer on the road from Hillah to Karbala

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Chai tea sellers stoke fire in Najaf Iraq at night during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Local children prepare tea known as ‘chai abu Ali’ to serve pilgrims in Najaf, Iraq during the late hours of the night before pilgrims find shelter. The boys took turns to stoke the fires, regularly switching teapots and all the while calling out to the crowd "Chai! Chai!”.

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Local children prepare tea known as ‘chai abu Ali’ to serve pilgrims in Najaf, Iraq during the late hours of the night before pilgrims find shelter. The boys took turns to stoke the fires, regularly switching teapots and all the while calling out to the crowd "Chai! Chai!”.

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Iranian mother and daughter pilgrims during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Mother and daughter look towards Imam Hussain's Shrine on the eve of Arbaeen in Karbala.

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Mother and daughter look towards Imam Hussain's Shrine on the eve of Arbaeen in Karbala.

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Iraqi date farmers in rural Al Hillah Iraq during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Date palm farmers stand at the entrance to a neighbours mokeb [tent for pilgrims] in Al-Hillah during the Arbaeen pilgrimage.

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Date palm farmers stand at the entrance to a neighbours mokeb [tent for pilgrims] in Al-Hillah during the Arbaeen pilgrimage.

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Pilgrim father at Karbala checkpoint by Imam Hussain shrine during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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A father waits for his son outside a security checkpoint in Karbala, Iraq on the eve of Arbaeen. The annual Arbaeen report revealed that on this evening alone over 15.3 million people were inside the city. Over the course of 40 days over 25 million pilgrims journey to Najaf and Karbala.

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A father waits for his son outside a security checkpoint in Karbala, Iraq on the eve of Arbaeen. The annual Arbaeen report revealed that on this evening alone over 15.3 million people were inside the city. Over the course of 40 days over 25 million pilgrims journey to Najaf and Karbala.

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Iraqi men riding horses reenact the battle of karbala against the yazd army  during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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The dusty road from Baghdad to Karbala, Iraq

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The dusty road from Baghdad to Karbala, Iraq

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Flag bearers walk through date palm jungle in Al Hillah during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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A rural pilgrim route in Al Hillah, Iraq

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A rural pilgrim route in Al Hillah, Iraq

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Pilgrim prays at imam ali shrine during the arbaeen pilgrimage in Najaf Iraq alongsid Arba'een Shi'a muslim by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Ishfaq Hussain Bukhari rests outside a prayer room beside Imam Ali's shrine during the Arbaeen pilgrimage in Najaf, Iraq. The Imam Ali Mosque is considered one of the holiest sites in Shi’a Islam. It was built in 977 over the tomb of Ali, the cousin of the Prophet Muhammad and has been reconstructed twice. After the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the mosque was the site of several attacks and used as a base by militia members.

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Ishfaq Hussain Bukhari rests outside a prayer room beside Imam Ali's shrine during the Arbaeen pilgrimage in Najaf, Iraq. The Imam Ali Mosque is considered one of the holiest sites in Shi’a Islam. It was built in 977 over the tomb of Ali, the cousin of the Prophet Muhammad and has been reconstructed twice. After the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the mosque was the site of several attacks and used as a base by militia members.

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Men silhouette on a flooded street on the evening of Arbaeen during Imam Hussain pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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The floodlit streets of Karbala, Iraq on the eve of Arbaeen. The annual Arbaeen report revealed that on this evening alone over 15.3 million people were inside the city. Over the course of 40 days over 25 million pilgrims journey to Najaf and Karbala.

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The floodlit streets of Karbala, Iraq on the eve of Arbaeen. The annual Arbaeen report revealed that on this evening alone over 15.3 million people were inside the city. Over the course of 40 days over 25 million pilgrims journey to Najaf and Karbala.

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Father and son from Iraq at sunset dusk between Najaf and Diwaniyah  during Imam Hussain Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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An Iraqi father and son on the road from Najaf to Diwaniyah. Local families in this region are Date farmers. The dusty roads are lined with Date palm trees, modestly built homes and livestock roam through what is known as 'Palm jungle'. Before the war with Iran in the 1980s, Iraq was the largest exporter of dates in the world, producing 1 million tonnes of them annually. Saddam Hussein's military campaigns and subsequent decades of neglect destroyed the industry, cutting yearly production to 420,000 tonnes.

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An Iraqi father and son on the road from Najaf to Diwaniyah. Local families in this region are Date farmers. The dusty roads are lined with Date palm trees, modestly built homes and livestock roam through what is known as 'Palm jungle'. Before the war with Iran in the 1980s, Iraq was the largest exporter of dates in the world, producing 1 million tonnes of them annually. Saddam Hussein's military campaigns and subsequent decades of neglect destroyed the industry, cutting yearly production to 420,000 tonnes.

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Sisters with albinism and red hair stand outside a mokeb in Najaf  during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Sisters in Najaf

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Sisters in Najaf

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Kebabs shawarma cooked and smoke in Najaf Iraq during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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Men cook kebabs for passing pilgrims on the outskirts of Najaf, Iraq during the Arbaeen Pilgrimage. Every morning local Iraqis prepare the day’s bread supply, food and sweet teas for pilgrims - all of which is free.

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Men cook kebabs for passing pilgrims on the outskirts of Najaf, Iraq during the Arbaeen Pilgrimage. Every morning local Iraqis prepare the day’s bread supply, food and sweet teas for pilgrims - all of which is free.

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Pilgrim serves Chai in Karbala Iraq during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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A server prepares chai for pilgrims in Karbala, Iraq on the eve of Arbaeen. Everyday for 40 days, locals and volunteers prepare food, shelter and sweet teas for pilgrims - all of which is free.

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A server prepares chai for pilgrims in Karbala, Iraq on the eve of Arbaeen. Everyday for 40 days, locals and volunteers prepare food, shelter and sweet teas for pilgrims - all of which is free.

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Man in candlelit vegetable and fruit market in Najaf during Imam Hussain Shrine in Holy city Karbala during Arbaeen Arba'een Shi'a muslim pilgrimage in Iraq by British photojournalist Emily Garthwaite
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The market pathway in Najaf was a maze of squashed vegetables and mud. Dimly lit lightbulbs were hung from the ceiling, the air was humid after the rain and Arbaeen was only days away.

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The market pathway in Najaf was a maze of squashed vegetables and mud. Dimly lit lightbulbs were hung from the ceiling, the air was humid after the rain and Arbaeen was only days away.

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