BAGHDAD, Iraq: Videos posted on popular reciters’ social media pages show hundreds of Shia Iraqis still congregating in ceremonial religious mourning sessions despite measures taken by the government to suspend schools, universities, and gatherings in public spaces to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Hussein is miraculous; his love is the greatest prize. Don’t come to this Aza (mourning), he who fears corona,” sang popular Iraqi reciter Alaa al-Grebawy during a ceremony in Baghdad posted on his YouTube page on March 15.
“This situation is a test; Hussein is not only for tears. He who wears the armor, can never be scared,” al-Grebawy continues in his recitation.
Another video posted at a different ceremony showed a reciter singing similar phrases.
“I speak with knowledge, not speculation, Haider has healed me from all illnesses with his kindness. If I get corona I will go visit [his grave] and be healed. He who has Ali doesn’t need to know where the hospital is,” the reciter chanted.