Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wonderful Experience of Pilgrimage to Syria, Iraq & Iran

Shrine of Janabe Zainab (a.s.)
The Pilgrimage to the Shrines in Syria, Iraq and Iran was wonderful. The weather was favorable and the co-passengers were caring and co-operative with each other. We are 46 pilgrims, all from different regions of India. Ahmedabad, Delhi, Bulandshaher, Lucknow, Ajmer and Mumbai. They were all excited to be in front of the holy shrines. Ayyame Faatemi coincided our visit to Sayyedah Zainab, at the Shrine of Zainabe Kubra, the elder daughter of Amirul Mo'mineen Imam Ali (a.s.).
It took us 30 hrs. to reach Damascus from Mumbai. The flight of Saudi Airlines was supposed to take-off from Sahaar Airport at 6.35 AM on Friday 15th April, delayed for 14 hrs. and were in transit at Riyadh Airport for another 8 hrs. while normally it takes 9 hrs. including transit, to travel from Mumbai to Damascus. The reason for delay was sandstorm in Madina and in the northern part of Saudi Arabia.
Most of the tour operators to save money travel by Air Arabia, a low fare airline. The airline does not serve free meals or water in the aircraft. Even a bottle of water comes at a cost. Passengers are not allowed to carry water in the aircraft due to security reasons. Syrian government issues paper visa to the visitors coming in groups or caravans.
We stayed at the Hotel Bina al-Qasim at Sayyeda Zainab, just 200 away metres from the holy shrine.

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